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is this fair or not? how would you respond if this was coming near you? what should ny'ers do?

Fire Department will charge New York drivers nearly $500 to respond to car crashes to cover costs

BY Adam Lisberg
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

Thursday, December 9th 2010, 7:29 PM
Drivers who get into scrapes may be forced to pay the FDNY to respond going forward.
Slattery for News/Slattery Richard Freelancer NYDN
Drivers who get into scrapes may be forced to pay the FDNY to respond going forward.

As if crashing your car isn't bad enough, the Fire Department now wants to charge you for it.

The FDNY plans to bill drivers $490 to respond to a crash or car fire when someone is hurt, $415 for a car fire without injuries and $365 for a crash without injuries.

It says those fees cover the actual cost of responding to emergencies - everything from driving the fire trucks to paying fringe benefits for firefighters.

"We are in a tight budget situation," said FDNY spokesman Steve Ritea. "We wanted to relieve pressure on the taxpayer and place it on those at fault and their insurance companies."

The policy will raise an estimated $1 million a year for the FDNY's budget - but that won't affect the agency's plan to close 20 fire companies at night to save $15 million.

"If there's an act of God, if a tree falls on your car, the Fire Department has discretion," Ritea said. "The intent here is to go after the insurance of motorists who are at fault."

The FDNY expects most drivers will pass the bills on to their insurance companies, just as insurers already pick up the bill when FDNY ambulances respond to medical calls.

Uninsured drivers will still have to pay the fees, however.

It might not be that simple, though - one trade group says typical car insurance policies wouldn't cover the fee.

"If insurers were to start providing coverage for additional accident response services, including police and fire, the cost of auto insurance would be likely to increase," said Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Instiatute.

The new policy is scheduled to take effect July 1, though it could change after a Jan. 14 public hearing.

The policy explicitly says the FDNY will respond to crashes and fires whether or not any bills have been paid.

The FDNY also wants to charge hospitals whose ambulances respond to 911 calls $8.7 million a year for dispatch services.

"Many of these hospitals are already facing severe fiscal pressures, and this fee will be extremely difficult for them to absorb," said Brian Conway of the Greater New York Hospital Association.

Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday the hospitals need to pay their share of the cost or get out of the ambulance business.

"They like these ambulances to pick up patients because that's the way they fill the beds," the mayor said. "If they don't want to have the patients in their hospitals, they won't get 'em."


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/12/09/2010-12-09_fire_department_will_charge_new_york_drivers_nearly_500_to_respond_to_car_crashe.html#ixzz17hkt2NqP

 
Aasiyah

Asked by Aasiyah at 5:49 AM on Dec. 10, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 16 (3,090 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • They no longer have enough tax dollars to pay for those services


    Here's an idea maybe we should collect more taxes


    LOL..you KNOW they aren't going fot THAT!! lol


     

    sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 10:20 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • I don't really see a problem with it. I mean, in many states if you call for an ambulance you (or your medical insurance company) are charged the cost of their responding and/or transporting someone to the hospital--whether or not the call was justified (such as calls over Braxton-Hicks contractions)--at least in the states I lived in--MA (where I was a paramedic), NJ and PA.

    Besides, I understand that in short order, NY is going to go the way of CA...so EVERYONE is going to have to be "nickle and dimed" to keep such services afloat!
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:11 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • Ambulance bills already work that way. The one thing that's rotten about it (the way ambulance bills already work) is if someone else calls for you, you still get the bill. The insurance companies will be happy, though, especially once that insurance coverage is mandatory so EVERYONE can pay the increased fees in case someone calls.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 7:34 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • tax dollars already pay for these services.

    No, they aren't - that's the problem. They no longer have enough tax dollars to pay for those services. Given a choice between cancel services completely or charge people to use them, which do you think it the better idea? Those are the only 2 options - the well is dry.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 8:56 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • No, they aren't - that's the problem. They no longer have enough tax dollars to pay for those services. Given a choice between cancel services completely or charge people to use them, which do you think it the better idea? Those are the only 2 options - the well is dry.

    Agree with NP. The well is running dry. We are collapsing under the weight of entitlement programs.
    Carpy

    Answer by Carpy at 9:27 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • Move
    NY is the new California
    itsmesteph11

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 8:22 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • Here's an idea maybe we should collect more taxes.


    Yeah, because that guarantees the money would go to fire service. There's no way anyone would write new bills to spend the money 8 times over between it passing and collection starting the following session months down the road.


    slapping forehead

    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:39 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • I know volunteer firefighters don't get paid. But don't reg. firefighters already get paid?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:03 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • I agree with lorikeet.
    Christine0813

    Answer by Christine0813 at 8:02 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • tax dollars already pay for these services... and insurance is already sky high in NY... it will surely go up. i think it's more than nickle and diming.

    Aasiyah

    Comment by Aasiyah (original poster) at 8:46 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

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