"The View" Dec. 19 2006 Mt. Hood

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"The View" Dec. 19 2006 Mt. Hood

Postby Ron Fulcher » Dec 19, 2006 5:13 pm

I don't know if any of you got a chance to catch this mornings episode but, they started out talking about the Mt. Hood Rescue costs. It has been estimated that efforts so far have cost 2.5 million.

Their conversation turned to "extreme sports" and the costs of these rescues for folks involved in risky activities.

The good news was at least in Oregon they have special legislation and a fund for such events.

Any thoughts?

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Postby caverdoc » Dec 19, 2006 5:21 pm

I believe I read in one of the news articles today that Oregon has a cap of $500 per participant.
In some European countries you will be billed for the costs associated with your rescue. Hence "rescue insurance."
On the several cave rescues which I have participated, it amazed me that we were there, on our own time, with mostly our own gear, doing this because it could just as easily be ME or a buddy in that Stokes litter. All I ever got out of these rescues was a few candy bars, some "sammiches" and coffee, and a great appreciation for how cavers take care of our own.

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Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 19, 2006 5:25 pm

I moved this topic from Rescue-registered only to the Rescue category.
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Postby David_Campen » Dec 19, 2006 6:33 pm

It has been estimated that efforts so far have cost 2.5 million.

I would guess that a significant part of that number is for the National Guard helicopters and planes and that those crews have to put in some number of hours of flight time per month anyways to maintain proficiency so those expenses should be written off as training.
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 19, 2006 6:56 pm

I'm not sure if I have extremely well formed thoughts on the subject, but...

If I were going on a mountaineering venture... First off, I'd know I was doing something that involved risk. So, I know there's a chance I might not come back. But I know I have skills that will help me overcome the odds. If I don't come back, I'd hope *somebody* would come after me. But I'm not sure I'd expect, nor would I necessarily want a cast of thousands walking hand-in-hand coming every square inch of snow for me. Should the victim of an accident be responsible for a humongoid circus-like rescue? And in the current case, they're probably all dead (my greatest condolences to the families, and I don't mean to jinx the search, it'd be AWESOME if the other two are found with nothing more than broken legs huddled in a snow cave).

I dunno. It's a curious question. I remember hearing a story by a cave diver who went out on a body recovery. He was helicoptered to another state in all haste. Then once it was over, he was just left there to fend for himself. The sheriff felt so bad, he drove the guy home, himself.
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Postby Stridergdm » Dec 19, 2006 8:51 pm

We had a similar incident here with a rescue in NYS, the state flew in cavers from West Virginia (or was it Virginia, I forget) and basically stranded them here.

In any case, this is always a question that comes up with rescues like this.

From all accounts these gentleman were very experienced, knew the risks and did a lot to mitigate them.

But, "stuff happens", even to the best people. (though one can ask "does it matter how experienced they are? Do we abandon folks because they were "stupid"? I'd think not.)

I don't think anyone in good consciousness would simply say "abandon them". Yet obviously at some point those decisions need to be made.

One of the reasons I got involved in the NCRC and rescue was because I was called into a rescue and it dawned on me that *I* could be the one in the cave. And I'd want someone to try to haul my butt out. So it was only fair to return the favor. I'd highly recommend everyone here take at least a local OCR course. And look up your local rescue agencies. Be involved. It's not necessary that every caver out there have taken Levels 1-3 (though it can be lots of fun in addition to being very educational), but having some experience does help.

On a related note, one thing you'll learn at an OCR or weeklong and most Agency folks here already know is that part of the system used to coordinate rescues like these is dedicated directly to Finance. And those costs add up quickly. In a case like this figure you've got salaries, fuel costs, replacement parts for helicopters air time gets expensivein those beasts), toilets, hot packs, paper, pens, batteries, etc.

Fortunately for us, here in America can afford to consume large sums (in the millions) to try to safe a live.

And to end the families of these men are in my prayers. I hope for the safe return of the remaining two.
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Postby e-doc » Dec 30, 2006 12:49 am

This subject came up on Cascade Climbers. Someone did research and found most outdoor rescues were for lost hikers and I think boating accidents. "Extreme" sports (caving , mountaineering) were a small fraction.
Like caving many of the searchers were volunteer on Hood, the Cragrats (and many places) Also air cover and parajumpers courtesy of DOD.

Everybody moans and groans about this but the mass media and general populase have no clue about mountaineering, caving, big wall climbing, etc. "Extreme" outdoors people get themselves in a bunch less trouble than Johnny Drunk Redneck but the rescues are media frenzies.

Many of us have an extended zone of comfort, unlike average anybody. What some consider extreme, we consider normal. I guess sitting on the couch all weekend drinking beer is extreme. :tonguecheek:
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