Repeated calls for non-medical fire department assistance could lead to a bill from the city under an ordinance to be considered by the Scottsbluff City Council tonight.
Under the proposal, residents would be billed $100 for any such fire department responses after the first two in a 12-month period, including false medical calls. The intent of the measure is to cut down on or prevent unnecessary use of fire department resources where no emergency exists.
Scottsbluff Fire Chief Thomas Schingle tells KNEB News he has reviewed about half of the non-emergency calls over the past 12 months, and out of approximately 125 such reviewed calls so far, about 10 have occurred at the same time as an emergency call.
“It does happen to where there is a small percentage of those calls so far that have conflicted to where response has been delayed or hampered,” says Schingle, “not by a lot, maybe a few minutes, but it’s still been hampered nonetheless.”
The assessment would not be billed if treatment or transport to a medical facility is recommended but refused, and it also would not be assessed to other out-of-hospital emergency care providers.