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|Families of Good Samaritans May Owe City of L.A. Ambulance Fees|
|Written by San Fernando Valley Sun|
|Thursday, 30 August 2012 04:51|
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The families of two women electrocuted while trying to help a driver whose SUV crashed into and sheared off a fire hydrant may still have to pay ambulance transportation fees to the city.
Stacey Lee Schreiber, 39, of Valley Village, and Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank, were killed by 4,800 volts when they rushed to help Arman Samsonian, 19, of Glendale, after his vehicle sheared a fire hydrant and toppled a light pole in the 12000 block of Magnolia Boulevard, creating a pool of electrified water into which they stepped.
Neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to have been factors in the crash, but authorities said Samsonian, now at the center of a reckless driving investigation, might have been racing, although his sister has denied it.
Zamora had been a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her husband, police said, and Schreiber rushed out from a nearby apartment.
A total of seven people transported to the hospital after the Aug. 22 accident.
In the normal course of events, the people who were transported or their families would be sent bills from the city for emergency services, such as hospital transport and treatment by paramedics, according to LAFD officials.
The city's municipal code does not allow automatically exempting good Samaritans or the victims of violent crime.
"The Fire Department does not have the authority to waive the fees," said Capt. Jaime Moore, LAFD spokesman. "As paramedics, we transport patients in need of medical care to the hospital. It is the City of Los Angeles that performs the billing.
"Since we are the service providers, the money collected goes to the city general fund.
That is handled by the City Council; we're just service providers. We don't have the authority to dictate who pays and who doesn't.
In August 2010, the "Advanced Life Support Services Fee" was raised from $1,004 to $1,373 per patient and "Basic Life Support Fee" from $712 to $974 per patient. The cost of transport by city ambulance was kept the same: $15.75 per mile.
The San Fernando Sun/El Sol contributed to this report.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 30 August 2012 06:47|