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YOU INTENTIONALLY PUT YOURSELF IN HARM'S WAY (should someone risk their life to save you?)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mountaineers, base jumpers, skiers all require helicoptor or scary rapell rescues.

Recently, the sister of a basejumper who was injured and trapped on a cliff shelf was critical of Norway's rescue service for giving up on her brother. He died on the mountain, on a cliff face of about 4K. .

trom: define intentionally, as beyond taking a tough run, when it's clearly sketch, or allowing inexperience to force the issue when conditions were unfavorable, and so forth.
Edited by davluri - 11/18/09 at 6:20pm
post #2 of 27
Define intentionall put yourself in harms way. To some people thats going down to the inner city after dark. To some people thats going out into the wilderness by your self. To other people its hucking a cliff on your skis or riding your mtb in the desert. I don't know much about base jumping, so I don't know whats dangerous and what isn't.

I think its up to the rescuer to decide what he is comfortable doing. The reality is that ski patrol, SAR, etc... all signed up to do that job because they want to be out there helping people. Thats their choice. If its too dangerous and they decide to not rescue somebody, I am ok with that. If they decide to try and get kiled themselves, thats their choice too. Stuff happens.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

I think its up to the rescuer to decide what he is comfortable doing....if they decide to try and get kiled themselves, thats their choice too. Stuff happens.

I guess that's where I draw the line.  If you're engaging in activity that may result in others being endangered because your poor judgment you should think twice before doing it.

Kudos to those who risk themselves to save others.  It's a hard to make the call  that it's too dangerous to attempt a rescue, but if it is, that's the right call.  Nobody should cast aspersions on rescue personel for being smart.
post #4 of 27

My personal view is that if I got myself intentionaly in a situation where I was critical and anyone that might try to come get me would have to put themselves in as much or more danger than I'm in already, should leave me right there.  If they were to decide to come anyway, that's their choice.  But, I wouldn't want to be rescued in that situation and have a rescuer killed in the process.  I'm worth plenty to my family, but I'm not worth any more than that rescue guy/gal.  Probably less.

post #5 of 27
I intentionally put myself in harm's way every time I leave the driveway. Even though my tax dollars fund the rescue services that would be sent to rescue me should I happen to get into an accident, I don't expect to get rescued if I'm in trouble. Should I happen to get rescued anywhere by anyone, I will appreciate it.

Not everyone believes in Darwin's theory of evolution. Some believe that since rescue services exist that they have an obligation to do their job. It's not likely that the availability of insurance or private rescue operations will change this belief. Rescue personnel are likely (on a statistical basis) to make mistakes and lose their own lives. They often have to factor in the likelihood of successfully rescuing the victim when they make decisions about rescue attempts. They are likely to make mistakes during this process too. Whether this base jumper victim's death was inevitable, a result of a mistake or a conscious decision is irrelevant. It is understandable that someone may be critical of the lack of success of the rescue service. This kind of attitude should be expected from a certain percentage of the public, especially those who were close to the victim. It is unreasonable to expect that everyone will understand that rescue services are never 100% successful and that we should show respect to those who put themselves in harms way even after situations where they've chosen not to.

It is also unreasonable to expect rescue personnel to factor a victim's personal motivation into their decisions over whether or not to attempt a rescue. This is too big a burden to place on people because the time sensitive nature of their work would make it inevitable that they would eventually "let" someone who took excessive risk die only to find out later that circumstances were different. I could not bear the grief this would cause and I would not ask anyone else to put themselves into this position. We try to save the lives of people who attempt suicide. There are some who observe that base jumpers, mountaineers, skiers, et. al. are just more subtle about their attempts to kill themselves. Introducing that argument into the rescue process just makes a difficult job harder to do.
post #6 of 27
If someone want's to rescue me, I guess I can live with that.  If not, so what; I never asked anybody to rescue me.  I'll look after myself and take my lumps.
post #7 of 27
No one should risk injury to save anyone. If someone is in a burning building and there is no way to get to them do you blame the fire fighters for not rescuing them? Rescuers do what they can to help without putting themselves in danger. That is all that matters and the only thing to consider when rescuing someone. The events leading up to the person needing rescued play no part in whether or not to rescue someone.
post #8 of 27
As a former firefighter/paramedic I can say we would go ANYWHERE/ANYTIME we were needed. Suicide missions-No, but risk our lives to save someone...of course. Are cops supposed to walk away from shootouts?. Soldiers run from the battlefield? Risking life to save another is a privilege.

We had contacts to experts trained in areas where we were insufficient. Remember baby Jessica? That was my department and my station, one week after I resigned. They called spelunkers and Oil drilling crews, and several others for assistance.

Turning away from a rescue is such a foreign concept its almost ridiculous.

What happened in Norway would not happen here...different culture.
Edited by Snowfan - 11/18/09 at 4:30pm
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

As a former firefighter/paramedic I can say we would go ANYWHERE/ANYTIME we were needed. Suicide missions-No, but risk our lives to save someone...of course. Are cops supposed to walk away from shootouts?. Soldiers run from the battlefield? Risking life to save another is a privilege.

We had contacts to experts trained in areas where we were insufficient. Remember baby Jessica? That was my department and my station, one week after I resigned. They called spelunkers and Oil drilling crews, and several others for assistance.

Turning away from a rescue is such a foreign concept its almost ridiculous.

What happened in Norway would not happen here...different culture.

 

Well, my hats off to you snowfan. And all like you.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by catdaddyxx View Post

My personal view is that if I got myself intentionaly in a situation where I was critical and anyone that might try to come get me would have to put themselves in as much or more danger than I'm in already, should leave me right there.  If they were to decide to come anyway, that's their choice.  But, I wouldn't want to be rescued in that situation and have a rescuer killed in the process.  I'm worth plenty to my family, but I'm not worth any more than that rescue guy/gal.  Probably less.


I agree, if I mess up its their call if they want to rescue me; I won't expect them to put themselves in harms way because of my mistake.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

As a former firefighter/paramedic I can say we would go ANYWHERE/ANYTIME we were needed. Suicide missions-No, but risk our lives to save someone...of course. Are cops supposed to walk away from shootouts?. Soldiers run from the battlefield? Risking life to save another is a privilege.

We had contacts to experts trained in areas where we were insufficient. Remember baby Jessica? That was my department and my station, one week after I resigned. They called spelunkers and Oil drilling crews, and several others for assistance.

Turning away from a rescue is such a foreign concept its almost ridiculous.

What happened in Norway would not happen here...different culture.
 

I see you edited your post a bit.

I used to date an EMT.  She worked on a DMAT team and helped evac people from the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.

When their team got there, the previous DMAT team had just evaced themselves because they felt the situation was too dangerous.  (There were apparently armed looters in the area.  Good times.)

So in practice, there are limits to what rescue personnel (or police, or military officers) are going to do in a given situation.
post #12 of 27
I love the last sentence on this sign.
Mott sign with my 10 year old

I would love for some lawyers to chime in on this thread.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

As a former firefighter/paramedic I can say we would go ANYWHERE/ANYTIME we were needed. Suicide missions-No, but risk our lives to save someone...of course. Are cops supposed to walk away from shootouts?. Soldiers run from the battlefield? Risking life to save another is a privilege.

We had contacts to experts trained in areas where we were insufficient. Remember baby Jessica? That was my department and my station, one week after I resigned. They called spelunkers and Oil drilling crews, and several others for assistance.

Turning away from a rescue is such a foreign concept its almost ridiculous.

What happened in Norway would not happen here...different culture.
 

I want to buy you a beer for that.  
post #14 of 27
Do Work, thanks, If I ever meet you, I'll remind you.

Matthias99...Valid point. Professionals from many agencies crapped out on that one. Not dissing your girlfriend at the time at all...just alot of the decisions made in that entire catastrophe. Many of those situations encountered by rescue personnel were made worse by the inaction of politicians...and it boiled over.
post #15 of 27
No......but if they did, I'd be damn appreciative and thankful.

I did a short stint in the local SAR and did a lot of the training courses. Around here it ranges from basic orienteering, rock climbing, river and avalanche rescue. There are drunk dumb asses jumping off of bridges into raging rivers along with all kinds of other high risk activities with elite athletes down to novices over their heads. High altitude issues and lost hikers in vast wilderness and very rugged terrain. The talent, skill (and huge egos) in the SAR is impressive and the training was top notch. There isn't a situation that would be avoided, but an ultra high attitude of rescuer safety was paramount and if it got down to the rescuer versus the victim, the high authority would strongly pull back the rescuers while considering their take on the given situation.

The most inspiring and sobering 'mission' was riding the train popper cars up and along the Upper Animas in high spring run off after dark for a body recovery. You would not believe the unbelievable skill and relative risk a kayaker took in a major rapid, to untangle the body and pull her to the shore where she could be transported by stretcher back to the train car. The ride out at 1 in the AM with spot lights on the raging Animas, a body on the gear car and all the team members totally quiet and bummed out was an unforgettable experience.

Be smart out there and don't just think you are alone in your risk taking. Someone still has to retrieve you whether or not you survive. They also have families, friends and loved ones.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this is all volunteers (which is typical for SAR organizations) who not only pay monetary dues but buy their own gear, many are 'always on call' and have to put in long weekends for training. All aside from their jobs and other responsibilities. This is one reason why we offer 20% to SAR members.

......and just because someone gets paid to perform rescues does not mean you can justify putting them into harms way, especially if it's for a personal thrill.
Edited by Alpinord - 11/18/09 at 5:50pm
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

No......but if they did, I'd be damn appreciative and thankful.

I did a short stint in the local SAR and did a lot of the training courses. Around here it ranges from basic orienteering, rock climbing, river and avalanche rescue. There are drunk dumb asses jumping off of bridges into raging rivers along with all kinds of other high risk activities with elite athletes down to novices over their heads. High altitude issues and lost hikers in vast wilderness and very rugged terrain. The talent, skill (and huge egos) in the SAR is impressive and the training was top notch. There isn't a situation that would be avoided, but an ultra high attitude of rescuer safety was paramount and if it got down to the rescuer versus the victim, the high authority would strongly pull back the rescuers while considering their take on the given situation.

The most inspiring and sobering 'mission' was riding the train popper cars up and along the Upper Animas in high spring run off after dark for a body recovery. You would not believe the unbelievable skill and relative risk a kayaker took in a major rapid, to untangle the body and pull her to the shore where she could be transported by stretcher back to the train car. The ride out at 1 in the AM with spot lights on the raging Animas, a body on the gear car and all the team members totally quiet and bummed out was an unforgettable experience.

Be smart out there and don't just think you are alone in your risk taking. Someone still has to retrieve you whether or not you survive. They also have families, friends and loved ones.
 


post #17 of 27
Logic and rationality go out the window when it isn't you, but a loved one that is in need of a dangerous rescue.  Ask the same question again but with it being your spouse,  son, or daughter instead of yourself.  I'd expect a professional stranger to take the same risks I would to save my kid.  Is that really fair to ask though?
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

Matthias99...Valid point. Professionals from many agencies crapped out on that one. Not dissing your girlfriend at the time at all...just alot of the decisions made in that entire catastrophe. Many of those situations encountered by rescue personnel were made worse by the inaction of politicians...and it boiled over.

Yeah... she said that the National Guardsmen who had been in Iraq seemed pretty much agreed that NOLA during that week was worse. than Baghdad.  She got there two or three days after the storm hit, so anyone who was there earlier was really in the thick of it.

Nobody doubts the bravery and dedication of emergency workers.  But for the most part, the expectation is that they're not going to take huge risks with their own personal safety.  Sometimes they do it anyway, but it's not exactly fair to second-guess the decision not to, especially if time pressure was involved or they didn't have all the information at the time.
post #19 of 27
I hate to say this. But if the rescuers got killed rescueing the loonies (who "volunteerily put themselves in danger"), the society lose.

Brave? Absolutely. If it's my sorry arse that needs rescue? Gratefully. Wise? ... well, not so sure.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

No......but if they did, I'd be damn appreciative and thankful.

I did a short stint in the local SAR and did a lot of the training courses. Around here it ranges from basic orienteering, rock climbing, river and avalanche rescue. There are drunk dumb asses jumping off of bridges into raging rivers along with all kinds of other high risk activities with elite athletes down to novices over their heads. High altitude issues and lost hikers in vast wilderness and very rugged terrain. The talent, skill (and huge egos) in the SAR is impressive and the training was top notch. There isn't a situation that would be avoided, but an ultra high attitude of rescuer safety was paramount and if it got down to the rescuer versus the victim, the high authority would strongly pull back the rescuers while considering their take on the given situation.

The most inspiring and sobering 'mission' was riding the train popper cars up and along the Upper Animas in high spring run off after dark for a body recovery. You would not believe the unbelievable skill and relative risk a kayaker took in a major rapid, to untangle the body and pull her to the shore where she could be transported by stretcher back to the train car. The ride out at 1 in the AM with spot lights on the raging Animas, a body on the gear car and all the team members totally quiet and bummed out was an unforgettable experience.

Be smart out there and don't just think you are alone in your risk taking. Someone still has to retrieve you whether or not you survive. They also have families, friends and loved ones.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this is all volunteers (which is typical for SAR organizations) who not only pay monetary dues but buy their own gear, many are 'always on call' and have to put in long weekends for training. All aside from their jobs and other responsibilities. This is one reason why we offer 20% to SAR members.

......and just because someone gets paid to perform rescues does not mean you can justify putting them into harms way, especially if it's for a personal thrill.
 

Reading between the lines, the way you describe things, it seems there is a symbiotic relationship between the thrill seekers who constantly push the limits of personal safety and the SAR team who volunteer and pay their own way to earn the privilege of rescuing them from the most dangerous of situations.
post #21 of 27
Responders do what they can.  Some are  beyond hope and you don't give up six to save one.

In many cases, the local economy is what is driven by the thrill (gapers & takers alike), so I suppose that there is some delicate balance not to mention that rural economies often run on limited financial and human resources with limited training and equipment.

Heck .... just "run the numbers" on keeping an adequate rescue chopper in the barn, serviced and "in annual" ... much less keeping the crew paid, sharp and well trained.  Now .... you tell the boss that Hank an' Sally gotta' go spend a week on a simulator to ............ not to mention the limits of an effective chopper rescue; you know, where the air is soooooooooo thin that ....
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes, the situation I referred to was sketchy at best. too far to rapel, no known climbing routes, not much time, and too windy to get a chopper anywhere close to that wall. And all on film because someone was filming the jumps. This may be the first time that a person landed in that kind of spot. Climbers probably have a name for being stranded that way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post

........... not to mention the limits of an effective chopper rescue; you know, where the air is soooooooooo thin that ....
 

Edited by davluri - 11/18/09 at 10:40pm
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
 

And this addresses the technical (mission and procedure) and ethical position of rescue personnel. 

In this case there was never an issue of wanting to help the victim. It just wasn't doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

.......
It is also unreasonable to expect rescue personnel to factor a victim's personal motivation into their decisions over whether or not to attempt a rescue. .......
 
post #24 of 27
I was once registering to climb in the Tetons, and the ranger was a very tired dude.  He had spent the last two days trying to rescue some people who headed out into an early season storm under-prepared.  He showed me their permit.  He had written...."no gaiters, leather boots,  cotton clothes" across the permit, and issued it.  He had no right to deny it.  He could have refused the rescue attempt, but went anyway., and scraped their frozen bodies off the rock.  He wished he could have denied the permit, but would have never refused the rescue attempt..

Myself, I was once in a rather threatening position as a ski patrol with an avalanche coming our way .  I started to run, then turned back to pick up a kid I had been treating and carried him through the beating and rolling that followed.    We made it, and I can live with what I did, but it is still a rough memory for me.  I didn't think about it, just did it.  I can't call it stupidity or heroism, it was just what I did.  Anyway, I think a person should try for the rescue when it is reasonable, but I find it hard to question others judgment in a given situation.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Reading between the lines, the way you describe things, it seems there is a symbiotic relationship between the thrill seekers who constantly push the limits of personal safety and the SAR team who volunteer and pay their own way to earn the privilege of rescuing them from the most dangerous of situations.
True to some extent......and possibly keeps the bar rising......but a bit over simplified. It's a mixed bag depending on individual motivations. Something to do, adventure and adrenaline seekers, some are power trippers, others purely a sense of duty and wishing to help and you name it. There are toy, gear and gadget aspects (radios, choppers, horses, boats,snowmobiles, gear, riggings (ie, kootenay highline), etc), but with a focus on staying prepared. The vast majority of the callouts are for lost people where searches needed fit and semi-fit bodues and coordination and not typically dramatic:

Quote:
A good impression of the extent of the unit’s activities can be gained from statistics gathered for the years from 1984 to 1989.  The 135 missions in these years varied annually from 15 to 31 and involved 1,469 rescuers who varied annually from 147 to 323.  These efforts consumed 13,553 man-hours that varied from 1,506 to 3,835.  Air support was required 56 times, varying from 6 to 18 incidents annually. Altogether 212 persons were searched for, and of these 48 were injured and 22 did not survive their accident or injury.

Searchers have been organized in call-out teams that include specialized trained teams for rigging; mountain- and motorbiking; snowmobilers; canine, water, avalanche and snow rescues, and communications.  

Another way of understanding the kind of searches and the months in which they occurred is presented by statistics gathered for 1996 and 1997.  In these two years most searches took place in October (19) during the hunting season and in July (15) when mainly mountain bikers, hikers, and missing juveniles were involved.  Other missions searched for cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, motorbikers, kayakers, rafters, and people suffering from altitude sickness.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

And this addresses the technical (mission and procedure) and ethical position of rescue personnel. 

In this case there was never an issue of wanting to help the victim. It just wasn't doable.
 

In some case the individual(s) are simply SOL and that is part of the choice they made to take the risk. No sense in wasting resources or risking others on obvious futility.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
two great stories. a hero in our midst, though he'd deny it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

I was once registering to climb in the Tetons, and the ranger was a very tired dude.  He had spent the last two days trying to rescue some people who headed out into an early season storm under-prepared.  He showed me their permit.  He had written...."no gaiters, leather boots,  cotton clothes" across the permit, and issued it.  He had no right to deny it.  He could have refused the rescue attempt, but went anyway., and scraped their frozen bodies off the rock.  He wished he could have denied the permit, but would have never refused the rescue attempt..

Myself, I was once in a rather threatening position as a ski patrol with an avalanche coming our way .  I started to run, then turned back to pick up a kid I had been treating and carried him through the beating and rolling that followed.    We made it, and I can live with what I did, but it is still a rough memory for me.  I didn't think about it, just did it.  I can't call it stupidity or heroism, it was just what I did.  Anyway, I think a person should try for the rescue when it is reasonable, but I find it hard to question others judgment in a given situation.
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