Burbank Fire Department to Start Charging $100 for Some Emergency Visits

Medical emergency calls that don’t include transporting someone to the hospital will soon accompany a $100 charge by the Burbank Fire Department.

The new paramedic-assessment fee was approved by the city council as part of the 2014-2015 budget and goes into effect this month. It was calculated according to the amount of time and manpower typically spent on response. According to Burbank Fire Chief Tom Lenahan, the typical response lasts 20 minutes and includes a fire captain, engineer, two firefighters, and two paramedics.

“This is just a cost-recovery program for the General Fund,” Lenahan said. He noted that similar fees have been implemented elsewhere, including the nearby cities of Glendale and Pasadena.

The fees are typically covered by insurance and do not apply to situations in which an individual is transported to the hospital. Charges for emergency medical transportation already range from $1,100 to $1,500.

Residents who are enrolled in the department’s Emergency Medical Service Membership program are also exempt from the new paramedic-assessment fee. The program, which costs $48 per year, allows subscribers to avoid out-of-pocket expenses for medical transportation and paramedic services. One must be a permanent Burbank resident in order to sign up for the program. 

Learn more about Burbank’s new paramedic-assessment fee and Emergency Medical Services Membership program here.