Originally Posted By oldranger
I'll take more responsibility, not ALL responsibility. But when out with relative newbies, I need to be a little more perceptive, a little more insightful as to how people are functioning. Are they getting in over their heads? Should we shorten the excursion.

You are taking people you know, I think. I am operating (with the help of other volunteers) a hiking group and frequently hike with strangers. I have no liability and assume no responsibility, though I can and have helped people out to the point of carrying their gear.

All SAR newbies sign a waiver, until such time they are sworn in and become members. Our trainings are in controlled environments and there is always an articulated and specific safety plan. We work as a team and help each other out, but in the end we are not liable for one another - which is I think a slightly different issue than responsibility.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki