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Old 03-25-2011   #1
riojedi's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 191
Clear Creek County wants to ticket raft guides again

Below is the main new amendment to Clear Creek County's river outfitter licensing being presented to the Clear Creek County Commissioners Monday March 28th at 11:00am.

(4) Licensee agrees to require all Trip Leaders to wear a fluorescent green armband and all Guides to wear a fluorescent orange armband to ensure identification for swift water rescue personnel responding to an emergency and minimize confusion at an accident scene. These bands will be provided by the county sheriffs’ office.

The armbands are silly enough on their own, last season it was colored duct tape. But the concerning part is the enforcement.

(5) Any river outfitter who fails to require the wearing of an armband as referred to above will be fined the amount of $25 per occurrence.

Really Clear Creek County, this is how you promote cooperation and river safety?

Of course the best part of the resolution is where they admit being confused. Have any of you ever confused a customer for a raft guide?

In Buena Vista the search and rescue/ swiftwater team asks raft guides to participate. In Clear Creek County they just give out tickets.

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Old 03-25-2011   #2
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
Usually the orangies give away the customers, and the ones trying help the custies after a shit show are the guides. Not hard to figure out. So, when the shit hits the fan I guess those of us with training, but no arm band, should not bother to help? Crazy. I have always been grateful for the help of those not in my group when it was needed.

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Old 03-25-2011   #3
Silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 93
i believe that there is something wrong with a professional swiftwater rescue personnel that cannot identify between a raft guide and a rafting customer in any river situation. i thought that the bright type V pfds with huge pillows on the back might have gave it away but i guess not.
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Old 03-25-2011   #4
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
How about they just require all customers to wear bright red or orange or yellow type V PFDs with pillows, that should take care of it.
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Old 03-25-2011   #5
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
I think the hick County doesn't want to realize they were stupid in the incident last year. Remember the saying "You can't fight city hall". Just laugh at it and accept it is an imperfect world.
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Old 03-26-2011   #6
over the horizon
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Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 267
Glenwood and BV are developing programs to require raft guides to wear distinctive armbands out at the bars. Decent folk could tell in a glance at the front door if they need to go to another establishment. Also it is believed fewer innocent girls would be lured back to the camper for disappointing sex on a pile of moldy river gear. It will have to be followed with a rigorous education campaign.
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Old 03-26-2011   #7
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
So now the guides need to take off their armbands when then swim to the other side of the river to make a rescue so the Swift Water Rescue guys won't know they work for a raft company? Brilliant. Also what hapens when your armband is falling off while guiding a tough rapid? What color of arm bands do the Swift Water guys have to wear?
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Old 03-26-2011   #8
Vail, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 112
I honestly think it would benefit everyone if Clear Creek officials met with SAR officials from places like Buena Vista. It could be a collaboration in hopes the officials from Clear Creek would see the light. Protocol for most organizations across the state are the same i.e fire, ambulance, law enforcement because there are times when two or more agencies from different regions are working together. Because of such a consistent, state-wide protocol these agencies can avoid confusion and petty matters and focus on the task at hand. Just my $0.02
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Old 03-26-2011   #9
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
Maybe you should prepare a slideshow for the meeting with pictures of raft guides and customers and see if anyone can't spot the raft guide? I would also think that proposing some joint river rescue training sessions with the local agencies and swift water rescue certified guides might be a good step. Maybe even a emergency response plan for rafting/kayaking accidents that includes using SWR certified guides could be developed to help move towards an assistance model instead of an acrimonious model of interaction with the local S&R groups.

I've seen the local S&R folks on Brown's several times in their own raft. Maybe offering training to the Clear Creek S&R folks on raft guiding would be of help, partially for their personal skill sets, but also so they can appreciate the skill level of senior raft guides that have SWR training.

Another thought would be to have a firefighter/SWR Technician chime in with an expert opinion - selection of the right person would be important, but all of my Rescue 3 classes in SWR have been taught by firefighters that hold the opinion that properly trained raft guides frequently have superior skill sets in whitewater rescue scenarios. Having an outside expert speaking to the value of SRT raft guides in the rescue model will probably hold real weight.
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Old 03-27-2011   #10
SimpleMan's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 394
You all are responding to this like it's the Nazis forcing Jews to wear orange patches. If it keeps guides from getting arrested while doing thier jobs what's the big problem? So you lose it in a rapid. You keep a cpr mask and gloves in your pfd right? Why not an extra arm band? All the posts about the authorities being dumb fu&^s are redundant, we all know they are. Let's help them be less confused.

Seperate point: My buddies in Maine all get cool patches for their pfds when they get checked out as guides. Forest service could provide those and I would look even cooler while guiding.

By the way BL, sex on moldy river gear can be very hot. Though my new CO Raft Guide patch will certainly chafe.

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