I'll just call SAR

Good read...... most people have no clue what is involved in a SAR incident. He doesnt include the time spent after the call..... Paperwork, restock and resupply, etc.

AND its all mostly free to the victim.

He did leave out one thing, and ill cap it ....... KNOW YOUR LIMITAIONS and KNOW WHEN TO BACK OFF before your in the situatuon over your head. Yes, acidents do happen but they are usually because of the previous.
And the follow-up SAR meeting where you rehash what went wrong and how to do it better next time and try to subdue the PTSD demons you got from all the bad stuff you saw.
A few other things to add:
  • Unless you are in a life threatening situation, SAR may not get dispatched until the following day if they cannot safely complete the rescue prior to darkness falling or they have other higher priority incidents to manage.
  • Helicopter fees can run tens of thousands if a private service is used versus military or park service. You won't have a choice of which service is used, although you can buy insurance (e.g. Sierra Lifeflight). My mom recently had a stroke while doing volunteer trail maintenance in WA, and ended up paying $30K after insurance.
  • Chargebacks for public services are not common, but some counties, like Grand in UT, do charge.
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I broke my leg around 9:00 a.m. The advance SAR team arrived around 11:00 a.m. The extraction SAR team arrived around noon-1:00 p.m. I was airlifted about 4:30 p.m. I arrived at the ER about 6:30 p.m. If I had broken my leg a few hours later, I would have been overnight camping with the SAR team
Unless I'm bleeding to death, I will not call SAR.
When I had my accident in the Subway and ended up with a ruptured Quadriceps tendon and torn Patella tendon, I did not call it in. It was already 3 pm in the afternoon, and I would have stayed the night out there.
And SAR probably had more work to do to respond to some tourists in the Main Canyon having accidents.

It took me 4 hours for the roughly 2 miles to hobble, crawl and hop out on my own. I probably did some extra damage to my knee, but at least I saved SAR a trip to come out.
Yeah, it was tough to get out myself and I guess I used all the swear words in our vocabulary. But I felt that a few ruptured tendons were not severe enough to call SAR.
I enjoy playing the "how bad would it need to be before we call SAR?" game with my hiking partners. Fortunately it has never gone beyond the hypothetical.

Interesting write up - consistent with what I've heard from friends that work/volunteer SAR.
Helpful to learn more about everything that's involved in a rescue. Just sent it to my young adult sons...
Another thing.... As with car accidents that have a helicopter called in.... Unless they fly you out you don't get charged for the helicopter...
For what it's worth, I was told this by the rangers. Most agencies will charge you $$$$$ for a helicopter rescue but the national park service uses discretion based on the incident. If they believe (or know) you were being stupid, they will (and should) charge you. I was airlifted by NPS chopper from Grand Canyon and was not charged. Doctors, surgeries, and rehab costs are another story ...