Got an emergency that needs immediate police or medical assistance? Here’s hoping you’ve got your checkbook handy.
City leaders for Castle Hills, TX have unanimously passed a new ordinance that says individuals and businesses only get one free phone call for EMT help once a year. Named the “First Responder’s Fee,” the ordinance will impose a $55 fee when someone calls 911 and emergency medical technicians respond to a residence more than once in the same year.
Facing a budget crisis, city leaders say the fee will recover the response costs and stop overuse of the city’s 911 system.
One council member raised a concern that the ordinance would prevent those on a limited income from calling for help when they needed it, but the ordinance still passed unanimously. City leaders were also quick to point out that the one free call doesn’t include calls for police assistance or if there’s an active fire.