The Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps is expected next month to begin billing the insurance companies of drivers involved in accidents in town.
The Riverhead Town Board votes Tuesday on a resolution authorizing the ambulance corps with May 1 implementation of user fees for emergency medical and transportation services after accidents.
Some of the charges would include $1,200 for advanced life support services and $900 for basic life support services.
Town officials expect the fee and charge schedule to lower the costs of transportation and emergency medical services in the town’s ambulance district.
According to Riverhead Town Councilman John Dunleavy, statistics reviewed by town officials showed that about 85 percent of motor vehicle accidents in town involve nonresidents. Residents in the ambulance district pay the bills related to such accidents, and Dunleavy said the move is a cost-saving measure designed to ease the burden on taxpayers.
“It’s a good idea and it will save the taxpayers a heck of a lot of money,” Dunleavy said at the board’s Thursday work session.
Councilman Tim Hubbard agreed.
“A majority of the car accidents involve out-of-town residents, causing our ambulance taxes to go up, through no fault of our own residents,” Hubbard said. “This money will go back in and will lower the actual tax rate.”
Dunleavy said the money generated from the new fee schedule cannot be used by Riverhead Town for anything except the ambulance corps.
Town Councilman James Wooten said a portion of the money collected from the user fees will also pay for capital improvements to the ambulance corps.