Murrieta residents, want to call 911? You may have to pull out your checkbook

Fire engine file photo

Amanda Riser/Flickr

A Murrieta Fire Dept paramedic truck.

Before long, the city of Murrieta could ask people to start paying for emergency medical service. The city is proposing to either start charging a $350 fee every time a crew responds to a 911 call, or ask people to start paying $48 a year to cover emergency medical services.

The fee could generate about half a million dollars a year for Murrieta. The fire department wants that money to beef up staff and training. Right now, most of its revenue comes from property taxes, and they’ve plummeted in recent years.

Fire department officials say about two-thirds of the calls they respond to are medical-related.

Murrieta is also calling on Riverside County to reconsider its decision to use a private contractor for ambulance service. The city says the company has a much slower response time than its own fire department paramedics.

County supervisors will debate the ambulance contract next week.

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