The Kent Volunteer Fire Department will host a cookout and public meeting today (Friday) at 6:30 p.m. to answer any questions residents have about billing patients who use the ambulance services.

The event will be held at the firehouse at 28 Maple St.

The department has provided free emergency medical services since ambulance service began in 1975.

However, ever-increasing costs of providing this care and a decline in donations forced the volunteers to begin charging or emergency medical services.

Billing will begin this month.

President Art Romano said the department is one of only 11 in the entire state of Connecticut that is not currently billing for services.

KVFD has been planning the transition since September 2009, when the members began interviewing billing service companies.