Ensure Victims Not Affected Adversely

Moundsville City Council is on the verge of granting broad authority to the municipal fire department to bill insurance companies whenever firefighters respond to certain emergencies. First reading of an ordinance to that effect was held at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Precisely what fire department officials have in mind is not clear. City attorney Tom White said the authority being granted by council is “kind of general … It’s going to be very undetailed.” City Manager Sondra Hewitt said the fire department requested council’s action, to help defray the cost of responses to emergencies such as vehicle accidents.

“Individuals will not get billed,” Hewitt emphasized.

Good — but when insurance companies find their costs of doing business are increasing, they tend to pass the buck on down the line to consumers.

If the measure is implemented, council members should keep a close watch on it. At the first indication victims of accidents and/or fires are being affected adversely, officials ought to take another look at how to help the fire department.

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