Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association


Log in

Information on City of Savannah Fire Fee

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 8:00 AM | DNA ADMIN Communications (Administrator)

What is a fire fee? 
A fire fee is a charge for fire services provided by Savannah Fire Department. Under the fire fee, the revenue collected can only be used for fire services to customers. A fire fee is a financing option that provides an equitable, stable and dedicated revenue source to support fire services. In Georgia, fire fees are similar to water, sewer, or sanitation fees, in that these services are typically funded through user fees.

What does the Savannah Fire Department do for me?

  • Protects the lives and property of the citizens of Savannah by providing the highest level of fire protection, prevention and response services through professionalism and dedication.
  • Maintains an ISO Class 1 rating; one of only 55 accredited fire departments in the U.S. with this rating. (There is a distinction between ISO Class I rated departments, of which there are more than 200, and accredited ISO Class I rated departments, of which there are 55.)
  • Responds to more than 8,000 calls for service a year which include fires, vehicle extrications, hazardous material incidents, water rescues and much more.
  • Currently comprised of 341 professional, fully-trained, career firefighters.
  • Operates 15 fire stations, associated equipment and vehicles that are strategically located all over the City of Savannah to ensure a quick response to its citizens.
  • Provides Fire safety education, performs fire investigations/inspections and provides community services including blood pressure checks and residential smoke detector installations.

Why did the City decide to charge a fire fee to fund fire services?
Charging a user fee for fire services (as opposed to increasing property taxes) is a more equitable way to fund Savannah Fire Rescue since it spreads the cost to all properties that benefit from the service, including tax exempt properties. Customers would pay according to the cost burden their property puts on Savannah Fire Rescue, not according to their property value.

What are the benefits of paying for fire services through user fees versus a property tax increase?
Benefits of paying for fire services through user fees versus a property tax increase include:

  • Fire services would be operated as a special revenue fund, similar to water, sewer and sanitation. That means all fire fee revenue collected will be spent on fire services only.
  • Fire services would no longer be vulnerable to a downturn in the economy that reduces property tax revenue. This, in turn, supports long-term financial planning for Savannah Fire Rescue.
  • Sharing fire fees increases equity and fairness since all properties that receive benefits from the availability of fire services pay the service fee. The general operating fund will pay the service fee for protection of the City's public buildings as well.

Fire fee Map

I have never had a fire at my home or place of business, how do I benefit from Savannah Fire Rescue services? 
The Savannah firefighters continually stand ready to serve. The Department maintains preparedness 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide fire protection services to all properties within the City of Savannah. Even if a property does not generate a call for fire services, that property and its occupants still receive the following benefits because of the availability of fire services.

  • Reduced risk to life and property due to fire
  • Increased value and marketability of the property
  • Reduced insurance premiums

What other local governments fund fire services through fire services fees? 
Fire fees are currently charged by multiple local governments in Georgia. They are also commonly charged in Florida and Alabama. Neighboring communities that charge fire fees include Bloomingdale, Garden City, Port Wentworth, unincorporated Chatham County (Chatham Fire Department or Southside Fire Department), Bryan County, Screven County, and many more throughout Georgia and the US.

What does Savannah Fire Rescue do for me?

  • Protects the lives and property of the citizens of Savannah by providing the highest level of fire protection, prevention and response services through professionalism and dedication.
  • Maintains an ISO Class 1 rating; one of only 55 accredited fire departments in the U.S. with this rating. (There is a distinction between ISO Class I rated departments, of which there are more than 200, and accredited  ISO Class I rated departments, of which there are 55.)
  • Responds to more than 8,000 calls for service a year which include fires, vehicle extrication, hazardous material incidents, water rescues and much more.
  • Currently comprised of 341 professional, fully-trained, career firefighters.
  • Operates 15 fire stations, associated equipment and vehicles that are strategically located all over the City of Savannah to ensure a quick response to its citizens.
  • Provides Fire safety education, performs fire investigations/inspections and provides community services including blood pressure checks and residential smoke detector installations.


Office Voicemail: 912.236.8362
info@savannahdna.org
facebook.com/SavannahDNA

Downtown Neighborhood Association of Savannah, GA Inc.
P.O. Box 9416
Savannah, GA 31412

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software