New Fees Proposed for False Alarms, River Rescues


The Boise Fire Department is proposing new fees for those who misuse emergency services. When fire officials make a formal presentation to the Boise City Council tonight, they will promote an estimated savings of $40,000 in unnecessary costs.

The proposal, which would come in the form a new city ordinance, has been discussed for the past two years, when the Council first directed all city departments to cut extraordinary services. Tonight's proposed ordinance would implement "charges for emergency service response where the incident prompting emergency response is the result of negligence or an intentional wrongful act." The new fees would apply to both individuals and commercial businesses.

False-alarm fees, in place since 2004, would be boosted from $25 for a fourth incident to $75 for a second incident (commercial fees would also increase). The new proposal additionally includes swift water rescues when the river has previously been considered dangerous by authorities ($1,000), minor and major hazmat incidents ($450 - $2,500) and illegal fires.

An individual or business facing mitigation costs will have the opportunity to meet with a designated representative of the emergency service that responded to their call to establish fees. If dissatisfied with the initial meeting, the responsible party may request a formal hearing

Fire officials say the new Title 7, Chapter 2 of city code would improve quality of service and effectiveness while maintaining Environmental Protection Agency requirements and Department of Homeland Security regulations.