What It Costs to Maintain a Fire Department

What It Costs to Maintain a Fire Department

Variations in Appropriations of Some Fifty-Five Cities of 100,000 Population and Over—Average Per Capita Cost Estimated at $3.09

IN the following tabulation there are some interesting facts brought out and some significant comparisons. The record covers over fifty cities ranging in population from five million to 100,000 and representing practically every section of the country.

The appropriations for the maintenance of fire departments run all the way from $90,000 for Reading, Pa., to over seventy million for New York City. Naturally Reading’s per capita cost for its fire department is only 82 cents, with so small an appropriation, but strange to say in spite of the huge sum needed to maintain New York’s big department, its per capita cost is less than several of the cities spending much smaller sums. Thus New York spends per capita only a fraction over $3.10 for its fire department, while Boston, with an appropriation of $3,300,000 has a per capita cost of $4.11; San Francisco, with $2,591,909 per annum, $5.10; Seattle, Wash., with $1,326,870, $4.02; Bridgeport, Conn., $638,538.74, $4.40; Hartford, Conn., $626,197, $4.47, and Springfield, Mass., $730,697, per capita, $5.29.

Philadelphia has one of the lowest per capita expenses, for a large city, its appropriation being $3,837,996, and its per capita cost $2.10. Kansas City, Mo., also has a low per capita cost, the appropriation being $636,000 and the per capita, $1.82. The larger number of per capita costs noted in the table range between $3 and $4 and the average per capita costs of the fifty-five cities mentioned amounts to $3.09.

Of the total amounts of the appropriations there are only three cities whose sums equal or exceed three million dollars. Four cities have appropriations which are over two million dollars.

Municipalities which spend over one million dollars per annum for their fire departments number ten. The populations of these range from 773,000 to 300,000. Of the smaller amounts there are three over $800,000 with populations over 800,000. Three with over $700,000 appropriations, the population of which ranges from 140,000 to 240,000. Five of populations from 140,000 to 270,000, appropriation $600,000; four populations 175,000 to 240,000, appropriation $500,000; eight population 112,000 to 275,000, appropriation $400,000; eight population 100,000 to 178,000, appropriation $300,000; two population 123,000 to 150,000; appropriation $200,000; one population 130,000, appropriation $197,000 and one of 110,000 population with appropriation of $90,000.

The following are the figures:

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