To mitigate the problem of people calling 9-1-1 for minor injuries or health problems, Hollywood residents who call for an ambulance will now have to pay for the service, even if they don’t go to the hospital. Historically there has been no fee for responding to an emergency unless you are transported to an area hospital.

Facing a tight budget in FY 2017, the City hopes to collect about $400,000 with the new fee. When an individual calls 911 and needs basic care but does not need to go the hospital, residents will be charged $160 and non-residents will be charged $200.

Minor injuries or health problem emergency calls lead to less ambulances being available for more serious emergencies and longer wait times.

The Hollywood Commission passed a resolution this week to revise the fees for Emergency Ambulance Transportation, introducing fees for non-transport treatment services by the Hollywood Fire Rescue and Beach Safety Department. This means if an ambulance responds to distress, the patient pays whether they go to the hospital or not.

According to the city, patients calling to dispute a bill or request a hardship, can contact Chartswap at 888.317.2914 or via email
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David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.


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