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Va. EMS agency rescue revenue is growing

Orange County didn't charge for EMS ambulance rides until 2006

Orange County Review

ORANGE COUNTY, Va. — When the ambulance sirens are still blaring and the lights are still whirling, the cost of the ride is usually pretty far down on the list of immediate concerns in an emergency. But sometimes it's still there.

For the vast majority of Orange County citizens, though, that concern can be forgotten, as taxes and insurance companies foot the bill for those frantic emergency rides. As ambulance calls total in the thousands annually, one of the county's most important services is closer to paying for itself.

Jamie Clark, director of fire and EMS for the county, said that, on average, roughly 3,200 ambulance runs are conducted in a year, 2,800 by county staff and then 400-500 by volunteers. Clark said those runs are relatively evenly distributed by the end of the year between the four surrounding hospitals: Martha Jefferson and the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Culpeper Regional Hospital and Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg.

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