Council approves certain charges for Youngstown Fire service

The chief says it's becoming a problem when Youngstown Fire Department's resources are tied up for hours at a time

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that would allow the fire department to charge for certain services.

Those services will include runs related to hazardous materials, building and trench collapses, arsons and lift assistance.

Fire Chief John O’Neill says the department will not be charging a fee to fight fires, car accidents or other routine calls.

He says it’s becoming a problem when the department’s resources are tied up for hours at a time.

Now that this measure has been passed, O’Neill hopes it will ensure his team can answer the call immediately when needed.

“Truly, we hope we don’t make a nickel, that really is the truth. What we’re really after is to get people more responsible and get our trucks cleared off of scenes faster,” he said.

The Youngstown Fire Department would have to be on the scene for at least 30 minutes to charge. The fees would include $425 an hour for a ladder truck, $350 an hour for a pumper and the use of firefighters would be at their actual hourly or overtime rate.

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