Upon seeing an overturned car with a man and his three small children inside, DeAnda broke through the car’s windows and helped the family get out, CBS Sacramento reports. When first responders arrived, they checked him out for injuries (all he had was a small cut, according to the news station) and gave him water.
When Derrick DeAnda pulled up to a rollover car crash in Elk Grove, California, his first instinct was to do whatever he could to help. What he didn’t expect, though, was to be billed $143 for his actions at scene of the crash.
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Weeks later, he received a bill from Cosumnes Community Services District first responders in the mail. DeAnda was shocked. “I mean, why would I want to stop to help somebody if I’m going to get a bill for $150?” he said in an interview with CBS Sacramento.
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Commenters on CBS Sacramento’s Facebook page overwhelmingly agree with DeAnda and believe the charges are absurd. “He should bill the first responders since he was the first responder and he was doing their job,” one commenter even posted.
Cosumnes Deputy Chief Mike McLaughlin tells CBS Sacramento that, though DeAnda’s situation is unique, issuing first-responder bills is just standard practice for his district. “We’re obligated to provide the same level of service, the same billing, the same everything — for every patient we encounter,” he said.
Thankfully, though, DeAnda can appeal the bill by writing a letter to the district chief that explains the situation. “There is a mechanism for appealing this, a mechanism for making this right,” McLaughlin told CBS Sacramento. “Our desire it to make it right.”
DeAnda has already begun the appeal process and is waiting on a response from the district. In the meantime, he’s just happy that he was able to help. “All I can say is the look on the man’s face when I was able to break that windshield and get him and his kids out of that vehicle was all the thanks I needed,” he wrote in a June 17 Facebook post. “I’m glad I was able to help.”
[h/t CBS Sacramento]