In the midst of a controversial discussion on whether or not the City of Newport should accept a grant for a new Fire/Rescue Boat, several residents are sharing a 2015 report that helps Rhode Island communities understand the cost of fire protection in their community.

The fire project report by Watchdog RI,a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to performing research to help inform our public policy makers, is analyzing data from every fire-fighting organization in Rhode Island.

In the report, Newport has the highest cost for fire protection for a family of four in Rhode Island, pays the 2nd highest annual firefighter salary, pays the 4th highest clothing allowances for firefighters, the highest share of the unfunded pension liability for a family of four, Newport has the 3rd highest municipal police chief salary and the 6th highest municipal fire chief salary.

See the full report at

The two reports getting the most attention are the Annual Firefighter Compensation Comparison and the Cost  For A Family of Four By Community.

Annual Firefighter Compensation Comparison

According to this new report, Newport pays out the 2nd highest annual salary for firefighters and the 3rd highest overall annual firefighter compensation.

Cost For A Family Of Four By Community

To help understand how the cost of fire protection can vary dramatically from community to community, this chart shows the cost for a family of four for fire protection in each community.

The numbers on the left axis represent the per family cost for fire and rescue operations without current pension costs, while the numbers on the right axis represents the per family cost for fire and rescue operations including monies currently being paid towards pension costs.

These numbers were arrived at by aggregating the costs of every fire and rescue organization within a community’s borders, dividing by the number of residents in the community and multiplying by four.”


Other categories of the report include Cost For A Family Of Four By Community, State of Rhode Island Fire Protection Compared to the Largest Cities in the Country,  31 Fire Stations within 5 Miles of Pawtucket – Interactive Map, East/West State Division – Fire Protection Costs, Metropolitan vs. Western RI Fire Organization Comparisons, Disability Pensions Current Staff, Disability Pensions per Department and others.

For a full look at the report visit

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).