Thomas County commissioners at a Tuesday meeting unanimously approved writing off $450,00 in Thomas County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) debt.
Some of the debts date back to 2009.
The bills have been turned over to a collection agency.
“A lot of these accounts are people who are deceased,” EMS Capt. Tim Coram told commissioners.
Some cannot pay, and others gave false addresses, Coram said.
Some bills result from calls when someone pretends to need an ambulance to get a ride to Thomasville.
EMS cannot refuse to respond to a call. The individuals are taken to the hospital and manage to disappear.
If someone who owes money attempts to buy a house or car or engage in other financial transactions, the collection agency will be alerted to the activity and contact the individual.
In 2013, EMS collected $1.3 million, Corman said.
Mike Stephenson, county manager, said auditing procedures require that the debts be written off after a certain period of time.
“It does not affect the legality of collections,” Stephenson explained.