If your dept is eligible to be reimbursed for a call, what rate do you charge for men and equipment?
Example; you respond to a brush fire that is caused by someone burning without a permit. It takes 2 pieces of apparatus and 10 FF's 4 hours to extinguish and overhaul. Judge slaps the offender with a fine and orders "restitution". What rate are you allowed to bill for your apparatus and what rate are you allowed to bill for your FF's?
surely some of you out there are able to recover costs?
While I don't know much about finance departments, I would have to say the very least you can expect would be ALL of the pay & administrative costs associated with having the firefighters there. We take home a certain amount of pay as a firefighter, but we cost the towns & cities a certain amount for insurance and various other administrative things. Whatever the hourly cost for each FF is, I would use that as the very least you charge. I would guess the town budgets certain monies toward wear & tear, along with routine maintenance from use. That expense might not be passed on to the offender, since taxes already pay for it. Others will know more than I do, but I think you have a great question going. Good luck!
Billing for calls
In Illinois, we are allowed by state law to bill for services rendered to non residents. The maximum amount allowed to be billed is set be state law. I think we charge like $125.00 per hour for the engines and rescue, and $35.00 per hour per man for manpower.
We have an interstate highway running through our district, and we spend a lot of time out there for 10-50's, and the people are usually never district residents, so we bill them. I think the average bill is about $400.00 - $500.00.
In the case of a DUI 10-50, we are allowed $1,000.00 per state law, so that is what we get from them.
In the case of restitution, we submit our bill to the court system, which will include anything from equipment & manpower, to food and other things we needed for the call. The judge decides on the amount we get, which is usually what we billed for.
Also, we may bill a district resident/company for things above and beyond the normal firefighting range of things. One of our fires, a company bought all the hose we used at their site as it was pretty much ruined by the materials laying on the ground at their site. No hose to roll that day :D:D.
Hope this helps, maybe you can check with your state to see if they have guidelines for this.
we have never billed anyone for any costs unless it is a hazmat incident and then under the SARA title act we can bill. I would have to look at the actual ordinance to find the numbers. But for everyday MVA;s etc we bill for the ride to the ER and thats it.......
We invoice for alomost all calls. The amount is based upon how many trucks are required. The fee is $150.00 per department vehicle.
Vehicle Fires = 1 Engine
Grass Fires = 1 Engine + 1 Grass Truck
Structural Fires = 2 Engines + 1 Tanker + 1 Grass Truck
We don't levy any emergency services tax on residents. The charges help offset department expenses for the Townships.
Billing is allowed here in Iowa and we take full advantage of it. The max we will bill is $1000.00 for a fire with most fires being 1/2 or less of that (Unless HAZMAT). We ran into a little resistance at first but it's getting better. We usually bill insurance companies directly.
The above is a very good research project that was done on this topic. It is well worth the time to read it.
Todd, you're an Ace :cool:!! That's exactly the type of input I was looking for.
Thanks. Excellent study.
Your Welcome.....but I must give credit to George Oster who actually took all the time to do this research project.
He sure made up our mind after reading his report.
We will bill in a hazmat situation for any foam, diesel, oil dry, etc. that is used.
We also charge every non-resident $250 per car fire or accident in which the patient has to be extricated. This has only been in affect for a few months, but some people are upset with it. The money, however, goes into the village general fund.
Here in Canada where i'm from in my county we charge the person in the county $300/hr per truck.
Billing made easy
We used to do our own billing, but as a small volunteer department it was hard to stay on top of all of the paperwork.
We went with a third-party billing solution, Revenue Rescue. They made life a lot easier. Although we have to pay them a commission, we find that we actually get a lot more money out of their program because of the aggressive follow-up that they are able to do.
Their website is www.revenue-rescue.com
Best of luck!
Where I'm from in Canada, we charge $300/hr per fire truck/tanker. $100/hr for the command vehicle. All those charges include the FF's wages.
Well as a type 5 wildland engine the feds payus around 1600 per 24 hrs that must cove fuel wages and upkeep.. just rember that tire for my eng cost me 280 a peice also my crew men makes about 20.00 per hr we also have to pay for fuel and inshurnce and such.. it is not cheap but woth the time
I'm a Captain from the St. Louis, Missouri area and would like to find out if my state allows our department to charge non-residents on certain type calls. Can anyone give me a website to go to. Thanks.
I think the first place to start would be your local government. Not being from Missouri, I don’t know the laws there. In Michigan, the local governing body (Township, City, Village, etc.) should pass an ordinance. Here it is referred as a “Cost Recovery Ordinance”. It states the local governing body may charge for services rendered.
I don't have an electronic copy of ours, this is from a nearby city.
DIVISION 2. COST RECOVERY
Sec. 2-316. Purpose.
In order to protect the city from extraordinary expenses resulting from the utilization of city resources in response to certain public safety or fire emergency incidents, this division authorizes the imposition of charges to recover actual costs incurred by the city in responding to such incidents.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.01)
Sec. 2-317. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this division, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Assessable costs means those costs for services incurred by the city in connection with a response to a public safety or fire emergency incident, including, but not limited to, the actual labor and material costs of the city (including, without limitation, employee wages, fringe benefits, administrative overhead, costs of equipment, costs of equipment operation, costs of materials, costs of transportation, costs of material disposal and costs of contracted labor) whether or not the services are provided by the city or by a third party on behalf of the city; service charges and interest; attorney's fees, litigation costs and any costs, charges, fines or penalties to the city imposed by any court or state or federal governmental entities.
Bomb threats means the verbal or written threat of a bomb or other explosive device which if discharged as threatened would violate a federal, state or local law.
Emergency assistance means emergency medical, public safety, police, fire and civil defense services.
Excessive requests for emergency assistance means any request for emergency assistance made to a particular location or premises if such location or premises has requested emergency assistance more than five times in the preceding 30 days.
False alarm means any automated or manual device designed to request or summon emergency assistance, which device is activated, intentionally or otherwise, in the absence of an actual need for emergency assistance. The determination that there was no actual need for emergency assistance shall be made by the most senior person responding to a false alarm. However, a false alarm shall not be deemed to have occurred if:
(1) It is caused by an act of God, i.e., a lightning storm;
(2) It originates from a motor vehicle alarm system; or
(3) It has not occurred more frequently than three times in a calendar month or four times in a calendar year.
Hazardous material incident or emergency means any occurrence, incident, activity, accident or emergency where a release of hazardous materials occurs or is reasonably imminent and where the fire chief has so declared such activity, accident or emergency a hazardous material incident or emergency.
Hazardous materials means those elements, substances, wastes or byproducts, including, but not limited to, combustible liquid, flammable gas, explosives, flammables, poisons, organic peroxides, oxidizers, pyrophorics, unstable reactive matter, water reactive matter, petroleum products, antifreeze, polychloinated biphenyls and asbestos, which are or are potentially harmful to the environment or human or animal life, or which pose an unreasonable or imminent risk to life, health or safety of persons or property, or to the ecolo gical balance of the environment as determined by the fire chief or the senior fire official of the city in charge at the scene.
Illegal fire means a fire set or determined to have been set in violation of a federal, state or local law and shall include an arson fire and a fire set in violation of a no-burning ban or order. An illegal fire does not include an unintentional fire or fire caused by an act of God, i.e., a lightning storm.
Motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed vehicle designed or used on the public streets, roads and highways to transport passengers or property which is required to be registered for use upon such public streets, roads and highways and, for the purposes of this definition, all trailers or appurtenances attached to any motor vehicle.
Public safety or fire emergency incident means:
(1) Excessive requests for emergency assistance;
(2) A false alarm;
(3) A hazardous material incident or emergency;
(4) An illegal fire;
(5) Bomb threats;
(6) Threats of harm to oneself or others;
(7) A structure demolition; or
(8) A utility line failure.
Release means any actual or threatened spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, leaching, dumping or disposing into the environment, including, but not limited to, the air, soil, groundwater and surface water.
Responsible party means any individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, commercial entity, consortium, joint venture, government entity or any other legal entity responsible for a public safety or fire emergency incident or any owner, tenant, occupant or party in control of real and personal property from which, onto which or related to which there is a public safety or fire emergency incident and their heirs, estates, successors and assigns.
Structure demolition means the tearing down of a structure damaged by fire which must in the opinion of the fire chief be promptly demolished following the fire to protect public safety.
Threats of harm to oneself or others means the verbal or written threat of physical harm to oneself or another or another's property which if carried out would be a violation of federal, state or local law.
Utility line failure means the disabling of any transmission or service line, cable, conduit, pipeline, wire or the like used to provide, collect or transport natural gas or communication or electronic signals (including, but not limited to, telephone, computer, cable television and stereo signals or electronic impulses), if the owner or party responsible for the maintenance of such utility line does not respond within one hour to a request to repair or correct such failure.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.02)
Cross references: Definitions generally, § 1-2.
Sec. 2-318. Authorization and procedure.
(a) The city may recover all assessable costs in connection with a public safety or fire emergency incident from any or all responsible parties jointly or severally.
(b) The fire chief shall determine the total assessable costs and shall in consultation with other city personnel involved in responding to a public safety or fire emergency incident determine whether to assess any, all or part of such costs against any of the responsible parties. In making such determination, the following shall be considered:
(1) The total assessable costs;
(2) The risk the public safety or fire emergency incident imposed on the city, its residents and their property;
(3) Whether there was any injury or damage to person or property;
(4) Whether the public safety or fire emergency incident required evacuation;
(5) The extent the public safety or fire emergency incident required an unusual or extraordinary use of city personnel and equipment; and
(6) Whether there was any damage to the environment.
(c) After consideration of the factors in subsection (b) of this section, the fire chief may allocate assessable costs among and between responsible parties, including allocating all or some of such costs jointly and severally against more than one responsible party regardless of whether a responsible party has other legal liability therefor or is legally at fault.
(d) If the fire chief determines not to assess all or a part of assessable costs against a responsible party, such determination shall not in any way limit or extinguish the liability of the responsible party to other parties.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.03)
Sec. 2-319. Billing and collection of assessable costs.
After determining to assess assessable costs against a responsible party, the city treasurer shall mail an itemized invoice to the responsible party at its last known address. Such invoice shall be due and payable within 30 days of the date of mailing and any amounts unpaid after such date shall bear a late payment fee equal to one percent per month or fraction thereof that the amount due and any previously imposed late payment fee remains unpaid. If a responsible party shall appeal assessable costs pursuan t to section 2-320, such costs, if upheld, in whole or in part, shall be due and payable 30 days from the date of determination of the appeal and any late payment fees shall apply thereafter.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.04)
Sec. 2-320. Procedure for appeal.
Any responsible party who receives an invoice for assessable costs shall have an opportunity to meet with the city manager to request a modification of assessable costs. The responsible party shall request in writing such meeting within seven calendar days of the date of the invoice assessing the assessable costs. Any request to meet with the city manager shall specifically identify and explain all reasons why the responsible party believes the assessed costs should be modified. Any reason, basis or argumen t for modification of assessable costs not set forth in the request shall be deemed waived by the responsible party. Failure to timely file a written request to meet shall constitute a waiver of the responsible party's right to appeal, and shall further constitute the responsible party's agreement to pay the assessable costs invoiced. After a responsible party has been given an opportunity to meet with the city manager, the city manager shall promptly determine whether to confirm, modify or void the payment of assessable costs invoiced.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.05)
Sec. 2-321. Assessable costs a lien upon property.
Assessable costs assessed against a responsible party not paid when due, including late payment fees, shall constitute a lien upon the real or personal property of the responsible party in the city, from which, upon which or related to which the public safety or fire emergency incident occurred. Such lien shall be of the same character and effect as the lien created by the city Charter for city real or personal property taxes and shall include accrued interest and penalties. The city treasurer shall, prior to March 1 of each year, certify to the city assessor the fact that such assessable costs are delinquent and unpaid. The city assessor shall then enter the delinquent amount on the next general ad valorem tax roll as a charge against the affected property, and the lien thereon shall be enforced in the same manner as provided and allowed by law for delinquent and unpaid real or personal property taxes.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.06)
Sec. 2-322. Other remedies.
In addition to the remedy set forth in section 2-321, the city shall be entitled to pursue any other remedy or may institute any appropriate action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction as permitted by law to collect assessable costs from a responsible party.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.07)
Sec. 2-323. No limitation of liability.
The recovery of assessable costs pursuant to this division does not limit the liability of a responsible party under applicable local, state or federal law.
(Ord. of 12-19-2001, § 4.08)
Secs. 2-324--2-330. Reserved.