DeKalb asks for increase in ambulance fees

Anyone injured in DeKalb County could start having to pay more for emergency services.

To help supplement next year’s budget, the county is proposing an increase to ambulance fees – including $250 for anyone that has to be extricated from a car crash.

The county currently provides this service for free, DeKalb County Fire Chief David Foster said.

The proposed fees increases are estimated to generate an extra $750,000 a year, Foster told the county’s budget committee on Tuesday.

The fees are needed to help pay for the wear and tear for the “Jaws of Life” and other equipment, Foster said.

Most insurance companies will cover the service, Foster said.

Fulton County charges $225 and Clayton charges $350 for extrication from a vehicle according to DeKalb officials. Cobb and Gwinnett do not charge for the service.

Other proposed fee increases include raising the basic ambulance service call cost from $425 to $500.

The county is also proposing to charge $75 any time a paramedics monitors an EKG. There currently is no fee for that service, Foster said.

The county also wants to raise the mileage rate for ambulances from $6.50 to $7 for each mile a patient travels on an emergency call. Fulton charges $12.50 a mile.

The county commission is scheduled to vote on the fee increases next week.