Sep 29, 2011, 11:55 AM
Post #1 of 1
Recent events have brought up some issues around family notification about fatalities.
Thoughts on Fatality Notifications
We would all do well to remember that almost every jumper have family and friends back home who will worry about them, and who deserve our utmost respect and consideration when the worst happens.
We had some issues with family notification after our recent fatality here. The Sheriff's office told me that the family had been "officially notified" before actual notification had taken place. I told another jumper this, and he called the family, thinking he was expressing condolences for something they were already aware of. Apparently, he was then thrown into the difficult situation of having to notify the family without actually knowing it.
One of my friends asked me to post this for him, for general consideration.
In reply to:
With the ready availability of the internet and other social media platforms it is conceivable that accidents including fatalities will be rapidly reported around the basejumping community. A first priority in notification should include the immediate family and partner of the person involved in the accident. Ideally this would be done face to face, or via a phone call from a recognised friend.
Posting on facebook cryptic comments such as a “terrible day in XXX” will only alarm any readers who have a friend or loved one in XXX. Allowing sufficient time for other jumpers to notify family prior to widespread messaging of incidents may help minimise undue alarm. If you are going to post on facebook or similar sites please ensure that the close family and friends of the affected jumper have been notified, and other jumpers have had sufficient time to contact their families to explain that they have not been involved in an incident.
Please read and think about these points. A fatal accident is always highly stressful for those jumpers present, and telling people often helps to vent some of that stress, but we all need to bear in mind that the immediate family of the deceased should take priority in notifications.