GFFR seeking fee increase for certain services outside emergency response work

Great Falls Fire Rescue is proposing a fee increase for certain services and the City Commission will consider the change during their Aug. 6 meeting.

The fees were last changed in April 2014 and includes fees for investigation reports, facility and equipment rental, ladder testing, hose repair, breathing air bottle filling and more.

The proposal would increase the fees by 10 percent as a cost of living adjustment and the true cost of additional services that GFFR offers to the community, according to the staff report.

Two new fees are added in the proposal, one for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class tuition and the other to provide fire water line flushes.

Since the fees were last adjusted in 2014, the cost of providing these services has increased due to personnel, equipment and supply increases.

GFFR has these charges in place for services that are typically not associated with the department typical emergency response work, which GFFR does not charge a fee to provide.

Since the last fee-schedule review, GFFR added the community CPR training. Each student shall be charged a nominal $35 tuition fee and the cost of the American Heart Association CPR card. The Department plans to offer CPR training once a month based on demand.

GFFR has also been conducting flushes of repaired or newly installed Fire Suppression System water lines. This requires at least two GFFR staff members and all the equipment it takes to connect to the line to include 5-inch high volume hose. The $100 dollar fee will help maintain the equipment and defray the cost of staff time spent doing the work, according to the staff report. The department conducts anywhere from 20-35 flushes annually.

The fee increases will help pay for the maintenance, care and repair of the equipment and facilities used to provide the services as listed, according to GFFR’s staff report, and without the increased, the city would bear the additional cost or the services could be stopped.

Public Works staff have been informed of the flushing service, especially those that impact water lines and hazardous materials response to protect the city stormwater system.