In response to your recent article requesting federal government funds — taxpayers’ dollars — for insurance coverage for volunteer search and rescue team members, I’m all for it when it comes to legitimate incidents.
However, no public funds (or publicly funded services such as RCMP and Parks Canada staff) should be used for any costs associated with search and rescue/recovery during any high risk sporting activities such as snowmobiling up and down mountainsides, or hiking and skiing beyond boundaries of patrolled paths and ski slopes. The idiots engaged in these high risk sports are just begging for disaster and avalanches to happen. More able-bodied lives were lost in our mountains last winter than were Canadian military lives lost in Afghanistan during the same period.
These thrill-seeking participants in high-risk sporting activities have a number of options for help:
• Like auto owners, they should have insurance to cover all costs for search, rescue, recovery, resulting medical needs, and compensation for injured search and rescue team members, or be prepared to cover all of these costs themselves.
• Family and friends of participants could be standing by to dig them out of avalanches at their own expense and risk.
• These adrenalin junkies could take quads and dirt bikes over to Afghanistan and break trail for our troops.
• Failing all of the above, all is not lost. Their rotting carcasses will make excellent fertilizer for trees in the area which are making a much more meaningful contribution to the preservation of life on Earth.
Nancy Moody, Red Deer