1. #1
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default Thought for the day... 07/24/2011

    On average, homeowners pay around $1.40 per day for a full-time fire dept including salaries & benefits. If you own a smart phone, you pay an average of $3.40 a day for it. That cell phone won't die FOR you, protect your property, save your life, perform CPR or drive you to the hospital in an emergency.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    377

    Default Cost of fire protection

    Most people do not care about fire protection, until they need it. Its another service that they take for granted. However, when they need fire, EMS and/or law enforcement assistance, they want it at the front door now.

    Most pay for it when they pay their property taxes and if it is lumped together with other city, township or county taxes, they do not know what portion is for fire protection. Those that pay a stand alone levy/millage (fire district, etc.) probably have that tax listed as a particular amount.

    Most of us in the fire service, see the use of tax money for fire protection, as a wise investment. Fire department's (FD's) typically provide services, such as firefighting, EMS, rescue and a host of other services. Any disaster that befalls the community, such as a flood, tornado, hurricane, snowstorm, etc. has the local fire department involved, too.

    It is important to educate the local residents of what services you provide. Do not forget the renters (apartment dwellers, etc.) who may not own property, but rent housing in the community. Features in local newspapers, TV news, FD website, etc. and other publicity can keep your community informed. It is their taxpayer money that funds your FD, so let them know where its going.

    In todays tight economic climate, it is important to inform property owners and/or residents that they are obtaining reduced insurance premiums as a result of the FD (ISO rating). This can show that the taxpayer funding they pay for fire protection, is actually saving them money in their pocket book.

    Many cities, townships and counties are having financial difficulties and we need to show the taxpayers that the local fire station provide essential services. Hopefully, the fire service can withstand all or most cuts.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    11

    Default

    i agree with FIRE117

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    L-Webb's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    520

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE117 View Post
    Most people do not care about fire protection, until they need it. Its another service that they take for granted. However, when they need fire, EMS and/or law enforcement assistance, they want it at the front door now.

    Most pay for it when they pay their property taxes and if it is lumped together with other city, township or county taxes, they do not know what portion is for fire protection. Those that pay a stand alone levy/millage (fire district, etc.) probably have that tax listed as a particular amount.

    Most of us in the fire service, see the use of tax money for fire protection, as a wise investment. Fire department's (FD's) typically provide services, such as firefighting, EMS, rescue and a host of other services. Any disaster that befalls the community, such as a flood, tornado, hurricane, snowstorm, etc. has the local fire department involved, too.

    It is important to educate the local residents of what services you provide. Do not forget the renters (apartment dwellers, etc.) who may not own property, but rent housing in the community. Features in local newspapers, TV news, FD website, etc. and other publicity can keep your community informed. It is their taxpayer money that funds your FD, so let them know where its going.

    In todays tight economic climate, it is important to inform property owners and/or residents that they are obtaining reduced insurance premiums as a result of the FD (ISO rating). This can show that the taxpayer funding they pay for fire protection, is actually saving them money in their pocket book.

    Many cities, townships and counties are having financial difficulties and we need to show the taxpayers that the local fire station provide essential services. Hopefully, the fire service can withstand all or most cuts.
    Very good indeed.
    Bring enough hose.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    HuntPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northwest PA
    Posts
    509

    Default

    Unfortunately, our area is no where near your "average". We have a coverage population of just under 1,400. There are approximately 300 homeowner / landowners. Assuming every one of them in the coverage area paid $1.50 a day (easier math makes me happy), we would have an income of $164,250.00. I don't know of many full time paid department that can operate off this amount. I will agree, however, that the increase to that level would greatly improve our department.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    GTRider245's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Augusta,GA
    Posts
    3,065

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Unfortunately, our area is no where near your "average". We have a coverage population of just under 1,400. There are approximately 300 homeowner / landowners. Assuming every one of them in the coverage area paid $1.50 a day (easier math makes me happy), we would have an income of $164,250.00. I don't know of many full time paid department that can operate off this amount. I will agree, however, that the increase to that level would greatly improve our department.
    That should be more than enough to sustain your operations as they are right now while being able to add on a full time or multiple part time positions. Having just one person around all the time makes a big difference.
    Career Firefighter
    Volunteer Captain

    -Professional in Either Role-

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    tree68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Jefferson County, NY USA
    Posts
    2,346

    Default

    I pay about $1.40 a week for fire protection. That's pretty typical around here, give or take a dollar or two.

    Town-wide that gets us around $300K a year.

    Raising the tax rate for fire protection seven-fold would mean we'd have a lot fewer residents to protect, as they wouldn't be able to afford the property taxes.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Golden City 1 hour south of fort smith
    Posts
    546

    Default

    Wow I wish our citizens payed $1.40 per day. We would be a rich fire department. Our homeowners only pay $35.00 per year. That's about 9 cents per day. The sad part is only 60% of the 140 homeowners in my fire district even care enough to pay the $35.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    469

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    Wow I wish our citizens payed $1.40 per day. We would be a rich fire department. Our homeowners only pay $35.00 per year. That's about 9 cents per day. The sad part is only 60% of the 140 homeowners in my fire district even care enough to pay the $35.
    In Ky we added the dues to the property tax bill. We now get 100% colletion of dues
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down? (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    GTRider245's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Augusta,GA
    Posts
    3,065

    Default

    It is all about the value of the service that the citizens are paying for. Market your department and why you need the budget you ask for.
    Career Firefighter
    Volunteer Captain

    -Professional in Either Role-

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    HuntPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northwest PA
    Posts
    509

    Default

    Adding $550/year in additional taxes will greatly reduce the number of homeowners we have to protect. It will also lead to the roster in the department being greatly reduced as people move for lower taxes.

    The fact of the matter here is that we provide a service to the township that meets their needs, does not increase financial burdens, and treats all of the residents as equals. I will agree that having paid, full time employees at the hall at all time would improve the response times.

    We provide what the people of our area are used to and what meets their needs. More often than not, we try to go above what they need by throwing benefits, offering to help clean up, and offering whatever we can. For us to change to a staffed department, it would require a significant change in the population we serve and who we are. I am not sure that this would necessarily be the best solution for our jurisdiction.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Adding $550/year in additional taxes will greatly reduce the number of homeowners we have to protect. It will also lead to the roster in the department being greatly reduced as people move for lower taxes.

    The fact of the matter here is that we provide a service to the township that meets their needs, does not increase financial burdens, and treats all of the residents as equals. I will agree that having paid, full time employees at the hall at all time would improve the response times.

    We provide what the people of our area are used to and what meets their needs. More often than not, we try to go above what they need by throwing benefits, offering to help clean up, and offering whatever we can. For us to change to a staffed department, it would require a significant change in the population we serve and who we are. I am not sure that this would necessarily be the best solution for our jurisdiction.
    I'm willing to bet they pay more than $550 a year in homeowner's insurance costs...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    HuntPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northwest PA
    Posts
    509

    Default

    Right now I own a home that is in the upper third of the values for our area. I am paying $900 a year total for homeowners. That includes fire, theft, liability, and "Act of God" with full replacement value on teh house, garage, and up to $20,000 of property in the house.

    It is not that we are currently paying a lot more than anyone else, just that they could move less than 20 miles and not have to worry about any increase in tax from what they are currently paying.

    This is a very rural area and the people here are very much against being made to do something by government of any level. They are more than willing to help out in any way they can, they just don't want to be told that they have to.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Right now I own a home that is in the upper third of the values for our area. I am paying $900 a year total for homeowners. That includes fire, theft, liability, and "Act of God" with full replacement value on teh house, garage, and up to $20,000 of property in the house.

    It is not that we are currently paying a lot more than anyone else, just that they could move less than 20 miles and not have to worry about any increase in tax from what they are currently paying.

    This is a very rural area and the people here are very much against being made to do something by government of any level. They are more than willing to help out in any way they can, they just don't want to be told that they have to.
    Let them move... for every seller there's a buyer. The grass may look greener 20 miles away.. until they find out its over the septic system...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    HuntPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northwest PA
    Posts
    509

    Default

    I guess it comes down to this:
    In our area, people are content with the service that we can provide. We would like to have more, but as the same people that would be paying more, we are content to bust our butts at chicken BBQ's, gun shows, and other fund raisers so that we do not have to pay any more in taxes than we already do. I feel that we do a darn good job with what we have. Sure there is room for improvement, and we are working on that, but all in all, we are on the right track.

    I do understand what you are saying for many areas though. I do believe that there are a lot of suburban areas that could greatly benefit by your statement of adding even minimal full time staff with a relatively low cost to each consumer.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Let them move... for every seller there's a buyer. The grass may look greener 20 miles away.. until they find out its over the septic system...
    The converse arguement is why should you mess with a decision that is local to them.....

    If they want it - they as a community will pay for it.

    I will not begrudge anyone who wants to talk about raising thier own taxes for the common good. I have real problems with people wanting to raise other people taxes (but not thier own) for the common good.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default

    They can do what they want...I can't see Hunt's response distirct from my house...

    I will not begrudge anyone who wants to talk about raising thier own taxes for the common good. I have real problems with people wanting to raise other people taxes (but not thier own) for the common good.
    What about people voting to cutting their FD's funding and expecting their neighbors to respond m/a every time their tones drop?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber
    tree68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Jefferson County, NY USA
    Posts
    2,346

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    What about people voting to cutting their FD's funding and expecting their neighbors to respond m/a every time their tones drop?
    We deal with a similar situation here in EMS - rolling into other districts to cover calls because they can't get out the door. Ask them for a little contribution to help cover base costs (the taxpayers in both townships covered by the ambulance service ante up every year) and they scream bloody murder. They aren't real fond of paying the bill for services rendered, either.

    I do think that the days of a given department being able to handle a fire by themselves are waning. I recall when many small volunteer departments had two engines, multiple tankers, rescues, and who-knows-what-else and could get all of them out the door.

    Those same departments now have half the equipment and can't always staff it all. But neither can the neighbors, so it is truly mutual aid.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,676

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    We deal with a similar situation here in EMS - rolling into other districts to cover calls because they can't get out the door. Ask them for a little contribution to help cover base costs (the taxpayers in both townships covered by the ambulance service ante up every year) and they scream bloody murder. They aren't real fond of paying the bill for services rendered, either.

    I do think that the days of a given department being able to handle a fire by themselves are waning. I recall when many small volunteer departments had two engines, multiple tankers, rescues, and who-knows-what-else and could get all of them out the door.

    Those same departments now have half the equipment and can't always staff it all. But neither can the neighbors, so it is truly mutual aid.
    Last department I was with in northern VT had AMA on every single structural call including alarm trips, gas smells and reports of smoke. It worked very well and I doubt anyone in the community would have cared that we were rolling into another department's district as we were getting them when we got an alarm trip the next day.

    Had the same type of system on my 2nd department 25 years ago and it worked just as well.

    I agree that the days of a singe VFD handling a run should be history, and the areas that don't use AMA should wake up and smell the coffee as likely they are rolling in short on many of their runs.

    However in LA that's a problem as the rating organization will deduct points if you provide AMA beyond a given percentage of your total structural runs. However, you can call for mutual aid immediately after the page, and that will not be considered AMA, and will not affect your rating.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    They can do what they want...I can't see Hunt's response distirct from my house...



    What about people voting to cutting their FD's funding and expecting their neighbors to respond m/a every time their tones drop?
    The interesting thing about expectations - it doesn't always turn out the way you think.

    If one area cuts funding expecting the neighbors to help, then the neighbors have the option to say yes or no.

    Many will have empathy for those who really cannot afford it. I give no sympathy to those who chronically mismanage and expect to be bailed out by others.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. HOUSTON walked away from this contract
    By Firewalker1 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 71
    Last Post: 05-17-2007, 01:34 AM
  2. Happy International Firefighters' Day today!
    By FireBabe in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-04-2006, 03:37 PM
  3. World Of Fire Report: 11-10-02
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-12-2002, 08:32 AM
  4. There will come a day ~ by Faith Hill
    By Hpems04 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-19-2001, 02:43 PM
  5. Why not firefighters?
    By FireBabe in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 04-03-2001, 06:37 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register