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Old 10-06-2010, 12:22 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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How much does it cost to put out a fire?

There's a couple of threads about the family that decided to forego paying for fire department services and then lost their house when it caught on fire and the fire department let it burn. Those threads are discussing various aspect of the issue but I wanted to ask about the money figures.

The fire department coverage would have cost seventy-five dollars. But that is obviously an insurance equivalent - it's discounted due to the fact that the people paying it may never require the actual service.

So what is the actual cost of putting out a fire? And what is the overhead cost for maintaining a fire department?
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2010, 12:34 AM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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previous thread with some numbers

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...ight=cost+fire
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:14 AM
Enderw24 Enderw24 is offline
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I think there are a lot of ways to calculate out things like what's discussed in that other thread drachillix linked to. Sure you can figure out the cost of water and determine the distance from the blaze...blah blah blah.

I think a better determination is a two step process:

1) Is this fire department running efficiently?

If the answer to #1 is yes, that means that are no obscene overages or no obvious ways to trim the fat off the budget. On the flip side, it has the means to keep going. It's meeting the needs of its community and no one's house is burning down due to lack of availability or resources.

If that's the case, go to question 2.

2) How many fires are there per year?

Now you just divide 2 into 1 and see what answer you get.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:20 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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I would figure a fire department must have some elaborate and expensive insurance. I further bet that the insurance company would put limits on what was and what was not covered.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:49 PM
anson2995 anson2995 is offline
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Most of the cost of having a fire department goes towards equipment and training/salaries. One of the fire departments in my town just bought a new truck, replacing one that had been in service since 1983. It cost almost $600,000. That fire house has 17 salaried firefighters, each of whom needs equipment and training (and a paycheck).

The cost of water, travel, etc. for an individual fire is trivial.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:15 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anson2995 View Post
Most of the cost of having a fire department goes towards equipment and training/salaries. One of the fire departments in my town just bought a new truck, replacing one that had been in service since 1983. It cost almost $600,000. That fire house has 17 salaried firefighters, each of whom needs equipment and training (and a paycheck).

The cost of water, travel, etc. for an individual fire is trivial.
Hardly trivial (except in comparison to $600,000). In the linked thread, KCB615 outlines the costs of a "low-cost" response and comes up with a figure of about $2500. That's above and beyond the overhead costs.
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