Has the cost of running a safe and modern fire department outgrown a donation funded department?I'm talking about a department that receives 100% of its income from donations or fundraisers without any government support.
Let's do some mathWe've looked at the financial statements from thousands of our customers over the past few years and have some interesting facts. We've eliminated career departments serving large cities to get a clear picture of small rural departments.
The average fundraiser earns about $4,000 after the costs are subtracted (cost of food, bingo expenses, etc.). Departments must run 10 fundraisers to have $40,000 in income per year, or about 1 per month.
Average insurance premiums are $13,000 for a comprehensive department policy.
An average new fire truck costs $350,000 which is a $40,000 payment for a typical finance term.
The average department spends $3,500 per year in training and $5,000 in utilities & fuel.
Equipping a fire fighter costs $9,500.
SummaryIf your donation run department has a fundraiser per month, they will spend about 1/3 on insurance and another 1/3 for basic operating expenses and equipping 1 new fire fighter.
The department would be able to afford only a fraction of a new truck payment.
The traditional funding model of relying only on fundraisers & donations is inadequate for a modern fire department.
Every fire department must prove its economic worth to the local government officials who have historically received fire fighting services for free.
John R. Hill