California City to Charge $300 to Call 911

February 21st, 2010

Via: CBS13:

Tracy residents will now have to pay every time they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency.

But there are a couple of options. Residents can pay a $48 voluntary fee for the year which allows them to call 9-1-1 as many times as necessary.

Or, there’s the option of not signing up for the annual fee. Instead, they will be charged $300 if they make a call for help.

“A $300 fee and you don’t even want to be thinking about that when somebody is in need of assistance,” said Tracy resident Greg Bidlack.

Residents will soon receive the form in the mail where they’ll be able to make their selection. No date has been set for when the charges will go into effect.

6 Responses to “California City to Charge $300 to Call 911”

  1. Zenc Says:

    Please pardon the vulgarity, but this is absolute horseshit.

    Its a bad idea on so many levels that I couldn’t even begin to cover them all without risk of a stroke.

    Something to consider is this, what happens when the call is made from a cell phone? Say I’m a non-resident and I’m driving through town. I report an accident on the road and I get a bill for $300 bucks?

    If that’s the case, why wouldn’t I turn a blind eye and keep on driving…?

  2. scrod Says:

    You realize, of course, that this is exactly what free-market Libertarianism prescribes. It’s the inevitable answer to the question: “Why should I let those politicians spend my hard-earned tax money on services to which poor people can help themselves at any time?”

    This particular solution overwhelmingly punishes the homeless, as you need to be a resident to get the $2/month option.

  3. Larry Glick Says:

    If you folks happen to see the city manager of Tracy grabbing his chest and calling for help, keep in mind that it’s going to cost you $300 to be a good citizen and call 911 for him. Lottza Luck!

  4. skeevie Says:

    This is just part of a larger pattern of local governments jacking fees and fines in a (probably) vain attempt to keep their pensions intact.

    Charles Hugh Smith had a good take on this:

  5. D Says:

    More along the same lines…

  6. Zenc Says:

    I agree that this is what Milton Friedman (an evil, evil man) prescribed, but maybe not what all Libertarians would propose.

    Scrods comment did jostle me intp wanting to mention was this, after reading Naomi Klein’s _Shock Doctrine_ I realized that the current financial collapse would likely be used by those with money and influence to privatize our utilities and infrastructure, turning them into “For Profit” concerns.

    While the attraction of taking over a monopoly utility or public service has obvious appeal, the motivations for doing so become even clearer when you factor in what the “Certified Annual Financial Reports” reveal about the cashflows involved with these entities.

    The sums of money involved are unbelievable and have been kept off of the annual budgets where they’re available for easy scrutiny by the taxpayers.

    A quick websearch for CAFR or “Certified Annual Financial Report” will be very enlightening for those wishing to understand the forces of privatization.

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