At its May 23 meeting, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District commission approved an increase in its ambulance service fees. The cost to district residents for its ambulance service, beginning June 1, is now $1,548.75.

The 2017-18 cost for each service, for residents and non-residents, was increased 5 percent. An ambulance trip to a local hospital will be $1,548.75 plus $36.75 per mile. The 2016-17 rates were $1,475 for the ambulance service and $35 per mile.

The cost of a “dry-run,” when the ambulance is called for, but transportation to a hospital is declined or unnecessary, will cost $177.45.

The new rates (see accompanying table) were approved unanimously on May 23, although Commissioner Larry Donahoo was excused from the meeting.

This is the seventh-consecutive year rates have increased. The annual changes have been about 5 percent. Since 2010, the basic ambulance fee is up 73 percent.