UKC

/ PGHM rescue now costs money?

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kipman725 - on 11 May 2018

I was rescued near Chamonix earlier this spring and have just got a bill through the post (which is in french so I don't fully understand it) for 294 euros for 'SMUR HELIPORTE'.  I have already paid my hospital bill and have already submitted insurance claims for that.  What is confusing me is that I was under the impresion that if PGHM rescued you it was free?

jon on 11 May 2018
In reply to kipman725:

Ten years ago I needed a ride with the PGHM after getting my left foot crushed in a rockfall. The heli and PGHM crew was free. I was however charged for the presence of the medic. Can't remember whether I contested that or claimed it from insurance - really don't recall - but in the end it didn't cost me anything. SMUR is Service Mobile d'Urgence et Réanimation, so it looks like it's indeed the medic you are being charged for. 

kipman725 - on 11 May 2018
In reply to jon:

Ah thanks very much, the office thought it might be a helipad usage fee but your explanation makes more sense.  Its very inconveniant that this bill has taken so long to get here as I not need to somehow get it included in my insurance claim...

Jim 1003 - on 11 May 2018
In reply to kipman725:

Less inconvenient than rescuing yourself....

3
Paz - on 11 May 2018

About 10 years ago people in the Alps  used to be a bit too wishy washy about calling in helicopters for my UK trad tastes.  I've only ever seen the yellow taxi called, or called it in myself in this country when there's been blood or a broken limb, or just that weird unique horrible smell you get from a compound fracture that I hope I never smell again. 

These guys in the alps were calling for a heli pick up because a storm was about to blow in.

But the pilots were always awesome, and would rather they were called out to get you sooner rather than  later.

Charging people is just going to mean the poor pilots get less notice to respond to rescues, because the rescuees wait that crucial bit more to see if the weather passes.

But you know, at £150 an hour for a lawyer alone, are they really going to persue a 300 euro debt in a foreign court over a civil law matter?

Post edited at 22:12
5
Dogwatch - on 12 May 2018

> But you know, at £150 an hour for a lawyer alone, are they really going to persue a 300 euro debt in a foreign court over a civil law matter?

There are plenty of companies in the debt collection business. It doesn't need a lawyer.

French Erick - on 12 May 2018
In reply to kipman725:

Rescue isn't free in all countries. That's why  you take insurance, like the OP did. It is "inconvenient" but one can always take it on the shin and not bother make a claim.


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