S.F. County will get bill for skier search | TahoeDailyTribune.com

S.F. County will get bill for skier search

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun

San Francisco taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the extensive search-and-rescue operation that eventually located two San Francisco skiers Monday morning.

The duo, Patrick Frost and Christopher Gerwig, spent two nights in the backcountry west of Alpine Meadows Ski Resort after skiing off of the backside of the resort in a snowstorm Saturday.

State legislation mandates that the county where the lost individuals live must pay for the search, which in this particular case involved up to 40 people and a helicopter.

“The county where they live is responsible,” said Placer County Lt. Rich Tornberg.

Tornberg said it will take weeks to tally up all the costs, which include lodging, food and transportation for the crew members. Once everything is compiled, Placer County officials will send a bill to their counterparts in San Francisco.

“It can be a lot, it can be a little, I have no idea,” Tornberg said. “We had stuff going on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”

The Placer County Search and Rescue team took the lead on the search but was assisted by crews from Mono County, Nevada County and El Dorado County. Costs incurred by other counties will be picked up by Placer County, Tornberg said. That cost then also will be passed on to San Francisco County.

But other volunteer groups, such as the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, are out of luck, Tornberg said.

“A lot of those, it’s all volunteer hours,” Tornberg said. “And there’s no reimbursement for that.”

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