Dale County Emergency Medical Service Fee

By: Vanessa Araiza
By: Vanessa Araiza

A debate on who will pay a $30 dollar fee for emergency medical services has reached the desk of the Alabama Attorney General.

The question is whether landlords or tenants should pay the extra fee.

Volunteer Firefighters John Uzzell and Jim Ezell have been putting their time and dedication into the Maryville Fire Department since it opened in 1993.

They both say it takes a lot of money to keep the station operating.

Captain Jim Ezell says, "The tobacco tax and the grant combined yearly won't even pay the insurance bill."

That’s why the $30 dollar emergency medical service fee is such a great help.

The fee is already tacked onto homeowners insurance, but what about apartment complexes?

Dale County Revenue Commissioner Tommy Lavender said, "The question is how to handle apartments; if an owner has a duplex apartment the question is does he pay one $30 dollar fire fee or does he pay $60 for a fire fee; whereas two apartments $30 dollars each. That's the question we have asked the attorney general to rule on."

Volunteer firefighters at Maryville say the extra fee helps trucks like Big Erma and others at other fire station continue to run.

Firefighter John Uzzell said, "Upkeep of the truck and equipment, turnout gear and stuff like that.”

Uzzell says that although many residents support the fee, others oppose it.

However, if they took a second to see what the firefighters risk, they just might be more likely to understand.

Uzzell adds that a, "Lot of times, [when] we get back in [and] all set up, we get another call. We have to get right back out again. So, people that come by and talk with us, see what were doing, they wouldn't mind a $30 dollar fee or more."

Dale County Revenue Commissioner Tommy Lavender says that if the attorney general agrees the tenant should pay the $30 dollar fee, they will be reimbursed.

A response from the attorney general is expected sometime next month.


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