Swift water rescue totals - Tucson News Now

Swift water rescue totals

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Pima County Administrator has released the latest financial numbers for swift water/river rescues.

The numbers are informational only. There are no conclusions as to whether this year is any better or worse than others.

The financials will be used to budget for next year so hopefully, there are no surprises.

Since 2011, there have been 98 swift water/river rescues by the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

The average cost $8.750.

If a helicopter is used, $12,500.

There were 37 rescues by local fire departments and Northwest Fire at a cost of $5,027 each.

The PCSO is more expensive because there are more resources involved.

How to cut those expenses is not the strategy.

"It's public service and it's public safety," says District 5 Supervisor Richard Elias.

There is no cost cutting because lives are at stake, both the public and the officers.

"We put our folks at risk so you don't want to go short on that," Elias says.

There were seven arrests for violating the Stupid Motorist Law, driving around the barricades.

The reason there aren't more is because the county doesn't have the staff or money to cover all their bases all the time.

"These storms happen quickly, so warning signs are not always out there," Elias says. "It makes it much more difficult to charge people."

The last line of the memo is a warning of sorts to department heads.

"These public rescue costs are largely, if not exclusively, non-reimbursable."

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