Bryan County Emergency Services could be the next public-safety agency to seek compensation from insurance companies for the cost of responding to vehicle crashes.
An ordinance to establish a “motor-vehicle accident recovery fee” was discussed at the March 10 meeting of the Bryan County Commission. Commissioners seemed receptive to the idea, which would bill the insurance company of the at-fault driver for costs associated with coming to the rescue.
Those costs include wear and tear on equipment, manpower and supplies ranging from IVs and needles to the kitty-litter-like substance used to dry up oil and fuel on roads.
It can get expensive.
“We’ve torn up extrication equipment … had hoses bust, get burned or torn up on cars,” BCES Chief Freddy Howell told commissioners.
Under the ordinance, BCES would charge insurance companies a flat fee, depending on the scope of the response. Those fees range from $500 for car wrecks to $1,000 for hazardous-material spills.
The ordinance could generate about $75,000 annually to help offset the cost of responding to accidents, Taylor said.
Bryan County’s ordinance, if passed, would be similar to that of Richmond Hill. Both use third-party billers, and neither seeks recovery of fees from individuals, officials said.