Of course it's good news that private donations were quickly raised to cover the ambulance fees for two women who were accidentally electrocuted as they tried to help at the scene of an accident so that their families will not have this insult added to their grief. But this is just the latest in a long series of tears in the communal fabric that now add up to a gigantic hole in our willingness and ability to help each others.
People are outraged that there are no waivers for people like Stacey Schreiber, 39, of Valley Village and Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank. Or the off-duty lifeguard who jumped into the water in Vancouver, Wash., and saved a drowning 12-year-old, then received a $2,600 ambulance bill because paramedics wanted him checked for hypothermia. There should be waivers, obviously. But then, what about ambulance fees for, say, perhaps equally good Samaritans who are doing volunteer work when they are accidentally struck by a car? Aren't they also worthy? Where should we draw the lines on who should have to pay something like $1,000 in fees for a public service?
What if the person struck by a car wasn't volunteering at the time, but was a good person who happened to be the innocent victim of a crime or a car accident caused by a drunk driver? Is it right for that person to be charged? Maybe the guilty party could be forced to pay -- if the driver was insured, if the criminal had any financial resources or was even arrested.