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For some stranded U.S. adventurers, rescues come at a cost
Yahoo News ^ | February 18, 2013 | Laura Zuckerman | Reuters

Posted on 02/18/2013 9:31:52 AM PST by Uncle Chip

(Reuters) - After an all-terrain vehicle accident in the Utah desert last spring, 53-year-old Mikki Babineau expected a long recuperation for collapsed lungs and 18 broken ribs.

What the Idaho woman didn't expect was a $750 bill from the local Utah sheriff's office for sending a volunteer search and rescue unit to her aid, a service for which the sheriff in that county regularly charges fees.

Just a handful of states, including Oregon, Maine and Babineau's home state of Idaho, have laws authorizing local agencies to bill for rescues when factors such as recklessness, illegal activity or false information led to the predicament.

Lawmakers from the Rockies to the Appalachians periodically question why adventurers who incur costs should not have to pay the price - literally.

That debate has heated up this year as legislators in at least two states have sought, so far unsuccessfully, to enact laws to allow fees for rescues.

"In the rare case where a person took unnecessary risks, that person should be sent a bill," said Wyoming Republican Representative Keith Gingery, who tried but failed to pass such a law in his state.

That few states currently allow such billing is chiefly due to objections by national search and rescue groups, who say the prospect of payment could prompt people to delay seeking needed aid, possibly making a dangerous situation worse.

But that has not stopped lawmakers from considering such laws. Legislators in New Hampshire, for example, are seeking to shore up search and rescue funds by establishing fees ranging from $350 to $1,000.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 02/18/2013 9:31:55 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Uncle Chip

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.


2 posted on 02/18/2013 9:37:16 AM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: Uncle Chip

$750 isn’t much if your life depends on it. People take more risks because they know there’s a safety net.


3 posted on 02/18/2013 9:41:01 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Uncle Chip

“the prospect of payment could prompt people to delay seeking needed aid, possibly making a dangerous situation worse.”

It also prompts people to delay seeking UNneeded aid, preventing putting rescuers in danger. Sending a team at high speed into rank wilderness is dangerous.


4 posted on 02/18/2013 9:41:20 AM PST by ctdonath2 (3% of the population perpetrates >50% of homicides...but gun control advocates blame metal boxes.)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Uncle Chip
$750 is a very reasonable bill for a rescue in a remote area. Anybody seen a typical ambulance bill for a two mile run in an urban area?

Most of these remote areas have a very limited population and an even more limited tax base to do these things gratis. If you are going to do these high adventure activities in remote areas, buy some damn supplemental insurance or have your own rescue team standing by.

6 posted on 02/18/2013 9:43:37 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Uncle Chip

defining “recklessness”. that’s the crux of the issue.

walking in the gubmint’s pristine nature reserve and breaking your ankle?

or playing X Games participant in your trick-out Jeep?


7 posted on 02/18/2013 9:45:10 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: Uncle Chip

Perhaps if people are aware that it will cost them money to be rescued from the error of their ways they will take prudent and reasonable steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim. Duh!!!

Now, hold muh beer and watch this...


8 posted on 02/18/2013 9:46:28 AM PST by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
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To: Uncle Chip

$750 PROBABLY WOULDN’T EVEN COVER THE FUEL COSTS! She should pay it and be thanking God she’s still alive to do so! The taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for her stupidity and reckless behavior.....


9 posted on 02/18/2013 9:46:30 AM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Uncle Chip

Generally people fund rescue services through taxes. By charging fees the services are really raising taxes. In California if a Fire Department ambulance shows up a fire truck and rescue vehicle appears. The poor soul unfortunate to get such “service’ foots the bill for the additional vehicles and personel. The cover story is they do not know whether or not the fire truck and emergency vehicle may not be needed. Such “reasoning” does not cover my elderly neighbor who has every emergency vehicle appear at his house while his son holds the door open.


10 posted on 02/18/2013 9:47:39 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Uncle Chip; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows; JoeProBono
AMBER LAMPS PING!


11 posted on 02/18/2013 9:47:47 AM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Uncle Chip

If you plan to go into the mountains or back country in Colorado, SERIOUSLY consider the CORSAR card. It is only $3 for one year and covers any search and rescue costs. If you have a current hunting or fishing license, you are covered as well.

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DOLA-Main/CBON/1251592090523


12 posted on 02/18/2013 9:48:13 AM PST by taxcontrol
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To: Uncle Chip

You put your and other people lives in danger you should pay! I believe that if you go into the wilderness then you should have to put up a bond to cover you in case they have to rescue you!


13 posted on 02/18/2013 9:48:13 AM PST by tallyhoe
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To: Uncle Chip

Generally people fund rescue services through taxes. By charging fees the services are really raising taxes. In California if a Fire Department ambulance shows up a fire truck and rescue vehicle appears. The poor soul unfortunate to get such “service’ foots the bill for the additional vehicles and personel. The cover story is they do not know whether or not the fire truck and emergency vehicle may not be needed. Such “reasoning” does not cover my elderly neighbor who has every emergency vehicle appear at his house while his son holds the door open. He is simply an elderly diabetic having blood sugar problems of unknown origin.


14 posted on 02/18/2013 9:49:22 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: maine yankee

yeah... here in my neck of michigan, we get, every year, the dumbass ice fishermen who think that the ice is thick enough despite warnings, and end up cast adrift in the middle of lake st clair... helicopters and coast guard pickin’ their stupid ignorant butts off a damn icefloe...

bill ‘em..


15 posted on 02/18/2013 9:49:32 AM PST by joe fonebone (The clueless... they walk among us, and they vote...)
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To: Uncle Chip

I struggle with whether these fees are appropriate. If there is money in the state or county budget for rescue that is paid for by all taxpayers, then why are these fees being assessed? There is a danger that this is yet another way to feed money to the government. And it makes people wary of calling the police or emergency response for help, especially if they have no idea what the bill is going to be. If the response team has an efficient budget and is not loading outrageous salary, overtime or other costs onto the person being rescued, and if part of the cost is being paid by the taxpayer so the person being rescued isn’t paying the full burden, I could go along with this. But my suspicion is that this is just another way to feed more money to the government for wasteful spending on other things.


16 posted on 02/18/2013 9:53:05 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Uncle Chip

Bout time...As an X CG Sar person I can relate.

people that do stupid hi risk thrill stuff and fail should defiantly be billed for xtreem amounts because the rescuers risk there lives and some time die doing it.
The thrill seeker in the later scenario should be charged in some way with the death.....


17 posted on 02/18/2013 9:55:37 AM PST by CGASMIA68
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To: ctdonath2
“the prospect of payment could prompt people to delay seeking needed aid, possibly making a dangerous situation worse.”

It might also discourage people from engaging in risky behavior.

18 posted on 02/18/2013 9:59:24 AM PST by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: tallyhoe

Considering the liberals are trying to create vast tracts of wilderness without humans I’m sure they’d support your idea.

Never mind that we all pay taxes which in turn pays for the emergency responders.

We also pay for permits to access the wilderness areas on federal and state lands.

I can see a reasonable fee but anything which can be used as a barrier to accessing remote areas isn’t a good idea.


19 posted on 02/18/2013 10:00:45 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Uncle Chip

Alaskans live far from medical care, boaters go to sea in dangerous conditions, and people on their death bed take cruises - - - and then they call the Coast Guard when things go south. Rescuers put their lives on the line and boatloads of tax payer dollars fuel up and maintain the helos - and the Coast Guard only charges if illegal activities were involved.

Maybe, if people had to pay to be rescued, they would think twice before living remotely or stupidly.


20 posted on 02/18/2013 10:03:56 AM PST by greatvikingone
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To: Uncle Chip

$750...she got off cheap.


21 posted on 02/18/2013 10:15:55 AM PST by Conservative4Ever (I'm going Galt)
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To: greatvikingone

So we should all be contained to major population centers?


22 posted on 02/18/2013 10:17:47 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Uncle Chip

23 posted on 02/18/2013 10:19:02 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: Uncle Chip

She got off cheap. Dying alone under an atv would have been free.


24 posted on 02/18/2013 10:19:40 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

This is very true.
My daughter passed out and quit breathing.
I called for an ambulance and 3 vehicles showed up.
It cost her $1500. Bucks because they billed her twice and she had lost the receipt from the first billing


25 posted on 02/18/2013 10:27:01 AM PST by South Dakota (shut up and build a bakken pipe line)
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To: Vigilanteman

No kidding. I paid $750 for literally a 2 mile ride several years ago.


26 posted on 02/18/2013 10:33:06 AM PST by Professional Engineer (So long and thanks for all the lutefisk.)
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To: greatvikingone

I don’t think I am stupid for going into the wilderness. My wife and friends think I am because I always go alone.

Everytime I strap myself to a bicycle and head off into the unknown I am prepared if I don’t/can’t return. I’m pretty sure I’d have no problem paying any price for rescue. I would obviously not want to find myself in a situation where a rescue team was required, I think it far more likely they’ll find my bones. But I try to take the proper preparations and manage the risks as well as possible. Up to and including carrying a satellite rescue beacon.

I just love the adventure and surviving it. So, don’t call me stupid, call me LOCO!


27 posted on 02/18/2013 10:35:26 AM PST by West Texas Chuck (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That should be a convenience store, not a Government Agency.)
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To: taxcontrol

Could you try that link again? I’m getting 404.


28 posted on 02/18/2013 10:36:44 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: driftdiver; greatvikingone

The problem, of course, is that the yuppies, and other urban folks, don’t pay the taxes which support the emergency services they consume and they don’t bear the cost, both economic and social, of injury or death to the rescuers.


29 posted on 02/18/2013 10:42:43 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky

Perhaps but the premise most here seem to be taking is that the government gets to decide who can access the more remote parts of America.


30 posted on 02/18/2013 10:46:47 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: South Dakota

Yup — they send you bills for that EMT ride to the hospital now — about $500 just about anywhere in the country.

$750 for that ride in a wilderness area is cheap.


31 posted on 02/18/2013 10:49:11 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Vigilanteman

Right on. If I were to be rescued from some predicament, I would offer money to those who helped me. Even the Titanic survivors put money in a kitty for the crew of the Carpathia.


32 posted on 02/21/2013 2:52:11 PM PST by Amberdawn
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To: South Dakota

Here, a “rescue” from the parking lot of the hospital’s ER costs just the same as one from 10 miles away, but still within the city.


33 posted on 02/21/2013 3:04:22 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: maine yankee
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

To you just riding an ATV constitutes a "stupid game"?

Do you spend your time playing horseshoes or lawn bowling or something? Get out more.

34 posted on 02/21/2013 3:08:20 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: greatvikingone
Maybe, if people had to pay to be rescued, they would think twice before living remotely or stupidly.

So, in your wisdom it's a good thing to pay by way of taxes a comfortable wage, health, and retirement package to first responders along with investing in their equipment. Then, when they get called to get off their asses, you get fined? I'll take one or the other, but both is too Obama like.

35 posted on 02/21/2013 3:19:03 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
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To: steve86

I’ve lived and worked in 5 national parks.

When people have injured themselves I have provided aid, carried supplies for other first responders, hauled packs, gear and even children out of the grand canyon,bryce and death valley. I’ve done search and rescue in the maze of Utah and pulled injured and dead vacationers out of Lake Powell. I never asked for a dime or a thank you.

After the fact, if it was deemed by the higher-ups that it was carelessness that created the incident, these people got a partial bill.

As for getting out more;

I’ve got more than 2 hundred miles BELOW the rim of the Grand Canyon.

I’ve hiked from Joshua tree through to the Scotty’s Castle.

And I was in yellowstone for the ‘88.


36 posted on 02/21/2013 3:36:23 PM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: driftdiver

A $5.00 fee will not cover a $500,000 rescue!!!!


37 posted on 02/21/2013 3:46:10 PM PST by tallyhoe
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To: maine yankee
That is impressive! Thanks for the service! Guess I was wrong. And yes, ATV and other offroad recreationists certainly can do stupid things, although not sure if this woman did.

Last year while trail riding in Oregon I came upon a motorcycle accident (true unforeseeable accident; not related to negligence or improper use of the vehicle). Although 35 miles from civilization, five different agencies showed up to rescue the guy. Very professional and very impressive. In cases where the operator is found to have acted carelessly I hope the agencies do act to recovery partial costs.

38 posted on 02/21/2013 3:49:28 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Uncle Chip

If you go in the wilderness and you get lost, the taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for it.

Unless there was like an unforeseen change in the weather or some mitigating circumstance that kept you from making it home.

This comes with the territory. When you leave civilization behind, you’re responsible for your own well-being and knowing what the laws are. Particularly when you may be in need of rescue.


39 posted on 02/21/2013 4:05:04 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: tallyhoe

well gee, imagine that. but if you get a lot of people in there paying fees it would cover it.

but tell me, where is the cut off that you propose? If someone does something stupid and they live 10 miles away from a hospital should they pay more? Or maybe its 15 miles.

if you start allowing them to force the fees on people who have accidents then you are allowing them to control whether anyone goes there.


40 posted on 02/21/2013 6:46:37 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

I have insurance I pay property taxes which covers the fire department ambulance!! I still have to pay extra for a ride to the hospital!!


41 posted on 02/21/2013 8:40:17 PM PST by tallyhoe
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To: IncPen

Back in early 90’s Sieera Club offered inexpensive insurance for people using National Parks/desert areas.
If i remember correctly cost was 65.00 for length of trip, covered medical extraction search and rescue.
Even back then people did not take insurance to cover their possible expenses.
as an aside- I had this information from a friend involved with sierra club.
He ussually took vacations in out of the way places out west. He always carried the insurance


42 posted on 02/21/2013 8:49:01 PM PST by Nailbiter
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

MedEvacs are not a mission of the Coast Guard - but in Alaska (and other coastal areas) it is an expectation. Mission creep. Dangerous mission creep.


43 posted on 02/21/2013 9:53:33 PM PST by greatvikingone
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