MoCo Ambulance Fee Finds Surprising Support
The rock solid opposition from Montgomery County's volunteer firefighters to a proposed ambulance fee appears to have some cracks.
Glen Echo Fire Department's volunteers are urging council members to support the fee, which County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) says is necessary to ensure that emergency services meet demands from the growing population.
Jeffrey Hearle, the chief administrative officer, said in a letter today that without the fee, he worries the county would not have the money to maintain existing ambulance service and that it would take more time to respond to emergencies.
"We are here to serve our constituents - not other departments or interest groups," he wrote. "Our residents deserve guaranteed staffing and an ambulance from our station. We are confident that citizens clearly see the merits of our argument."
The position is at odds with the leaders of the main volunteer organization, who disagree with the idea of charging for a service that its members provide for free.
Council members shelved the proposal earlier this month when confronted with opposition from residents. But Leggett is pressing to revive the fee, which he says is designed to charge insurance companies - not residents.
November 6, 2008; 2:46 PM ET
Categories: Ann Marimow , Montgomery County
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