1. #1
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    Default usage fee for mobile fire safety trailer

    Hey folks,

    Does anyone charge a usage fee for the use of your fire safety trailer?

    Our department just received our fire safety trailer last week and want to see that it gets used as often as possible throughout our county. We are not looking to make money with the trailer, but at the same time we are still paying for the license plate, registration, smoke machine fluid, and our cost-share of the grant that helped pay for the trailer. Before setting up a “usage fee”, we’re trying to figure out what other departments are doing.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have.

    ~Skojo

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    Good idea, most cities I know that have one keep it in there city

    You also might look at some trade time for other equipment, training facility, or instructor time

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    Morning,

    I emailed the same question to a few departments I found online that have fire safety trailers. For what it's worth, a majority of the folks do not charge a usage fee, but instead freely allow (and encourage) their trailers to be used as often as possible. Many also require some basic introductory training on how to set it up and use the components prior to it being used.

    Other trailer owners require a "usage agreement" be signed prior to it being used, which basically states how the trailer will be used, that it will be returned in the same condition it was delivered, etc. I've got a copy of one if anyone is interested.

    ~Skojo

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    Back when I was producing the grant proposal that paid for our trailer we tossed around the concept of charging to cover costs at any private or for-profit event. The idea was to provide it free of charge for schools as part of our regular public education program and to any local open-to-the-public event that asked for it. Fundraiser events with entry fees would be considered on a case by case basis.

    The department never did settle on a policy and I'm no longer associated with running the trailer so I don't know if it's even still under consideration. As a result, we underutilize our trailer tremendously -- largely because of operating costs.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    At my department, we don't charge any fee for its use outside of our district. We got our trailer through a fire prevention grant, and I remember it being justified as being used for prevention in our district and neighboring districts; I don't know if that has any effect.

    Just a suggestion, if ya don't charge, maybe set up a donation jar/boot or something to take donations. Don't know how much that would help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skojo View Post
    Morning,

    I emailed the same question to a few departments I found online that have fire safety trailers. For what it's worth, a majority of the folks do not charge a usage fee, but instead freely allow (and encourage) their trailers to be used as often as possible. Many also require some basic introductory training on how to set it up and use the components prior to it being used.

    Other trailer owners require a "usage agreement" be signed prior to it being used, which basically states how the trailer will be used, that it will be returned in the same condition it was delivered, etc. I've got a copy of one if anyone is interested.

    ~Skojo
    I would be interested in obtaininng a copy of the 'usage agreement' if you happen to have it handy. Thanks much

    Rick
    chief@plattevfd.com
    Rick Gustad - Chief
    Platte Volunteer Fire Department
    www.plattevfd.com

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    I would caution charging any fee for education; HOWEVER, I see your point. If you are using it for educational purposes and a set educational program don't charge (schools, target audiences, etc). If you are requested for entertainment, like at fairs or other public events designed to make money or raise funds, I think charging a fee is completely acceptable. I would create a price list to justify your expense: "For one hour it will cost $30 for fuel, $25 for manpower, $15 for wear & tear expenses." If you provide a cost list and people see you are not trying to make money but cover your expenses, and doing so for a venue that is making money, I think you'd be fine with that.

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