Youngstown Fire chief presents plan for charging when department responds to calls

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown City Council got more information Wednesday evening on the fire chief’s plan to charge for responding to calls.

Fire Chief Barry Finley was joined by a representative from Fire Recovery USA, which would collect the fees. The city would get 80% and Fire Recovery USA would get 20%.

Finley estimated that nearly $215,000 a year could be collected — most of it from house fires but also from vehicle fires and special rescues.

It would be set up for city residents only, where only the amount insurance companies are willing to pay would be collected.

For instance, if a Youngstown resident needs fire crews and insurance says it’ll pay, the resident won’t owe anything.

But say you don’t live in Youngstown and you’re in a car accident. If the cost is $1,000 and insurance will only pay $500, that person will be charged $500.

Council was promised that no city resident without insurance would be billed and insurance rates would not go up.

The plan is to use the money generated from the fees to start a city-owned ambulance service, where additional fees could be charged.

Council is not ready to vote. It’ll remain in the finance committee for now.

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