In Racine, prices for emergency transport are on the rise, leaving some to fear that residents will be afraid to request medical help, reports The Journal Times

The cost of calling an ambulance in Racine is on the rise. Some of the city’s Fire Department’s ambulance fees are set to increase as much 50% as part of Racine’s 2020 budget, which was approved in early November.

A single paramedic response and transport can cost more than $1,000, and that’s before insurance gets involved, reports The Journal Times.

“I have a concern about some of these going up $450,” 1st District Alderman Jeff Coe said during a City Council budget hearing on Nov. 4. “Isn’t that going to make people hesitant to call an ambulance because of these types of fees?”

Racine Fire Chief Steve Hansen said he does not think that should be a concern, and that the prices are right where they are supposed to be to cover costs.

According to The Journal Times, from August 2014 through 2019, basic life support calls (including transports to a hospital by an ambulance for a broken bone or laceration), cost $550 for city residents if the Racine Fire Department responded. In 2020, that cost is expected to rise to $825, a 50% jump. (For non-residents, the cost will grow from $675 to $1,012.50.)

Hansen said that he doesn’t think the high costs will scare people off from getting medical treatment, although he has shown concern about this in the past.

“Even though the fees have increased over the years, we still get those calls,” Hansen said at the hearing.

“Those fees just seem awfully high,” Coe replied.