Volunteer search groups in Colorado don’t charge for rescues | SkyHiNews.com

Volunteer search groups in Colorado don’t charge for rescues

To the Editor:

Your article on habitat stamps (6/19) implies that individuals who do not have a habitat stamp could be billed for search and rescue should they require that service.

Grand County Search and Rescue, as well as all of the other volunteer search and rescue groups across the state, NEVER charge for our service. This “no charge for service” concept is supported and endorsed by the Colorado Search and Rescue Board and the Mountain Rescue Association.

Our reasoning is that if the public has a perception that calling for help in a search and rescue (SAR) emergency will end up costing big bucks, they may delay that call. Delaying a call for help may further endanger the victim as well as potentially cause greater risk to our volunteer members.

In addition to habitat stamps, the 25 cent surcharge is added to all hunting and fishing licenses, OHV, snowmobile and boat permits. The money generated goes into the Colorado Search and Rescue Fund, which is administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Search and rescue organizations may apply to the fund for reimbursement of hard costs (not wages) associated with SAR operations. Any monies left in the fund are granted out statewide for SAR-related equipment and training items. Grand County Search and Rescue received $6,700 from the fund this year to purchase new pagers.

Individuals who wish to help support search and rescue funding in Colorado may also purchase a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card ($3 per year or $12 for five years) from select merchants or online from DOLA: https://dola.colorado.gov/corsar_order/order.

Refer to the DOLA site http://www.dola.state.co.us/dlg/fa/sar/index.html for complete information about the Colorado Search and Rescue Fund.

Greg Foley

Grand County SAR

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