Iowa Fire Department to Charge for Services

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) -- Residents will be charged a service fee for using the fire department's services. City Council voted Monday that the service fee will be effective immediately. Previously, there was only a charge for cleaning up hazardous material spills.

Now, when the fire department responds to an accident and extracts someone from a vehicle, there will be a $500 charge. Responding to a vehicle fire will cost from $150 to $500.

The charge for responding to a grass fire will be up to $300. The charge for a house fire will range from $300 to $500 and a commercial building fire will range from $300 to $1,000.

``I believe this is something that we've needed in place for quite a while, and it would be beneficial for the city to utilize this and to utilize it now,'' Hamilton said.

Had the fees been in place last year, the fire department would have taken in about $15,000, Fire Chief Ralph Hickenbottom said.

Many of the fees will be covered by people's homeowner or vehicle insurance policies, rather than by individuals themselves, Hickenbottom said.