Starting next Monday, it’s going to be 17% more expensive for producers to hire uniformed fire safety officers in the City of Los Angeles. Currently, the city charges $64 an hour for the officers; beginning October 3, the rate will go up to $75 an hour, with a four-hour minimum. The officers often are required to be present on locations when filming special effects and pyrotechnics, or when filming in fire-sensitive areas.
Notice of the fee hike was posted on the website of FilmL.A., the city’s film permit office, which noted that the City of LA had approved the increase. The 17% fee hike comes despite a vow in 2014 by the mayor and the City Council to hold the cost of fees and to make L.A. more “film friendly” in advance of the state’s expanded tax incentives program.
The County of Los Angeles, which many location managers complain is more costly and restrictive to film in than the city, charges much less for its fire safety officers. Earlier this year, the county raised its rate just 3% to $49.18 an hour. When the city’s new rate takes effect next week, its fire safety officers will cost nearly 53% more than the county’s.