During its meeting on Monday, the Chehalis City Council unanimously passed an ordinance creating a cost recovery program for the city’s fire department services on its second and final reading.
“Residents will not be billed for these services. Only the insurance companies will be billed,” Chehalis City Manager Jill Anderson said during the meeting.
A variety of Chehalis Fire Department responses — including containment and suppression of a fire, toxic or hazardous material release containment and any specialized rescues — are among types of responses others will now be billed to insurance companies.
Additionally, hourly rates charging for both personnel and vehicles at a scene are included.
Chehalis Fire Chief Adam Fulbright initially proposed this ordinance during a city council meeting last month, as previously reported by The Chronicle.
He said the fire department has responded to a lot of incidents caused by people who are not Chehalis residents, all at zero cost to those who caused the incidents and without attempting to recover any costs.
Fulbright added that with inflation, equipment is going to keep costing more to replace. Some of the tools used, including specialized equipment for vehicle extractions, can cost up to $40,000 to purchase and on average $1,500 to $2,000 to repair.
For more information and to view the ordinance, go to page 85 of the Chehalis City Council Nov. 13 meeting agenda package, which can be found online at https://www.ci.chehalis.wa.us/meetings.