Man helps family in crash, gets billed $140 by fire dept.

The first responders fee was newly implemented to prevent fire station brownouts

ELK GROVE, Calif. — A good Samaritan stepped in to help a family in danger, but ended up getting charged with a medical bill in the process. 

Derrick Deanda arrived on the scene of the crash and acted quickly, breaking the vehicle glass to free the family members, reported CBS Local

“I pulled up right as it happened,” Deanda said. “There was a guy standing inside the van, because it was on its side, holding a 2-year-old infant.” 

By the time paramedics arrived, everyone was okay. Weeks later, however, Deanda received a bill in the mail for a $143 first responders fee. 

Deputy Chief Mike McLaughlin said his district billed Deanda because a paramedic checked him out at the scene of the crash; he had a small cut. 

“We’re obligated to provide the same level of service, the same billing, the same everything, for every patient we encounter,” Laughlin said. 

The district began implementing the fee two years ago to prevent fire station brownouts. 

“This truly is a unique situation. In my 28 years, this is the first time I’ve run into a situation similar to this,” Laughlin said. 

Deanda plans to appeal the bill and resolve the matter before it goes to collections.

“I mean why would I want to stop to help somebody if I’m going to get a bill for $150?” Deanda said.

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