Updated AFR Cost Recovery Language to Specifically Focus on Recovering Funds from Insurance Companies

Strict limits before invoices are triggered would result in bills for only large-scale crashes and hazard mitigation.

May 28, 2019

Albuquerque Fire and Rescue is putting forward an amended version of their proposal to recover costs following major crashes that require extended fire or hazardous materials mitigation responses.

“Our intent with this proposal was always to focus our efforts on insurance companies, and now the language of the legislation reflects that, making it clear that we’re not going after the average citizen,” said Fire Chief Paul Dow. He added, “By recovering some of the costs associated with crashes like the tanker truck last year, which took almost 19 hours of constant hazardous materials mitigation work, we can ensure that every taxpayer dollar is going to fund those core fire and rescue services that we all rely on.” 

Under the new legislation, cost recovery will only be pursued when an incident exceeds $1,500 in response costs, whether that’s putting out a vehicle fire or mitigating hazardous materials. Past incidents that would have qualified include the crash of a tanker truck that required gasoline cleanup and pumping from one vehicle to another and the crash of a refrigerated truck carrying thousands of pounds of meat products through Albuquerque.

Deputy Chief Adam Eakes said, “With the bar set at $1,500 before an invoice is triggered, your average fender-benders and even most serious accidents between two individuals in standard vehicles are going to be exempt from receiving a bill.”

With the City Council set to consider the final legislation at a Wednesday night meeting, the previous legislation will be amended before the vote, better reflecting the intent and the implementation of the cost recovery program. In the new draft, the Fire Chief would maintain discretion to reduce charges or waive collection in cases that could cause severe financial hardship.

Review a PDF of the Cost Recovery Proposal.