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Old 09-04-2014, 08:15   #76
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Re: Costs of rescue...

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Jeez, it's pretty obvious you haven't been on too many military bases. There is so much butt sitting in the military it's unF'ing believable to put it in military terms.

It's somewhat of a speciality for some in the military.

My experience is 6 years Marines and 34 years as a contractor. You should see a base on a Friday. There isn't a lot of butt sitting because everyone leaves early.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:39   #77
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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Additionally, recreational sailors are a pretty small group among those being rescued at sea and are not a big driver of the fixed costs of maintaining ocean-capable rescue units; yet even variation within the total population of those needing rescue at sea is still not a direct or proportionate driver of the cost of maintaining rescue organizations.

Sure, it would be a worthy goal to cut the number of serious deep-water recreational sailboat accidents in half -- but that might only cut the costs of maintaining emergency ocean rescue services perhaps by some tiny fraction of a tenth of a percent...a small enough proportion so as to be hard to measure with accuracy.
I think that's a very good point.

But I think that just sends us back to individual cases. Did the rescued party take reasonable precautions? Were they following reasonable safety guidelines?

But even if they didn't, if we have the resources, we're going to save them. The news coverage will simply look much worse.

Most states (and the Coast Guard) have safety requirements for training and safety equipment, with the goal of reducing rescue costs and helping people survive until help gets there.

So in terms of mitigating rescue costs, I think they've already done that.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:03   #78
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

letsget-
"You realize that we just fought two wars, right, and still have troops in Afghanistan?"
No disrespect to the men and women in the meatgrinder, but last time the US fought a real war, a legally declared war, may have been WW2.

I don't find any Congressional Declaration of War since then, and that includes the Korean Peace Keeping Action.

That's not to pick nit, but you'll find that under both civil and military law, there can be major differences in the consequences of actions taken in time of war. Sometimes, a death penalty versus a fine and imprisonment.

And at all times, a very different commitment and level of support from the nation.

If you can point me to any formal Congressional declarations of war since Pearl Harbor, please do. I believe that supporting our troops means, first and foremost, we don't waste them.
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Old 09-04-2014, 13:16   #79
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Re: Costs of rescue...

An earlier post I made here:

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
One thing that's brought up whenever billing for emergency services comes up is timely calling for help. It's said most rescues cost less and are easier to do if people call for help early, rather than wait until it's really cocked up. Their argument is that if people are worried about getting billed they won't call for help until things are really messed up.
This is the news I just saw presented in the big thread

Lyra Kaufman, sick toddler rescued from Rebel Heart, back in San Diego - CBS News

CBS News correspondent Vicente Arenas reports that the four federal agencies involved in search and rescues - the Coast Guard, the National Park Service, the Defense Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency - will only bill someone if a hoax is involved.

"The last thing we want you to do if you are in distress is to weigh whether or not you can afford it because you're afraid we're going to come after you for reimbursement," Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma told Arenas.
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Old 09-04-2014, 13:30   #80
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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letsget-
"You realize that we just fought two wars, right, and still have troops in Afghanistan?"
No disrespect to the men and women in the meatgrinder, but last time the US fought a real war, a legally declared war, may have been WW2.

I don't find any Congressional Declaration of War since then, and that includes the Korean Peace Keeping Action.

That's not to pick nit, but you'll find that under both civil and military law, there can be major differences in the consequences of actions taken in time of war. Sometimes, a death penalty versus a fine and imprisonment.

And at all times, a very different commitment and level of support from the nation.

If you can point me to any formal Congressional declarations of war since Pearl Harbor, please do. I believe that supporting our troops means, first and foremost, we don't waste them.

Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were all military engagements authorized by Congress. Formal declaration of war is unnecessary for an engagement to be considered a war.

You can disagree about whether our military should have been there, but they were there. And are.
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Old 09-04-2014, 14:00   #81
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Re: Costs of rescue...

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I see what you're saying, and agree with everything you said.

Let's just say that 50 of those miles out of the 1000 are planned to swing by and pick up Bob. Does that mean that the 50 miles and time you spend picking up Bob is free? Does it mean that if you spend 59 miles picking up Bob, that it is also free because you still had to go the 1000 miles? You could have also spent those 50 miles picking up your sister in the other direction, since she needed a ride the same day.

Another analogy is the UPS guy delivering a package. He's in your neighborhood anyway, so can he just collect your package for free? It's only one block out of his way, and an extra 5 minutes of his time. Does it have any cost at all? After all, it's trivial compared to his whole day.

The original question was "Do rescue missions have a cost, and how do you figure that out?" I think they do have a cost, and there are people who figure that kind of thing out.
"Free" is the wrong word -- of course it's not free. In fact it's enormously expensive. But you can't buy the capability one rescue at a time. You have to make a big capital expense and sign up to a big annual budget. Those are fixed expenses. One rescue more or less doesn't change your costs.

So another way to look at it would be like a sat phone contract. Suppose you can only buy blocks of 2000 minutes, good for one year -- say that's the only way they're sold. OK, so you bought the block of minutes in order to have the capability to call for help if needed, and so now so long as you don't go over your 2000 minutes, one call more or less doesn't change your budget. So if you need to make a call to help your buddy, who's in trouble, call for a tow, it has not caused you any additional expense, beyond what you were already committed to spend every year.

That's exactly what rescues are like. Enormously expensive, but no variable costs - one rescue more or less doesn't change the annual budget. There is no incremental cost. Even if this does not mean that it is exactly free, if you see what I'm saying. The money will be spent whether or not your particular rescue happens; that's the cost of maintaining the capability.

So if anyone thinks that it's not right for this expense to be made on account of the general tax fund, there are in fact other ways to pay for it. You could simply charge for it -- $50k per rescue would about do it, if the RNLI Lifeboats figures are representative. In that case, sailors with something to lose would take out insurance to cover it. Otherwise, it would be done free -- kind of like hospital emergency rooms. Or you could spread the cost evenly over all sailors and force people to pay it in order to have the right to go to sea. Or you could make it a charity like in the UK and have people contribute to it according to their abilities.

I think there are valid arguments for the cost not to go to the general taxpayer's expense, although I am not too troubled by scruples about that considering all the other nonsense our tax dollars are used for -- just look at the wars. In my opinion, the next best way to do it would be as a charity like the RNLI. This has the benefit of putting the costs on those who use the service, while allowing people to pay what they can afford, and not making contributing anything a condition to receiving the service in case of need.
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Old 09-04-2014, 14:13   #82
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

So pointless.
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Old 09-04-2014, 14:56   #83
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Re: Costs of rescue...

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"Free" is the wrong word -- of course it's not free. In fact it's enormously expensive. But you can't buy the capability one rescue at a time. You have to make a big capital expense and sign up to a big annual budget. Those are fixed expenses. One rescue more or less doesn't change your costs.

So another way to look at it would be like a sat phone contract. Suppose you can only buy blocks of 2000 minutes, good for one year -- say that's the only way they're sold. OK, so you bought the block of minutes in order to have the capability to call for help if needed, and so now so long as you don't go over your 2000 minutes, one call more or less doesn't change your budget. So if you need to make a call to help your buddy, who's in trouble, call for a tow, it has not caused you any additional expense, beyond what you were already committed to spend every year.

That's exactly what rescues are like. Enormously expensive, but no variable costs - one rescue more or less doesn't change the annual budget. There is no incremental cost. Even if this does not mean that it is exactly free, if you see what I'm saying. The money will be spent whether or not your particular rescue happens; that's the cost of maintaining the capability.

So if anyone thinks that it's not right for this expense to be made on account of the general tax fund, there are in fact other ways to pay for it. You could simply charge for it -- $50k per rescue would about do it, if the RNLI Lifeboats figures are representative. In that case, sailors with something to lose would take out insurance to cover it. Otherwise, it would be done free -- kind of like hospital emergency rooms. Or you could spread the cost evenly over all sailors and force people to pay it in order to have the right to go to sea. Or you could make it a charity like in the UK and have people contribute to it according to their abilities.

I think there are valid arguments for the cost not to go to the general taxpayer's expense, although I am not too troubled by scruples about that considering all the other nonsense our tax dollars are used for -- just look at the wars. In my opinion, the next best way to do it would be as a charity like the RNLI. This has the benefit of putting the costs on those who use the service, while allowing people to pay what they can afford, and not making contributing anything a condition to receiving the service in case of need.
Agreed on all counts.

I kind of like the system we have now. All taxpayers share in the expense, everyone gets the benefits. Nobody who actually needs it has has to worry about a rescue call, because they won't be getting a bill.
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Old 09-04-2014, 15:14   #84
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

In Australia this discussion crops up often. IMHO rescues should be tax payer funded and well funded and resourced. The actual costs are irrelevant other than to keeo the beancounters employed to, wel count their beans. Its capability that is the mostnimpotlrtant factor in being ablebto rescue.

Hoaxes and scams should be billed and fined

Any rescue is great training and a great opportunity for testing and proving equipment and procedures.

Each nation also has a reciprocal obligation to help others. Its part of being a good global citizen.


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Old 09-04-2014, 16:17   #85
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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If the US Coast Guard (or any military service) effects a rescue at sea does the rescued party get a bill for those services (like an ambulance ride) or is it supplied gratis?
No, Yes
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Old 09-04-2014, 16:29   #86
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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No, Yes

Bravo.
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Old 09-04-2014, 16:35   #87
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

Maybe they fund their rescue efforts with all the drugs they seize.
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Old 09-04-2014, 16:49   #88
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

I find it amusing that none of this was raised when when Capt Walbridge sailed an ageing. leaky, short handed, poorly maintaned wooden vessel into the path of a hurricane. There was no hue and cry to bill Wallbridge, his estate or the owners of the bounty for that rescue. That rescue was actually done in the teeth of hurricane Sandy, executed at the very edge of the Coast Guard's capabilities and range of operations.

But because it's some family whose child gets sick offshore, and whose parenting choices we disapprove of, they ought to be billed.

Makes perfect sense.
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Old 09-04-2014, 19:09   #89
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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I find it amusing that none of this was raised when when Capt Walbridge sailed an ageing. leaky, short handed, poorly maintaned wooden vessel into the path of a hurricane. There was no hue and cry to bill Wallbridge, his estate or the owners of the bounty for that rescue. That rescue was actually done in the teeth of hurricane Sandy, executed at the very edge of the Coast Guard's capabilities and range of operations.

But because it's some family whose child gets sick offshore, and whose parenting choices we disapprove of, they ought to be billed.

Makes perfect sense.

How ironic.

Most relevant post of the whole thread.
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Old 09-04-2014, 20:32   #90
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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Maybe they fund their rescue efforts with all the drugs they seize.
You're thinking of the CIA.

They fund their operations by running drugs, usually in black, unmarked aircraft.
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