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Thread: Who pays for rescue in your state????

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Who pays for rescue in your state????

    It happens everyday here. Most times more than once.
    Stupid tourist get in trouble hiking or swimming, and they don't pay anything to be rescued.
    There is a trail near the range. Once a really fat lady went half way up, and just stopped. She refused to move. Said she needed to be rescued. Range closed. Fire Department called. They couldn't carry her down. Helicopter called. Basket to small. Had to get a bigger chopper and basket.
    All this takes money. Lots of money.
    Tourist jump into the ocean. Cannot get back up the rocks. Fire Department called. Rescue boat is called. Rescue divers risk their lives to rescue someone from a place that has posted signs "Danger. Do not jump into the water".
    This cost lots of money.
    Here, they don't charge for rescue, but they do for ambulance. Once rescued, most refuse medical and just walk away.
    So the people who live here are paying to rescue people who don't pay any taxes here.
    It must run into the millions the amount they spend on preventable, irresponsible rescues.
    How is it in your state?????
    Do you charge out of state people who use your rescue?????

  2. #2
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    Minerat's Avatar
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    If they buy a hunting or fishing license then they get charged a 25 rescue fee that all license holders pay into, costs me about a buck fifty per year. If not then usually the local volunteer rescue groups pay it but the sheriff's office can bill for costs. Most times doesn't happen so BOHICA for the tax payers.
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  3. #3
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    Depends on the circumstance here, if it is a genuine rescue where someone was legally doing something I don't think they charge. But go around a road closed barricade during a winter storm and you pay dearly when you have to be rescued. Especially if the local guard unit has to roll the tracked personnel carrier.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Here, our Sheriff's Search & Rescue Teams are Volunteers with Paid Sheriff's Department Supervisors & Coordinators. The teams fund raise to pay for equipment and sometimes get Surplused Agency equipment, Helicopters are owned & operated by the both the Sheriff's Department & County Fire Department. They each Man One Rescue Outfitted Helicopter and work a Scheduled Call Out system to avoid duplicity of services. If a Rescuee is from another County, depending on circumstances the Home County is sometimes billed.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Arizona has what is named, stupid motorist law. City or county resources will do a rescue but one can expect to be billed for their services. The motorists that usually get billed are ones that ignore "do not cross if flooded" signs.

    Don't know if it is true. I was told by co-worker somebody he knew rufused to pay and had a lien placed on her house by the county. The lien will have to be satisfied before property can be sold, transferred or inherited.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    State says the reason they don't charge, is because if they did, people wouldn't call for help.
    Sounds kind of BS to me.
    If your injured, or in fear of your life, you probably wouldn't care how much it cost.
    But.......If you know the rescue is free, you'll do stupid things, knowing it's not going to cost you anything.
    We also have tourist going off the trails and getting lost all the time.
    I could never understand how someone could get lost here.
    But growing up here, I guess I know what I'm doing.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    No dog in this fight and have only spent ~a day or two in HI, but am wondering if it is more of a sensitive situation there?

    i.e. the $$$ brought in by tourism (#1 industry in that state if I understand correctly), so the state always has to 'appear nice' for future prospective customers yes ?
    It's so easy to get a 'black eye' in this modern age of media spin & news cycles.

    http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.or...8099s-economy/
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawai'i Tourism Authority
    Tourism is also the largest source of private capital into the Hawaiian Islands, contributing $11.4 billion in visitor spending and $1 billion in tax revenue last year. The HTA anticipates visitor spending to reach $12.6 billion, with $1.1 billion in tax revenue for 2011, and will work together with the industry to ensure that we continue to build on this positive momentum.
    (emphasis added)

    Am certainly not an expert here, just thinking out loud is all ...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    It is not just a Hawaii problem, probably a problem for any western state that has much federal or state land, wilderness areas, oceans,mountains, etc. I know at least here the military has to get involved on some rescue missions. It seems pretty common for mountaineering types to get in trouble, but folks can get in trouble in all types of scenarios.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    FISH4BUGS's Avatar
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    Hike Safe Cards

    New Hampshire has a "get out of jail free" card that you can buy. If you get stranded/injured and need rescue, you don't have to pay.
    If you do get stranded/injured, don't have the Hike Safe card and need to be rescued, AND you should have known better, or went hiking in the White Mountains in shorts and flip flops (yes, they CAN BE that stupid) you will be billed.
    We get morons from Massachusetts and New York City hiking in the summer in the White Mountains. Base temperature is 75, temperature at the peak is 30 and snowing. Yes, they go in shorts and flip flops.
    http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/safe/
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  10. #10
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    So if we charged those who are rescued, they will drop our taxes?
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  11. #11
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Some things such as going out on posted dangerous ice can get you billed if the ice breaks free and you are stranded requiring a rescue. Most rescue stuff is not charged for. We maintain a professional staff to handle the situations from tax payer money. A lot is fire department, some is police, and forest service. Or in some locations life guards.

    Ambulance is billed which for a genuine emergency medical situation most insurance will kick into that cost. If you don't have insurance wowee you are in for a shock. Fire department I think will bill something for EMT transport but I think it is somewhat variable, so insurance pays more than individual who doesn't have it.

    Yes hikers, swimmers, boaters, hunters and ice fisherman do some dumb things, or simply make a mistake that leaves them in a bad way. People would be reluctant to summon help if they have heard anecdotal stories of huge bills for rescues. Michigan has a lot of tourism, and on the Great Lakes a boat in distress is going to get a rescue response. It's sort of why we have Coast Guard and Police Marine patrols.

    I suppose we could have a huge bureaucracy to determine if the rescue was "for cause" or "act of god" and determine billing. Then people could hire lawyers to fight it, and the media could write horror stories of drowning victims family getting a bill for the search and body recovery since the deceased was found to be at fault. Then when all this bureaucracy gets bogged down and we get annoyed paying for it we will either realize billing was sort of dumb, or give them the power to confiscate or get liens on property in some sort of fast track for "efficiency".

    Or maybe if we dug deeper we would find the majority of rescue runs are from bona fide stuff goes wrong sometimes emergencies happen that we all pay taxes and fees in order to provide a competent response to. The folks that wear shorts and flip flops to hike up a mountain and get hypothermia or frostbite get to live with having left little doubt about their lack of competency in the woods.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    We have the same situation here.....some moron goes hiking/climbing/caving etc,gets lost,stuck,etc,emergency services callout enough manpower and equiptment for an earthquake,no charge to the moron.Yet I pay a levy for ambulance on several types of taxes,but if the ambulance transports me from a car accident,more than 30 miles,I get a big bill for the transport.Despite paying several ambulance levies on every tax related to road use. I also pay a similar tax for the fire dept,yet I am very likely to get a bill for a fire on my land.Moron lights campfire,starts bushfire.....bad luck,no charge,an accident.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I'm not sure about land rescue but ocean rescue for free is largely a thing of the past.

    Coast Guard generally won't come and get you unless you're on fire or sinking as a water craft.

    You'll have to call TowBoatUS or Seatow which are private water craft towing companies and you WILL get a bill or have to show membership. (Sort of like AAA for boats)

    Planes which have gone down get a little better reaction from the Coast Guard.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISH4BUGS View Post
    We get morons from Massachusetts and New York City hiking in the summer in the White Mountains. Base temperature is 75, temperature at the peak is 30 and snowing. Yes, they go in shorts and flip flops.
    http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/safe/
    Seeing as how when I visited the Grand Canyon I saw 1. A lady start down the trail in heels 2. Four frat bros with 1 8 oz water bottle between them talking about going all the way (it was 11:30 I was returning from my hike). And 3. Somebody passed out at the water stop and friends going for help.

    I believe you. And that's just sad.
    "There are no solutions there are only tradeoffs" ~ Thomas Sowell

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    So if we charged those who are rescued, they will drop our taxes?
    Checks will be in mail when? That made my day! Thanks Todd/3leg

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Some search and rescues costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, realistically how many could ever pay it anyway.

    I do feel that some things a person or persons should be on their own, especially when it is high risk to the rescue crews, and no reason except to say you climbed denali to be there anyway.

    I have seen where (not here) where rescue crews risked human life and limb and even called in a chopper to rescue a cow, somebody should be charged for that, I mean who came up with the idea that it was worth spending 50 grand or so and risk several human lives to save a 500 dollar cow??

    t is one of them deals with no real answer.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    "New Hampshire has a "get out of jail free" card that you can buy. If you get stranded/injured and need rescue, you don't have to pay."
    That is a great idea. How much is it???? How long is the card for????
    I'm sure any smart person would buy it. Kind of like extra auto insurance when renting a car.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Lot of folks simply are ignorant of best practices, or even half way not stupid practices in the wilderness. Then too people make bad choices who might have made a better one if they had considered one other thing they forgot. What you don't want is to be in a situation where before the emergency crews roll they ask "who is paying for this" setting off price considerations. Maybe people can't afford the rescue will decide to wait a few more hours and see if they show up. While someone with means will say "you take Visa Platinum?" So then the rescue effort isn't even based on relative risk or need. No telling if the persons family that can't afford the rescue is laying out there back to a large rock with a broken ankle keeping wolves at bay with a sharpened stick and the wealthier person just fell asleep while resting in the shade. Or vice versa.

    People should know that a certain level of kit is required, and knowledge of area, and some skills associated with not dying if things go a little sideways. Maybe good to know how to avoid things going sideways in the first place. But sort of hard to outlaw foolish people, at least successfully. So you take care of the righteous and unrighteous in order to not be the sort of society that would leave it's members to die based on finances.

    I still have a small day pack that always has some basic survive the night in inclement weather and signal for help equipment in a couple of pockets.

    Many of you will recall the couple and small baby that tried to make a cross country holiday trip in a snow storm, they had tire chains on because tire chain laws were in effect but they were so tight they had to be attached on a hoist and the tire inflated into them. Since the plows were keeping up with the roads they took the chains off to drive faster, went off on a desolate and unplowed side road that would be shorter to make up time they were losing to the bad weather, got stuck, once the car would no longer start and provide heat they tried to walk to the nearest named location on their map which was a summer only gas station many miles FURTHER down the same road. They eventually realized that they had to turn back, and in the end decided to leave the wife and baby huddled in some rocks for shelter while he walked back to look for help which he found ON THE PAVED ROAD THAT WAS BEING PLOWED OFTEN ENOUGH THAT IT WAS KEPT CLEAR IN A BLIZZARD! Want to guess who found him? Yep the snow plow truck. They made a movie about their heroic ordeal where they never gave up. Never gave up being stupid if you ask me.

    Contrast that with the soldier left behind at a road check point during desert maneuvers, he waited for until the second night, realized it was the weekend and he wasn't missed, set out cross country after dark before he ran out of water, holed up during the heat of the day. He collapsed and died about 50 yards from the patrolled base fence. His commanders rightly were called to account on this lapse. But here is sort of the point. All three had military training, the first couple did through a series of bone headed moves lose parts of his and his wife's feet to frost bite and had it been known about where they were missing a full on rescue mission would have been conducted. The second man found himself in a bad spot through no fault of his own, did everything right, and in the end came up just a little short. His rescue mission didn't take place for several days, he was found because he left a note on his route and marked his progress with trail marks.

    We will always find cases of stupid that waste peoples time or money. Guess we just need to live with it in order to save the ones who certainly deserve we make every effort to rescue them.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  19. #19
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    I always carry winter survival gear(heck it stays in the truck year round) and when I had my camper van to commute they closed the road after I had left town. Heard the announcement on the radio just as I came upon the jackknifed semi that was across both lanes. And that another had jackknifed behind me so no turning back. Trucker came over and asked if I had heat, his truck wouldn't run anymore so I said yes hop in. I had the little furnace going and had enough propane to last 3 days. Pretty soon 3 other cars were stuck behind me and I ended up with 8 people in the van, enough the furnace barely needed to run. I had water, ramen noodles, some MRE's... so we all sat back, played cards, talked, slept, ate... it was 24 hours before they got the road back open and we spent it in comfort because I plan ahead.

  20. #20
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    GPS doesn't help, in MT gps will generally put you within a couple of miles of your destination but not always. It well send you across bridges closed for decades, on non-existent railroad crossings, roads with no winter service, usually well marked, the shortest route may be on forest service roads at 25 mph tops with no gas stations for 150 miles and the fools that use them solely laugh at a free old school paper map.
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