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Md. firefighters drop opposition to ambulance fee

Tuesday - 8/14/2012, 1:43pm  ET

ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association is ending its effort to put a controversial ambulance fee to a public vote.

The firefighters announced Monday that they have struck a deal with county that would give them 15 percent of the revenue generated by the fee. They had opposed the fee, which would range from $300 to $800, because they feared it would deter some residents from calling 911.

Eric N. Bernard, executive director of the volunteer association, says he will monitor ambulance calls to make sure they don't drop off.

County officials say that in nearly all cases, the bills will go directly to insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid, and no county residents will be charged.

The ambulance fee is slated to go into effect Jan. 1.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)