07-21-2000, 04:55 PM #1Lieutenant GonzoFirehouse.com Guest
Lack of Insurance for Fire Departments
There have been a lot of news stories lately about firehouses burning down and the equipment is lost. What amazes me is that most of these fire departments that are quoted in the news stories do not have any insurance on the vehicles or their buildings! I would think that one of the first things a fire department would do is to make sure that their facilities and equipment are insured against fire, theft and flood and earthquake damages.
What costs more, an insurance policy or replacing an entire facilty and it's equipment?
We boldly go where no one else dares...
take care and stay safe
[This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited July 24, 2000).]
07-22-2000, 08:42 AM #2F02Firehouse.com Guest
I think it comes down to funding,or lack of it.The largest item in our budget is not apparatus,training,gear,etc.Its insurance.Drop it and we could afford a new truck also.Sounds like they gambled and lost!
07-25-2000, 07:03 PM #3AVF&R452Firehouse.com Guest
A gamble??? Yes it is.
I cannot say for sure but I would guess that for a large number of uninsured fire companies funding is the only reason. Some of our brothers have a tough time of it financially. Could be that fuel for the truck is a challenge. A burst section of hose means a shorter preconnect. A hole in the boot means a wet foot. Hip boots and cotton duck coats still abound in some areas.
SCBA is still a luxury in some companies.
Maybe they gambled and lost, OR maybe they did the best they could do (and still lost)
Just don't think we can assign blame from the info given.
07-25-2000, 11:44 PM #4Sand Creek LynnFirehouse.com Guest
I hope this is "just" casualty insurance for the fire equipment we are talking about. If it also means no liability or workmans comp. this is positively insane.
If "only" casualty [fire, theft, etc.]
is not being provided it may not be insane but it is certainly poor public policy to not properly insure property purchased with public money.
I'm with a department with a tiny budget and no money to spare but going "bare" [no insurance] is not even a consideration.
Every community is different but we have found good support from the taxpayers when a well thought out budget is presented. And if the departmennt is respected we have found that they are much more receptive to funding us properly. [What a surprise eh?]
When we just seem to be a bunch of yahoos with red trucks, cowboy attitudes, and a list of "toys" we want there is an understandable reluctance to spend tax dollars.
A professional approach with a little politicing goes a long ways.
Try it. It may work. And it can't hurt.
07-26-2000, 09:03 AM #5Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
I don't completely understand this, either. We're not the best funded station, not by a long shot, but we've got the full range of insurance. Actually, the Borough picked up the coverage on our apparatus a few years ago, but we still pay for the insurance on the buildings, portable equipment, liability, and people. Everything that can be is insured for replacement value, minus the deductables.
This whole package would amount to somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 per year if we had to pay it all ourselves, so I can see the hardship in one sense. We've never had to claim anything much bigger than a pager, a section of hose, or a minor fender-bender, but it's really nice to know that our apparatus, equipment and buildings could all be replaced if something went terribly wrong. I'd be more inclined to put off all but the most critical purchases & repairs than to drop the insurance coverage, if it came to that.
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