First Responder Fees FAQs

The fee is currently $297 and was implemented on September 1, 2021. The fee is only applicable to patients who have been treated by the Rocklin Fire Department and subsequently transported to a hospital.

If you have additional questions about the program after reading the questions below, please call (916) 625-5354 or email firstresponderfee@rocklin.ca.us and a member of the Fire Dept. staff will respond to your message in the order received. 

Who will be charged the first responder fees?

A first responder fee will be charged to individuals only when the fire department responds to an emergency medical call and provide medical treatment to patients who are subsequently transported to a hospital for further care. Patients who are treated by the fire department and are not transported to the hospital in an ambulance will not be charged.

Why is a first responder fee needed?

The Rocklin Fire Department’s primary mission is fire suppression and rescue; however, when a medical emergency occurs in Rocklin, both a contracted ambulance (American Medical Response or AMR) and a Rocklin Fire Department crew are dispatched to the incident, ensuring patients receive the fastest and highest level of care possible.

The Rocklin Fire Department staffs its fire companies with a minimum of one firefighter/paramedic and two firefighter/EMT’s capable of providing basic and advanced life support prior to the arrival of an AMR ambulance.

The cost of providing those services has risen, and traditional tax funding has not kept pace. In 2019, Rocklin Fire responded to 5,661 incidents, with medical emergencies making up 67 percent of the total.

Can an individual apply for a first responder fee waiver or exemption?

Rocklin has a compassionate billing policy that allows the waiver or reduction of the fee due to financial hardship.

What is the $297 cost of the fee based on?

The first responder fee is based on the hourly rates and the estimated average amount of time spent by Rocklin firefighters on a typical emergency medical response.

How will the City bill individuals for first responder fees?

A bill will be sent by a third-party billing service (Wittman Enterprises, LLC) to the patient’s insurance provider. If the patient does not have medical insurance, the patient will be billed directly with the potential for a waiver as outlined above.

Do other cities charge first responder fees?

Many fire agencies surrounding Rocklin that provide advanced life support paramedic services charge first responder fees. Agencies include the South Placer Fire District, Sacramento Metro Fire, Roseville Fire, and others.

Rocklin’s fees are lower than many, when considering many local agencies charge first responder fees and emergency medical services fees, with some totaling more than $400. Rocklin also does not charge for equipment costs and mileage.

How would the City spend money raised by first responder fees?

First responder fees go back into the Rocklin’s general fund, which provides the bulk of funding for the fire department’s staffing and services.

It is a priority of the Rocklin City Council to have the best emergency services of all types for residents. They have shown their commitment to this goal over the past few years through the purchase of a new tiller truck, two new fire engines, increasing the number of fire staffing positions, remodeling fire stations, and more.


How Do I Become a Firefighter?


Firefighting is a very fulfilling career with many rewards. Like many careers, becoming a firefighter begins with a foundation in education. At the City of Rocklin Fire Department you must possess a valid State of California Firefighter 1 Certification, and a State of California Paramedic license to be considered for appointment to the position of Firefighter. You must also be 18 years old, a high school graduate (or equivalent), be a citizen of the United States, and possess a valid California driver’s license.


Why does a Fire Engine and Ambulance go to Medical Emergencies?

Fire engines have emergency medically trained personnel and are placed in strategic locations throughout the City of Rocklin. The ambulance, while strategically placed often times will be out of ideal position because of previous medical emergencies.  Firefighters will often stabilize the emergency and then transfer care to the ambulance personnel who will provide transportation to an emergency room, depending on the nature of the call.  All members of the Rocklin Fire Department are Certified Emergency Medical Technicians or Certified Paramedics.


Why do Firefighters go to the Store?

Firefighters work a 48-hour shift and must supply their own food. They combine their money to purchase food for meals. Often, you will see them at a grocery store in a fire engine. The only way the Rocklin Fire Department can ensure that three firefighters will respond and arrive in an average of less than 5 minutes is by using the vehicle they respond in — with all three firefighters present and available. Sometimes they receive a call while shopping for food, which means they leave directly from the grocery store and have to come back later to finish their grocery shopping.


How Many Calls Do You Run?

In 2020, the Rocklin fire department responded to 5,057 incidents, a 10.8% decrease from 2019. Specifically, calls for emergency medical service decreased 7.6% to 3,303 incidents and fire incidents decreased 16.5% to 147 incidents. Emergency medical incidents accounted for 65.3% of total calls and fire incidents accounted for 2.9% of total incidents.


How Many Firefighters Are On Duty?

Within the City of Rocklin, each fire station has a minimum of 3 personnel on duty at all times. They work 48-hour shifts.  Fire Stations 23 and 25 each have a Captain, Engineer, and Firefighter/Paramedic. At Station 24 staffing levels can be as many as 4, consisting of a Captain, Engineer, Firefighter/Paramedic, and Firefighter. 

There is also a Battalion Chief on Duty on duty in the City working the same 48-hour shift.