It is episodes like this one (http://unionleader.com/article.aspx?...1-0c68bceb0966) that lead the state government to take action.
Dumped their inadequate gear along the trail because they realized they were carrying too much? Great galloping gobs of greasy gopher gut!
Bob & Brad
(On the Internet, no one knows if you're a dog)
Psalm 121 - the hiker's psalm
NH want's the tourists money but doesn't want to clean up after some of those that they attract... how droll. I'll bet you that tourism dollars far exceed what's payed out for the occasional S&R.
Just wait, someone's going to avoid calling for help because of this and their situation's going to get worse. There's already documented cases of this and even some of people that avoid the searchers because of the cost... I hope that money is worth it to all of you... not that you'll ever see a penny of it.
Dave (Zoidfu2), much of what we are talking about both in news and on the NH websites are available here on the INTERNET. How about you look into the problem a little with Google and back up your statements with facts, who knows you might come back with a better solution to the problem. If you look hard enough some SAR post individual rescue reports dating back five years.
As it stands right now this legislation might get adopted by other states, might be good to be "in the know"
Well, we in NH have spoken and it's been made into law. We all hope that it helps people prepare for their activities rather than rely on their cell phones. It's simple who decides who has to pay...not you.
Why Not Charge For Rescues?
This is a topic that heats up periodically. Although there is clearly a need for proper funding of volunteer search & rescue teams across the province, charging for rescues is not the way to accomplish this.
Our Official Position Is:
North Shore Rescue is comprised of expert volunteer members who work under local police authority. The Rescue Team has performed search and rescue operations since 1965 without charge to the subject(s).
NSR firmly believes that training and education are the keystones in the solution to this issue. We believe that the individual must accept responsibility for his or her actions and that training in proper outdoors skills and for self-rescue might be the quickest and most effective method of resolving most rescue situations.
However, no one should ever be made to feel they must delay in notifying the proper authorities of a search or rescue incident out of fear of possible charges.
NSR is proud to be able to provide search and rescue at NO cost and have NO plans to charge in the future.
There are two basic reasons for our position:
The faster the callout the better the outcome .It is essential that the team be called out as quickly as possible. For every hour that passes an injured subject's condition deteriorates; a hypothermic subject can slip into unconciousness; a lost subject can stumble further away or slip over a cliff. An hour can make a dramatic difference in a rescue situation, increasing the possible search area each minute. We don't want anybody delaying calling 911, hoping that little Johnny will finally make his way out the mountains on his own, simply from the fear of possibly being charged for the rescue. For the missing person's sake we need to be called as soon as possible.
Hiding from rescuers is a bad idea .We need to avoid the situation where the subject hides from the searchers thinking, "If I get to the carpark before they find me then I won't be charged." There have been instances in the past where the subject has deliberately tried to avoid the searchers. This makes our job substantially more difficult and goes against the entire search and rescue effort.
There will always be cases where the subject does something completely and obviously irresponsible, necessitating a rescue. Then the discussion starts anew about charging for rescues. Keep in mind that such cases are relatively rare.
This is from American Whitewater-
Fees can create delays that can increase risks. From a practical level, charging for rescues often delays the initial request for help, which increases the risks for rescuers and subjects alike.
By the time a lost, capsized, or injured boater (or good Samaritan or witness) calls for a rescue, that boater may be in worse condition or in a less accessible location, and the weather or daylight may have deteriorated. All of these factors can increase the complexity and cost of performing rescue services. Because of these concerns, American Whitewater agrees with the Mountain Rescue Association, an organization representing 80 volunteer rescue teams from throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, which is on record opposing charges for rescues because �no one should ever be made to feel they must delay in notifying the proper authorities of a search or rescue incident out of fear of possible charges.� NSAR recognizes this and affirms that the agencies �will not allow a matter of reimbursement of cost among themselves to delay response to any person in danger or distress.�
Fees proposals tend to be discriminatory: Charging one highly visible and readily identifiable user group � in this case, boaters � for rescue services that are provided free of charge to all other National Park visitors is blatantly discriminatory.
According to 2000 NPS data, 35.3 percent of all National Park search and rescue missions were for �other� causes, which generally are not recreation related and cannot easily be categorized. Hikers, boaters, swimmers, and climbers accounted for 24.4%, 10.3%, 9.8%, and 3.6% of rescues respectively; 9% of rescues were for �mutual aid� in which NPS officials responded to outside organizations on adjacent lands, such as a state park or Forest Service property.
No correlation to cost: There is no direct correlation between the type of visitor activity and the cost of a rescue. Searches for lost hikers and downed aircraft can be exponentially more expensive than locating and transporting an injured boater from a known location in a river valley.
Cumulative rescue costs are relatively low: In 1999, the total cost per visitor of performing all search and rescue activities was a mere 1.2 cents � a small fraction of the total cost of $6.90 per visitor for all NPS functions.
Though most of the search and rescue money in Alaska is spent on looking for missing planes, lost hikers and hunters, and disabled boats, that�s not what stirs the debate. It�s the rescues � often highly publicized rescues � of climbers on Mount McKinley.
- Anchorage Daily News, August 1998
Debate driven by prejudice of risk rather than reality: Neither boaters nor climbers should be singled out to pay for services that are free to other Park visitors simply because they are highly visible, participants are few in number, or their recreational pursuit is perceived as dangerous by some.
Don't put a price on rescue
Editorial of the Oregonian - 06/09/02
When the costs of mountain rescues grow steep, when you see a helicopter tumble down Mount Hood, it's tempting to snap off the TV news and conclude: Send the bill to the climbers.
Why, after all, should they get the thrill of climbing, and the rest of us get the bill for saving them?
It's nearly always mountaineering accidents that start these arguments. Never mind that climbers are responsible for a tiny share of search and rescue costs -- 3.6 percent of all National Park Service rescue costs in the year 2000. Never mind that much more is spent every year rescuing hikers, boaters, hunters, and even swimmers. Mountain rescues are spectacular, they're usually televised, and most of the people watching at home couldn't imagine themselves lying in a tangle of ropes in a crevasse at 10,000 feet. It's easy to conclude: Bill'em.
It's not that simple. All over the world, governments, rescue organizations and climbing groups have struggled with ways to allocate search and rescue costs. In the Alps, Swiss authorities require mountaineers to buy climbing insurance for rescues. The insurance, however, has led to a false sense of security -- the number and severity of accidents and rescues in the Alps has greatly increased. Making payment for rescue explicit has actually encouraged more risky behavior.
Many American climbers already carry limited rescue insurance. Members of the American Alpine Club, the nation's largest organization, and the Portland-based Mazamas have group policies that provide rescue insurance up to several thousand dollars per climber. That won't pay for the $9.3 million Pave Hawk HH-60 helicopter, but it's often enough to cover the costs of the mostly volunteer groups that do most mountain rescues.
Search and rescue experts almost uniformly oppose charging for their services, even in cases of negligence and stupidity. They believe charging could delay requests for help, leading to worsening injuries, weather or other conditions, and ultimately to more difficult, dangerous rescues.
Rescue insurance also can create a "duty to rescue," posing more risks for rescuers. If climbers pre-pay for rescue, they expect it on demand -- even when the weather is bad, or nightfall close.
Oregon's search and rescue authorities have rarely used a law that allows them to charge up to $500 to rescue people who get in trouble due to negligence. The U.S. Coast Guard never charges anyone, not even the two millionaires who crashed their hot air balloon attempting to circumnavigate the globe. That left taxpayers with a $175,000 bill.
It's hard often to tally up rescue costs. The Air Force Reserve and the Oregon National Guard rescue units that deployed helicopters on Mount Hood are military units that must train constantly for various rescue scenarios -- including mountain rescues -- so they are prepared to rescue downed military aircraft and damaged ships. Their costs are billed to a training budget whether time is spent in training or on real-life rescues. All taxpayers, not just climbers, have a stake in their training.
Nearly everyone at Mount Hood during the recent rescue was working as a volunteer. Portland Mountain Rescue, which led the recovery, had 18 volunteer members on site. They paid for their own gas, mileage and time off from work. American Medical Response, an ambulance company, had 11 volunteers with its Reach and Treat Team, which it operates as a community service.
We're open to creative ideas about spreading the burden of rescue costs. But once you begin charging fees or requiring rescue insurance, where would you stop? Should every fisherman on the Columbia River, or every other port in Oregon, have to show proof of rescue insurance before leaving the dock? Should every overdue hiker or cross-country skier who prompts a search get a bill in the mail? Every snowmobiler? Every hunter?
It's better to leave well enough alone. No one yet has come up with a better system than what the Pacific Northwest already has: committed, well-trained volunteer rescuers backed by military pararescue teams that get valuable training out of every rescue.
Hard to compare the US Coast Guard to a volunteer SAR, but Dave I read all this and I have a deeper perspective of what you are trying to say...
I am Impressed! good work!
did anything you find change your some of your beliefs?
You should have been in Concord when they debated this issue. Since you weren't, I suggest you file a "freind of the court brief' for when the law gets tested...if it does.
That's Ok, just so you understand that nobody can legislate responsibility in our society. There will always be a dichotomy of folk from all walks of life hiking a trail. Tripping up the folk that abuse the system is just Americana, hence the success of Jay's Leno's Stupid Criminals although that would be unrelated.
Never trust NH to pass a well-thought-out and detailed law.
Naw, but NH is worse than some. Personally, I blame the everyone's a member of the legislature thing they have going one. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the state is at the statehouse, writing their laws. Too many cooks in the kitchen, you know.
Vague, poorly written laws are prone to abuse.
ALERT - Thread Drift
Why do we at the White Blaze community enable the incompetent and inexperienced poster's to hike?
We frequently respond to new threads asking basic questions such as do I need rain gear, what rating bag do I need, do I need a tent, what is the weather like at someplace in pick a month, how do I get back to my car after my hike, etc... These people are Darwin Award candidates. IMO a hiker needs to accept responsibility for his self. There is no substitute for performing your own research about the trail, possible weather conditions, gear, food & water supply points. Then going out to test your self and gear at safe locations by car camping or weekend excursions, building an experience base and learning your limits. Then not venturing irresponsibly beyond the conditions that you can safely do so. Of course there will always be events and accidents that can get experienced and responsible hikers into trouble such as falling, heart attack, falling tree limbs, lightning, multiple bee stings, etc...
Back to the point, a person incapable of making basic decisions does not belong outside the house.
The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us