Saturday, October 22, 2005
Fire Department Wants to Charge for House Calls
An issue that has recently come up for Black Forest is the chance for the local Fire Department to charge for house calls. Currently non-emergency calls make up 5% of the responses that the Fire Department has to make. The Fire Department has been treating these calls for free, most of them consist of diabetes and asthma attacks. It is said that the average cost to respond to these calls is $150 for supplies. The department is suggesting putting a $100 fee to those that need their services. I don’t think that this is a bad idea although I wonder aren’t tax dollars used to purchase those supplies or is it only partial payment? If the Fire Department is experiencing this loss in supplies due to these calls I think that it is the best solution for the problem. Although 5% is not a large percent of the population these calls take away from the resources that could be used on people who are victims in household fires.
The charge of $100 for medical help in your home when otherwise you would have to seek medical help along with the $91 glucagons cost for those with diabetes seems to be well worth it not to mention the added cost to see a doctor! The opportunity cost of having medical service brought to you at a slightly higher cost than the medication seems like not too many people would want to give up that opportunity cost. It seems that the number of people treated by the Fire Department is fairly low and I would take into account the people that have health insurance and other resources to go to first. Black Forest has a wide variation of incomes and it seems with those variances would come different choices for health insurance. If one can avoid paying higher health insurance fees to get free medical treatment from the Fire Department this adds to the costs of the whole when they can be decreased with this new idea.