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  1. #1
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    Default Cost to operate officers vehicles?

    My fire company is strictly volunteer covering about a mile 1 1/2 mile sq in NJ. We currently operate with 3 officers vehicles; one for the fire chief, one for the first aid capt and one for the fire police capt, which are given to the officer to use for their year as an officer.

    To give a brief history, the purchasing of these vehicles is at the cost of the fire company with monies raised through fund raising efforts. The company then turns the vehicles over to the town who then insures the vehicles, provides routine maintenance and repairs outside the warranty and provides fuel for the vehicles. Lately, with the rising cost of fuel the boro is, understandibly, asking to limit our fuel usage to a minimum (not sure how to determine the minimum). The amount they are proposing is minimal and barely enough to allow the officers to respond to the 150+ fires, 430+ emergencies we average a year.

    The company is getting a sense that, at some point, the township will turn to us a say take care of your own vehicles; meaning insurance, maintenance and fuel. My question is, has any company included these items in their fire company's annual budgets to their townships or boroughs? Is anyone aware of any laws or regs, that says you can't include any of these items in the budgets? The administrator has indicated that we can't include fuel in our budgets however, cannot come up with anything in writing to say we can't.

    Any advice from you who have had similar experiences would be greatly appreicated.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    My guess, based on some recent happenings in my area of NJ, is that someone on your Council is wondering why these 3 vehicles are seen so much around the area while NOT on calls. Someone probably questioned why the officer is driving a "town" vehicle all the time and not just when there is a call.

    Justify how/when/why the vehicles are being used...and you won't have anything to worry about.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    What? You mean the chief has a vehicle he can drive to calls and on other department business? Wow, that would be nice.

    I'm with Bones on this one....sounds like somebody is questioning how much of this mileage is truly FD related and how much is just personal driving around town.

    We don't get fuel provided for any of our vehicles (all we have are engines and a rescue truck, no "administrative" or "command" type personal vehicles at all. All the fuel and maintenance costs come out of our budget. That's what we get money for, isn't it?
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  4. #4
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    We have 3 smal "utility" vehicles for the department. The county pays for the fuel and insurance. We use them for company business and the officers can use them to respond from home. As Bones said, justify when, how, and why the vehicles are being used and keep the times that they are out of the area down to a minimum.

  5. #5
    Forum Member MTKROUSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie3 View Post
    The company is getting a sense that, at some point, the township will turn to us a say take care of your own vehicles; meaning insurance, maintenance and fuel. My question is, has any company included these items in their fire company's annual budgets to their townships or boroughs? Is anyone aware of any laws or regs, that says you can't include any of these items in the budgets? The administrator has indicated that we can't include fuel in our budgets however, cannot come up with anything in writing to say we can't.

    Any advice from you who have had similar experiences would be greatly appreicated.
    I would really like to know what administrator would say that fuel is not a necessary part of an operating budget that consists of any vehicles. They don't run on hopes and dreams. If you have a rolling fleet you must be able to list fuel costs as a part of your operating budget.
    To err is human, To forgive divine and at times I am as much of both as you will ever find

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