To charge or not to charge?

Which activities do communities believe fire and rescue services should charge for? And as priorities move towards fire prevention and community safety, where does that leave the definition of extinguishing fires as the one core duty that must not be charged for?

Forty of the fire and rescue services in England and Wales answered a questionnaire about what special services they already charge for. In August 2003, 63 per cent felt it was right to charge for clearing up chemical spills; 35 per cent that they should charge for providing firefighting equipment on dedicated standby at sporting events or film locations; 23 per cent agreed that providing an interviewing officer or a fire report to a solicitor for an insurance claim should be charged as a special service. …

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