The Common Council scheduled an Oct. 16 public hearing on a proposed local law that would authorize billing of insurance carriers for emergency services rendered by Lockport Fire Department at accident scenes in the city.
The Union-Sun & Journal erroneously reported last week that the proposed local law was adopted by the council when instead the council approved scheduling the public hearing.
If the proposed "accident recovery policy" is adopted, LFD will bill insurers $150 for its response to minor accidents, and bill $375 for major, non-injury accidents including those that involve spills from tank leaks, fire hazard precautions and vehicle disentanglement.
Insurers will be billed $400 for accidents that involve emergency medical services or removing occupants from vehicles. Crashes that involve treatment of multiple patients or removal using hydraulic or power tools will result in $600 bills. And hazardous material control, such as cleaning up chemical spills form commercial vehicles, will cost insurers $1,000. Suppressing a vehicle fire will cost $300.
City officials say the policy could help cover the cost of implementing a recent arbitration decision mandating Lockport increase its minimum manning from six to nine firefighters per shift. The estimated cost to employ 16 additional firefighters — 12 new hires and retention of four currently grant-funded posts — is $1.3 million, according to city Finance Director Scott Schrader.
Similar accident recovery policies have generated hundreds of thousands in new revenue for nearby municipalities, Mayor Michelle Roman said.