Los Angeles is still planning to bill the families of two Good Samaritans, who were electrocuted after racing to the scene of a car accident, for ambulance fees.
Irma Zamora and Stacey Schrieber died on August 22 after they rushed to the scene of a car wreck to help the victims. Four others were also injured after about 4,800 volts of power made contact with water spewing from a broken fire hydrant at the car accident scene, reports Yahoo! News.
While city officials were considering waiving the fees, which could be about $1,000 per person, but now it appears that the families, as well as the four other injured victims will also reportedly be billed for emergency services.
City Councilman Paul Krekorian will hold a press conference on Thursday to announce a plan that will help raise funds for the victims’ families. Krekorian stated:
“No one who puts themselves in harm’s way should have to struggle to pay the bills that accrue as a result of their altruism.”
The Los Angeles Daily News notes that the city’s municipal code will not allow billing exemptions to be made for Good Samatirans, or the victims of violent crime, according to fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey. In his explanation, Humphrey stated:
“We can’t decide who’s innocent, who gets a bill and who doesn’t. We have no control over this. We are mandated by the city council and the mayor to bill citizens for the services rendered by paramedics and that’s what we do.”
While the city has began charging people for paramedic services since the 1970s, people with lower income are allowed to appeal the bill and ask for the fees to be waived. They can also attempt to be reimbursed by the driver’s insurance carrier. For those who do not pay, the city-hired collection agency will receive the account.
Arman Samsonian, 19, is under investigation for excessive speed in connection with the fatal incident, where two Good Samaritans were electrocuted, although he has not been charged.