Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Emergency evac who pays?

  1. #1

    Default Emergency evac who pays?

    If you have to get rescued who pays for it?
    Just curious after reading South Cox's latest article in EBJ. He paid for helicopter and ambulance (I think he was in CA). He also mentioned global rescue ($329 a year and they get you home), seems like a great investment for guys in the outdoors a ton like guides or hunters who take a lot of trips.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Think it depends on who does the saveing.Think if the Coast Guard does the saveing its their job and if its private those with money pay and without money everybody pays.Kind of like hospitals.

  3. #3
    Member Phil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Liverpool, NY (a suburb of Syracuse)
    Posts
    494

    Default Insurance

    I keep a membership to Medjet Assist. For $200 per year they will fly me home from any hospital. It's one of those things I hope I never use - but, if I have to, will pay many times over.

    I would be interested in an insurance that pays for evacuation from a dangerous situation.

    Seems to me that insurance is something any Alaskan outdoors person should consider.

  4. #4
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    I signed up for Guardian Air for $79 for the family and I believe they will pull you off a mtn if necessary. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  5. #5
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Posts
    2,032

    Default Life Insurance

    I upped my policy. I find great security knowing the US Coast Gaurd is looking out for me.

    Here is SE AK its a special benifit having them in our communities.

  6. #6

    Default

    It seems as though most of the rescuing that is done for folks in Alaska's wilds or oceans, is usually done by the military. (Coast Guard, Army , and Air Force (PJ's)) When they are doing the rescuing you are not likely to collect a tab, as its your tax dollars being well used at work. Its when they have to call for local resources (specifically , privately owned helicopters) to assist that a bill gets tallied.

  7. #7
    Member Stanly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    954

    Default I was rescued

    in Jul 0f 07. I broke my back from a 4 wheeler accident. Providence Life Flight came and got me. Thank God I had my ACR Rescue Beacon with me. That little adventure cost me about $55,000. The helicopter ride I believe was $22,000. We have good insurance, I think we paid around $5,000 out of pocket. It's not cheap, but you know what, when you are laying on a mountain with a broken back you're not real concerned with cost. Huge kudos to Providence Life Flight guys!!!!!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    52

    Default

    From what I understand, generally, if you need rescueing, it's free. That being said, there are certain circumstances that will require you to pay (ie private resources). However, if you're out being a deuchbag and decide to turn on your beacon or call for rescue in any way, but don't even come close to needing it, you'll get a hefty bill regardless of who it is that comes out.

  9. #9
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Think it depends on who does the saveing.Think if the Coast Guard does the saveing its their job and if its private those with money pay and without money everybody pays.Kind of like hospitals.
    Yup. I was helicoptered out of the Denali Hwy area by LifeGuard, who was called in by the Troopers (that's the same chopper that went down in PWS last year). I have federal Blue Cross medical insurance, they were billed for over $11 grand, they paid 85%, and they weren't happy about it. The kept sending me questionaires which obviously were geared toward finding somebody with some liability to pin it to.

    Conversely, a friend and former co-worker broke his back when he went off the side of a bridge on a snowmobile on the way in to his cabin. A remote neighbor was National Guard and had an emergency radio. He somehow contacted the Emergency Response folks at Camp Denali on Ft. Rich. A National Guard Pavehawk was in the air at the time, diverted, and picked him up.

    No charge.

    I would think it prudent for Coast Guard, National Guard, Troopers, etc to try to charge private insurance companies if the victim carries insurance, but I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the insurance companies get out of paying government for such rescues.

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,839

    Default bill

    Who footed the bill for the two lost girls in Denali last year?

  11. #11
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    637

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I would think it prudent for Coast Guard, National Guard, Troopers, etc to try to charge private insurance companies if the victim carries insurance, but I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the insurance companies get out of paying government for such rescues.
    Mark, the government has already set precedent in a similar area. For those of us who served a full career in the military and were promised "life long medical care" if we served 20 or more years, the imposition of Tricare was a shocker (the military's HMO). I pay about $500 per year for a family of three under Tricare, which is not a bad bargain - other than what were promised, but that's another discussion. Federal law requires that Tricare is always secondary to third party insurance. I've signed up for my employers healthcare plan (for which I pay abut $300/mo), and when I'm seen at Elmendorf, Tricare bills my insurance first, and reimburses the base the rest. All that will change when (if) I turn 65, then I roll into that nightmare we call Medicaredoesn'tcare . . .

    I too could see the government getting "smart" on this one and trying to set up a way to bill private carriers if one of their insured is rescued. Then again . . .

    I also see the point of "why should I carry insurance if the government is going to do it for Joe Schmoe for nothing?". I saw the same issue with flood insurance in the Grand Forks floods back in '97. . . the government paid people who had no flood insurance, yet people who had done what they were supposed to and carried insurance were reimbursed, less the premiums they had paid in. Where was the sense in that? Oh yeah, it was the federal government . . .

  12. #12
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Hotel View Post
    ....I also see the point of "why should I carry insurance if the government is going to do it for Joe Schmoe for nothing?".....
    I almost wrote that in my last post, but I'm already seen univerally here as the pessimistic guy, and am trying to reform my image.

  13. #13
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Some time ago now (early 80s I think) the state changed the way rescues were handled after complaints from the private sector. The new system allowed troopers to determine if an emergency was life-or-death and if it could be handled by private industry, and if so to give the private sector first crack. If it was a life-or-death right-now emergency it typically went to military.

    I called out once in the early 80s via ham radio for a rescue; a far-off neighbor's wife had severely broken her leg and it took him five days to mush here (was just after freezeup); I was the closest communications. At the time a fellow ham radio op was in command of one of the MAST units...he got word and got on hf with us. Trooper kept asking me how serious the woman's injuries were; he wanted to give the rescue to a Hughes 500 chopper pilot out of Tok, but that guy couldn't fly til the next day. It was odd having to tell the trooper I had no clue how bad off the woman was, but that since it'd been five days and word was it was a very bad break she likely could have bled out already. While all this was going with the trooper and we were waiting for his decision, the other guy got the MAST crew together and next thing I know he was talking to me on the hf rig in the MAST chopper and I could hear the blades churning...he was telling me they were all set to go. The trooper came back on the phone patch and told him "no." Frankly, we were all really ticked off (especially the woman's husband). The guy from Tok ended up getting the woman the next morn, indeed she nearly had bled out. He didn't even have a stretcher for her.

    We recently lost the interior MAST unit out of Ft. Wainwright; they were deployed to Iraq. I think Eielson AFB is taking up some of the slack. Troopers too with their equipment, but it's limited.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    In northwest Alaska there have been several people who call in a medical emergency. They were transported to the nearest hospital. When they arrive they felt fine, and went shopping /drinking. The bill was picked up by Medicaid, Medicare or the state.

  15. #15

    Default

    Actually MAST has been replaced by a company called Priority 1. Many of my co-workers work part time as hoist operators and or Medics for them. The contract is very expensive and the govt is footing the bill. The details of who and where they will go to rescue folks is still kind of being hashed out, Initially it was set up that they would only respond to rescue military personnel on military land, but I think just recently they got the thumbs up to rescue civilians too. I have been in the MAST command post at their Hangar on Wainwright many times. They had/have a board on the wall outside their dispatch control office listing all the rescues they have completed, I think for the year. Its an amazing service that those soldiers were providing for the folks in the woods, on the rivers, and on the roads of interior Alaska. I have worked hand in hand with them and have always been impressed, whether it was a MVA or a snowmachine accident, or Arctic Man. I hope that Priority 1 will be able to continue the quality of service. In the case of Priority 1 , I believe that since the govt is picking up the tab on the rescues they perform, one shouldn't pay if rescued, but you know how that goes!!!

  16. #16
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default Roland, thanks for that info

    Thanks for the info on Priority 1 Roland. All of the Army and Air Force rescue guys I've spoken with feel that the rescue missions they go out on are a very important part of their training. And for most cases they feel this service is a part of where our tax dollars go.

  17. #17
    Member AKducks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    485

    Default

    I was rescued by the coast guard a couple of years ago cost me nothing other then the ambulance ride from the dock ( $400 to drive me to the hospital for a doctor to say "well you'll be fine you can go home we will get your clothes back to you later")

  18. #18

    Default

    No question about it Mark their training is some of the best that can be had. I think the only real change in the methods of rescue is that they will not put Evergreens helicopters on the ground.....anywhere remote. The rescues will be by litter and hoist with rescuers being lowered to the ground. I have seen MAST birds land in some crazy places and that takes some very skilled pilots to execute those types of maneuvers, I think these guys (Priority 1) dont want to crash any of them 4 million $ helicopters!....grin I remember a few years ago there was a snowmachiner (whom I know but wont mention his name) that was badly injured in a snowmachine accident on the Denali,. The senior pilot was a female that had been tasked with this fellas extraction, she made multiple attempts getting through the range to get this guy and wouln't give up till she realized she was gonna get her and her crew killed due to the weather system that was in place. They spent the night at Greely and took off as soon as the weather cleared to get him and did. Very dedicated folks!

  19. #19
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    1,376

    Default

    Be aware - it is my understanding that if the CG (and I suspect any of the other branches of the military) do an emergency extraction, regardless of the circumstances, the only thing that goes on the chopper is the patient - any gear you have with you in the field STAYS in the field - rifle, tent, anything, it all stays and will not be transported. I do not know this from personal experience - just word of mouth (so you might want to put your sat phone inside your jacket
    ;-) !)

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Who footed the bill for the two lost girls in Denali last year?
    I believe that one was taken care of by the Park Service, though it is very likely other rescue parties were involved. Often times those sort of search and rescue missions are a cooperative effort.

    I was told by a fella who spent his career as a park ranger for the National Park Service that the NPS will not charge for a rescue. The way he explained it to me was the NPS made the decision at the national level not to charge for rescues because the moment they start charging for rescues, they are providing a "paid service and thus forced to go rescue when the distress call is placed regardless of weather conditions." That is, they are being paid and are expected to immediately deliver a service. By not charging, they are not obligated to go out at a moment's notice if weather conditions are too hazardous for the rescue crew. Yes, I'm sure many hours were spent by legal teams thinking this one over Now obviously, rescue crews are very dedicated people and will do everything within their power to help. But if there's no way the weather will allow them to get the helicopter off the ground, they're not going to risk a crash either.

    I know Denali's mountaineering rangers will do their best to help you out if you're climbing the big mountain and get into trouble. But sometimes they have to sit tight until weather conditions allow them to ascend to your location.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •