ALICANTE city council has waived a €211 charge levied on a young woman who was saved by a fire crew after threatening to take her life.
The woman took to social media on Monday to declare she had received an invoice from Alicante’s finance department claiming €211 for ‘rescue of person’, after a friend of her called emergency services.
The bill breakdown covered the costs of a corporal, eight firefighters, two pumps and two ladder cars.
After she was saved, she told rescuers about her economic plight and was told ‘it did not matter’ in regard to any call-out payment.
The woman said the invoice added to her suffering but was comforted by many messages of support after she went public with the story, including backing from fire departments.
In a matter of hours, Alicante city council contacted her to say the charge had been voided and that they would modify the relevant municipal ordinance to ensure something like that did not happen again.
“They say this case sets a precedent and I hope they comply,” she said.
The city council confirmed the invoice had been scrapped because the fire service call-out involved ‘saving a life’, but stated on social media that ‘not all cases are the same’.
Unides Podemos spokesman on Alicante city council, Xavier Lopez, said they are proposing a ‘speedy’ reform of the ordinance to ‘avoid cruel actions to vulnerable people’.
He’s called for better coordination between the authority’s finance and social action departments to avoid a repeat of what happened.