Scared Mom Dials 911, Two Days Later Finds an Ugly Surprise in the Mail
Calling for emergency assistance could end up being costly, as one traveler learned this month.
Tina Davies of Hamilton, Ontario, drove to London, Ontario, in November to visit family members.
She, her boyfriend and her two children were waiting at a stop sign in London when another driver hit their car.
The car Davies’ family was in was at a complete stop, according to Canada’s CTV News.
“He lost control and fishtailed and hit our vehicle and spun us around,” Davies said.
Her vehicle could not be driven. Due to the crash, she was concerned about her daughters, and so she called 911.
“We just wanted the EMS there for the girls to check their vital signs and because it was an accident they sent firetrucks,” Davies said.
There were not problems — at least until Davies returned home to find that the city of London wanted her to pay $551.89 for having an emergency there.
The logic was that because Davies is not a resident of London, she should pay the cost of the taxpayer-funded response.
Davies did not buy that.
“I think this is absolutely ridiculous. 911 is the number you call for an emergency. It’s not my fault I had an accident outside of my own city,” she said.
“Just because they sent out firetrucks to the accident and we don’t live there we have to help pay the bill?”
A spokesman for the city of London said the rules are the rules.
“The City of London charges fees when the London Fire Department responds to a call or incident on any roadway within the city that involves a vehicle owned by a resident from outside of London,” the spokesman said.
“This fee is included in the City of London’s Fees and Charges By-law, and it is intended to recover costs when services are provided to a non-London resident,” the spokesman said, claiming that the practice was common across Ontario Province.
Davies said just because this is done does not make it right.
“What do I need to do now when I leave the city of Hamilton? Do I have to put a sticker on my car that says, ‘I don’t live in your city please don’t hit me?'” she said.
The London spokesman said the city was not unreasonable about the fee.
“If a resident from outside of London feels the fee was improperly charged, we look at the details of each individual incident when considering if the fee can be waived. Individuals can contact the London Fire Department to discuss their circumstances with us,” the spokesman said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.