DALLAS — The Dallas City Council, meeting via digital means, approved resolutions increasing fees for city fire response and ambulance services.
Practicing recommended social distancing measures, the council “met” on Monday night using an app that let councilors participate from home. The council considered a resolution that would increase the EMS non-transport fee and create a structure fire response fee.
Non-transport fee applies when an ambulance responds to an incident but does not take a patient to the hospital. The current fee is $150 and the increase would bring it to $200. According to a memo provided to the council, the fee has been unchanged for more than 10 years.
“In addition, we currently have daytime staffing for our engine response and they will often handle the public assist to keep our ambulance in service,” wrote Emily Gagner, the assistant city manager. “We have no billing mechanism through the city resolution that allows the fire department to bill for a service delivery fee.”
The resolution would contain wording that allows for the fee to apply to ambulances, or “other emergency service vehicles,” to cover times when a fire vehicle responds when no transport or medical service is required.
The same resolution creates a new fee, a structure fire response fee of $500. The money would cover disposable equipment such as salvage tarps, spent fire extinguishers or materials to cover up holes in the structure.
According to the staff report, some of the time, insurance companies offer coverage for a structure fire response fee.
The fees were approved in a unanimous vote.
In other business, the council:
Adopted the city’s housing needs analysis, a document that assesses and offers recommendations on meeting housing needs in the city for the next 20 years. It passed on a 7-2 vote.