Fire/Rescue offers no free rides

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A Craig Fire/Rescue unit responded to the scene of a car accident near Baggs, Wyo., Tuesday but was called off only miles from the state line after dispatchers reported that the victims already had been transported.

The wreck near Baggs was a one-vehicle accident, which involved two people with minor injuries.

According to Fire Chief Roy Mason, the car went off the east side of Colorado Highway 13. It went down an embankment and was resting against a fence.

The Baggs Ambulance transported two victims who suffered minor injuries.

Although the fire department traveled almost 40 miles in vain to participate in the ambulance assist, Mason said the Craig Rural Fire Protection District will be compensated.

Such calls to outlying areas are not subsidized by fire district taxpayers.

"(Non-resident victims will) get a bill from us because we responded," Mason said. "We bill it out by the hour."

Because the fire department's rescue truck responded to the emergency, the party involved in the car wreck will be billed $150 an hour for the rescue truck that responded, and $20 an hour for each of the four firefighters.

Taxpayers in the fire district are not billed for rescues, extrications, fires or other calls to which Craig Fire/Rescue responds.

Mason said he does not know why it took so long for the fire department to be notified that the victims had been taken to the Baggs Clinic.

Because the call was inside Moffat County, by perhaps an eighth of a mile, and because The Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene, the fire department followed.

"Pretty much where the Craig ambulance goes, the fire department will follow them," Mason said.

"Ambulance assist" calls require only one rescue truck and about 4 firefighters.

Extrications or other rescues initiate a "full response" by the fire department, Mason said.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com

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