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Fight to Stop Ambulance Fees May End Up In Court

Fight to Stop Ambulance Fees May End Up In Court

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WTOP.com

August 24, 2010

ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Montgomery County Council approved a proposal in May to charge ambulance fees, but the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association has submitted more than 50,000 signatures to add a referendum on the November ballot.

However, some of the signatures submitted were rejected by the county Board of Elections, and there’s a chance the referendum would not be added to the ballot.

“Now we feel that not only is the ambulance fee improper, we feel it’s a constitutional issue and we’ll more than likely take it to court if we possibly can,” says Marcine Goodloe, President of the association.

The council approved the measure that would charge insurance providers for ambulance service to help fund the county’s fire and EMS operations.

The association says they fear the fee would make people hesitant to call 911 in an emergency, and could increase insurance premiums.

Appearing on WTOP’s Politics Program, Council President Nancy Floreen said they oppose the fees for another reason.

“Fundamentally, I think it’s because they think it’s going to cut into their fundraising.”

Floreen says that in the districts that already have ambulance fees, there have been no signs that people have been wary to call for an ambulance in an emergency.

The Board of Elections is still counting the signatures.

WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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