EC Commission Discusses Rising Search and Rescue Costs

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Emery County Commissioners heavily debated Tuesday the merits of charging people for requesting search and rescue efforts.

Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said, “It costs the County a lot of money every year to do search and rescue.”

Horrocks also said search and rescue costs were becoming a burden because taxpayer money and donations weren’t enough to fully fund the program.

Horrocks’ thoughts were met with some opposition.

Emery County Sherriff’s Capt. Kyle Ekker said, “Are we ready to go out and charge everybody who goes out and gets lost?”

Amid the debate, Commissioners cited Wayne County’s search and rescue model.

Essentially, Wayne County employees have posted signs throughout the County that warn the public that people who require rescue will be billed for the service. The problem is that Wayne County has no legal recourse regarding collection, so the signs only serve to scare people.

Many people voiced concerns about what and how to charge and what might happen to people who get lost but are scared of incurring charges.

Notes:

  • The Aging Board currently lacks a member, but multiple attempts to secure a volunteer have gone unanswered. The issue was tabled until the next meeting.

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