Additional response oriented fees include fire suppression and rescue fees. In some
cities, people responsible for fires may be held financially accountable for their actions, and
have to pay fire suppression costs. These fees are most often charged when negligence, code
violations, or criminal activity are involved in causing the fire (USFA, 1993).
Rescue fees are often charged for ice/water rescue, confined space rescue, and motor
vehicle extrication. In addition, many communities have ordinances which allow cost
recovery for responses to incidents involving the misuse of alcohol, including vehicle
accidents (USFA, 1993).
Fees are often used by fire departments to offset the cost of fire prevention services.
Among the most common are inspection fees, plan review fees, and permit fees. Some
departments charge a flat fee for inspection of a certain occupancy type while others are based
on square footage or the presence of a special hazard. Many fire departments review building
plans for fire code compliance and inspect the installation of fire systems during construction.
The fire department often receives part of the permit fees paid to the jurisdiction for these
services. Fees can also be charged for occupancy permits, special hazards permits, fireworks
permits, and tent permits (USFA, 1993).
Subscription fees or dues have been used by some volunteer organizations for many
years. Property owners pay (or make a donation) annually for the right to use the services in
case of an emergency. The subscription concept has been applied to both fire suppression and
emergency medical services (Wren, 1995).
Another non-tax funding alternative comes in the form of Grants. Many areas of
municipal government rely on Grant money to fund various programs. Such funding may be
available through various foundations, corporate grants, or government grants (DiPoli, 1997).