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Should You Be Charged for Being Rescued?

Montecito – Should hikers be billed for being rescued, even if they knowingly put themselves in harms way?It’s an issue that has sparked debate on Monday after a weekend rescue of two people who allegedly ate pot brownies while hiking San Ysidro Trail.Share your comments about this story with us on the KEY News Facebook page.The Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team responded with one ground crew and a Sheriff’s Department helicopter. The Montecito Fire Department also sent a crew. It is a policy for both agencies not to charge for rescue services.”We don’t put our values on the situation, we don’t draw the line as far as whether or not we respond, if we’re paged, we’ll respond,” said Nelson Trichler from the Santa Barbara Search and Rescue TeamThe issue is, if you starting charging for rescues… where does that pathway ultimately lead?”It would be great if people will be billed for this, but where do you separate the line where its their fault or its not their fault,” said local hiker, Claude Morady.The two hikers were located about one mile up the trial by the Montecito crew and walked back down to safety. The second hiker was able to sign for his friend and the two left on their own.The question we have about this story is should the taxpayer be on the hook for the cost of this rescue or should the hikers be responsible for at least part of the tab?KEY News Reporter Scott Hurst has the story.

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