The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) with 80 teams from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom -- most of which are comprised of expert volunteer members -- work through or for a local government search and rescue authority. In an effort to give back to the community, defray public agencies' costs and keep taxes down, the MRA teams have been performing the bulk of all search and rescue operations for the past 45 years and those were done without charge to the victim.
The MRA firmly believes that training and education are the keystones in the solution to this issue. We believe that the individual must accept responsibility for his or her actions and that training in proper outdoors skills and for self-rescue might be the quickest and most effective method of resolving most rescue situations.
However, no one should ever be made to feel they must delay in notifying the proper authorities of a search or rescue incident out of fear of possible charges. We ask all outdoors groups and organizations to join us in sending this mountain safety education message.
We recognize that the National Park Service and other governmental agencies have a need to address defraying their costs and we would welcome any opportunity to be involved in discussion of solutions or alternatives to the charge for rescue issue. The expert volunteer teams of MRA are proud to be able to Provide search and rescue at NO cost and have NO plans to charge in the future.
The Mountain Rescue Association is "a volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives through rescue and mountain safety education."