As budgets for many fire departments across the country are pinched, many departments are finding ways to do more with less.
(By the way, our Control Chief Access 1000 may be a great way to do just that! We can open 1000 doors with one remote!)
Firechief.com talks about some of the fiscal changes and challenges facing departments.
Fire service public budgeting
The first step in a discussion on fiscal constraints is to understand the modern public fire safety department’s budget. As public safety is a labor-intensive service model, typically, more than 90 percent of the budget is accounted for by personnel costs. An additional 5-7 percent is usually assigned to fixed costs for items such as apparatus parts and repairs, fuel, hose, equipment, station supplies and station maintenance. Ultimately, there is typically less than 5 percent discretionary spending capacity that frequently covers unexpected expenses.
Therefore, incremental cuts of only a percent or two can have a significant impact on a department’s ability to maintain services, because discretionary spending is so limited. In other words, there may not be sufficient cushion to insulate adjustments without impacting personnel and/or service delivery.
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