parks all over the United States have had problems in the past
involving visitors being injured by wildlife, touching scalding hot
geysers and so on. While incidents like these are bad enough, rangers
within the national parks are now saying that technology
is a key component that's helping to cause these mishaps. To
make matters worse, visitors are using their technology for non
National Park, for example, has had a record number of
visitor-related accident's during the month of July, and according to
rangers, technology is often to blame. Recently, the park had an
issue with a visitor who got a little too close to a buffalo in order
to obtain a picture, and it charged toward the woman causing injury.
isn't the only case where a camera got a visitor into trouble. Just
this month, a French teenager fell 75 feet from the South Rim of the
Grand Canyon while backing up to take a picture.
both of these accidents were careless, they were legitimate
emergencies that called for rescuing. What has rangers frustrated
with visitors is when they use their technology to call rangers for
"emergencies" that are not really emergencies at all.
once in awhile we get a call from someone who has gone to the top of
a peak, the weather has turned and they are confused about how to get
down and they want someone to personally escort them," said
Jackie Skaggs, spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
"The answer is that you are up there for the night."
instance of emergency misuse on
a cell phone was when a group of hikers traveled to the
Grand Canyon last fall and constantly pressed the emergency rescue
button on their electronic device (which does not allow the sender to
explain why they're calling for help) and every time the rangers
showed up in a helicopter, the group would have an excuse like their
water was too salty, or they were short on water. By the third time
that this had happened, the group was sent home and the leader was
issued a citation.
rangers not only lose time dealing with potential real emergencies
when these incidents occur, but they also lose a hefty amount of
money. According to Maureen Oltrogge, a spokeswoman for Grand Canyon
National Park, it costs about $3,400 an hour to send
a helicopter into the park.
of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that
they can do something stupid and be rescued," said Skaggs.
quote: What is being said is people need to be careful in its use. You don't call 911 because your fridge is empty; don't call a park ranger because you ran out of food or water for the night. Do call the park ranger if it's been a day or so and you're feeling weak (you can survive at least a week without food, so a few hours isn't enough time to be alarmed). Don't call the park ranger because you want hot chocolate (someone did this).