Ind. Fire Dept. Charges Car Crash Fee

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Pike Township has joined a growing list of fire departments in central Indiana now charging for some of its services.

The department has begun charging those involved in crashes who need to be extricated from vehicles, 6News' Joanna Massee reported.

The department charges the insurance companies involved a flat fee of $750 for the service.

"If you don't live in the township, and you use our product, we want to be able to charge you for that product," said Fire Chief Gerald George.

The chief denied that charging for the service could lead it be to seen as a revenue stream, with rescuers performing extrications that aren't needed.

"If an individual don't need to be extricated, our crews aren't going to extricate," he said.

Other departments, like the Indianapolis Fire Department, Decatur Township and Lawrence, also charge user fees.

In Decatur Township, the fire department also charges for extricating people from crashes, or if crews fight a fire at a resident's home.

"If we bring in more money over here, we can get less money here," said Decatur Trustee Steve Rink.

He estimated the township will bring in $50,000 more in user fees this year as compared to 2009.

Some people scoffed at the idea of being charged twice -- once in taxes, and another time in fees.

"That's just too much. Why are they charging for everything?" one resident said.

"I'm not OK with it, but it is what it is," another said. "What can you do?"

IFD does not charge for extrications, but levies a fee for ambulance usage.

Fire Department Charges Car Crash Fee


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