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ORFD Hires Firm For Fee Recovery

POSTED June 2, 2009 10:30 p.m.

Oakdale Rural Fire District (ORFD) Board members recently approved the hiring of Fire Recovery USA to provide billing services for Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs).

ORFD has ventured into these waters with limited success but this time may be different, as the billing will not be handled in-house as it was in the past.

“This system became overwhelming for the staff and also did not equal much success,” Rob Hoyer, ORFD Deputy Chief said of the previous attempt. “With that, the District decided to end the program.”

Fire Recovery USA went before the ORFD board last month and gave a presentation on their company, the billing process, and the fee structure. The board gave it the green light and at the next board meeting in June they will pass an ordinance, which will set the basic parameters of the new program, such as who will be billed and when.

Hoyer said while the effective date has not been determined yet, they have the ability to bill retroactively 120 days from the date they start.

Although Fire Recovery USA estimates each call nets $500, ORFD is not looking at this new program as a big moneymaker for the district but rather a way to break even.

“The district is not considering this as revenue and is not estimating the financial performance or yield if you will,” Hoyer said. “This program is viewed as a system to relieve the financial stress to the District associated with the response to traffic collisions, boating accidents, and certain rescues. All of which will be defined in the District Ordinance set to be adopted at the next board meeting.”

According to Fire Recovery USA, the billing rates are based on actual itemized costs from a sampling of fire departments across the county.

“This program is not new,” Hoyer said of the decision to start billing for the responsible party for MVAs. “Many fire districts and or departments have programs similar to this one.”

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