Fire Department to charge for services

Firefighter waits for waterA fire department in Metro Louisville’s Suburban Fire District will begin billing their residents for services rendered. Links to the news stories are below.

Lyndon Fire Department to begin billing for services from WLKY.com
Lyndon Fire Department to Charge Fees  from WDRB
Lyndon Fire District to charge emergency response fees  from WAVE3.com
Lyndon Fire Department to charge residents when firefighters are called out  from WHAS11.com
Lyndon Fire Department to charge fees for fighting fires  from the Daily News Journal

Beginning on July 1st, 2011 the Lyndon Fire Protection District will begin to recover their costs for fighting structure fires, rescues and motor vehicle collisions.

Cost recovery is not new to the suburban fire departments, several have been recovering costs from motor vehicle collisions from people who do not live in their district.

The current regulation, KRS Chapter 75, places a maximum tax  on personal property of 10%. The cap was originally set in the 1940’s. Fire protection districts across the state of Kentucky have unsuccessfully lobbied the state legislature several times to get an increase.

The cost recovery plan that is about to take effect is not popular with many residents. I understand why they would be against being charged a fee on top of paying an annual tax, but they do not see why the department is is dire straits.

I have written twice about Lyndon. Once about their attempt to get an ambulance and about their station brownouts.

The financial situation has not changed for the fire departments and Lyndon is out of options. No one wants to reduce the staffing, it’s not safe for the firefighters and it will not help the community.  Lyndon has not seen any increase in revenue in years, the current housing market has not helped. Foreclosures and decreasing property values are squeezing every tax district across the state.

The money will come from home owners insurance and it is likely that the homeowner will not see a bill directly. The premium might increase slightly (I’m not in the insurance business), but it would anyway if you had a fire. I don’t like this option as a source of revenue, but I’m not sure they have any other choice.

The time to consider merging fire districts in Metro Louisville has long past. There have been a few mergers in the past decade, but we need one unified fire department that provides quality service for all residents of the suburban district. I don’t know why the Mayor or the Metro Council have not talked about this yet. There is a committee looking into ‘Merger 2.0’ issues, I’m not sure if they are considering fire departments in their meetings. They should.

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About Joel

I am a paramedic, firefighter and I work for an organ procurement organization. All stories related to work have been altered to HIPPA standards and for the protection of those involved. The personal stories are different. Photography, flying, aviation, hiking, camping, travel, geocaching, amateur radio are a few of my hobbies.
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One Response to Fire Department to charge for services

  1. We in the uk have no idea how lucky we are to not have to pay like this !free fire,police,ambulance and hospitals paid only throug national insurane and tax and those on welfare, state benefits pay nothing for this!!!

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