[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Bethlehem 1-18-2016 by Ord. No. 21-15. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
- ACTUAL AND REASONABLE RESPONSE COSTS
- An amount that is consistent with what a reasonable person would pay in the same or similar circumstances for the same business or for the same or similar item. This term shall not include any costs for labor.
- An incident that requires responsive, coordinated action to protect an individual, the environment, critical infrastructure or property.
- FIRE COMPANY or FIRE COMPANIES
- The volunteer fire companies located in the Township.
- OFFICIAL DISPATCH
- The dispatch of a fire company to an emergency by the Northampton County 911 Call Center or a response to a special call or request from the Township Police with an emergency.
- The Township of Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
A person involved in an emergency that necessitates a response from a fire company shall be liable for the actual and reasonable response costs incurred by the fire company unless that person has paid a tax to the Township which funds at least part of the fire company's operations and maintenance.
Billing. A fire company shall have the right and authority to seek reimbursement for actual and reasonable response costs related to an emergency as provided for under this chapter which includes, but is not limited to, the actual or reasonable response costs of materials used or equipment damaged in an emergency. A bill for reimbursement must clearly itemize the costs that have been incurred by the fire company and shall be in accordance with the cost schedule attached hereto and marked Exhibit "A," which cost schedule may be revised from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Bethlehem Township.
Editor's Note: Said exhibit is included as an attachment to this chapter.
Reimbursement. If a person receives a bill for actual and reasonable response costs as provided for under this chapter, the person shall be responsible for payment of the bill. A person may elect to submit the bill to an insurance company; however, submission of a bill to an insurance company shall not relieve the person, other than a person that has paid taxes to the Township as provided in § 125-02, from financial responsibility for payment of the bill, if an insurance company denies payment of the bill.
Failure to pay. A fire company or a third party billing service that submits to a person a bill for actual and reasonable response costs as provided for under this chapter may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the amount of actual and reasonable response costs if the person fails to pay the amount of the bill, which may include reasonable interest, reasonable administrative fees, reasonable attorney fees, reasonable collection fees, and court fees for the collection of the bill.
Bills from both fire companies. If more than one fire company incurs actual and reasonable response costs in a response to an emergency, separate bills will be submitted to the Township Fire Marshal, or his/her designee as determined by the Township Manager, in order to create one invoice.
Proceeds from all bills submitted by the respective fire companies will be kept in a capital fire company equipment fund to be held by the Township. Efforts will be made to maintain a billing history based on the submitting fire company.