Part 151 - Reimbursement for Costs of Firefighting on Federal Property
Subpart A - Purpose, Scope, Definitions
Subpart B - Submission, Determination, Appeal
- Submission of claims.
- Determination of amount authorized for payment.
- Reconsideration of amount authorized for payment.
Subpart C - Administration, Penalties
AUTHORITY: Secs. 11 and 21(b)(5), Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act
of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2210 and 2218(b)(5)); Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 (3
CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 379) and E.O. 12127, dated Mar. 31, 1979 (3 CFR, 1979 Comp.,
SOURCE: 49 FR 5929, Feb. 16, 1984, unless otherwise noted.
Subpart A - Purpose, Scope, Definitions
§ 151.01 Purpose.
Section 11 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, provides
that "each fire service that engages in the fighting of a fire on property which
is under the jurisdiction of the United States may file a claim with the Director
of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the amount of direct expenses and
direct losses incurred by such fire service as a result of fighting such fire."
This part, implements section 11 of the Act and governs the submission,
determination, and appeal of claims under section 11.
§ 151.02 Scope.
Fire services, in any State, may file claims for reimbursement under section
11 and this part for the direct expenses and losses which are additional
firefighting costs over and above normal operating costs incurred while fighting
a fire on property which is under the jurisdiction of the United States. Section
11 requires that certain payments be deducted from those costs and that the
Treasury Department will ordinarily pay the amount resulting from the application
of that formula. Where the United States has entered into a contract (which is
not a mutual aid agreement, defined in §151.03) for the provision of fire
protection, and it is the intent of the parties that reimbursement under section
11 is unavailable, this intent will normally govern. Where a mutual aid agreement
is in effect between the claimant and an agency of the United States for the
property upon which the fire occurred, reimbursement will be available in
otherwise proper situations. However, any payments (including the value of
services) rendered under the agreement during the term of the agreement (or the
Federal fiscal year in which the fire occurred, if no term is discernible) shall
be deducted from the costs claimed, pursuant to §151.12.
§ 151.03 Definitions.
- The Act means the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, 15
U.S.C. 2201 et seq. Additional firefighting costs over the above normal operating costs means
reasonable and authorized (or ratified by a responsible Federal official) costs
ordinarily associated with the function of firefighting as performed by a fire
service. Such costs would normally arise out of response of personnel and
apparatus to the site of the fire, search and rescue, exposure protection, fire
containment, ventilation, salvage, extinguishment, overhaul, and preparation of
the equipment for further use. This would also include costs associated with
emergency medical services to the extent normally rendered by a fire service in
connection with a fire. Not included are administrative expenses, costs of
employee benefits, insurance, disability, litigation or health care, and the
costs associated with processing claims under section 11 of the Act and this
- Director means the Director of the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, or his/her designee.
- Claimant means a fire service as defined in paragraph (g) of this
- Direct expenses and losses means expenses and losses which would not
have been incurred had not the fire in question taken place. This includes
salaries for specially employed personnel, overtime pay, the cost of supplies
expended, and the depreciated value of equipment destroyed or damaged. It does
not include such costs as the ordinary wages of firefighters, overhead costs, or
depreciation (if based on other than hours of use during fires). Expenses as
defined herein would normally be incurred after the first call or alarm and would
normally cease upon the first of the following: Return to station, report
in-service and ready for further operations, or commence response to another
- Fire means any instance of destructive or uncontrolled burning,
including scorch burns and explosions of combustible dusts or solids, flammable
liquids, and gases. The definition does not include the following except where
they cause fire or occur as a consequence of fire: Lightning or electrical
discharge, explosion of steam boilers, hot water tanks, or other pressure
vessels, explosions of ammunition or other detonating materials, overheating,
mechanical failures, or breakdown of electrical equipment in power transmission
facilities, and accidents involving ships, aircraft, or other vehicles. Not
included in this definition are any costs associated with false alarms,
regardless of cause.
- Fire service means any organization in any State consisting of
personnel, apparatus, and equipment which has as its purpose protecting property
and maintaining the safety and welfare of the public from the dangers of fire,
including a private firefighting brigade. The personnel of any such organization
may be paid employees or unpaid volunteers or any combination thereof. The
location of any such organization and its responsibility for extinguishment and
suppression of fires may include, but need not be limited to, a State, city,
town, borough, parish, county, fire district, fire protection district, rural
fire district, or other special district.
- Mutual aid agreement means any reciprocal agreement whether written or
oral between a Federal agency and the claimant fire service, or its parent
jurisdiction, for the purpose of providing fire protection for the property of
the United States upon which the fire which gave rise to the claim occurred and
for other property for which the claimant normally provides fire protection. Such
agreement must be primarily one of service rendered for service, or must be
entered into under 42 U.S.C. 1856 through 1856d. Not included are all other
agreements and contracts, particularly those in which the intent of the parties
is that the United States pays for fire protection.
- FEMA means the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Over and above normal operating expenses means costs, losses and
expenses which are not ordinarily and necessarily associated with the
maintenance, administration, and day-to-day operations of a fire service and
which would not have been incurred absent the fire out of which the claim
- Payments to the fire service or its parent jurisdiction, including taxes
or payments in lieu of taxes, the United States has made for the support of fire
services on the property in question means any Federal monies, or the value
of services, including those made available through categorical or block grants,
contracts, mutual aid agreements, taxes, and payments in lieu of taxes which the
United States has paid to the fire service or its parent jurisdiction for fire
protection and firefighting services. Such payments will be determined on the
basis of the term of the arrangement, or if no such term is discernible, on the
basis of the Federal fiscal year in which the fire occurred.
- Property which is under the jurisdiction of the United States means
real property and Federal improvements thereon and appurtenances thereto in which
the United States holds legal fee simple title. This excludes Federal leasehold
interests. This likewise excludes Federal personal property on land in which the
United States does not hold fee simple title.
- State means any State of the United States of America, the District of
Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American
Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of
the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United
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Subpart B - Submission, Determination, Appeal
§ 151.11 Submission of claims.
Any fire service in any State which believes it has a claim(s) cognizable under section 11 shall submit its claim(s) in writing within 90 days of the occurrence of the fire(s) for which a claim(s) is made. If the fire is of such duration that the claimant desires to submit a claim before its conclusion, it may do so, but only for the eligible costs actually incurred to date. Additional claims may be filed for costs later incurred. Claims shall be submitted to the Director, FEMA, Washington, DC 20472. Each claim shall include the following information:
- Name, address, jurisdiction and nature (volunteer, private, municipal, etc.)
of claimant's fire service organization;
- Name, title, address and telephone number of individual authorized by the
claimant fire service to make this claim in its behalf and his/her certification
as to the accuracy of the information provided;
- Name and telephone number of Federal employee familiar with the facts of the
event and the name and address of the Federal agency having jurisdiction over the
property on which the fire occurred.
- Proof of authority to fight the fire (source of alarm, whether fire service
was requested by responsible Federal official or whether such an official
accepted the assistance when offered);
- Personnel and equipment committed to fighting of fire (type of equipment and
number of items); and an itemized list of direct expenses (e.g., hours of
equipment operation, fuel costs, consumables, overtime pay and wages for any
specially hired personnel) and direct losses (e.g., damaged or destroyed
equipment, to include purchase cost, estimate of the cost of repairs, statement
of depreciated value immediately preceding and subsequent to the damage or
destruction and the extent of insurance coverage) actually incurred in fighting
the fire. A statement should be included explaining why each such expense or loss
is considered by the claimant not be a normal operating cost, or to be in excess
of normal operating costs;
- Copy of fire report which includes the location of the fire, a description of
the property burned, the time of alarm, etc.;
- Such other information or documentation as the Director considers relevant to
those considerations to be made in determining the amount authorized for payment,
as set forth in §151.12 of these regulations;
- Source and amount of any payments received or to be received for the fiscal
year in which the fire occurred, including taxes or payments in lieu of taxes and
including all monies received or receivable from the United States through any
program or agreement including categorical or block grants, and contracts, by the
claimant fire service or its parent jurisdiction for the support of fire services
on the property on which the fire occurred. If this information is available when
the claim is submitted, it should accompany the claim. If it is not, the
information should be submitted as soon as practicable, but no later than 15 days
after the end of the Federal fiscal year in which the fire occurred.
(Approved by Office of Management and Budget under control number 3067-0141)
§ 151.12 Determination of amount authorized for payment.
- The Director shall determine the amount to be paid on a claim (subject to
payment by the Department of the Treasury). The amount to be paid is the total of
eligible expenses, costs and losses under paragraph (a)(1) of this section which
exceeds the amount of payments under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The
Director shall establish the reimbursable amount by determining:
- The extent to which the fire service incurred additional firefighting costs,
over and above its normal operating costs, in connection with the fire which is
the subject of the claim, i.e., the "amount of costs"; and
- What payments, if any, including taxes or payments in lieu of taxes, the fire
service or its parent jurisdiction has received from the United States for the
support of fire services on the property on which the fire occurred.
The reimbursable amount is the amount, if any, by which the amount of costs,
determined under paragraph (a)(1) of this section exceeds the amount of payments
determined under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Where more than one claim is
filed the aggregate reimbursable amount is the amount by which the total amount
of costs, determined under paragraph (a)(1) of this section exceed the amount of
Federal payments (in the case of a mutual aid agreement-its term or if none is
determinable, the Federal fiscal year) determined under paragraph (a)(2) of this
- The Director will first determine the costs as contemplated in paragraph
(a)(1) of this section. The Director will then notify the claimant as to that
amount. The claimant must indicate within 30 days its acceptance or rejection of
- If the determination is accepted by the claimant, this will be the final and
conclusive determination of that amount of costs by the claimant in conjunction
with the fire for which the claims are submitted.
- If the claimant rejects this amount, it must notify the Director, within 30
days, of its reasons for its rejection. Upon receipt of notification of
rejection, the Director shall reconsider his determination and notify the
claimant of the results of the reconsideration. The amount determined on
reconsideration will constitute the costs to be used by the Director in
determining the reimbursable amount.
- Upon receipt of documentation from the claimant on the amount of payments the
Federal Government has made for the support of fire services on the property in
question, the Director will, following such verification or investigation as the
Director may deem appropriate, calculate the full amount to be reimbursed under
the section 11 formula as set forth in §151.12(a). This calculation of the
reimbursable amount is based upon the costs determined pursuant to
§151.12(b) and the documentation of Federal payments that the claimant
- The Director's determination of the reimbursable amount will be sent to the
Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury shall, upon receipt of
the claim and determination made under §151.12 (a), (b), and (c), determine
the amount authorized for payment, which shall be the amount actually available
for payment from any monies in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated but
subject to reimbursement (from any appropriations which may be available or which
may be made available for the purpose) by the Federal department or agency under
whose jurisdiction the fire occurred. This shall be a sum no greater, although it
may be less, that the reimbursable amount determined by the Director, FEMA, with
respect to the claim under § 151.12 (a), (b), and (c).
- Upon receipt of written notification from the claimant of its intention to
accept the amount authorized as full settlement of the claim, accompanied by a
properly executed document of release, the Director will forward the claim, a
copy of the Director's determination and the claimant's document of release to
the Secretary of the Treasury for payment of the claim in the amount
- Subject to the discovery of additional material evidence, the Director may
reconsider any determination in this section, whether or not made as his final
[49 FR 5929, Feb. 16, 1984, as amended at 49 FR 38119, Sept. 27, 1984]
§ 151.13 Reconsideration of amount authorized for payment.
- If the claimant elects to protest the amount authorized for payment, after
the applicable procedures of §151.12 have been followed, it must within 30
days of receipt of notification of the amount authorized notify the Director in
writing of its objections and set forth the reasons why the Director should
reconsider the determination. The Director will upon notice of protest and
receipt of additional evidence reconsider the determination of the amount of
Federal payments under §151.12(a)(2) but not the determination of the amount
of costs under §151.12(a)(1). The Director shall cause a reconsideration by
the Secretary of the Treasury of the amount actually available and authorized for
payment by the Treasury. The Director, upon receipt of the Secretary of the
Treasury's reconsidered determination, will notify the claimant in writing of the
amount authorized, upon reconsideration, for payment in full settlement of the
- If the claimant elects to accept the amount authorized, upon reconsideration,
for payment in full settlement of its claims, it must within 30 days (or a longer
period of time acceptable to the Director) of its receipt of that determination
notify the Director of its acceptance in writing accompanied by a properly
executed document of release. Upon receipt of such notice and document of
release, the Director will forward the claim, a copy of the Director's final
determination, and the claimant's document of release to the Secretary of the
Treasury for payment of the claim in the amount of final authorization.
§ 151.14 Adjudication.
If the claimant, after written notice by the Director of the amount authorized
for payment in full settlement of the claim and after all applicable procedures
of §151.12 and 151.13 have been followed elects to dispute the amount
authorized, it may then initiate action in the United States Claims Court, which
shall have jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim and enter judgment in accordance
with section 11(d) of the Act.
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Subpart C - Administration, Penalties
§ 151.21 [Reserved]
§ 151.22 Audits.
At the discretion of the Director, all claims submitted under section 11 of
the Act and all records of the claimant will be subject to audit by the Director
or his/her designee. In addition, the Comptroller General of the United States or
his/her designee shall have access to all books and records of all claimants
making claims under section 11.
§ 151.23 Penalties.
Claimant's officials or others who provide information or documentation under
this part are subject to, among other laws, the criminal penalties of Title 18 of
the United States Code, sections 287 and 1001, which punish the submission of
false, fictitious or fraudulent claims and the making of false, fictitious or
fraudulent statements and which provide for a fine of not more than $10,000 or
imprisonment for not more than five years, or both. For such a violation, the
person is likewise subject to the civil penalties set out in 31 U.S.C. 3729 and
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