Patients suffer ‘Sticker Shock’ after getting EMS bill

Patients suffer ‘Sticker Shock’ after getting EMS bill


Getting to the hospital can really hit your wallet.

The City Council sets the prices for EMS ambulance services every year and they can cost you.

With the money collected going toward training, equipment, personnel, and even vehicles themselves.

Woody Woodward with the San Antonio Fire Department says some people, like Harrell Johnston, a family member of one of our colleagues, don’t realize you get charged when you call 9-1-1 and it can come as quite a surprise.

“My wife opened it and I look over and her jaw drops and looks and says $1,000 for a ride that was it, it’s a shock.” Johnston said.

The San Antonio Fire Department posts on their website, the cost of an ambulance ride is $950 plus $12 per mile.

To help keep you from unnecessary bills, the SAFD provided tips on when to call 9-1-1:


• Does the victim’s condition seem to be life threatening?

• Could moving the victim on your own cause further injury?

• Does the victim need skills or equipment of a paramedic or an emergency medical technician?

• Could the victim’s condition worsen and become life threatening on your way to the Emergency Room?

• When someone faints or collapses.

• When someone has persistent chest pains or difficulty breathing.

• The victim shows symptoms of a stroke

• When in doubt

WHEN NOT TO CALL: Do NOT call Emergency Medical Services

• For transportation to a doctor’s appointment

• To get a prescription filled

• To seek treatment for minor cuts and abrasions

• To get quicker attention in the emergency room.