First Responder Fee Frequently Asked Questions

What is a First Responder Fee?

A First Responder Fee is charged to insurance companies of patients who are treated or evaluated by Suisun City Firefighters for medical service.

Why have I received a First Responder Fee Notice?

You received this bill because the Suisun City Fire Department responded to a 9-1-1 call from you or someone representing you and a medical assessment was performed.

Do I need to pay the bill?

No, the bill has also been sent directly to your insurance company.  The copy you have received in the mail is for information only.

Do I need to pay a portion of the Notice if my insurance does not cover the entire balance?

No, the City will utilize a compassionate billing concept and accept any payment by an insurance company as the full payment for the First Responder Fee obligation.

What if I do not have insurance?

There is no out of-of-pocket expense for patients receiving services from the Fire Department, even if the patient is uninsured.

What are the fees based on?

The $310.92 fee per call is based on a cost recovery for providing an Advanced Life Support (ALS) engine company to all calls for service and associated fees for equipment and supplies. This amount was calculated based on a comprehensive fee study conducted by AP Triton, LLC.

Don’t my taxes cover this service?

The principle rationale for a First Responder Fee is that local government fire department services have expanded well beyond the traditional fire suppression generally supported by property taxes.  The change in balance from fire suppression to medical services has shifted the rationale for financing fire department operations from primarily property-related taxes to a combination of property taxes and user fees.  As our department has transitioned to provide trained staff for both fire suppression and medical services, there were no additional taxes or increases in our budget to absorb the costs to provide these services.  Regardless of the number of incidents we respond to, we must maintain our apparatus, equipment, skills/training, and certifications for both fighting fires and providing emergency medical services.

final patch with rocker (002).png