Chatham County Commission votes on resolution to start county run fire department

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 5:19 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Chatham County Commissioners are beginning talks about starting a new fire department.

Recently, commissioners voted to approve a resolution to start up a new fire department that would be run solely by the county.

Right now, Chatham County contracts with Chatham Fire and is ran by Chatham Emergency Services. They are a private company.

A county document shows Chatham Emergency Services has concerns about how they’ll pay for the fire services they currently provide, without increasing their budget.

This comes after Chatham Fire told WTOC in 2021 that they were $3 million dollars in debt because thousands of residents weren’t paying for the mandatory services. Since then, the county took over enforcing the fire subscription. In May 2022, commissioners voted to charge unincorporated residents a fire fee. The first round of bills went out in last October, but the county has still struggled to get all unincorporated residents to pay it.

It’s unclear how the county plans to move forward with this resolution, but a transition plan is in the talks.