Sara Moore was surprised to see a $283 medical bill from the Sacramento City Fire Department after a minor bicycle accident earlier this year.
The department began assessing the fee whenever fire personnel were sent out on medical calls, whether the victims request care or not.
In Moore’s case, her pulse and blood pressure were checked. She was never told she was going to be billed.
Later, when she questioned the bill, she was told there was no waiver and that she had to pay in full in 10 days.
It turns out she was misinformed by the fire department, whose staff may still be confused about the payment policy.
The fire department has a sliding scale based on income. The city council’s resolution approving of the first responder fee expressly states that no medical services would be denied for "the inability or unwillingness" to pay.