Franklin supports fire co. request
Franklin Township supervisors plan to adopt an ordinance that authorizes Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company to be reimbursed for costs of materials and services.
The ordinance will be advertised. Supervisors plan to adopt the ordinance at the Feb. 18 meeting and the ordinance will become official five days after adoption.
The ordinance came at the request of Justin Smith, captain, who spoke on behalf of the fire company during the December 2013 township meeting. He asked supervisors to consider allowing the fire company to hire an outside contractor to help the fire company recoup costs of fighting fires or for their response to other emergencies.
Smith said that an ordinance was needed before the fire company could hire a third-party contractor to bill insurance companies for costs. He added that firefighters are always stressed because they are looking for ways to generate money for fire and EMS expenses.
Smith said that the fire company would not be billing people directly, only their insurance company, and only if the insurance policy provides for paying these services.
Smith said other fire companies who have done this have recouped about $15,000 for about 150 calls a year.
Franklin Township usually responds to 150 to 200 calls a year.
Citing expenses, Smith said a five-gallon pail of foam costs $80. Smith noted that firefighters will have to replace air packs which have a life span of 15 years and they are approaching that limit and need to be replaced.
He said that the third-party contractor would retain 15 percent of the fees brought for the first three months after an incident and then after three months following an incident the fees collected rises to 35 percent.
Smith stressed that none of the money will go to firefighters. He said that all of the firefighters are volunteers and that any funds brought in would be used to replace supplies and to upgrade equipment.
Smith said that the service does have the ability to go back three months for billing.
Franklin Township supervisors have been assisting the fire company each year with a check of $30,000 since 2007.
The township also pays for workmen's comp, insurances and fuel for the fire company.