Washington Town Drunks May Pay for Ambulance Calls

March 8, 2013

About half the 911 calls for an ambulance for an alcohol or drug overdose in Ellensburg, Wash., result in no one going to a hospital. And Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue doesn’t get paid.

The fire district depends on ambulance fees for 70 percent of its emergency medical services budget.

The Daily Record reports the district is proposing a $250 dollar fee when an ambulance is called to a drug or alcohol situation in which no one is transported.

Deputy Chief Rich Elliott says a good share of the no-transport calls come from Central Washington University and law enforcement. He says the department may work with the university and police to make better decisions about when to call an ambulance.

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