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Gingery Concerned About SAR Liability

Rescue

Liability is at the heart of one of the provisions of a bill Teton County Representative Keith Gingery is proposing for the 2013 legislative session which seeks to change the way search and rescue organizations are legally viewed.  Gingery says under current regulations, individual members of a rescue group can face lawsuits resulting from and event.  He explains that when the law was originally written, search and rescue personnel were put under the category with sheriff’s deputies for liability purposes.  Gingery says his bill would place SAR members in the same category as volunteer firemen.  As such, the individual members would be exempt from being named personally in civil lawsuits. Another provision of Gingery’s bill would allow those being rescued or searched for to be billed for the effort – particularly if the incident is the result of their irresponsibility.   Gingery says the bill is intended to remove stumbling blocks for individuals who otherwise might be potential members of a team. He says this is one way of making sure that the concern over liability has been addressed so that person who is going out on a rescue does not have to be worried they could potentially be named in a lawsuit.Gingery says so far lawmakers in other counties around the state are responding favorably to the proposed bill.

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