Scammers should be billed for false EMS calls

Medical alarm companies are scamming Americans. They, like equally bogus over-the-counter medicine makers, convince people they need something that they don’t.

When a med alert client presses his button, be it intentionally or not, the company calls 911, summoning police, fire and medics at taxpayer expense. No company employee responds. Most often, the company operator who calls 911 can offer no information regarding the client and always requests the responders to reset the equipment.

The med alert company makes the money but our taxpayers pay for the multi-EMS response, and prevents EMS from being available for real emergencies.

From my experience as a medic for more than 20 years, the percentage of med alert calls that are bona fide is extremely low, and the number of clients actually transported to the emergency room is even lower.

Local laws could and should be passed that would bill these scammers for every false alarm.

Over the past 10 years EMS calls have nearly doubled but we have not added a single new ambulance in that time. Unnecessary EMS calls need to stop, but they continue to increase, as do necessary calls. EMS should not be the servant of for-profit medical alert companies that abuse our tax-paid EMS system.

Jeff Bigler