Long Beach : Ambulance Fee Hike to $151 Proposed

Citing increased demand for local ambulance service, Long Beach is proposing to raise the basic ambulance charge from $110 to $151 per call.

The additional charge would give the city an extra $750,000 a year to expand the Fire Department’s paramedic service, according to a city report. As a result of the city’s growing population, the number of emergency calls handled by the Emergency Medical Service has risen from 22,000 in 1976 to 29,000 in 1988. But the number of ambulances (seven) has remained the same. The amount of time it takes the city to respond to ambulance calls has correspondingly increased, and on some occasions, no ambulances are available, the report states. The rate increase would bring the city’s charges in line with those of surrounding communities.

The City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal Jan. 17.