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How Much Does It Cost Taxpayers When Base Jumpers Get Injured?

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By Andrew Reed

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Within the last two months, more base jumpers were injured jumping from the Perrine Bridge.

Every time an incident happens - the twin falls county search and rescue and city emergency crews need to respond.
Every time someone is injured from jumping off the bridge, that's money coming out of your pocket, from property tax.

The Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office works with a budget of over $3 million.

Summertime attracts thousands of people from across the world to twin falls.

One of those attractions is base jumping off the Perrine Bridge.

But, just this year, there have been 3 base jumping accidents, two on the same day.

The number of accidents is on the rise compared to previous years.

"From the state perspective, I think recreational activities are very important for our economy. But, an accident that occurs in the back country that involved emergency vehicles and services, those are some concerns” Representative Stephen Hartgen.

Local citizens are reaching out to state representatives.

They want to know who is paying for search and rescue costs.

"If someone has an accident that's a city and county expense, depending on where it occurs” said Hartgen.

"Surprisingly with the last three years we've had seven calls for service due to injured base jumpers. This happens when we have deputies, so as far as taxing our resources it doesn't,” said Sheriff Tom Carter, Twin Falls County.

Deputies are already on the clock, so there are no additional charges to taxpayers.

Search and rescue also responds when there's an incident, however, they are volunteers.

"It really doesn't matter what time of day an injury occurs at the bridge, we have people on duty who are trained to handle it."

With the number of injuries increasing this year, the pressure is on.

The question remains, should there be further regulations in the future?

Jumpers are not billed by Twin Falls County, just this year the Sheriff's Office committed 12-hours to base jumping injuries.

The Idaho Transportation Department says, it cost $84,000 a year to maintain the bridge.



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