Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 59

Thread: charge for rescue....

  1. #1
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default charge for rescue....

    just caught a snippet on the Fairbanks 11 news that starting this spring there will be a fee charged to people that need rescue, " cost a lot of money and the taxpayers need to be protected"

    the volunteer rescue people oppose it saying that people will be hesitant to call if they need rescue and know they will be charged..


    I say..

    GOOD. perhaps self rescue for dingles that can't sleep because of the sun being up 24/7...

    or kids that get lost every time they go out in denali....

    or perhaps folks will actually put some THOUGHT into an adventure..and finish it rather then punk out and run home on the first passing helo...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default

    I agree 100% with the concept. Why should the taxpayers have to fund these rescues. When you leave the trailhead you should know you are on your own period. Or PAY.

  3. #3
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    324

    Default SAR Charges

    I spent quite a few years as both a paid SAR rescuer and a volunteer here in Alaska and in Arizona.... this has always been a hot topic in the profession and you will see passions on both sides of the issue.

    One thing that seems to have worked in other places in creating the structure needed to charge people for rescues. The kicker is that each case is reviewed for the "appropriateness" of charging... there are some standards and measures used to determine whether you charge the people... it ususally comes down to whether the people had "reckless disregard" for their or anothers safety, went knowingly into an extremely hazardous situation or did something went against the "reasonable man" test....

    might be a good middle ground to start with... there are cases where a true SAR is warranted due to unforseen and uncontrollable circumstances and then there are the cases where some a%^&hole goes into the wilderness completly unprepared and calls for rescue on his cell when he gets tired of trying self rescue...

    G

  4. #4
    Member Chisana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    1,439

    Default

    I believe this was the Matsu rescue team that was going to start charging. I agree that it is a good idea. With the increasing prevalence of cell phones, SPOTs, sat phones, etc. there is an increase in frivolous mayday calls. One of the air taxi operators I work with has some great stories about people using SPOTs.

  5. #5
    Member Chisana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    1,439

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AkGreg View Post
    there are cases where a true SAR is warranted due to unforseen and uncontrollable circumstances and then there are the cases where some a%^&hole goes into the wilderness completly unprepared and calls for rescue on his cell when he gets tired of trying self rescue...
    Good summary of the situation as it exists today.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    335

    Default As I undrstand it

    The bill for the rescue goes to the county the person comes from. How they deal with it ,is up to them .
    I had though that the county would then charge it to the persons taxes.
    I would have thought that schools in alaska would be teaching people wilderness wisdom ,so sad.
    If parents don't know it , the kids arn't going to either.

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

    Default

    We pay more for folks that set on their butt at home watching t.v. 24/7/365 than folks lost in the woods

  8. #8
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    67 mi E of Cantwell, 68 mi W of Paxson
    Posts
    1,555

    Default Tightrope...

    There are two sides to this issue. Years ago the Coast Guard decided to start charging, but it was evaluated on a case by case basis. If some Richard Head goes to sea and runs out of gas, he got a bill. If it was something that would was completely beyond his control (but really, what isn't beyond our control?) then he didn't get billed.

    It's tricky ground, as currently tax payers have always foot the bill for this. Personally, I think that's the way it should go, on a case by case basis. Since everyone on this forum could benefit from this being free, I would think we would be in favor of keeping it free, since ALL taxpayers equally foot the bill now, even if they never set foot off pavement. The other question is, are we going to get a tax break if they do this, or are they just turning this into more income?

    Just my .02....
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  9. #9
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Yes, there are two sides to this issue and I can see both sides, but imo the negatives of this outweigh the positives, and here's why:
    "
    The Alaska Mountain Rescue Group "does not advocate charging for search and rescue services because it can cause persons needing help to delay requesting help, often making the situation more risky for rescuers," chairman Bill Romberg said."

    The above is from an ADN article yesterday:
    Off-road rescues in Mat-Su may soon come with a bill


    The real problem is that people in general when they hear about charges for rescues, or hear this on the news, is that they don't tend to understand the real facts and that not every agency charges for a rescue, and in many cases what happens is that people needing real help then delay in asking for it, as quoted above, and this can cause all kinds of other complications that include endangering rescue personnel.

    I have no qualms with what Mat-Su is advocating...and don't disagree with them charging for certain services. It's just the perception among the public stemming from these kinds of stories that creates a problem imo.

  10. #10
    Member ironartist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Meadow Lakes
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    I would think we would be in favor of keeping it free, since ALL taxpayers equally foot the bill now, even if they never set foot off pavement. The other question is, are we going to get a tax break if they do this, or are they just turning this into more income?

    Just my .02....
    I totally agree with this statement
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
    Μολών λαβέ

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    166

    Default

    If the goal is to reduce burden on the taxpayer, then how much should the rescues cost, to be a self supporting agency. I wonder how exactly the taxpayer is benefiting from this. I think we need to see exact numbers here, as mentioned before. I am seriously doubting any tax reductions are coming. Maybe we need an outdoorsman's insurance , with a government option.
    I believe the problem right now is insufficient funding for the rescue agencies, in the eye of the agencies, and this is their way to increase the budget. Whether the budgets are sufficient right now or not, is another argument.

    I know, we need to increase our taxes, so they will keep the rescue free(for a while)

  12. #12
    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Thunderbird Falls
    Posts
    372

    Default SAR

    I used to live in Colorado and think they have a good system to take care of this. There is a 25 cent charge on your liscense that goes into a statewide SAR fund. If you needed SAR and had a liscense, no charge. If not, the local SAR had the option of charging you for the rescue. Most SAR operations there were operated by the county sheriff. Worked our local SAR group for years as a volunteer but never for the money. When we got reimbursed for being out on call it was only for equipment use. The amounts hardly covered the cost of operation but it did help pay for some of the fuel it took.

    SAR volunteers do it because it is the right thing to do and not for the money. We always felt really bad when it didn't turn out so good. It has been said that bad things happen to good people and that is why we do SAR. We also recognize that, in general, we are typically wading in the shallow end of the gene pool.

    Randy

  13. #13

    Default

    I agree with what has been stated above. Seems the mountain rescues on Denali always make the news, so I was wondering how those were handled (i.e. the rescuee charged or not). Here's what I found on the Denali Nat'l Park's website regarding search adn rescue while mountaineering (page 17): http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisi.../English-2.pdf

    I think they make a critical point and it is something all rescuers should follow (whether paid or not): rescue is discretionary; rescuer safety is our first priority.

    On a similar note, I was once talking to a retired park ranger who worked at the Grand Canyon for a number of years and I asked about all the folks who hiked down to the Canyon bottom. He said there was a time when the park had way too many calls of hikers going to the bottom and then realizing they were not physically able to hike back out, so they'd call park headquarters (often faking an injury) to get a free helicopter ride back to the top. The park started directing all requests for a helicopter rescue to a local private business who was more than happy to charge a pretty penny for a ride back to the top. The park would still deploy a patrol range on foot to the scene (if warranted), but they left the aerial evacuation to someone else.

    Jeff

  14. #14
    Member hoose35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Soldotna, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    2,891

    Default

    I would rather they not charge for SAR, but I would not really have a problem with it either under one condition. If they want to charge for it, they had better not do it with the intentions of making profit they way hospitals do. They should only charge for fuel used and man hours and not a cent more, but my feeling is, they would over charge big time.

  15. #15
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    I am a Mat-Su Borough Rescue Tech and firefighter and I totally oppose the borough charging for rescues. Our departments are well funded and this is just another tax on a select group of people so the Borough can buy more toys for the individuals running the rescue departments. Once the departments can learn some level of fiscal responsibility, than perhaps it's time to look at other areas of funding.

    Mat-Su emergency services, in the last ten years I have volunteered, have turned from a group of caring individuals that volunteered their time at no cost to the borough into a "me, me, me" group that wants more money and more toys.. We got up at all hours of the night without complaint, we paid our way to training and fuel for our vehicles. Most of us didn't want a dime. Now, we are all paid when we respond. Some, depending on the district are paid when on call. "Volunteers" demand mileage for their vehicles and pay while they are in training. There's a few of us left that like the old way, but we are dwindling every year. While I have taken pay in the past, I saw the ugly side of what it was doing to my department. I now refuse pay from the borough and I will continue to do so until I quit. There was a day when my department was proud to say that we were the last unpaid department in the Borough.

    My department covers one of the most popular recreational areas in the state. Petersville and the Parks Highway from mile 93 to roughly mile 200 are our area of responsibility. On a bad winter we might see ten, yes folks, ten measely offroad rescues. Very rarely are these rescues for dumb asses. The vast majority are for responsible outdoorspeople like you and me that simply got in trouble. Rarely do we even transport someone since the majority of the calls we get require transport in a helicopter.

    You already pay property taxes in this borough. Included in those taxes are area wide funding for ambulance and rescue. The Mat-Su Emergency Service weenies that want to tax you and me for living in a wild area need to move back down south where they came from. This is Alaska, and I for one don't mind helping out when someone needs help.

    The other thing that chaps my ass is the Borough charging for on-road car accidents. Anchorage doesn't do it, and they pay their profession full time f.f.'s real money, why does the Mat-Su see a need for it?
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  16. #16
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    sounds like it is for the equipment use.. that stuff cost for upkeep, fuel all of it... i know that if i took a fall... got up in the a.m. and went to the outhouse and found a kidney hanging out... i would probably be willing to pay some one to come get me...

    like wise if i was tired,,, and didn't feel like riding out... the sun was too bright... i would expect to pay the fuel and time. wouldn't a charter cost me, if my hunt sucked and i got out early?

    if i was a few days late... and the wife called me in... well i would expect her to pay it.

    i have responded to mayday calls in PWS, and yet ever to not have the person i assisted NOT offer to pay something.

    if it is NOT an emergency they should not call.. dial 911 at home... how much that ambulance cost when they pick you up with a heart attack? is there any difference?

    thousands of people flock up here every year and wander off the road... with out a clue.. last year the park service told a kid he would be arrested if he went back out in the woods. none of those people paid taxes to any of our boroughs..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  17. #17
    Member TWB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    3,573

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    if it is NOT an emergency they should not call.. dial 911 at home... how much that ambulance cost when they pick you up with a heart attack? is there any difference?
    My dad spent $11k for a helo ride from the woods to Providence with 6 broken ribs.

    Folks should be **** lucky these services exist, and not expect to abuse them.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  18. #18
    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    354

    Default

    I've got no problems paying for assistance in fixing something I should have done better.

    Run out of gas on my 4-wheeler across the Wood River? Guess I'm walking out to get a gas can because I screwed up. If I call SAR I should be paying a bill.

    My lovingly maintained boat motor explodes 30 miles up the Ivishak and there's a blizzard moving north over the Brooks range? The annual taxes I pay for emergency services should be footing the bill to get me out to safety.

    By charging for every rescue regardless of culpability we effectively punish the honest people who take precautions just to prevent the criminal abuse by other people who wear their ass for a hat. People should be ashamed to call SAR...it almost always means they failed and bit off more than they could chew. Even in my broken motor scenario above, I'd be embarassed as hell for not having a plan to get all my passengers to safety. Unfortunately, to some folks SAR is just another government provided service they can use when they don't want to do the right thing.

  19. #19

    Default

    I know a guy that frequents these very forums who had to be rescued by helo due to a snowmachine mishap, he wasn't going to be able to walk out so he needed help. I think he finally got them paid off sometime last summer. I don't agree that someone injured in an accident should have to pay for rescue, ***** happens out there form time to time that is unplanned.

  20. #20
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    324

    Default that was me

    Quote Originally Posted by shearej View Post
    I agree with what has been stated above. Seems the mountain rescues on Denali always make the news, so I was wondering how those were handled (i.e. the rescuee charged or not). Here's what I found on the Denali Nat'l Park's website regarding search adn rescue while mountaineering (page 17): http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisi.../English-2.pdf

    I think they make a critical point and it is something all rescuers should follow (whether paid or not): rescue is discretionary; rescuer safety is our first priority.

    On a similar note, I was once talking to a retired park ranger who worked at the Grand Canyon for a number of years and I asked about all the folks who hiked down to the Canyon bottom. He said there was a time when the park had way too many calls of hikers going to the bottom and then realizing they were not physically able to hike back out, so they'd call park headquarters (often faking an injury) to get a free helicopter ride back to the top. The park started directing all requests for a helicopter rescue to a local private business who was more than happy to charge a pretty penny for a ride back to the top. The park would still deploy a patrol range on foot to the scene (if warranted), but they left the aerial evacuation to someone else.

    Jeff

    Yup, I was the medical helicopter guy in the grand canyon for about 5 years.. saw this ALL the time... funny how when they found out what the cost would be they were magically healed!! the other thing we would see is folks on the west end canyon would go into the havasupai tribe and ask to catch the chopper back out when supplies were taken into the village...

    Greg

Page 1 of 3 123 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
  •