Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail | High Sierra Topix  

Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby sparky » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:26 am

Trekking is something rich yuppies do in thier spare time. Traveling the mountains is a lifestyle. Big difference. I doubt you'll find any "trekkers" here.

Yeah im being a jerk....i know what you mean :-)
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.



User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 905
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:01 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby rlown » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:12 pm

AlmostThere wrote:County search teams DO NOT CHARGE. We never have and never will. We do not want people in serious trouble to hesitate to call and die as a result of not wanting to pay.

I appreciate the message you are trying to send, but you need to be factual. I do not know why you think search and rescue charges. We DO NOT.

The Park Service (as in national parks) will bill medical insurance for medical services rendered but again, YOU DO NOT NEED TO WORRY ABOUT INSURANCE OR CHARGES.

PERIOD.


If this is true, and I kind of believe you, why isn't that made clear on the county or NPS websites? If you only talk about the place you volunteer in, how does anyone know what happens in other jurisdictions?

EDIT: 8/26/12: I see you have lobbied your mgmt for new shirts. How about lobbying for great SAR documentation on either the county and NPS SAR sites?
Last edited by rlown on Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6245
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby sparky » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:09 am

I read a report on supertopo of someone rapelling El Capitan, needing rescue, then handed a ticket from the NPS. Wonder if that is covered by this insurance
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 905
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:01 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:58 pm

rlown wrote:
If this is true, and I kind of believe you, why isn't that made clear on the county or NPS websites? If you only talk about the place you volunteer in, how does anyone know what happens in other jurisdictions?

EDIT: 8/26/12: I see you have lobbied your mgmt for new shirts. How about lobbying for great SAR documentation on either the county and NPS SAR sites?


If you look at other county websites, some of them do mention it - Malibu SAR does right there on the first paragraph. Some SAR teams do not have more than a paragraph on their sheriff's website. Our site is in its infancy - I'm not going to lobby for anything, they are doing what is planned on their own schedule and don't need the nagging. Shirts are a safety issue, websites are optional and nonessential to operations.

Most of the folks on my team would not have a clue that we need to mention it! Why would we have to? It would never occur to career SAR (it's a second UNPAID career) to even think about mentioning cost - we never charge, never have, never will, and not likely that any of the other volunteers even imagine that it would have to be said. We are too busy working so we can pay for our own gear and trainings.

That $8,000 was not for a helicopter ride. It was for medical treatment by EMS personnel. Otherwise it would have been a LOT more expensive! Helicopters used by SAR are funded by public agencies, which are funded by taxes, local or federal, and do not require reimbursement. Our medical evacs are usually done by a CHP chopper and sometimes by other volunteer choppers from the parks or Lemoore NAS - ours is not rigged for carrying a Stokes or any medical support whatsoever. We are all called once in a while to mutual aid SARs, in national parks and in other counties - my team has searched many times in SEKI and Yosemite - and so we have opportunities to talk to other teams, most of which are volunteer. Yosemite maintains technical rope guys to do big wall rescue - most ground pounders are volunteers from park staff, DNC and other areas of the park, and take time off from destruction of campfire rings or other park projects to search. Yosemite's water team has assisted on some of our water rescues. We all help each other out at ZERO cost to each other or the lost/hurt party.

We volunteers write off our costs for travel, trainings, gear, food, gas, or uniforms on our taxes! This is community service based activity as are most county search and rescue teams. My local team saves taxpayers on average more than 3 million dollars a year. In counties that are not fortunate enough to be able to build a volunteer based team, the sheriff's department must contract the work to someone (there are companies that do this). And I doubt they charge either - it's still tax money being spent to help tax payers.

And that is why I KNOW that county searchers here do not charge for rescue. Medical care is NOT the same. Different people, different service, different policy. My team does not have a lot of medical types volunteering for it. We have first aid trainings, and there are a couple of EMS volunteers, but if we do not have them with us, we have to call someone else in. Fortunately we excel in getting out there and finding people before they are medically compromised.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2244
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:17 pm

Let's be real clear. We appreciate you and your groups dedication to rescue. You come off as representing SAR on this site for some reason; go figure. If the documentation for the public isn't right, that's valuable input to your SAR mgmt. Let them know.

Not sure why we'd care about Malibu rescue..
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6245
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby dave54 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:48 pm

County sheriffs have the legal authority to bill. They rarely do unless it is a really expensive and difficult operation, and the rescuee did something really stupid to need a rescue. If they do bill it is more common to bill the county of residence of the person rescued. The second county nevers pays. Instead it is a notice that one their residents needed a rescue.

I believe the NPS has a emergency fund that they can tap to cover rescue costs, similar to the Forest Service firefighting fund. The Forest Service often assists the local county Sheriff Dept, and the FS cost is usually charged to the emergency firefighting fund -- technically illegal under federal fiscal and accounting rules, but accepted with a wink and nod by the federal bean counters. BLM is the same. By law, the FS and BLM have no legal obligation or authority to engage in rescues or medical aids on public lands, but do anyway on moral grounds and absorb the cost rather than bill the county that has the legal jurisdiction.

The local fire dept or EMS can and will bill for their services. The bill is for the cost of rolling their equipment, use of the gear, and ambulance transport. They are not billing for the SAR team or use of a CHP helicopter. If you are transferred to a private air ambulance the money meter starts spinning at warp speed. This is what the rider on my health insurance covers.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
 
Posts: 840
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby justm » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:44 pm

First off, thank you to the rescue people, who risk your own lives to save people in the backcountry!!! But I have to believe there's a huge bill in there somewhere. Maybe the rescue part of it is free...but I bet you rescue people are required, reguardless of the situation, by law to notify medical personal to be met at the arrival point.Maybe thats where the bills start to happen. Just putting this out there, I'm not an expert.
User avatar
justm
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 8:16 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:41 pm

justm wrote:First off, thank you to the rescue people, who risk your own lives to save people in the backcountry!!! But I have to believe there's a huge bill in there somewhere. Maybe the rescue part of it is free...but I bet you rescue people are required, reguardless of the situation, by law to notify medical personal to be met at the arrival point.Maybe thats where the bills start to happen. Just putting this out there, I'm not an expert.



I'd suggest you call your local SAR reps and put the question to them.

We don't do that unless there's someone injured.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2244
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:51 pm

rlown wrote:Let's be real clear. We appreciate you and your groups dedication to rescue. You come off as representing SAR on this site for some reason; go figure. If the documentation for the public isn't right, that's valuable input to your SAR mgmt. Let them know.

Not sure why we'd care about Malibu rescue..


Preventive SAR begins with information - I'm telling you how county search and rescue in California (where the Sierra Nevada is, go figure) works in a fairly basic way, because it appears that it is not clear and misinformation is being posted here that may lead to people hesitating to contact the authorities for help. Which may in turn lead to just what they are afraid of - a big bill, not for rescue, but for medical charges.

Malibu is one of the many examples of how county SAR teams work. You can google your own SAR team that's local to you and see similar verbage as on any county website. And Malibu is one of many teams that will come to the aid of any search team working in the Sierra - we've had guests from as far away as Humboldt.

Not all search teams have the time or ability to get a website going. You have to pay web geeks, after all. Relying on the sheriff's office web geeks gets a paragraph on the sheriff's website. We have a volunteer web geek who is overbooked and doing his best. He'll get to posting more information eventually.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2244
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Coping with injuries / sickness on the trail

Postby toejam » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:21 am

I just got back from a trip where bad judgement on my part resulted in two minor injuries to myself. In response I'm going to be more careful. I'm not buying a SPOT or insurance, and I don't want anybody looking for me until I'm late for work.

I pack my backpack with the intent of getting away from my modern, connected life and all it's worries. I don't worry when I'm out there - I try to use good judgement and enjoy my surroundings. I've never needed rescue and odds are greatly in my favor that I never will.

The way some people talk you'd think the mountains were covered with dead bodies. That's never been the case. I don't understand the fear mongers and worry warts. Kinda feel sorry for them.
User avatar
toejam
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:47 am
Location: Pismo!
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ballpeen, Bhoward, bodell82, Kelbaker, scrapbooker, sdchesnut, sherpa9 and 9 guests