El Paso

State Park officials emphasize safety on trails as temperatures warm

Hiking safety and tips

EL PASO, Texas - In just the past month there have been four different search and rescue operations in El Paso.

As temperatures increase, so to does the risk of being injured or stranded while hiking.

"Plan before you go. Make sure that you know where you're going to go, and how much time you allocated for your hike," Franklin Mt. State Park Superintendent Cesar Mendez said. "Always carry a flashlight just in case your hike takes longer than you expected and it gets dark on you, make sure that you let others about your plans"

The El Paso Fire Department recommends a person take at least two quartz of water whenever they go hiking. Whenever possible, it's best to go hiking with a partner. 

"If you stay on the trails and you take all the steps necessary to have a safe hike, you should enjoy the park and not get in trouble," Mendez said. "Usually the problems happen when people step off the trail and they adventure to areas that are dangerous, unaccessible, and they get stranded."

Being safety conscious could not only save your life, it could also save you money. A city ordinance determines the cost of search and rescue operations. It's $82.50 per half hour for every unit involved in the search. So, if it takes a crew of four units, two hours to bring you to safety -- you're looking at a bill of over $1,300.

 "If you are new into hiking, make sure that you hike with somebody that knows about hiking before. We offer guided hikes throughout the year, usually two weekends out of each month," Mendez said.

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