Rockville, Md. (WUSA) -- Volunteer firefighters hoping to derail a law to charge an ambulance fee in Montgomery County appear on track to produce more signatures than they will need to force the issue onto the ballot in November.
Volunteers have already collected 33,000 signatures, according to Eric N. Bernard, the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Fire-Rescue Association. Bernard predicts his group will have collected as many as 54,000 signatures before the drive is finished. It takes only 31,000 signatures to force the issue to a vote.
The Montgomery County Council has already passed a law that would charge county residents' health insurers for ambulance service. The fees range from $300 to $800, plus mileage, per trip.
The law is crafted so that the county can only collect from insurers. No county resident will be billed if they are uninsured, or if the insurers refuse to pay any or all of a claim by the county.