VALLEY VILLAGE (CBS) — City Councilman Paul Krekorian Thursday will launch a fundraising effort to cover ambulance fees being charged to the families of two women who were electrocuted when they tried to assist a motorist whose SUV crashed in Valley Village.
Krekorian plans to hold a 3 p.m. news conference at the crash site to publicize the fundraising drive, saying people who are injured or killed while acting as good Samaritans should not face a financial burden for their efforts.
"No one who puts themselves in harm's way should have to struggle to pay the bills that accrue as a result of their altruism," Krekorian said. "This community is tremendously appreciative of the efforts and sacrifices of these Angelenos who came to the assistance of a stranger, and I'm proud to join with them in showing our support with financial assistance."
Stacey Lee Schreiber, 39, of Valley Village, and Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank, were electrocuted Aug. 22 when they rushed to help Arman Samsonian, 19, of Glendale, after his vehicle sheared a fire hydrant and toppled a light pole in the 12000 block of Magnolia Boulevard, creating a pool of electrified water into which they stepped.
Relatives of Schreiber and Zamora were expected to attend Krekorian's news conference.
Typically, people are billed by the city for emergency services, such as ambulance transport and treatment by paramedics. The department had considered waiving the fees for Schreiber and Zamora, but fire officials said the city's municipal code does not allow automatically exempting good Samaritans or the victims of violent crime.
An individual who is indigent or earns little can ask for a waiver, and victims can seek reimbursement from whoever caused an accident or that motorist's insurance carrier.
In August 2010, the "Advanced Life Support Services Fee" was raised from $1,004 to $1,373 per patient and "Basic Life Support Fee" from $712 to $974 per patient. The cost of transport by city ambulance was kept the same: $15.75 per mile.
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