So why am I discussing why you should be smart about using ambulances? Well, because the ambulance business is a giant scam. The operator of ambulances are for-profit corporations that exploit the system to make massive profits for themselves, and as The Times reports, charge fees based on your income level and the type of insurance you have (if you are too poor to pay or have only the basic health insurance, they know that most likely the charge will go to collections, so they send a modest bill in the faint hope that it might get paid; alternatively, for wealthy people with excellent health coverage, they might send a bill of thousands of dollars for a ride of a mile because they know they can make a killing on such patients). What this means is that if you do not have a life-threatening injury and can drive yourself or take a cab or have someone else drive you there, you would have saved hundreds or even thousands of dollars, even if you are insured (most health insurance plans discourage use of ambulances for this reason and you should read the fine print carefully to find out how you are covered).
Never ride with a friend or family member in the ambulance: If a loved one gets sick when you are there, it seems that it is the right thing to do to tag along so that you can be with that person in a tough moment. Guess what, the insurance company will slap a bill on the patient for carrying a passenger. Look, most likely you will do nothing in an ambulance because there are professionals who will do what it takes, and you would be better off having your own car with you because it gives you more mobility.