Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian announced Thursday that enough donations have been secured to cover the emergency service fees for two women who were fatally electrocuted last week when they rushed to help victims of a car accident. The donations — totaling about $10,000 — are also enough to pay for the fees of five other people injured in the crash.
A fundraising effort was launched by the Valley Interfaith Council after the City of Los Angeles determined it could not waive EMS charges for the women who died, Stacey Schreiber, 39, of Valley Village and Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank. The city had considered waiving the fees, but fire officials said L.A.’s municipal code does not allow exempting Good Samaritans or victims of violent crime.
Typically, people are billed by the city for emergency services — paramedic services or being transported by an ambulance.
An ambulance call can cost a patient anywhere from $974 to a little more than $1,300 — and that doesn’t include an additional transport fee of $15.75 cents per mile. Those fees have been steadily increasing for six years and, in 2010, the L.A. City Council agreed to increase ambulance fees by 36 percent. At the time, the Fire Department, which is responsible for handling medical calls, said the increase was needed to recoup expenses.
Schreiber and Zamora were electrocuted on Aug. 22 when they rushed to help a man who lost control of his SUV, which slammed into a fire hydrant and a light pole. The crash in Valley Village created a pool of electrified water, which the two women stepped in. The driver of the SUV survived the accident with minor injuries. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
This story has been updated.