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  (Source: Corbis Images)
Cell phones, camera's, etc. cause mishaps and false emergencies within national parks

National 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 emergency-related purposes.

Yellowstone 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.

This 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. 

While 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.

"Every 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."

Another 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. 

Park 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. 

"Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued," said Skaggs. 



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Boo hoo
By pheffern on 8/24/2010 8:02:47 AM , Rating: 5
As usual, the problem is not the technology, it's the morons using it. And apparently the whinging of employees of the National Parks.

Perhaps instead of lashing out at the ills of cell phones and emergency call buttons, they should consider how many lives have been saved by the same technology. Suck it up, and take appropriate action against those who abuse the emergecy system.




RE: Boo hoo
By LRonaldHubbs on 8/24/2010 8:32:32 AM , Rating: 5
Exactly. Both of the people mentioned in this article who were injured while taking pictures failed to exercise caution and common sense. The technology didn't cause those incidents, their own stupidity did. Take away the cameras and they probably would have injured themselves some other way.

And idiots that misuse the emergency help button should be billed for the expense of sending the helicopter out. People who misuse the 911 service get fined. This should be no different.


RE: Boo hoo
By SpaceRanger on 8/24/2010 9:39:20 AM , Rating: 5
You could replace the cameras with ones that existed 30 years ago, and the same thing would have happened. Definitely not the fault of technology here.


RE: Boo hoo
By LRonaldHubbs on 8/24/2010 5:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Good point.


RE: Boo hoo
By ira176 on 8/25/2010 2:16:37 AM , Rating: 3
Technology might have kept the person from taking that last step backward over the edge if they had the proper wide angle lens on their camera.


RE: Boo hoo
By tastyratz on 8/25/2010 9:11:08 AM , Rating: 2
you give them too much credit.
Probably just did not know they could zoom out...


RE: Boo hoo
By Lerianis on 8/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: Boo hoo
By Zingam on 8/26/2010 4:22:38 AM , Rating: 2
I remember that a Canadian girl has been eaten by a bear.
She was riding her bike and she saw a bear. She went to the bear to caress it and she was eaten.

Is the bicycle the reason?

It's not the camera the reason it is the idiot who's using it. I've also experienced that when I'm taking pictures I tend to get careless. But the camera cannot be blamed for that.


RE: Boo hoo
By theapparition on 8/24/2010 8:34:07 AM , Rating: 4
+100

Instead of blaming technology, blame the idiots who are wrongly calling for emergencies. Fine those people for wasting resources, but don't try to ban tech for the couple of morons.


RE: Boo hoo
By iNGEN2 on 8/24/2010 11:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
More nanny state responses to nanny state man-children.

<hiker> "Boohoo, I hiked all the way up here while talking on my cellphone. Now I don't remember how to get down and I'm afraid of the dark. Please solve the problem I created so I don't have to bare the consequences of my own actions."

<park ranger> "Don't worry little Sally. We'll just take away that little techno bauble your carrying. You'll still be stupid, but at least now I don't have to hear about it."

The spineless and feeble minded have become the locus of public policy. I fear for my country.


RE: Boo hoo
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/2010 8:50:47 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Perhaps instead of lashing out at the ills of cell phones and emergency call buttons, they should consider how many lives have been saved by the same technology. Suck it up, and take appropriate action against those who abuse the emergecy system.


Exactly what I was saying. Sorry but the benefits of modern devices FAR outweigh the drawbacks.


RE: Boo hoo
By RicheemxX on 8/24/2010 9:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'd agree with that 100%. IMO the type of missus seen in the Grand Canyon incident should result in a permanent ban from all parks. Those idiots got a small fine compared to the time, money and energy spent trying to "rescue" them.

Now on the flip side I don't agree with this just being whinging of employees of the National Parks. These are rescue teams that we are talking about here. With all the budget cut backs in many cases these people are volunteers and there are far fewer resources to go around.

Now think of this scenario and see how you'd feel: Some idiot is out there calling 911 (or pressing the emergency button) to get basic info/help and using up the limited number of rescuers leaving the teams short handed when a real emergency comes in. Because all your resources are being used elsewhere in no emergence situations someone dies!

I think you might be complain about the misuses of the tech as well!!


RE: Boo hoo
By flatrock on 8/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Boo hoo
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/2010 1:42:53 PM , Rating: 2
What's with all the <p>'s ?? Makes this super annoying to read.


RE: Boo hoo
By Invane on 8/24/2010 2:13:33 PM , Rating: 4
I also agree. This is not, in my opinion, related to technology at all. This is related to a shift in general populace expectations. They no longer expect to have to be responsible for their own actions or lack of common sense. Instead, someone is supposed to be right there to fix it or they shift the blame to some other person or entity.

However, I do have to disagree with:
quote:
Perhaps instead of lashing out at the ills of cell phones and emergency call buttons, they should consider how many lives have been saved by the same technology. Suck it up, and take appropriate action against those who abuse the emergecy system.


The park rangers have a legitimate complaint. They fully understand that technology has saved lives. However, they also do not have unlimited resources. Every time someone pulls one of these stupid stunts, they could potentially be depriving someone who does need help of those limited resources. Telling them to 'suck it up' is not the correct response.


RE: Boo hoo
By JediJeb on 8/24/2010 2:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
You are right. The term "personal responsibility" seems to be totally lacking from the general population's vocabulary these days. If someone got to the top of a summit and then wanted someone to come lead them down because a storm was coming, they should just be told to start running down hill and get ready to get wet. People need to be responsible for their planning or lack there of in these circumstances. Add a big sign at the bottom that says if you don't prepare for the worse, then prepare to suffer the consequences.


RE: Boo hoo
By Invane on 8/24/2010 3:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, but our society is fostering this complete lack of accountability. The minute we allow someone to experience the consequences for a poor personal decision or lack of common sense, that person is being allowed to throw the equivalent of a temper tantrum using our legal system. Every time someone wins one of these frivolous lawsuits, we reinforce the idea that it was someone else's fault for not jumping in to save them from their own idiocy.

Apologies for going a little off topic.


RE: Boo hoo
By Lerianis on 8/25/2010 10:33:00 AM , Rating: 1
Wrong, Invane. The fact is that people do NOT expect to not be responsible for their own actions. They expect to not be bashed upon when they refuse to stay IN THEIR HOMES GETTING FAT!

Seriously, if you go out in the wild, there is a chance that you are going to get hurt, and if you are taking a picture of an animal from 75 METERS away.... there is a chance that they will not like that and charge you!

Getting 'too close' to an animal is a cop-out for these park and rec people, who don't want to do their jobs and don't want to realize that one of the things that people come to the parks for: TO TAKE PICTURES OF WILDLIFE!

With most 'point and shoots' today.... to get a good picture, you got to be pretty damned close to what you are photographing.


RE: Boo hoo
By JediJeb on 8/25/2010 2:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With most 'point and shoots' today.... to get a good picture, you got to be pretty damned close to what you are photographing.


Not really an excuse there, if you want to take a photo of a wild animal invest in better equipment.

quote:
Wrong, Invane. The fact is that people do NOT expect to not be responsible for their own actions. They expect to not be bashed upon when they refuse to stay IN THEIR HOMES GETTING FAT!


The problem here is that those people running outside fail to do some simple research like finding out if standing 50 feet from a Bison to take it's photo is dangerous. Instead most take the stance that they are indestructable and that even nature should bend to their will so they can enjoy it as they please with no respect for the true danger inherant in a natural setting.

Personal responsibility not only means taking the responsibility of planning ahead, but also taking the blame when you screw up instead of trying to pass it off on everyone else.


RE: Boo hoo
By kattanna on 8/24/2010 3:54:59 PM , Rating: 1
agreed!

quote:
touching scalding hot geysers


i just got back from yellowstone myself a couple weeks ago and i can personally attest to this one. standing on the raised wooden platform by the grand prismatic spring and what do i see? people sticking their fingers in the water to see if its actually hot.

i was like, you have got to be shitting me, REALLY??

too bad it was in an area where the waters where cool enough to touch.


RE: Boo hoo
By Lerianis on 8/25/2010 10:40:06 AM , Rating: 1
This isn't stupidity. The fact is that this is COMMON with some people who are TACTILE learners. Seeing something for them is not enough to make them actually believe something.... touching something is.

Now, in some situations that comes back to bite them in the butt, I will admit, but not in most.


RE: Boo hoo
By JediJeb on 8/25/2010 2:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This isn't stupidity. The fact is that this is COMMON with some people who are TACTILE learners. Seeing something for them is not enough to make them actually believe something.... touching something is.


I want to meet the TACTILE learner who just learned to operate a wood chipper.


RE: Boo hoo
By Divide Overflow on 8/24/2010 4:04:17 PM , Rating: 4
For crying out loud, this article is not an attack on technology, nor "whining" by National Park employees. Simply a reminder for people to use their technology sensibly when in the National Parks. The park service has implemented technology in a wide variety of safe and useful ways and will continue to do so.

Get some thicker skin before you take this as "lashing out" at the ills of cell phone misuse and the like. At least you suggest targeting those who abuse the system. The appropriate action against them in the general media is a cautionary reminder just like this article serves.


RE: Boo hoo
By Treknologist on 8/24/2010 5:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
I have to say that the people who blame technology for these problems are in the same caliber as the morons who get involved in these incidents. Technology is neither inherently good or bad...people either use technology properly or they don't.


*sigh*
By Motoman on 8/24/2010 9:55:53 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
visitor-related accident's


Note to people who try to earn a living writing...

The number of cases in which it is appropriate to use an apostrophe to indicate plurality is zero.

I don't get how hard this is for people to remember. It's an absolute...an apostrophe NEVER indicates plurality.




RE: *sigh*
By johnsonx on 8/24/2010 11:55:48 AM , Rating: 5
No, silly, an apostrophe is just a warning that an "s" is coming. You don't want to be running through a word and slam into an "s" unprepared do you?


RE: *sigh*
By Motoman on 8/24/2010 12:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
...actually, it seems to be a warning that you're encountering someone with serious language issues. Cue dueling banjos.


Lives saved > Misuse
By syphon on 8/24/2010 8:48:54 AM , Rating: 3
I will say it can be annoying with the misuse of technology however I am sure that this technology has saved lives. Think about it, before if you got seriously injured, you could not call for that $3,400 an hour helicopter to save you. You had to send your buddy or try to make it out on your own. Depending on your condition, this could have killed you.

Also, I am sure GPS has saved some hikers from getting very lost.

I would like to see numbers on how many lives were saved using this same technology that they are upset over.




RE: Lives saved > Misuse
By daniyarm on 8/24/2010 11:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
You know how they have a "stupid motorist law", how about one for National Parks. If you have to be rescued because you are an idiot, you pay back every single dime for that rescue.

Ok, so the stupid motorist law is not stopping all idiots from driving into a flooded crossing, but at least it pays for the rescue. Maybe there could be an option at Yellowstone, if you are stuck on the mountaintop and want to be escorted out, $100 an hour.


RE: Lives saved > Misuse
By AssBall on 8/24/2010 12:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think some dudes in Oregon are suing some dumbasses they had to rescue for the costs just like you are saying. I mean, if I get my leg broken dicking around in my front yard, or have a stroke, I pay the ambulance and hospital bill, why should search and rescue be any different?


Scalding?
By Shadowself on 8/24/2010 8:07:17 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
touching scolding hot geysers


I sincerely doubt the geysers are scolding the people for touching them.




RE: Scalding?
By AssBall on 8/24/2010 12:43:04 PM , Rating: 3
My wife gets pretty hot when she is scolding sometimes...


Yuppie 911
By spwrozek on 8/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Yuppie 911
By spwrozek on 8/24/2010 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 1
So I get a negative rating for pointing out that there are a lot of idiots who think they have a rescue me button and go on adventures they have no business being on. Awesome.

Sometimes the internet boggles my mind. And the article I linked was for the yuppie 911 article from a year ago. This story is by no means new.


RE: Yuppie 911
By Smilin on 8/24/2010 1:53:41 PM , Rating: 1
Yea sorry man, not sure why you got downrated. Even if someone disagreed it wasn't exactly some radical point.

Maybe you were a dick in a past life. :P jk


RE: Yuppie 911
By Invane on 8/24/2010 5:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
I 100% disagree. The technology does exactly what it's supposed to do. It gives someone in a potentially life threatening situation an opportunity to get the help they need.

You stated the real problem right here:
quote:
People go out and tackle hikes that they have no idea how to plan for or even accomplish.


The underlying issue needs to be addressed here. The problem is how to do that.


RE: Yuppie 911
By diggernash on 8/24/2010 7:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
To address the underlying issue, without blaming inorganic objects, would suggest that the citizenry are capable of personal responsibility. This is clearly in violation of the National Park Service employee handbook, Article II, section 5. Also covered in this section is the need for chainlink fences to obstruct "scenic" overlooks to protect people from falling into unforeseen dangers like, THE GRAND CANYON.


By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 8/24/2010 10:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds to me like the lady with the camera could use better technology. Then she wouldn't have had to get so close to the buffalo and would have been safe.

It's not like people taking pictures at national parks is a new thing...




It's the moron users.
By akugami on 8/24/2010 10:30:36 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with others, it's not technology per se, but rather the idiots who abuse it. And as others have said, on the flip side, think of all the people that the same technology has helped and rescued.

Anyone heading into large national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon should be required to sign a paper agreeing to pay for any costs related to a rescue if they are found to have willfully abused rescuers. In the case of those morons who pressed the rescue button three times, slap them with a $10k bill. Their willful abuse could have costs other lives and they wasted at least $10k for three helicopter outings.




Takes 2 to tango
By KIAman on 8/24/2010 2:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like not only are the users of the "technology" for emergency use are absolute morons but at the same time, it also isn't make clear enough on what exactly constitutes an emergency.

Rangers need to improve their communication on what is allowed and what's not.

Always assume people are idiots and have no common sense.




fancy technology
By Danger D on 8/24/2010 3:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
What is this "camera" thing, and what is its purpose?




So it would be better..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: So it would be better..
By inighthawki on 8/24/2010 8:09:36 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree that cases like falling 75 feet should call for attention, if you don't have the necessary skills to complete the task you're trying to do without help, maybe you shouldn't do it.


RE: So it would be better..
By amanojaku on 8/24/2010 8:23:58 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Apparently judging from this guys attitude
Which guy, Jackie Skaggs, spokeswoman, or Maureen Oltrogge, a spokeswoman?
quote:
it would be better off if people got lost and went missing and were never heard from again. Like back in the good old days. But now, thanks to these goddamn cell phones, someone who is lost and confused and ill prepared for what awaits them, can actually call for help or at least let you know they are out there! God that sucks!!!
Please reread the article. It says MISUSE. I think the actions mentioned (leaving idiots up on a peak in the rain and escorting bigger idiots out) are reasonable. It's not like the rangers are going to purposely put or leave people in dangerous situations.
quote:
No offense but I'm sure the average park ranger sits on his fat ass half the day anyway, courtesy of the United States taxpayer. I don't think asking them to help the occasional lost idiot once in a while is too much to ask. Seriously, get over it.
Get over yourself. If idiot campers are busy calling rangers for things that aren't life threatening then resources are being pulled from things that are. That means the parks would need MORE rangers and equipment, which means more taxes.

Unlike many people on this site I don't think you're a troll, I think you're an idiot. You never think things through.


RE: So it would be better..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: So it would be better..
By nafhan on 8/24/2010 9:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
While I think if you and your dad weren't capable of handling a canoe trip, you shouldn't have gone in the first place, or you should have found an easier route, etc. However, if you do have to call for help, I think a citation for putting yourself in jeopardy is completely appropriate.
quote:
the group was sent home and the leader was issued a citation.
This needs to happen more often, IMO.


RE: So it would be better..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: So it would be better..
By cyxceven on 8/24/2010 10:45:10 AM , Rating: 2
The hiking group’s leader was issued the citation, not the ranger's.

And they did send helicopters every time, so they were indeed performing their duties.
But when it becomes apparent that you're trolling the rangers--of course you're gonna get banned. It's for your own safety.


RE: So it would be better..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/2010 11:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And they did send helicopters every time, so they were indeed performing their duties. But when it becomes apparent that you're trolling the rangers--of course you're gonna get banned. It's for your own safety.


oh my god... Ok hold on I really need some coffee.

AHHHH! Ok

Seriously you people are driving me nuts. How many times do I have to say that I wasn't arguing FOR those careless cases?? STOP BRINGING THEM UP! I do NOT think it's cool to call in a chopper for salty tasting water!! I don't know how many times that I don't know how many times that I don't know how many times I have to say this.


RE: So it would be better..
By cyxceven on 8/24/2010 12:58:35 PM , Rating: 3
Calm down, jitterbug. I didn't say I thought you were defending them.
I'm just saying they did their job.
They save lives--Even the lives of trolls.

I wanna be a ranger now. Because Helicopters.


RE: So it would be better..
By MrBlastman on 8/24/2010 10:36:48 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
quote:
the group was sent home and the leader was issued a citation.
This needs to happen more often, IMO.


The tools hiking in the Grand Canyon definitely did not belong there and sending them home was the right thing to do. The fact they called help just because their water was salty and then later ran out of water--shows they did not have the skills nor the knowledge to be in that Canyon. They had no business hiking in there.

It is absolutely amazing how many people have no clue of the outdoors--none. I see it all the time when hiking or camping in national parks and you can clearly tell this by the plethora of people who consider bringing a camper to a park (with a gas stove, power lines, water, showers etc.) as camping. The truth is though, it isn't camping at all, it is leisurely vacationing.

Being an Eagle Scout, I've seen my share of "real" camping, hiking out into the wild for days without carrying in any water at all with me, except for either a pot to boil with or a bottle of iodine tablets to purify the water (powdered kool-aid mix does wonders to make it taste better). Of course, there is a line between this and pure survival camping (where you hunt your own food and live off the land completely). The thing is, if you are going to attempt camping or activities such as this, the ole' motto "Be Prepared" really has a dramatic amount of truth to it.

If you aren't prepared, or not willing to take the time to learn the skills necessary to be in situations you might encounter in the wild, don't take the extra risk and know your limits. The story of the individual summiting and getting stuck--that can happen as weather does change rapidly out in the wild; checking the weather before you go on your treck helps as well.

But, as a scout (if you make Eagle, you're one for life), you're taught that if people are in distress, are lost, need help or whatever, you do the right thing and provide assistance to them without any requirements--such as them compensating you for the help. It is the right thing to do. We can't help that people are going to be in the wild that don't belong there, but, as people, it is the right thing to do to help them if you have the knowledge and the know how.

Requiring everyone to financially compensate park services for their rescue is a mixed bag. The Rangers take an oath to serve the wild and help the people in it--so, they really are just doing their jobs by being there. We have money allocated by the Federal budget (very small amounts of money, actually) to pay for these rangers and if people don't need to be saved, the Rangers are busy doing other things.

Our national parks are one of the greatest treasures of our nation. If anything, we do not need to discourage people from adventuring in them--telling them: if you mess up, you're screwed or you owe a lot of money, well, that kind of goes against the spirit of it. If people legitimately go into the wild and screw up, they shouldn't have to worry about the repercussions and instead, let the Rangers do their jobs and rescue the people. Too few people venture outdoors these days to begin with, we more people wanting to get outside.

Our Parks are there for a reason, people shouldn't be afraid to use them. Although, IF they are venturing into them, they need to be prepared for what they might face and try and be responsible adults about it.

If they're tools, like the Grand Canyoners, they shouldn't be anywhere near a national park and being banned/kicked out from parks around the country works for me. There is so much to see in our great parks, so much that there is no reason to be trying to text on a phone, read email, watch movies etc.,--the real excitement is through your two eyeballs and all the wilds around. Pictures are great, but please, understand the risks before trying to take them.


RE: So it would be better..
By LRonaldHubbs on 8/24/2010 9:22:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't you skim articles? And please tell me how the sex of a person in this case matters? Does it change the facts or context one bit? You sure went out of your way to make this point, are you sexist or something?

Sure, everyone skims from time to time. However, most of us don't take a hardline stance on the subject until we've actually read over it in detail.

quote:
I wasn't aware that there was a National Standard for mobile device usage. So "misuse" is generally a matter of opinion. When you're sitting on your ass at home reading this it doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but maybe try thinking of others

Oh FFS. You don't need a 'National Standard' to know that repeatedly calling for help when you don't really need it is misuse.

quote:
OH please. Sorry but the day to day life of a park ranger is NOT that hectic. There aren't all these emergencies going on that they are being "pulled from". Get over YOURSELF. If that was the case, the article would have cited some example of this happening.

...long irrelevant anecdote...

As usual you are missing the point. The problem is not that people are calling for help. The problem is that people are calling for help when they don't need it. Your story is an example of actually needing help. This is irrelevant to the discussion at hand because the example in the article was about people who DIDN'T need help. THAT is what the park rangers are fed up with. The other thing they are fed up with is people doing dumb s*** which results in them needing help.


RE: So it would be better..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/2010 9:41:05 AM , Rating: 1
Who determines who "needed" the help though? Yes, I think we can ALL agree that those Grand Canyon pranksters were in the wrong. But can't you see how other examples might fall in a gray area? Who determines, objectively, whether the help was genuinely "needed" or not?

The girl on the mountain top who could have waited it out through the night. Did she need help? What if a bear mauled her later or a snake bit her or she froze to death etc etc? Did she need help then?

See it's easy for us to sit back on our computers and make judgments on others for being idiots etc etc. Hell don't get me wrong, I do it. But I've been in the situation. A good time turning REAL bad REAL quick. And I don't care what you or anyone else says, I would have done anything to just get out of it.

So my question is, who made LRonaldHubbs the judge of who needs help and who doesn't?


RE: So it would be better..
By RicheemxX on 8/24/2010 9:59:24 AM , Rating: 3
There's a more detailed article in the NYT today about some of the details of some of these rescues. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/science/earth/22...

As mentioned in more than a few cases people (for lack of a better term) are growing a pair and doing things and putting themselves in situations they have no business being in simply because they think they can rely on the new tech out there to save their a$$. As with the case of the white water rafters that had never been in boat, these people have no business on the water. But they get this false sense of security because they have a panic button!

quote:
People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate.


Yeah that's a person that really "needed" help!


RE: So it would be better..
By amanojaku on 8/24/2010 10:04:13 AM , Rating: 5
This is coming from the same person who's pat answers to everything are "you made your own bed, now sleep in it"? It's amazing how you change your tune when you can identify with the victim, as demonstrated by your anecdote.

The national parks are very good at telling people what to do and what to look out for. No one goes into the park unprepared unless you purposely do so. If you climb a mountain you'd better know how to get back down, and if not the park rangers will know if it's safe to leave you there. Seriously, no responsible park ranger is going to leave you at the mercy of bears, snow storms and other dangerous stuff. This is AMERICA; put someone in danger like that and you'll get sued.

So, back to your question about who gets to decide who needs help: the park rangers do based on training and experience. You have neither, and that's reflected in your comments. The spokespeople are not saying technology should be banned; if you pay attention you'll see there is an increase in technologies being used to track and communicate with visitors. 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). Do call the park ranger if you're stuck in a place you physically can't get out of or are lost.


RE: So it would be better..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/2010 10:24:30 AM , Rating: 1
I really see no need for this level of personal attack by you on this issue. My answer to "everything" is NOT that. And this is not a political or tax discussion or government power discussion.

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).


Where in the hell do you see me arguing for that? Where did I say hot chocolate was acceptable request?

You've already called me an idiot so apparently now you're talking to me like a child and picking extreme elements that I NEVER argued for to make your case against me. I think at this point all hopes for a constructive discussion are lost.


RE: So it would be better..
By Smilin on 8/24/2010 10:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
(note: my first post in the conversation..not at all interested in the heated part of this debate)

My thoughts:

You can skip the gray area by simply charging a fee any time a ranger has to come save your butt.

It might be your fault or it might be out of your control but you know whose fault it WASN'T?. The taxpayer.

This isn't without precident either. If you take an ambulance trip then you (or your health insurance) is going to pay for it.

That said, I think in all but the most extreme cases of retardation it should simply be a fine and not the total cost of the rescue. The fee will stop people from making flippant calls for help. However if you charge them the whole $20k for three days of rescue operations then they might be hesitant to call when they should.

As for the girl on the mountaintop: I had a couple buddies get stuck on a mountaintop in Yosemite. They did a late day hike to the top and on the way down a ranger told them absolutely not to hike at night. So they slept on the floor of a restroom in shorts and T-shirts @ 50 degrees. It sucked but they lived. It's not like they needed an extraction but I'm sure rangers would have provided one if their life was in danger...and they should have been fined in such a case.


RE: So it would be better..
By Lerianis on 8/25/2010 10:42:03 AM , Rating: 2
No, they shouldn't have been fined, seeing as how they had no idea how long the hike would take. These rangers are basically asking people to see in the future and do NOTHING unless they are able to do that.... and we wonder why people don't want to leave their homes anymore?

Because the freaking police are fine-happy!


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