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Thread: Charging fees for special events

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    So do you think FD's should bill everyone who has a fire? Isn't responding an ambulance in the base tax that provides the service? What else would you taxes pay for, an EMS service that doesn't respond?

    I know some FDs that do bill insurance companies for services rendered at house fires. I know even more that bill insurance companines for vehicle fires. Some insurance companies pay, some don't.

    Actually, all your taxes do is fund the ambulance service's readiness. I get that you don't like the idea of billing for a non-transport. My bet is if you responded 7 times in one day, over 20 times in a week, and over 50 plus times in a month, to the same address for essentially BS calls where we NEVER transported your view might change slightly. But then again maybe not. It became a sick phukking joke that we took an emergency vehicle out of the ability to respond for a person completely abusing the system. It took police and social services intervening to stop the madness.


    That's exactly what most smaller outfits did (and some still do) when they provide the service and don't bill.

    HUH? You are saying that the ambulance service increased the tax bill the next year to cover not billing last year for transporting patients? I'm sorry i would NEVER support that. I am at a loss to understand why anyone wouldn't support the user fee system so that it doesn't unfairly burden those not using or abusing the system.

    It appears you really intensely dislike any opinion that's contrary to yours. No doubt, most of us are pretty forward leaning and are generally convinced we're right, but some issues have so many variables to call any opposing idea ignorant is just silly. This country is in the shape it's in because regardless of what side we're on, we refuse to even remotely listen to the other.

    Not true, I have had some very spirited debates on here with people that I disagree with, some have even changed my mind. But you see here I have 4 different perspectives on this topic, I was a career firefighter/emt, I have been and am becoming again a POC EMT, I have been a board member on our local EMS service board, and I have been a local village board member. The truth is many systems use different approaches to funding, my career FD EMS was funded by taxes and we billed for service rendered when we transported, the local EMS service is funded 100% by billing for services rendered when we transported.

    Let me explain this to you so when you are ripping on me you can at least rip on me for what I actually said. I said it was the most ignorant thing I ever read here because he called being billed for services rendered a tax, which it clearly is not, it is users fee. So please, if you choose to continue to harangue me on my post at least get what I was saying right from now on.



    I think JohnSB specifically was noting that responding and then not transporting a pt. should not incur a bill above what your taxes pay for. No doubt in our area that would cost the taxpayers more as the people who end "abusing the system" are least likely to be able to pay a bill,but instead of their property tax bill it would come out of their state payroll taxes. Not billing for EMS transports, that is a general component of the healthcare system and part of your medical insurance would be a difficult sell.

    Honestly I have no idea what you are trying to say here. I would love for you to try to explain it again.

    I too like the idea of user fee based funding, but how well will that work for the FD? I don't know about your area, but I'll bet it's similar to most where those who can afford to pay the least are the ones that have the most fires? So try funding a FD using user fees. EMS is very similar in usage. You'll still be paying just out of your other pocket as Medicaid/Bamacare costs would skyrocket if all EMS services had to stay afloat using user fees from those who can afford to pay the least. Regardless of what anyone of us thinks, we'll likely never see a day when we'll decline care to those who can't afford it.

    I am talking about ems so I am not sure why you are trying to muddy the waters by bringing fire responses into this. Most areas don't see a huge number of false calls or abuse of the fire side of these services. On top of that if you are implying that I said to decline service you couldn't be more wrong because frankly, I never said that.
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Actually, all your taxes do is fund the ambulance service's readiness. I get that you don't like the idea of billing for a non-transport.
    Some services do not bill the patient, thus the taxes paid in those places fully fund EMS. In our case, and many others (most?) the patient billing recovered is not enough to cover the overall cost of providing EMS, thus some of the taxes fund more than readiness. And it's got nothing to do with what "I like". The rules surrounding EMS billing prevent patients insurance from being billed for service when there is no transport. So then you are forced to bill the individual person, that starts a whole new mess. In many places the taxpayers have decided that it's not worth chasing down citizens over the extra bill, of which the return is terrible, so they scrap the idea and cover with the base department funding.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    HUH? You are saying that the ambulance service increased the tax bill the next year to cover not billing last year for transporting patients? I'm sorry i would NEVER support that. I am at a loss to understand why anyone wouldn't support the user fee system so that it doesn't unfairly burden those not using or abusing the system.
    No, in some places the EMS service flat out does not bill. Thus any cost associated are borne by the taxpayers. While I agree with your thinking on the the user fee system, you and I are far more conservative than most liberals who (quite successfully) argue that user fee structures force impoverished people to choose between eating and medical care. They continually fight off Medicaid and welfare reforms in spite of the known abusers that burden the rest of us.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    My bet is if you responded 7 times in one day, over 20 times in a week, and over 50 plus times in a month, to the same address for essentially BS calls where we NEVER transported your view might change slightly. But then again maybe not. It became a sick phukking joke that we took an emergency vehicle out of the ability to respond for a person completely abusing the system. It took police and social services intervening to stop the madness.
    Been there done that and we have done exactly what you did: used the law to stop the madness.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    The truth is many systems use different approaches to funding, my career FD EMS was funded by taxes and we billed for service rendered when we transported, the local EMS service is funded 100% by billing for services rendered when we transported.
    Well, judging from the mainstream, I'd say your area had a very successful model, maybe they should share it with the rest of the country. Around here, the only ones who survive on billing alone are larger "for profit" services that do a ton of transfers that offsets the emergency costs or the smaller POC or vollie services that don't pay benefits or full schedules.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Let me explain this to you so when you are ripping on me you can at least rip on me for what I actually said. I said it was the most ignorant thing I ever read here because he called being billed for services rendered a tax, which it clearly is not, it is users fee. So please, if you choose to continue to harangue me on my post at least get what I was saying right from now on.
    Maybe I had it all wrong, I guess I'd be in good company with many others here who seem to read what you post. If you thing this is me "ripping on you" you're taking things way too personally. Can we not debate or disagree without it being a personal afront? As for rendered tax vs. user fee? Tomato - Tomahto. What happens if someone else calls 911 and then the patient refuses to go? Who gets the bill?
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Honestly I have no idea what you are trying to say here. I would love for you to try to explain it again.
    OK here goes: Quite often the people whom are repeat callers and might be labelled abusers are those people suffering from mental illness or those with few resources to address their medical issue (be it real or perceived). Most frequently these are not people who are capable of paying the bill themselves, but in fact are already using public funded service to live and eat. Billing them would merely raise the amount of money they'd need and the more liberal among us would find a way to increase that funding, thus the rest of us would pay even more. Right now, if the ambulance doesn't get paid for an "abuse" call the resident taxpayers pay for it in the increases department cost, thus from their increased property taxes. If the cost of subsidized health care went up to cover billing for these calls, the money would come from the state taxes, and the taxpayers would pay for it through income taxes. Simple enough?
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I am talking about ems so I am not sure why you are trying to muddy the waters by bringing fire responses into this. Most areas don't see a huge number of false calls or abuse of the fire side of these services. On top of that if you are implying that I said to decline service you couldn't be more wrong because frankly, I never said that.
    Analogies. One cannot bring up user fees and directly tie it only to EMS when that model is not large enough to be a slight blip in the funding schemes nationwide. If you're basing all of your argument on "abuse" that's fine, my position is that we should address the abuse not add another level of bureaucracy that's doomed to fail. Most of the abusers do not have the ability to pay, thus billing them is a waste of time, lets find a better solution. And, I'd wasn't implying you said to decline service, but that is a common sentiment by some (rare within the ranks of those who see the the system from our side), I was merely taking that argument off the table before someone threw it out.

  3. #28
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    going back to the OP's original post for a minute:
    He's asking about a for profit business requesting them to be on site for fire protection . I'm sure the events insurance carrier requires this as a stipulation of the policy being issued.

    If the department is providing a crew & apparatus for fire protection during an event then they should be billing for that service at full cost. You have a crew on duty and a truck out of service for regular calls.
    Why should the taxpayers support a private enterprise without being reimbursed for the cost?

    I worked at several motorsports venues for several decades and was paid appropriately for my time. We worked SCCA, IMSA, , AMA ,INDYCAR & Nascar events.
    Even the volunteer department was paid a fee for providing coverage.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 04-12-2014 at 06:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    going back to the OP's original post for a minute:
    He's asking about a for profit business requesting them to be on site for fire protection . I'm sure the events insurance carrier requires this as a stipulation of the policy being issued.

    If the department is providing a crew & apparatus for fire protection during an event then they should be billing for that service at full cost. You have a crew on duty and a truck out of service for regular calls.
    Why should the taxpayers support a private enterprise without being reimbursed for the cost?

    I worked at several motorsports venues for several decades and was paid appropriately for my time. We worked SCCA, IMSA, , AMA ,INDYCAR & Nascar events.
    Even the volunteer department was paid a fee for providing coverage.

    Agree

    After awhile I have seen it get out of hand and every event expects you to show up or stand by or

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    Um, bridge tolls? You pay taxes so the bridge is there to use, but you pay extra to use it.

    National Park entrance fees, taxes keep the park open, but you have to pay extra to use it.

    Insurance, you pay a monthly fee but pay a deductible when you use it.

    Medical co-pays, building permits, public museums, the list goes on.
    FyredUp and slackjawedyokel like this.

  6. #31
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    We have a couple fireworks events every year that require us to stand by. The promoter is billed for the cost of a 3 person engine company (usually OT with spare apparatus) and a fire inspector (OT) to be on site from the beginning till the end of the event. Even this does not cover our full cost, considering the fire chief and inspector/fire marshal are actively involved in a pre-approval process that includes site surveys and administrative approvals.

    We have always sent in-service engine companies to public relations events and provided tours of the stations for free. Lately we have been forced to dial them back, partially because of our run volume, but also because too many people are taking advantage of us. People were asking for us to come to birthday parties and school functions to serve as the entertainment, just because we were free and "Stan the Fireman" and his ride along truck cost $$.

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