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Interest grows in EMS program

Ben Godar

The number of people participating in the city’s EMS membership

program has increased by nearly 30% in the past year, and officials

say more awareness in the community caused the jump.

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The Burbank Fire Department program, which began in 1998, provides

residents with unlimited ambulance transportation for no

out-of-pocket cost. Membership in the program costs $3 per month, or

$36 per year, and covers all members of a household.

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As of April 1, 3,502 households were enrolled in the program. At

the same time last year, only 2,663 households had memberships.

Robina Sarkisian, an administrator of the program, said participating

in several health fairs, placing signs at the library and putting

information on the Fire Department Web site helped raise awareness of

the program.

Members have the option of being billed annually, or paying $3

each month as part of their electricity bill. Membership in the

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program covers all out-of-pocket costs associated with ambulance

transportation, including deductibles, Sarkisian said. Many insurance

plans do not cover transportation, which fire officials said costs a

minimum of $458. The service members receive is no different than any

other citizen would receive, Sarkisian said.

Fire officials will promote the program at several upcoming

events, including May’s Fire Service Day. Sarkisian said she hopes

continued marketing efforts will raise awareness of and participation

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in the program.

“A lot of people seem to think it’s only for senior citizens,” she

said. “But the only requirement is that you need to be a Burbank

resident.”

Those interested in signing up for the program can call Sarkisian

at 238-3486.


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