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Old 03-06-2014, 04:19   #121
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I don't argue that rescues aren't worth it, but the logic that "because it's budgeted for, it doesn't cost anything" is a kind of circular logic.

Government services DO cost something, and it does matter what the government spends money on. It also matters how much the government spends.

The logic here basically amounts to "if the government spends $436 on a hammer does it matter? After all, your tax bill isn't going up... They were going to buy some hammers anyway, so they'll just buy less of them. If they hadn't overspent on hammers, they would have just overspent on screwdrivers... No matter what, they're going to spend to their budget, so they can ensure the same budget for next year."

Yes, rescues cost something. And yes, it matters how much rescues cost. It's worth it, mind you, but they have a cost.

There are different ways to look at costs, so it turns out to be pretty easy to rationalize that "money would have been wasted anyway" or that "fuel would have been burned anyway", because there is some truth to it. However, there is opportunity cost, and if you spend on one thing, something else gets cut. It's simply not easy to evaluate if that thing that got cut had value, if you don't know what didn't get done, or why it was important.

I notice a disproportionate number of people making the "the money would have just been wasted anyway" argument are prior Navy or Coast Guard budget officers, which is somewhat troubling. If we're wasting so much money, shouldn't we be cutting those budgets? But then that effort becomes problematic, as the things that get cut aren't the wasteful things, but the most visible and needed services, while hidden wasteful spending continues unabated. Sigh.
I think you get it but don't see why there is the circular logic...

It's not the services themselves that are wasteful...it's the way the money is either forced upon or taken away by congress/executive branch.

I don't pretend to know the whole picture or the answer how to fix it....and I don't think I ever used the word "free"...if I did I was in error...but I was trying to point out that rescues generally don't cost "extra".

I look at it like this...if I order a $40 dinner, and ask the waitress if I can get some applesauce instead of a huge pile of French fries...and I do...I get a little applesauce and plenty of fries...and then when done I pay my $40 and leave....

While the cost of the applesauce wasn't necessarily free...I was gonna pay $40 anyway.

The debate whether portion sizes and food costs are too much is for another discussion....

The RESCUE costs aren't really relevant...but maybe the military/USCG budget is or at least what should and shouldn't be line items.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:48   #122
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pirate Re: Costs of Rescue...

I tend to look at it as real life training in real life conditions.. its what folk sign up for so why the noise about costs and risks..
In the UK the main rescue service is a Charity with voluntary crews with just the skipper and engineer paid.. the only time it costs the taxpayer is if a helicopter is called in.. or rarely.. the Navy.
However this in my eye's is good training for wartime rescue operations that may have to be carried out.. in real life conditions not the usual flatish weather exercises..
And re the risk.. look at the statistics for deaths on training exercises where nothing noble is taking place...
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:30   #123
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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I tend to look at it as real life training in real life conditions.. its what folk sign up for so why the noise about costs and risks..
In the UK the main rescue service is a Charity with voluntary crews with just the skipper and engineer paid.. the only time it costs the taxpayer is if a helicopter is called in.. or rarely.. the Navy.
However this in my eye's is good training for wartime rescue operations that may have to be carried out.. in real life conditions not the usual flatish weather exercises..
And re the risk.. look at the statistics for deaths on training exercises where nothing noble is taking place...
...
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:31   #124
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

As a Retired military officer, I can tell you everything is risk assessment / risk management to reduce training losses, losses look bad on your record. There is a lot of talk like train like you'll fight etc., but truthfully it never happens because that would get people hurt and destroy equipment.
Without real life rescues, the rescue services wouldn't ever get to do their job when the weather was bad, or it was too dark, or too windy, or the seas were too high etc., as that would be risky and when the time came to do it for real, they wouldn't know how.
It's one reason why in the beginning phases of a war it usually doesn't go well, because your not trained to really conduct war, your trained to conduct practice exercises.
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Old 03-06-2014, 17:49   #125
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

letsget-
"the logic that "because it's budgeted for, it doesn't cost anything" is a kind of circular logic."
That's missing or misstating the point.

What is budgeted, is the cost of a certain number of hours of training, required for each pilot (and others) on a monthly basis or annual basis. If the pilot wants to retain his rating, he needs xx hours in the air flying that aircraft. Which means the aircraft has to be flown, the fuel has to be burned, and the crew have to be along for the ride in order to ensure that everyone gets their required hours to be "mission ready".

So the justification is not "this is budgeted" but rather "we have to fly a thousand hours, whether they are pretend missions or real SAR missions, we have to budget for them and fly them."

Seen from THAT point of view, which would you rather do? Fly SAR at no charge to the victims? Or fly totally bogus training missions, field exercises with manikins on rafts?

Either way, the missions MUST be flown, or the whole operation is shut down.
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Old 03-06-2014, 18:01   #126
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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What is budgeted, is the cost of a certain number of hours of training, required for each pilot (and others) on a monthly basis or annual basis. If the pilot wants to retain his rating, he needs xx hours in the air flying that aircraft. Which means the aircraft has to be flown, the fuel has to be burned, and the crew have to be along for the ride in order to ensure that everyone gets their required hours to be "mission ready".

So the justification is not "this is budgeted" but rather "we have to fly a thousand hours, whether they are pretend missions or real SAR missions, we have to budget for them and fly them."

Seen from THAT point of view, which would you rather do? Fly SAR at no charge to the victims? Or fly totally bogus training missions, field exercises with manikins on rafts?

Either way, the missions MUST be flown, or the whole operation is shut down.
You're making the assumption that we're only talking about "checking the box" number of flight hours.

Rescues are complicated and specialized. They're budgeted for, but they have a cost. They include personnel other than just pilots, and when people get pulled into a rescue, something else takes a hit.

Complicated rescues cost even more.

I don't begrudge the cost. I just think that if we're going to have a thread about cost, we shouldn't minimize it by saying "Oh, they were just going to waste the money anyway", which is absolutely the point of some posters.

I don't think so. Money is budgeted for a reason. Training missions are important because skill sets are being developed. Same for exercises. Rescues are worthwhile, and they offer training that exercises don't.

But let's not minimize rescue efforts by pretending they don't have a cost. That's all I'm saying.
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Old 03-06-2014, 18:04   #127
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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I look at it like this...if I order a $40 dinner, and ask the waitress if I can get some applesauce instead of a huge pile of French fries...and I do...I get a little applesauce and plenty of fries...and then when done I pay my $40 and leave....

While the cost of the applesauce wasn't necessarily free...I was gonna pay $40 anyway.
Seems like to me it's more like you asked for steak instead of a cheeseburger.

Yes, it's likely to cost more.
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Old 03-06-2014, 18:27   #128
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

I love this topic.

People say the most ridiculous things.
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Old 03-06-2014, 18:42   #129
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Seems like to me it's more like you asked for steak instead of a cheeseburger.

Yes, it's likely to cost more.
Nope..you don't get it...just an axe to grind...see it all the time.
I flew rescues for 20 years and now participate in many as an assistance tower for the last 12 years. What the heck is your experience in the field?

Rescues aren't for the most part highly specialized...what tare you talking about?

Nope.... so far of base not worth posting again.....you'll only continue the obvious and it's not that it's free...it's included in the meal
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Old 04-06-2014, 00:20   #130
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

You can train all you can but until you do it for real it's just theory.

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Old 04-06-2014, 09:00   #131
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

Ya cant fix stupid some will never get it

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Old 04-06-2014, 09:44   #132
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

Of course there is a cost, question is, are human lives worth the cost?
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:01   #133
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

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Of course there is a cost, question is, are human lives worth the cost?
No question there is a cost. Several people on this thread simply refuse to admit it by pretending a life or death situaiton in a storm is the same cost to the rescue crews and their families as a training mission that can be called off if things go squirly.

Your question is the $64,000 question. No one likes to pin a number on a human life but reality is there aren't unlimited resources and when you spend resources in one area you lose them in other areas.

It's generally cheaper to discourage risky behavior than to clean up the mess. This suggests there should be fees or fines if negligence is found. The opposing concern is you don't want someone to not call because they are concerned about the potential cost.

I'm not going to comment on this case but where the person was just plain being stupid and got themselves in a jam, we should go after them for the cost of the rescue.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:18   #134
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

I believe there is actually a cost per human life that has been nailed down. Unless mistaken at least in Europe if your spouse, Mother, Father etc. is killed say in an airplane accident then your only going to get up to X in money.
I don't know what X is, nor do I know if this is true or not.
I do know that in the FAA determining whether an specific maintenance task (Airworthiness Directive for example) is to be performed, the cost of such task is taken into account along with the probability of the occurrence in a mathematical formula, which sort of puts a cost on life.

Let a Senator have an aircraft accident in Alaska say, and millions will be spent on the search, not so for John Q. Public.

Funny how quickly exorbitant amounts of money will be spent for a celebrity, that wouldn't for just some Tom, Dick or Harry.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:30   #135
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Re: Costs of Rescue...

Whether or not there is a monetary cost there is an obligation to render assistance, under both SOLAS regulations and national laws. In Canada it is covered in both the Canada Shipping Act and the Criminal Code.

The Obligation to Render Assistance at Sea

One of the reasons that AMVER was put in place was economic. Rather the requiring every ship that receives a distress to render assistance; it selects the ship that is most viable. Thereby releasing the others from the obligation.

In one of videos that I use a passengers is overhead saying that one of the crew had told him that this was the 7th rescue in three years. (of course, that is hearsay)
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