Individuals who receive an assessment from EMS personnel will no longer have to pay a $100 fee to the town, following a vote this week by the board of selectmen.
At Monday’s meeting at town hall, Selectmen Bob MacKendrick and Dave Nelson voted in favor of the proposal, which was raised in a letter the week before by Fire Chief Joseph Lingel. The town's third selectman seat, held by Al Merritt until the beginning of January, will remain vacant until the April town election.
Lingel’s letter, which was read aloud at the meeting, noted that the $100 fee “has created a lot of negative feelings in our community.”
Selectmen largely concurred with the two main points Lingel raised in supporting the fee’s removal. First, a number of residents have found themselves having to pay the $100 fee even in cases where somebody else called EMS personnel and they were not having a medical emergency.
A second concern that motivated the move was the prospect of people not seeking needed EMS services during a medical emergency because of the fee. The fee’s impact on Lynnfield’s elderly residents was also noted.