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Ambulance FAQ

Why does a fire engine respond when I’ve called for an ambulance? 

A fire apparatus is dispatched alongside an ambulance to a medical aid call to ensure medical services are provided in the fastest manner possible.  All Metro Fire engines and trucks are staffed with three or four fire personnel, of which at least one is a Firefighter/Paramedic.  This individual is licensed and trained to provide advanced lifesaving medical aid.

I refused ambulance transport. Why am I receiving a bill? 

The Assessment Fee and First Responder Fee is billed to help defray the cost of maintaining the vehicles and personnel necessary for immediate response to emergency situations. Units are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I pay taxes. Why am I being charged an additional fee and when did this fee begin? 

Property tax revenues are not sufficient to cover the costs of an all risk, modern fire department.  All Metro Fire Units are staffed 24hrs a day with a Paramedic and/or EMT.  The Assessment and First Responder Fees were implemented to maintain rapid, high quality care for the citizens and visitors of our area.  The Assessment and First Responder Fees were implemented in January 2012.

What if I can’t pay my bill? 

If you cannot pay, please contact patient billing services at (800) 906-6552 to determine your options and further information.

Medicare denied my claim. What do I do now? 

The Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) is available to assist you in addressing issues with Medicare. This is a free service available to all persons over the age of 60 and anyone receiving or eligible for Medicare benefits. Counseling is confidential.  The Sacramento County HICAP office can be reached at (800) 434-0222 or (916) 376-8915, or you can visit them online at

I received ambulance services as a result of being assaulted. Why am I being billed? 

If your bill is for services rendered for injuries you sustained as a crime victim, the State of California has a program to help. For further information or to apply for assistance, please call (800) 777-9229 or visit