NBC5Chicago.com has an article outlining a policy by several area fire departments to charge for various services:

Car wrecks can be costly. And now they’re getting more expensive for some people who need firefighters to help them.

At least 15 Chicago-area fire departments now charge the public fees for responding to accidents and vehicle fires, and roughly half of them started the billing practice within the last year as more municipalities search for new revenue sources, according to information obtained by the Better Government Association and NBC 5 Investigates.

The charges are typically sent to non-residents only and may be a flat fee or rate based on the number of responding fire trucks and personnel, as well as the length of time on the scene.

Departments that charge these types of fees include: Alsip, Berkeley, Blue Island, Broadview, Calumet Park, Chicago Heights, Flossmoor, Forest View, Hillside, Maywood, Midlothian, North Palos Fire Protection District, Roberts Park Fire Protection District, Stone Park and Westchester.

Illinois state law has allowed municipal fire departments to charge non-residents for their services since 1996.

The Broadview Fire Department said it started its billing practice in 1998. Broadview Fire Chief Thomas Gaertner said his department uses the money to pay for firefighting equipment. [he] said revenue from non-residents was low in 2013. The village billed out $5,155 of which $1,920 was collected.

However, the BGA said the billing technique used by a growing number of area fire departments may raise potential questions. “They bill per firefighter and they bill per engine so it raises questions as to whether or not they are billing for the services that are actually needed on the scene,” said BGA investigator Katie Drews.

But when seconds count, fire departments go all out in the name of safety. Gaertner said he expects more municipalities to follow.

Insurance typically covers the fees but an industry group said accident response fees add unnecessary costs that could ultimately affect the premiums that you pay. According to Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, several states, including Indiana, have passed laws or resolutions prohibiting municipalities from charging these fees.