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Volunteer fire dept. to bill for services

The fees for service are needed to off set rising costs

By Sam Jackson
The Martinsville Bulletin

PATRICK COUNTY, W.Va. — Patrick County Emergency Services plans to begin billing for certain fire incidents Jan. 1, according to a release from the county EMS.

Services that will be billed include the fire department’s responses to house and vehicle fires and accidents, the release said. Fees typically will range from $100 to $1,000, and the cost will be determined by the nature of the call as well as the time and materials needed, the release said.

According to Patrick County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Allen, the decision to bill for services is due in part to the rising costs of maintaining volunteer emergency services.

Full story: Patrick to bill for fires




Comments
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Michael Piccoletti Michael Piccoletti Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:17:17 AM I wonder what the legalities of this are? I doubt just anyone can start doing this... But sadly this is what it is coming down to, Companies are not exactly rich anymore...
Clint Madden Clint Madden Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:20:27 AM Our State FireMarshall sets the fees that we can charge
John Berti John Berti Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:21:50 AM I know we are able to as long as the municipality passes an ordinance allowing it.
Bryan W. Waagner Bryan W. Waagner Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:23:15 AM If you read the article you would know the state legislature passed a bill that allows this. I don't know all the particulars of this department but if you do not get enough money from the tax base then you have to look at other funding sources. There are only so many bbq chicken dinners, pancake breakfasts and fill the boot donations. The real problem with this is that insurance companies do not have a good history of actually paying these bills.
Kevin Anderson Kevin Anderson Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:24:07 AM Why not? "Fire Based" ambulance calls can be billed!
Jim Krywko Jim Krywko Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:30:00 AM Great idea
George Proctor SR George Proctor SR Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:41:14 AM My old vollie station billed for Fire calls, most Insurance companies paid the Bill!
Kim Callahan Kim Callahan Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:59:05 AM Our city department already does this. Unfortunately with the cutbacks in federal funds, it's about the only way these departments can survive....
James E Phillips James E Phillips Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:19:17 PM This may just happen. Fire coverage , Auto accidents etc. Things are not getting any better except for the folks that give their time as Volunteers fire persons.
Jimmy Johnson Jimmy Johnson Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:47:30 PM It would be a reasonably good thing to do because whenever an Apparatus is dispatched , that's when the the amount starts. As many of us Brother and Sister FireFighters know, It is not CHEAP! to run an apparatus, and the cost of them are also not cheap either. So.. I feel that this would be appropriate. Shoot! even bill the insurance companies for this too.
Brian Kelly Brian Kelly Thursday, December 13, 2012 2:39:15 PM I don't belive you can do that to the people if your a tax based dept now if you have a mva or other diff type calls that are for calls that are for persons not paying to your tax base.
Steve Peal Steve Peal Thursday, December 13, 2012 3:14:21 PM This is soft billing if the ins. company don't pay all of or part of the bill no one get charged.
Bill Walls Bill Walls Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:19:55 PM Obviously you are wrong. They are taking what the insurance companies will give them,it seems to me. I agree it should not be allowed. But then do we not pay taxes to Iron couny EMS. They charge and sometimes quite alot.Iam proud that Quad County Fire is there to serve the people of our district.
Billy Gillam Billy Gillam Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:34:48 PM At one time, we wee able to bill here in Nacogdoches, County Texas. But our Board of Directors decided that it was not going to be allowed anymore after the first of the year, l to bill residents or property owner who live within the district, but it is OK to bill those who are just passing through. The BIG problem is that most people either ignore or just could care less about a VFD, they think that because of that, then its free.
Ryan Mullennax Ryan Mullennax Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:37:18 PM my department was going to do this but we found out that if we started to charge we would have to change to a paid department because we would lose our "non-proffit" standing.
Billy Gillam Billy Gillam Friday, December 14, 2012 5:40:47 AM Ryan, I'm not sure where you are from, but that in its self is not a valid reason. Your 501c3 would still be in effect. Someone is giving very poor advice to your department.
Scott List-Ramler Scott List-Ramler Friday, December 14, 2012 6:42:21 AM I'm fortuante enoughto work in a department that doesn't need the extra money however some of our neighboring departments arnt so lucky many of them have considered this means of makking money to purchace new equiptment and replace some nececities within the firehouse. its sad that some of the departments don't get as much support as they should and have to resort to these kind of actions just to keep providing for their citizens and keep their firefighters and emt equipped for anysituation they may face.
Stephen Bourassa Stephen Bourassa Friday, December 14, 2012 6:48:39 PM This must be an area where there is not a tax paid for fire protection. This would be like haveing to pay twice for the protection.
Mark A Cummins Mark A Cummins Friday, December 14, 2012 7:49:17 PM A lot of Department that operate CAFS foam units charge the insurance companies for the "hazard reduction application" because the foam is used as a safety and environmental damage control. CAFS is proven to reduce insured damage and qualifies in Texas for insurance credits equal to having a hydrant within 1,000 feet of the insured property.
Brad Pressley Brad Pressley Saturday, December 15, 2012 8:17:29 AM In NC, alot of departments have started billing for mva's and such but people who pay tax to that dept do not get charged. Mainly motorist passing through, this normally is paid by the insurance company. Insurance companies set aside money with every claim for emergency services rendered and supplies used they just dont make this known to obviously save them money

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