The Town of Luther is asking residents who live outside of town, but within the Luther Fire District, to voluntarily subscribe to a service for $250 annually.
The Town mailed 900 letters to households that live outside of the town limits recently describing the town board’s decision, in August 2021, to establish the subscription and ask for memberships. The fire district extends for almost 50 miles, according to the letter, and covers area outside of the town limits that is in unincorporated Oklahoma County.
The Luther Fire Department is operated by volunteers and a paid chief who give of their time for training and calls, and risk their lives on every call. The subscription service is an effort to bring more funding into the coffers of the LFD for better equipment, better coverage and better safety for the volunteer firefighters. After the recent retirement of volunteer Fire Chief John Brown, town trustees hired longtime fire volunteer Joseph Figueroa as the new chief.
While criticized by some, others have said they will gladly pay the $250 if it helps the fire department, and will lead to more peace of mind regarding fire protection and emergency services. In addition, experts say that an improved fire department will lead to lower insurance rates for homeowners. Others say the increased revenue from subscription fees will help modernize the department and prepare for coming growth to the area. While town officials say the subscription is voluntary, they are announcing a fee schedule should the LFD be called to a property outside of the town limits. See the list of fees below.
In this map of the Luther Fire District, those who live in the blue are being asked to pay for a subscription. Other fire departments listed surrounding the fire district including Edmond, Oklahoma City, Woodcrest, Fallis, Wellston, SW Lincoln and Hickory Hills offer mutual aid.
Read the letter sent to residents
The letter says “the Luther Board of Trustees is asking you to consider participating in the subscription program. In the event the Fire Department is called to respond to a fire on your property and you are enrolled, your insurance company will be billed for services based on the Run Fee Schedule. However, you will not be charged for any costs not covered by your insurance. If you do not participate in the subscription program, you will be responsible for any fees your insurance company does not pay. If you do not have insurance, you will be responsible for all fees and costs, unless you have the subscription service. If you have the subscription service, you owe nothing more.
This program also applies to medical calls. If you have no subscription, you will be billed for the fees incurred by the Department if it responds to a medical call at your property.”
I am a low income senior citizen that recieved the subscription letter. I live near two other fire departments and wonder what I would do if both of them would also ask me to pay a subscription fee. I also wonder if the subscription idea is legal, because I never heard of this idea before. I would be happy to make a donation, but the first reading of the letter put me in a panic, because it seemed to be due in one week! I will call my insurance agent, the other fire departments and then make my decision.
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