How You Can Pay for an Ambulance on Your Water Bill
By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Residents of Oklahoma City can now decide if they want to pay for the cost of an ambulance on their water bills.
One ride can be expensive so the city is giving residents the opportunity to pay a small fee to ensure they are covered should the need arise.
People in Oklahoma City will get flyers in this month's water bill. It's the opportunity for them to pay a monthly fee tacked on to their bill. And if they ever need an ambulance the cost would be covered.
Jane Mitchell walks everyday to keep in shape. Her health is important, especially now. In July she was working in the state Capitol when she suffered a heart attack.
"I knew I had to do something and I got up and I could hardly maneuver getting by the desk and over to the door," Mitchell said.
EMSA paramedics were called and quickly got Mitchell to the hospital.
"I have to say, they were excellent," Mitchell said. "They are very well trained, very quick."
The minimum cost for an ambulance transport is $1,100.
"Those costs require us to be there, to provide that response time, to have the paramedics there," Frank Gresh with EMSA said.
Under the proposed plan the city will add $3.65 to your water bill which equals about $44 a year. If you don't have insurance that fee will cover your ambulance ride in case of an emergency. It will also cover family members living in your home.
"What it does is generate the fee that allows us to pay what we were paying before for EMSA," Laura Johnson with the City of Oklahoma City said. "We're estimating it will be about $4.5 million a year."
People who do not want to take part in the program have until the end of the month to opt out or they will be charged the $3.65 a month starting in October.
"For the cost of a large cup of coffee, to help other people who do not have insurance to do this," Mitchell said. "I think it is a very small price to pay."
Edmond City leaders are also considering joining the program. Their monthly fee would be $3 and they are looking at starting it by December 1.