Council OKs Increase in Hazardous Materials Response Reimbursement

The Town Council has approved an increase in the rate structure for reimbursement when police, fire or public works personnel assist at an incident involving hazardous materials.
Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director George Klauber presented the request. Klauber said New Hampshire RSA 154:8a requires the state Department of Safety to establish maximum rates for equipment use and personnel costs for the purpose of reimbursement when providing services at a hazardous materials incident.

Klauber said that the town was asked to participate in a state survey to update the statewide rate. The town’s rates were last revised Sept. 6, 2011.
Klauber added that the recommended rates are based on current wages and roll-up costs (Social Security, Medicare, Workers’ Compensation and New Hampshire Retirement System). Equipment reimbursement rates are based on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) equipment usage rates.
If a private company or person is responsible for the hazardous materials incident, they can be billed for actual expenses related to the incident, Klauber said.
The new rates are a range of amounts depending on the person’s job and the type of equipment used, Klauber said. “We factored in straight time, overtime rates and benefits,” he said of personnel reimbursement. The equipment reimbursement depends on the type of equipment used – it varies for everything from a police cruiser to a front-end loader to a ladder truck.
There is no cost to the town, and the amount of revenue is undetermined, Klauber said.
The board voted 7-0 to approve the new rates.

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