MoCo's Firefighters Threaten Referendum
Montgomery County's volunteer firefighter organization put elected officials on notice this morning that it will not back away from its opposition to a proposed ambulance fee. If the County Council approves the fee this fall, the volunteers said they would gather petition signatures to put the issue before voters in the next election.
County Executive Isiah Leggett, who proposed the fee, has stressed that health insurance companies - not residents - would be billed for ambulance transportation as they are in many of Montgomery's neighboring jurisdictions.
But the volunteers say they philosophically oppose charging residents for a fundamental government service that they provide for free.
"We know money is tight," Marcine Goodloe, president of the Volunteer Fire Rescue Association, said at a press conference at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.
Council member Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) became the second of nine council members yesterday to announce his opposition to the measure. The council's Public Safety Committee is likely to vote on the measure on Thursday.
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