Montgomery County to start charging for ambulance trips

Soon, Montgomery County will join other D.C.-area jurisdictions in charging for ambulance trips – if you’re not a county resident.

A new program will tack on extra fees - as much as $800 per ride - depending on the services you need.

Luckily, most of those fees will be picked up by your insurance company. And the only riders who won't get a bill are Montgomery County residents.

“This will be a newly infused life blood into the fire and rescue service in Montgomery County,” says Assistant Chief Scott Graham, Montgomery County Fire/Rescue.

The program could raise up to $15 million for the county - funds that would go to aging ambulances and volunteer fire departments. And when budgets are tight extra financing is critical.

“Our needs have never left, and through this time of economic trial throughout the region and the state … we've not been able to fund these projects,” Graham says.

But residents who spoke with NewsChannel 8 are split on the issue.

The earliest bills would likely go out is mid-April, but the county has the authority to charge retroactively for trips taken as late as last December.

NewsChannel 8’s Whitney Wild has the story and talks with some county residents.