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Volunteer Fire Dept. Service Charge

By: Lauren Davis
By: Lauren Davis

Local volunteer firefighter departments could be seeing more green if a bill is passed in the Alabama Senate this legislative session.

The bill would give volunteer fire stations legal backing to charge for their services. Coffee County firefighters say they could use the extra money.

New Brockton Volunteer Firefighters just bought a new pump truck with FEMA grant money.

Without those federal funds, Coffee County firefighters would be using an old outdated truck.

“There's no avenue now for us to obtain equipment,” says Joseph McCollough of the Coffee Co. Firefighter's Association.

There's a proposed bill in the legislature that would legally back firefighters to do what some already do: charge for their services.

Officials are hoping to be able to charge about $30 dollars per household for a fire fee.

“It would help us out by buying equipment,” said McCollough.

In Coffee County, firefighters get between $16 to $20,000 dollars a year from tobacco taxes.

But firefighters pay at least $5000 dollars in insurance annually.

“I personally think it's a good idea and a good thing,” said John Tallas of Coffee Co. EMA.

Firefighters would still do fundraising and apply for grants, but the extra money would help other fire stations in the county get up to date equipment like New Brockton.

Fifty-nine out of the 10 fire stations in Coffee County are strictly volunteers.


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