Ambulance User Fees Get The OK In Montgomery County | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Ambulance User Fees Get The OK In Montgomery County

Play associated audio
Montgomery County Council has approved ambulance user fees, despite an emotional outcry from volunteer firefighters.
Matt Bush
Montgomery County Council has approved ambulance user fees, despite an emotional outcry from volunteer firefighters.

By Matt Bush

After years of rejecting ambulance user fees, council members in Montgomery County, Maryland have now approved them.

By the narrowest of votes, 5-4, council members okayed the fees that will be charged to patients who need an ambulance to get to a hospital. Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenburg previously fought the fees, but the county's budget troubles forced her to switch.

"This is not an easy choice, but in my opinion, it's a necessary one," she says.

Volunteer firefighters vigorously fought the fees, believing the change will mean residents will think twice before dialing 911 for an ambulance.

"We're very disappointed, because we believe we're defending the people," says Marcine Goodloe, president of the county's volunteer fire and rescue association. "And the majority of letters that have come into the council are people opposed to this fee."

County Executive Isiah Leggett, who pushed for the fees, says insurance companies will largely pay for them. All other jurisdictions in the D.C. region charge the fees.

The county council this morning also okayed a scaled back increase to the county's energy tax, and approved the creation of a carbon emissions tax.

NPR

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Some in the entertainment industry are wondering if they'll have to be careful now about the stories they tell or the jokes they make in the wake of Sony's withdrawal of The Interview.
NPR

Antarctic Holiday: A Christmas Feast In The Loneliest Spot On Earth

For Dr. Gavin Francis, Christmas Eve marked the start of a year-long stay in an icy research base 8,700 miles from home. In this "empire of ice and isolation," he says, food is essential to morale.
NPR

North Korea Has An Interesting Offer. And Another Threat

The secretive regime denies any involvement with the Sony Pictures hack and says the U.S. must allow it to help find the real culprit. Or else.
NPR

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Some in the entertainment industry are wondering if they'll have to be careful now about the stories they tell or the jokes they make in the wake of Sony's withdrawal of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.