A Spaniard has been served with a bill to cover the costs of firefighters who prevented her from taking her own life – due to financial problems.
The 21-year-old took to Twitter to complain about the “inhumane” cash demand she received.
The bill came from their town hall for the cost of dispatched labor and fire engines.
She wrote: “They charged 211 euros for ‘rescuing a person’ after a suicide attempt when I wasn’t the person to call the emergency services.
“It’s 211 euros that I don’t have and they’re still ashamed to call it suicide prevention.”
The woman, who lives in Alicante, the capital of the Costa Blanca, posted the bill she received detailing the cost of the breakdown.
These included eight firefighters – €5.47 – and two fire trucks with ladders for €47.08 and €33.63.
She asked social media users for help tackling the demand, adding: “I remember crying the day I told them about my financial situation and they said it didn’t matter.
“It seems that being poor has nothing to do with wanting to die and becoming even more poor because of it.
“I was given a month to pay the bill or they will start charging me interest.”
After the unnamed woman’s plight was picked up by Spanish national and local newspapers, it emerged that Alicante city council leaders had decided to waive her bill.
Spain has universal free healthcare and it is unusual for services such as firefighters to be charged.
A spokesman for the council confirmed: “Alicante City Hall will review the case of a fire service law in response to a suicide attempt and declare it null and void because saving a life was at stake.
“Not all cases are the same.”
Opposition politicians are now calling for an immediate amendment to the existing statute to clarify that it is unlawful to charge emergency calls in the event of an attempted suicide.
It came after the woman at the center of the extraordinary story said she needed “rest” after her successful campaign to collect her bill.
She said: “The council have contacted me and agreed to close my case and amend the statutes to ensure this does not happen again.
“They said it was a precedent. I hope they keep their promise.
“Thanks to all the people who have shown me their support and solidarity and made sure others see my messages.”
A critic of the decision to charge her wrote on social media: “What happened is inadmissible.
“An attempted suicide that fortunately does not result in someone ending their life cannot be blamed on the victim.
“What’s that? Are we all going insane or something!”
You’re not alone
A life is lost to suicide in the UK EVERY 90 minutes.
It does not discriminate and touches the lives of people in all sectors of society – from the homeless and unemployed to construction workers and doctors, to reality stars and footballers.
It is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car accidents.
And men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Yet it’s rarely talked about, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage if we don’t all stop now and take notice.
That’s why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The goal is that we can all do our part to save lives by providing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health.
Let’s all pledge to ask for help when we need it and to listen to others… You are not alone.
If you or someone you know needs help coping with mental health issues, the following organizations offer support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-8pm
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7642003/firefighters-cost-of-living-suicide-bill/ Firefighters saved me from taking my own life because of my money problems and then PROVIDED me with A BILL – it’s inhumane