Fire dept defends billing for all call-outs

2012-05-29 22:42

Pretoria - The Tshwane fire brigade has defended its practice of issuing invoices for every fire or accident it attends.

"It is not new for the fire brigade services to issue invoices for accidents as well as other types of incidents," Tshwane fire safety deputy chief Steve Combrink said on Tuesday.

"This has been in the approved council report on tariffs for some time now."

Beeld reported that the Tshwane fire brigade had started issuing invoices for every call-out, whereas in the past they were only issued for house fires.

A source was quoted as saying that even if somebody died in an accident, the deceased's next of kin would receive an invoice.

According to the report, it's claimed that the invoices range between R375 and R1 900.

The source said that it makes no difference if it is an accident, a veldfire, or a cat which was rescued from a tree - people will pay.

Combrink said: "Should people be involved in vehicle accidents or fires and they need our assistance, even if another person phoned, then yes, they will be invoiced."

This was to cover service delivery costs.

Combrink said the city was not the only one issuing invoices for call-outs.

"It is not as if we are now suddenly starting to issue invoices... we have been doing this for a few years already."

He said if a fire broke out at a vacant space, the person who called the fire brigade would not be invoiced.

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