SOUTHERN UTAH (ABC4 News)- Washington County’s famous red rocks are attracting more visitors and residents and unfortunately, more calls into search and rescue.
“It’s been extremely busy this year. We’ve had some years that have pushed over 100 but this year has actually exceeded that,” Sgt. Darrell Cashin with Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
“We’re currently, including the one this morning, at 130 rescues for the year.”
That’s a record, the most they’ve ever had in a year. For the volunteer search and rescue squad, there’s a human price.
“It starts being a little bit of a toll on their families and on their jobs because they’re having to leave their jobs; Most of their employers are wonderful about letting them go to do rescue to help somebody,” Cashin said.
Sgt. Cashin said most rescues run around $1,000 and that price tag can easily climb, but that doesn’t mean those rescued or county taxpayers get a bill.
“We can ask for the cost of that rescue to be reimbursed through the state of Utah. And that is actually funded through your ATV/UTV licensing boat licensing,” he said.
Even though the number of rescues are up and there’s a cost every time rescue squad gets called out, Sgt. Cashin says he sees no need to fundamentally change the way Washington County Search and Rescue operates.