Press Release – LandSar
Wellington’s search and rescue volunteers are rejecting editorial calls by the Nelson Mail for people at the centre of search and rescue operations to be charged for the cost of rescues.
“Every minute a person delays calling for help makes the search task that much harder,” said Ross Browne, Chairman of Wellington Land Search and Rescue (“LandSAR”).
“Delays make the potential search area larger, more complex and more resource-intensive to resolve. We’d rather be called early for a straightforward task than spend a week searching because someone was worried about cost and waited too long to call for help.”
“LandSAR Wellington has 60 operation members. Collectively we volunteer close to 5,000 hours each year preparing for and conducting search and rescue operations. Most of the cost associated with search and rescue is donated time by volunteers like ours.
“Our members donate their time to help people from all walks of life – dementia sufferers, children, runners, and families walking in our regional parks. It’s not just the outdoor community we’re out searching for anymore.
“We’re adamant that victims shouldn’t be billed. As a SAR organisation, our job is to save lives, not just the lives of those who can afford to pay the bill.“