The 2019-20 Tacoma city budget — approved Tuesday by the City Council — includes two new fines.
The first is a $150 penalty for a false fire alarm at a residence and $250 at a commercial building.
The second imposes up to $850 when a skilled nursing facility or assisted living center calls the Fire Department or its contractors to lift a fallen resident when no other medical service is needed.
The “lift assistance” fine won’t be levied for calls involving people who have fallen in private residences, parks, at the Tacoma Mall or other public spaces.
The Fire Department notes that each year it responds to 350 to 360 nonemergency calls for falls.
“We don’t want be in the business of lifting patients in nonemergency situations,” Fire Chief James Duggan said at a City Council study session Oct. 23. “We want to make sure that it isn’t less expensive to simply continue to call the Fire Department instead of purchasing the required equipment and having the required staffing.”