1. #1
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    Default CA town to start charging for 911 calls

    This makes no sense at all. What exactly do the city politicos hope to accomplish by this? I think this will backfire on them the first time someone who has not signed up either does not call 911 because they can't afford $300 just for a phone call or the last thing they will be thinking about is money and then get a shock when they get the bill in the mail which they won't be able to pay.
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    TRACY, Calif. (CBS13) ―Tracy residents will now have to pay every time they call 911 for a medical emergency

    But there are a couple of options. Residents can pay a $48 voluntary fee for the year which allows them to call 9-1-1 as many times as necessary.

    Or, there's the option of not signing up for the annual fee. Instead, they will be charged $300 if they make a call for help.

    "A $300 fee and you don't even want to be thinking about that when somebody is in need of assistance," said Tracy resident Greg Bidlack.
    Last edited by cheffie; 02-22-2010 at 05:04 PM.

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    Why is it that I don't see this one lasting very long? I could only hope the residents affected stick up for themselves.
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    City Hall will be cleaned out in the next election.

    This is typical of government. They seem to think that they can just add or increase taxes or fees whenever they don't have enough money.

    Try cutting the fat out and make the operation leaner will go over better with the voters.
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    Every phone bill I've had for the past 15+ years has had a '911 access fee' listed on it. This $$ is supposed to go to the 911 service, is my understanding. Is this CA town with a phone company that doesn't charge this fee? And, if they are paying this fee already, how can the city/township get away with charging them for any 911 calls?

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    You are correct Firecat.....it is unlawful for a municipality to charge for 911 access. The fee is already charged by state taxes through your phone bills.

    Lots of municipalities are getting creative in the way they generate money because times are tough and no one wants to be known for raising taxes. The alternative is creating fees or surcharges just like the credit card companies.

    This will soon go away.
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    Seems the original story is in error

    Tracy in the hot seat over new emergency medical service fee

    TRACY City officials are conducting their own emergency response after false reports that Tracy will be charging for all 911 calls.

    "I'm really perturbed about it," said City Manager Leon Churchill Jr., who has been answering calls from the media and others from around the country.

    Two city council members were contacted by CNN for TV appearances to explain themselves. And the calls, dozens of them that picked up even more after a New York Times Op-Ed piece about the fee just keep on coming.

    "It's just being mischaracterized so badly." said Churchill.

    No one will be charged just for dialing 911. Tracy Mayor Brent Ives faulted poor media reporting that led to the confusion and unnecessary national media attention.

    "People want to think it's a 911 fee and it's not," Ives said.

    What the Tracy City Council passed last year and plans to start in June is not a 911 fee, said Churchill. No one will be charged for calling the emergency number.

    There will be a charge, however, for those who call for and get medical attention from a fire department paramedic who often arrive on scene before an ambulance.

    The fee begins in June and is $300 for residents. Most private insurance will pick up the tab, but Medi-Cal and Medicaid will not, Campbell said. There is no fee if the patient dies.

    Residents may subscribe to the service at $48 or $36 a year, depending on income, that covers all
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    home medical responses. Businesses can subscribe for $48, covering up to 10 workers. Each extra worker is $3 a year, maxing out at $100.

    Churchill said the program is expected to bring in about $500,000 per year.
    So a knowledgeable person would refuse the fire department paramedic and wait for the ambulance; assuming they are able to wait.

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    So, for $48 I can call them as often as I want? Whether they are actually needed or not?

    Where do I sign up?

    I got a blister. Show Up! I paid my $48!
    I have a cold and need to blow my nose. Show Up! I paid my $48!

    BAD BAD BAD idea.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    So they want to charge for a Firefighter/Paramedic's sevices. Aren't these already covered by taxes as well?

    I'll tell ya, these freaking politicians would tax oxygen if they could figure out a way to do it.

    Either bill the insurance company for the skills/treatments or absorb it as they have been doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    So, for $48 I can call them as often as I want? Whether they are actually needed or not?

    Where do I sign up?

    I got a blister. Show Up! I paid my $48!
    I have a cold and need to blow my nose. Show Up! I paid my $48!

    BAD BAD BAD idea.
    Good point. Because they can refuse the ambulance when it arrives and not have to pay a dime.

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