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Local News in Brief : Fees Doubled for Private Ambulances

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Thursday to double the cost of ambulance-license fees for private operators and shift the duty of regulating those companies to the county Department of Health Services.

The action by the Board of Supervisors, which last week adopted higher rates for ambulance patients, replaced the Business License Commission as the body regulating private ambulance companies. The action came after ambulance operators complained that the commission suffered from administrative problems and was often late in providing needed licenses.

Commission members denied the allegations, but the board turned the licensing and monitoring duties for ambulances over to the Health Services Department. At the same time, the board increased the first-year cost of an operator’s license from $495 to $990. The cost of a vehicle license will nearly triple--from $72 to $200--under the amended ordinance.

The added revenue will be used to hire new staff members, officials said. About two-dozen private firms, operating in the county’s unincorporated territory and 61 cities, are affected by the changes.

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