OK drunks may pay for Ellensburg ambulance calls

Published On: Mar 06 2013 02:27:41 PM PST
ELLENSBURG, Wash. -

About half the 911 calls for an ambulance for an alcohol or drug overdose in the Ellensburg area result in no one going to a hospital. And Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue doesn't get paid.

The fire district depends on ambulance fees for 70 percent of its emergency medical services budget.

The Daily Record reports the district is proposing a $250 fee when an ambulance is called to a drug or alcohol situation in which no one is transported.

Deputy Chief Rich Elliott says a good share of the no-transport calls come from Central Washington University and law enforcement. He says the department may work with the university and police to make better decisions about when to call an ambulance.