"We don't get as much funding as a full-time fire department would," White Plains Volunteer fire Chief
Money collected within the city limits goes to city departments, one-third of the money collected within police jurisdictions goes to cities, and the rest to volunteer departments. Money collected in unincorporated
While there is one full-time department collecting fire tax money in each city, there are multiple volunteer departments that get a cut of the money collected in the county.
According to the law, one-third of all the money collected for volunteer departments is split up amongst them. Another third of the money is divided based on the number of people living in each volunteer department's fire district. The last third of the money is proportionately divided based on the amount of land within each department's district.
"There are also typically more people who live in the city limits," Roper said, offering another explanation for why full-time departments get a larger cut of the fire tax.
For the volunteer department of 25 firefighters, Harper said, they host two fundraisers a year to try to buy equipment with.
"We have purchased several things in the last six months," Harper said. "We bought an engine, airpacks, AEDs and a thermal imager. We try to pay for things out of our general fund, which we build with fundraisers, than pull from the fire tax money."
To rebuild that general fund, Harper said they are selling car wash tickets for Auto Spot in
"It's getting cooler out," Harper said. "People aren't going to want to wash their cars themselves so they can get a ticket for
Harper said he hopes to be able to purchase cold-weather clothing for his firefighters out of the money they raise from the ticket sales.
Harper said fundraisers also help pay for fire prevention campaigns.
"Fire prevention week is coming upon us and we are giving out free smoke detectors and will install them for free as well," he said. "We get some free with our insurance partner, but if we run out we have to pay for them out of pocket."
Harper said buying extra smoke detectors is a small price to pay to make sure the community is safe.
"Our main goal is safety," he said. "We don't mind giving up a little here and there to make sure everyone is safe."
Anyone interested in purchasing a car wash ticket or getting a smoke detector, Harper said, can contact him at 256-310-6880, the department at 256-435-3600, or send the department a
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