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Re: Dead Men Walking: Search and Rescue in US National Parks

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Dead Men Walking: Search and Rescue in US National Parks
February 18, 2014 05:57PM
http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1580/08-WEME-OR-299R.1

Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 20(3):244-249. 2009
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1580/08-WEME-OR-299R.1

Dead Men Walking: Search and Rescue in US National Parks


Travis W. Heggie, PhDa,b and Michael E. Amundson, BSa

aFrom the Recreation & Tourism Studies Program (Dr Heggie and Mr Amundson), University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
bFrom the Great Plains Injury Prevention Research Initiative (Dr Heggie), University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
Abstract
Objective.—To identify search and rescue (SAR) trends in US National Park Service (NPS) units.

Methods.—A retrospective review of the US National Park Service Annual Search and Rescue Reports from 1992 to 2007 and the SAR statistics for all NPS units in 2005.

Results.—From 1992 to 2007 there were 78 488 individuals involved in 65 439 SAR incidents. These incidents ended with 2659 fatalities, 24 288 ill or injured individuals, and 13 212 saves. On average there were 11.2 SAR incidents each day at an average cost of $895 per operation. Total SAR costs from 1992 to 2007 were $58 572 164. In 2005, 50% of the 2430 SAR operations occurred in just 5 NPS units. Grand Canyon National Park (307) and Gateway National Recreation Area (293) reported the most SAR operations. Yosemite National Park accounted for 25% of the total NPS SAR costs ($1.2 million); Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve ($29 310) and Denali National Park and Preserve ($18 345) had the highest average SAR costs. Hiking (48%) and boating (21%) were the most common activities requiring SAR assistance. Hiking (22.8%), suicides (12.1%), swimming (10.1%), and boating (10.1%) activities were the most common activities resulting in fatalities.

Conclusions.—Without the presence of NPS personnel responding to SAR incidents, 1 in 5 (20%) of those requesting SAR assistance would be a fatality. Future research and the development of any prevention efforts should focus on the 5 NPS units where 50% of all SAR incidents are occurring.

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Wow! You'd expect with spending of 58 million, there'd be a big effort to try to reduce the need. Don't know what you could do about suicides, but hiking????
Boating is easy. Lifejackets fix almost all drownings. Swimming? Above waterfalls? Hmmmm.

But hiking? ten essentials, anyone?
avatar Re: Dead Men Walking: Search and Rescue in US National Parks
February 18, 2014 06:25PM
There's no easy, let alone cost-effective, solutions.

The biggest problem is our collective societal attitude towards wilderness and our (especially among under 30 years of age) own misplaced view of our indestructibility. Doesn't help people now live very sheltered lives and many have lost all sense how unforgiving the wilderness can be.

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Re: Dead Men Walking: Search and Rescue in US National Parks
March 04, 2014 12:29PM
Quote
Ken M


Wow! You'd expect with spending of 58 million, there'd be a big effort to try to reduce the need. Don't know what you could do about suicides, but hiking????
Boating is easy. Lifejackets fix almost all drownings. Swimming? Above waterfalls? Hmmmm.

But hiking? ten essentials, anyone?

Boating ain't easy at all. Substance abuse happens - goes with boating and hunting like butter and bread.

Good luck getting anyone to understand the 10 essentials, Ken. I'm lucky if I get people to hike within earshot of each other.
avatar Re: Dead Men Walking: Search and Rescue in US National Parks
March 13, 2014 11:50PM
I keep hearing the words of an old military man: "There's no cure for stupid."



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
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