ELKS GROVE, Calif. (CNN) – A California man who stopped to help a family in an automobile crash didn’t get an award for his unselfish act. Believe it or not, he actually got a bill!
A man was trapped inside the vehicle in a roll over crash on Brantline Road in Elks Grove.
“I pulled up right as it happened,” Derrick Deandra, Good Samaritan, said.
Deanda jumped into action, recounting the heart-pounding moment on Facetime during his family vacation.
“There was a guy standing inside the van, because it was on its side, holding a 2-year-old infant.”
Deanda broke the glass to free the family before paramedics arrived. Everyone was okay, but weeks later Deanda got a bill in the mail from the Cosumnes Community Service District, a $143 first responder fee.
“Why do I have to pay a $143 bill?”
The fee is real and the Consumnes CSD admits they billed Deanda.
“We’re obligated to provide the same level of service, the same billing the same everything, for every patient we encounter,” Deputy Chief Mike McLaughlin, of the Cosumnes Community Services District, said.
Deanda became a patient when a paramedic at the scene checked him out after breaking the van window to help save the family inside. He had a small cut.
“This is truly a unique situation, in my 28 years, this is my first time I’ve run into a situation similar to this,” McLaughlin said.
The district began imposing a first responder fee two years ago, a move they say prevents fire station brownouts.
Chief McLaughlin says he’d like to see this fee waived.
“There is a mechanism for appealing this, a mechanism for making this right. Our desire is to make it right.”
“I mean, why I would want to stop to help somebody if I’m going to get a bill for $150,” Deanda said.
Deanda plans to appeal and hopes the matter is resolved before it goes to collections.