Letters to the Editor

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RESCUES: Taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill

Letter by Connie Barker, Puyallup on July 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm with 14 Comments »
July 24, 2012 5:22 pm

I agree with an earlier letter writer that skiers, hikers and mountain climbers should post a bond, or pay in advance, in case they need to be rescued. Many of these nature lovers go into dangerous areas where they shouldn’t go. We taxpayers are paying for these rescues.

There seem to be more and more rescues every year. Many rescue workers have given there lives to save these people.

People have a right to their fun, but not at the expense of the taxpayers if they need rescuing. The nature lovers need to pay for their own rescues.


Leave a comment Comments → 14
  1. lylelaws says:


    A very good letter. I agree completely.

  2. normajean says:

    Agree as well

  3. rescue insurance anyone?

  4. bobcat1a says:

    Maybe Connie could explain in detail how this plan will work. Rescue crew gonna ask an injured hiker if they can afford rescue before they help? Oh, maybe file a lien on anyone rescued who doesn’t have an insurance policy or cash payment? Only go out after people who have a paid up rescue insurance policy on file? Fine people who step off the pavement without a documented rescue insurance policy or proof of high income ? Insurance machines at every trailhead, boatlaunch, beach?
    If you are going to make policy suggestions, it would be mature and responsible that you have some plan to implement them.
    Sounds like Connie and Lyle and normajean want big intrusive government dictating every aspect of our lives.

  5. see previous letter to editor to help explain things

  6. rooster_02 says:

    We pay taxes that pays the salaries of park rangers that are involved in rescues. Volunteers such as Tacoma Mountain Rescue do it because of their passion for the outdoors. The military, when involved in a rescue, use it as a training tool. Just because someone goes on a hike and has an incident doesn’t mean they put their life at risk. They had what is called an accident. Mountain climbing is an activity that can be dangerous but with proper training can also be as safe as the education the climbers have had. I suspect Connie and the others have never had a meaningful experience in the wilderness and I doubt that they can understand how fulfilling it can be to stand on the summit of a mountain.

  7. vickistired says:

    I’ve had “meaningful” experiences in the wilderness, and my suggestion would be that you roll this into the permit costs. While the vast majority of people who choose to climb, hike or ski are responsible, there are those who are not. Requiring, as part of the permitting process, climbers to display that they either have their own insurance or purchase insurance at that time would seem reasonable to me.

    It is incredibly fulfilling to stand on the summit of a mountain – I’ve only done it once myself, but it’s a moment I’ll cherish forever. It’s been awhile, but I think my permit cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $20. In comparison, when I’ve competed in marathons or triathlons, the fees are quite substantial – the cheapest I recall being somewhere around $70. In part because of the support they’re required to have on hand should I be in danger of drowning in the water or collapse on the road. There is an acknowledgement on my part that the sport in which I’m participating has some risks, and that I need to be responsible for those risks and the potential costs to the race organizers and community. I think it’s only fair to ask those who choose to participate in sports such as mountain climbing (experience or not – it ALWAYS poses a risk – same as a triathlon for an experienced triathlete) to assume that same level of responsibility.

  8. Lynnwoodfats says:

    Pass a manitory helmet law, that’ll fix them hikers.

  9. MyBandito says:

    I agree. The same goes for police and fire fighters.


  10. MyBandito says:

    Have your credit card ready.

  11. Righties are demanding mandatory insurance again, just like they did with Romneycare.

    You know we could do away with FEMA and most government assistance for accidents and natural disasters if we made people pay for their own rescues, farmers pay for their own protection from floods. Just think how we can shrink government if people didn’t give a hoot about anybody else other than themselves. That is the Republican philosophy, isn’t it?

    Those people should know better and pay a bond or an upfront fee or have insurance to cover all losses and rescue costs who build in hurricane zones, or people who build in tornado alley, or people who build in flood plains, or people who build in earthquake areas… Oh, forget that last part – we need government for assistance if a big earthquake happens, because that would affect me, myself and I.

  12. brett987654321 says:

    Maybe we should just round up all the unworthy poor people and put them in a camp so they wont go out and enjoy the world that our taxes pay for. They are breathing our air and drinking OUR water. Walking around on OUR soil. Some of them don’t even look like me!

  13. itwasntmethistime says:

    Who gets to decide which excursions are potentially dangerous enough to warrant insurance? Walking throught the interior trails of Five Mile Drive doesn’t sound dangerous at all but you could trip on a log and hit your head. It could take a few hours for a team of people to find you. Should we have to purchase insurance any time we leave the line of site of a paved road?

  14. lylelaws says:

    I am fine with attempting to rescue hikers and skiers who may be lost, stranded or injured in areas not declared to be “Off limits” but I don’t think rescue workers should have to risk their lives trying to save people who choose to disregard warnings and needlessly put their lives in danger.

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