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Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004

Section 19:  Charging

38.Section 19 allows the Secretary of State to set out by order, following consultation, the services for which a fire and rescue authority may charge and the persons who may be subject to the charge. Section 3(1)(e) of the Fire Services Act 1947 already provides fire and rescue authorities with a discretionary power to charge for certain functions. As with the existing legislation, fire and rescue authorities will not be able to charge for extinguishing fires or protecting life and property in the event of fires, except in respect of incidents at sea or under the sea. There is also a prohibition on charging for the provision of emergency medical assistance.

39.Subsection (4) allows any order made under subsection (1) to include a provision for charges to be imposed on, or recovered from, third parties. Subsection (5) maintains the existing arrangement that allows fire and rescue authorities to set their own level of charge, and to vary the charge depending on the type of service provided and the circumstances of a particular incident, or to choose not to charge at all. Subsection (6) limits the amount charged to the cost of providing the service.

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