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#242214 - 03/02/12 12:16 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Teslinhiker]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
I note that those SAR incidents around Cathedral Peak were pretty quick and clean, thanks to technology.

By the way, that area is a bewildering maze of climber's trails. The brush is high an thick, and you can't see well to get your bearings. I've gotten off course there myself. blush

HJ
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#242220 - 03/02/12 01:04 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Teslinhiker]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7367
Loc: southern Cal
To address the original question about pre-cell phone risk taking: Plenty of people were taking chances or getting into trouble inadvertently before cell phones. In those days usually the first intimation of trouble was the non arrival of the person or group in question. Therefore you started with a search, not knowing the extent of the problem, if any. It was often jolly fun, because frequently you had only a vague idea of their route or plans.

Today, with direct notification, you have location and at least some notion of the nature of the emergency, which, to my mind at least, leads to a much cleaner, efficient operation. Indeed some situations appear to be resolved without dispatching any resources.

The vast majority of my SAR experience was before cell phones. Current practitioners are urged to correct any misconceptions I may have expressed about the current state of affairs.
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#242224 - 03/02/12 01:36 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Teslinhiker]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Originally Posted By: TimDex

Not so notable: Idiots in over their heads, using 911 to get out.

Question: Before 911 and cellphones, would as many people have taken these chances.


It is unwarranted remarks like this that compels me to mostly stay away from this forum nowadays. Blindly ridiculing others in this manner without having the complete and researched facts fully in place first, only serves to undermine all the good effort that people here put into making this forum, usually a good place to discuss and learn.

..


Well said!
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#242240 - 03/02/12 03:22 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
TimDex Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/13/10
Posts: 56
Loc: New York State
Blindly criticizing?

I'm a resident of NYS where the Adirondack "adventurers" ran into their mishaps.

They were rescued by state personnel paid with state tax money. I get taxed plenty by that state. That's my money.

For people who make mistakes, and do so by not understanding the risks they are taking, such as people stranded on an interstate in a blizzard, the state has an obligation to attempt a rescue.

But for people who are deliberately taking risks, and then asking to be bailed out, exactly what should be the response?

This is, I know, a question sometimes worn to death here. It has not, to my satisfaction, been answered, particularly by people who denigrate those who pose the question.

There simply are a subgroup of people in our society who are irrational risk takers. Deciding when and how to bail these people out of their misadventures is a thorny question. But saying it shouldn't be discussed, and the people who make those mistakes, roundly criticized, is misguided.

tim

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#242249 - 03/02/12 05:47 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: TimDex]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7367
Loc: southern Cal
I believe the problem is the language you used, not the fact that you were criticizing. A critique of a situation, done in an even handed manner, can e instructive and useful. You were not off to a good start and frankly, you did not provide any useful insights into the incidents.

Reading the accounts, I noticed that a no time was a helicopter involved. Their use is becoming commonplace and of course that expends your precious tax money rather quickly. There was probably some overtime involved,but it would seem that the rangers were doing their job capably.

It also seems, from the fairly brief account, that no volunteers were involved. This is fairly unusual. My experience is that volunteers do the brunt of the work - at no taxpayer cost. When we used a chopper, it was provided by the military, and it was charged off to training time. The taxpayers received a pretty decent benefit.

If you get out in the Adirondacks, it may well happen that you will be the beneficiary of the state ranger's services. Be glad that they will be well trained and experienced.
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#242264 - 03/02/12 08:16 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Meadowlark]
TimDex Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/13/10
Posts: 56
Loc: New York State
Fine. Don't call people idiots. I can go along with that.

But what leaves me curious is the strong sense of entitlement exhibited by various posters, that is totally unrecognized. How exactly do you justify expending scarce resources on rescuing people who, open-eyed, walk into a hazardous situation?

A mere theoretical abstract argument? Hardly. Right now in northern New York, state police and sheriff's depts. are cutting back on road patrols, and a helicopter flight schedule to a medical center is being cut. How do you justify their hauling people out of the Adirondacks, spending resources on that?

So let me ask you a question. How much support from the government do you expect when you go out into the wilds on an adventure, a long hike, an expedition into the Yukon?

Do you really think you are getting back to nature? When you expect a government financed backup to rescue you if it turns bad?

There obviously is a solution (of sorts). Privately established SAR units. But those won't cover it all.

tw

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#242268 - 03/02/12 08:31 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: TimDex]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Tim,

What I didn't see was any carefully reasoned basis for establishing that these people in the 'daks did something that was clearly inappropriate.

Yes, I don't like seeing my taxes spent on hauling out unprepared people either, but the mere fact that someone had to rely on emergency services does not per se establish that they did something inappropriate.

Any time that someone can present a moderate, well-reasoned criticism, I'll say nary a word. Name calling? Not so good.

HJ
Moderator
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#242275 - 03/02/12 09:28 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: TimDex]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
As others have noted, in much of the country, SAR is volunteer based and is often a combination of Law Enforcement and volunteer SAR /Fire Service members. Rescuers whether career or volunteer perform SAR operations fully aware of the risks involved and train to minimize those hazards.

People in many circumstances make poor choices and whether it is in the urban, rural or backcountry settings do things that many of us would deem as being “a bit out there”.

The issue of funding SAR operations just the like funding for many other public endeavors can be a contentious subject that will not be resolved here. Since we will not resolve those issues here, perhaps we would all be better served to examine these cases as “lessons learned” and focus on successful survival strategies.

Just my 2 cents-
Pete

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#242291 - 03/02/12 11:01 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: paramedicpete]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7367
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete


The issue of funding SAR operations just the like funding for many other public endeavors can be a contentious subject that will not be resolved here. Since we will not resolve those issues here, perhaps we would all be better served to examine these cases as “lessons learned” and focus on successful survival strategies.

Just my 2 cents-
Pete
Yours is certainly one of the more meaningful comments made on this subject in some time. It does strike me as odd that, while living as members of settled communities, we expect, receive, and pay for, public safety services without regard to the quality of any decisions that might have led to the situation, the minute the emergency occurs in wildlands, people get very concerned about the money, real or imaginary, that is spent.

It is unfortunate that the typical media account on which we base these discussions rarely has the sort of detail that allows focusing on the "lessons learned" aspect.


Edited by hikermor (03/02/12 11:02 PM)
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#242325 - 03/03/12 02:12 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Meadowlark]
TimDex Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/13/10
Posts: 56
Loc: New York State
So here's some details from the story -- about people who were in the Adirondack high peaks during winter:

*******************
"The first rescue occurred Saturday evening when DEC rangers plucked Jones, 42, off Algonquin Peak. He had tried climbing the mountain Friday but got pushed off course by a snowstorm. He bushwhacked down and rode out the single-digit night in a snow cave.

On Saturday, he continued downhill but, unable to find a trail out, called 911 at about 5 p.m. A dispatcher pinpointed the location and rangers on snowmobiles and skis reached him at about 6:45 p.m. Jones, who was suffering from hypothermia, was taken to a hospital where he was still being treated Monday.

Bradley, 36, was found Sunday morning off the trails a mile downhill from the summit of Mount Marcy, the state's highest peak at 5,344 feet. He had planned to snowshoe to the peak but got lost. His girlfriend called rangers at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, about the same time Bradley was trying to call, but he was unable to tell rangers where he was because his GPS had temporarily stopped working.

At about 5 a.m., after hunkering down in a snow cave, Bradley was able to call and, with his GPS working again, give rescuers better coordinates. They located him at about 9:30 a.m. He was treated at a hospital and released Sunday.

Sullivan, 62, was cross-country skiing nearing the region's Olympic facilities and was reported overdue by his wife at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Rangers started from each end of his route and worked toward the middle. He was found at about 9 p.m. after a ranger heard him shouting.

The rescues come less than a week after a Saratoga Springs snowshoer, Steve Mastaitis, spent a night in a snow cave he dug near the Marcy summit. Forest rangers rescued Mastaitis on Tuesday morning."

********************************

Four individuals: Jones, Bradley, Sullivan, and Mastaitis.

The older individual, Sullivan, seems to have left an itinerary, and to have stayed on known trails. The others were climbing Adirondack high peaks....in winter. And tho' the story doesn't say it, apparently alone.

Your thoughts?

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