Montgomery County, Md., plans to add as many as 14 new fire and EMS vehicles by July 1 with funding from a newly collected ambulance transport fee expected to generate $18 million a year.
The county's Fire and Rescue Service unit has been collecting reimbursements from private health insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid for ambulance transports since Jan. 1, 2013.
The emergency response unit began using a part of the fee revenue to replace its aging fleet of fire and EMS vehicles. For the 2013 fiscal year ending June 30, the county spend $1.4 million on two fire engines, as well as tools and equipment for multiple vehicles, said Esther Bowring, a county public information officer.
For the 2014 fiscal year, the unit will add two tractor-drawn aerial fire trucks and up to 12 ambulances. The county will purchase the vehicles by June 30 for about $5.4 million.