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Deadly Delays: The Decline of Fire Response
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Fire department's share of municipal budget

In this table The Boston Globe ranks communities in Massachusetts by the share of the municipal budget that went to the fire department in fiscal year 2003, as reported by communities to the state Department of Revenue.

The table also shows how that percentage changed from the 1987 budget. Towns that had not filed are marked "N/A." This table includes municipal spending only -- not spending by any separate entity, such as a volunteer fire protection district.

Please send any questions to Bill Dedman, at Dedman@Globe.com.

Rank Community Fire spending
as % of
municipal budget,
FY 2003
Fire spending
as % of
municipal budget,
FY 1987
Fire spending,
FY 2003
1 Athol 12.7% 11.7% $1,370,441
2 Watertown 9.7% 8.7% $7,061,264
3 Whitman 9.6% 4.8% $1,749,691
4 Orleans 9.4% 6.9% $1,638,458
5 Waltham 9.2% 8.8% $10,673,281
6 Bridgewater 9.2% 7.0% $2,926,277
7 Hull 8.8% 6.9% $2,339,930
8 Scituate 8.7% 8.1% $3,260,736
9 Braintree 8.7% 7.2% $6,325,783
10 Dennis 8.4% 7.1% $2,717,972
11 Lynn 8.2% 9.8% $18,162,134
12 Medford 8.0% 8.3% $8,375,289
13 Yarmouth 8.0% 4.3% $3,610,491
14 Hanson 7.9% 5.5% $1,174,563
15 Eastham 7.9% 7.4% $1,098,744
16 Boston 7.8% 6.2% $142,282,613
17 Quincy 7.7% 9.0% $15,344,609
18 Worcester 7.6% 7.0% $29,332,547
19 Revere 7.5% 8.1% $6,520,101
20 Marlborough 7.5% 7.6% $5,747,332
21 Leominster 7.5% 7.7% $5,379,936
22 Raynham 7.5% 4.4% $1,504,206
23 Somerville 7.4% 7.2% $10,646,105
24 Woburn 7.4% 6.6% $5,938,272
25 Salem 7.3% 8.1% $6,534,650
26 Avon 7.3% 4.3% $926,675
27 Chicopee 7.3% 7.6% $7,611,507
28 Malden 7.2% 7.5% $7,503,349
29 Taunton 7.1% 8.0% $7,869,443
30 Fall River 7.1% 8.6% $12,593,576
31 Needham 7.1% 6.0% $4,987,917
32 Wellfleet 7.0% 3.5% $756,860
33 Rockland 7.0% 6.9% $2,395,759
34 Brookline 6.9% 9.5% $10,762,265
35 Haverhill 6.9% 6.3% $8,092,950
36 Canton 6.9% 6.1% $3,356,915
37 Burlington 6.9% 6.7% $4,867,000
38 Brockton 6.9% 8.4% $16,831,495
39 Weymouth 6.8% 7.0% $6,714,542
40 Newburyport 6.8% 6.5% $2,576,558
41 Cohasset 6.7% 9.1% $1,732,481
42 Holbrook 6.7% 7.4% $1,570,978
43 Gloucester 6.7% 8.7% $4,407,108
44 Nahant 6.6% 7.0% $545,371
45 Fitchburg 6.6% 7.0% $6,104,641
46 New Bedford 6.6% 7.6% $14,136,388
47 Swampscott 6.6% 8.0% $2,302,802
48 Salisbury 6.6% 4.1% $756,709
49 Marshfield 6.5% 6.1% $3,648,126
50 Amherst 6.5% 4.1% $2,920,593
51 Natick 6.4% 6.3% $5,202,677
52 Methuen 6.4% 7.8% $5,875,914
53 Chelsea 6.4% 11.0% $6,103,047
54 Everett 6.4% 7.8% $6,336,647
55 Cambridge 6.3% 6.4% $19,665,110
56 Attleboro 6.3% 6.4% $5,131,270
57 Framingham 6.3% 8.5% $9,771,397
58 West Bridgewater 6.3% 5.9% $1,042,262
59 Pittsfield 6.3% 7.0% $5,893,832
60 Mashpee 6.3% 8.2% $2,288,856
61 Plymouth 6.3% 9.0% $7,559,333
62 Holyoke 6.3% 10.2% $7,355,924
63 Gardner 6.3% 9.4% $2,252,132
64 Chatham 6.3% 5.8% $1,527,154
65 Milton 6.3% 7.0% $3,463,801
66 Stoughton 6.2% 6.0% $3,332,264
67 Easthampton 6.1% 5.0% $1,698,435
68 Dedham 6.1% 7.0% $3,637,751
69 Harwich 6.1% 6.8% $2,368,743
70 Wakefield 6.0% 3.9% $3,016,028
71 Stoneham 6.0% 7.2% $2,762,514
72 Hingham 6.0% 9.2% $3,172,786
73 Winthrop 6.0% 6.4% $1,925,551
74 Melrose 6.0% 7.5% $3,149,040
75 Beverly 5.9% 8.8% $4,731,610
76 Kingston 5.9% 6.3% $1,404,150
77 Amesbury 5.9% 5.8% $2,340,710
78 North Andover 5.9% 7.5% $3,493,292
79 Norton 5.9% 6.1% $2,073,622
80 Middleton 5.9% 3.0% $971,972
81 Danvers 5.9% 3.1% $3,423,471
82 Billerica 5.8% 6.9% $5,653,319
83 Falmouth 5.8% 5.7% $4,504,924
84 Charlton 5.8% 1.4% $844,798
85 Arlington 5.8% 7.1% $4,667,968
86 Newton 5.7% 7.6% $12,367,337
87 Abington 5.7% 4.7% $1,650,319
88 Andover 5.7% 5.3% $5,721,790
89 Tewksbury 5.7% 6.5% $3,876,979
90 Sandwich 5.7% 4.9% $2,834,195
91 Belmont 5.6% 7.8% $3,536,452
92 Wilbraham 5.6% 6.3% $1,293,456
93 Wrentham 5.6% 6.9% $1,292,423
94 Westport 5.6% 5.1% $1,285,292
95 Lawrence 5.5% 8.9% $9,987,400
96 Ashland 5.5% 4.9% $1,755,254
97 Brewster 5.4% 3.0% $1,390,730
98 North Reading 5.4% 5.9% $1,760,153
99 West Springfield 5.4% 7.8% $3,431,259
100 Saugus 5.4% 5.2% $2,826,437
101 Dracut 5.4% 4.8% $2,430,120
102 Peabody 5.3% 5.7% $6,009,242
103 Marblehead 5.3% 6.7% $2,336,355
104 Millville 5.3% 3.7% $189,618
105 Lowell 5.3% 9.5% $13,324,397
106 Hubbardston 5.3% 5.6% $244,239
107 Maynard 5.3% 6.4% $1,337,180
108 North Attleborough 5.3% 5.8% $3,064,214
109 Pembroke 5.2% 6.3% $1,957,297
110 Norwell 5.2% 3.0% $1,442,906
111 Randolph 5.2% 5.7% $3,311,231
112 Northampton 5.2% 5.0% $3,051,183
112 Southborough 5.2% 3.9% $1,389,528
114 Wellesley 5.2% 6.4% $3,720,322
115 Westminster 5.2% 1.0% $585,894
116 Agawam 5.2% 6.3% $2,939,808
117 Chelmsford 5.1% 7.7% $3,895,841
118 Mendon 5.1% 0.7% $422,636
119 Reading 5.1% 6.9% $2,634,620
120 Acton 5.1% 6.8% $2,557,431
121 Franklin 5.1% 3.6% $3,354,611
122 Hudson 5.1% 2.5% $2,067,652
123 Bourne 5.0% 7.4% $1,938,771
124 Winchester 5.0% 5.5% $2,766,372
125 Foxborough 5.0% 4.5% $1,857,907
126 East Bridgewater 5.0% 3.8% $1,422,252
127 Springfield 5.0% 6.7% $19,800,339
128 Easton 4.9% 5.5% $2,067,622
129 Dighton 4.8% 3.5% $448,042
130 Concord 4.7% 5.3% $2,436,731
131 Fairhaven 4.7% 3.4% $1,300,952
132 Hanover 4.7% 2.0% $1,600,201
133 Westwood 4.7% 7.0% $2,096,187
134 Westfield 4.6% 6.2% $4,142,743
135 Duxbury 4.6% 4.6% $1,740,029
136 Lynnfield 4.6% 3.5% $1,172,658
137 Norwood 4.6% 4.3% $3,967,105
138 Warren 4.5% 2.1% $212,262
139 Somerset 4.5% 3.7% $1,507,735
140 Milford 4.5% 4.6% $2,504,860
141 Clinton 4.5% 5.8% $1,259,098
142 Manchester-by-the-Sea 4.4% 4.1% $671,488
143 Freetown 4.4% 3.8% $632,812
144 Southbridge 4.4% 5.2% $1,518,583
145 Walpole 4.4% 3.2% $2,087,716
146 Royalston 4.3% 4.7% $57,632
147 Wilmington 4.2% 4.7% $2,455,714
148 Weston 4.2% 6.9% $2,052,507
149 Seekonk 4.2% 3.5% $1,213,524
150 Greenfield 4.2% 4.6% $1,546,834
151 Ayer 4.1% 1.8% $705,828
152 Middleborough 4.1% 5.1% $1,867,797
153 Wenham 4.0% 2.8% $375,790
154 Wayland 4.0% 4.7% $1,743,968
155 Ludlow 3.9% 4.7% $1,560,361
156 Lakeville 3.9% 5.3% $627,066
157 Blackstone 3.9% 2.7% $435,877
158 Ipswich 3.9% 4.2% $1,133,314
159 Lincoln 3.9% 4.1% $774,639
160 Plainville 3.8% 6.1% $590,058
161 Bedford 3.8% 4.4% $1,876,207
162 Nantucket 3.8% 5.7% $1,682,928
163 Westford 3.8% 1.6% $2,324,758
164 Mansfield 3.8% 5.5% $2,102,240
165 Newbury 3.8% 1.9% $463,094
166 Sudbury 3.7% 5.4% $2,268,042
167 North Adams 3.7% 6.0% $1,237,914
168 Bellingham 3.7% 2.7% $1,237,257
169 Rowley 3.7% 2.4% $370,832
170 Upton 3.7% 0.9% $399,637
171 Boxborough 3.5% 2.9% $513,643
172 Hopkinton 3.5% 3.0% $1,527,260
173 Sturbridge 3.4% 2.6% $581,660
174 Lexington 3.4% 4.6% $3,354,541
175 Shrewsbury 3.4% 4.7% $2,110,921
176 Alford 3.4% 1.6% $30,953
177 Sandisfield 3.3% 1.5% $48,634
178 Ware 3.3% 3.7% $658,090
179 Halifax 3.3% 4.1% $435,384
180 Dudley 3.2% 1.7% $328,327
181 Phillipston 3.2% 2.9% $65,605
182 Ashburnham 3.2% 4.1% $290,860
183 East Brookfield 3.1% 4.7% $79,145
184 Norfolk 3.0% 1.4% $657,697
185 Longmeadow 2.9% 2.8% $1,082,417
186 Westborough 2.8% 3.4% $1,523,265
187 Littleton 2.8% 2.6% $600,929
188 Barre 2.8% 1.9% $171,726
189 Topsfield 2.8% 1.8% $443,868
190 Northborough 2.7% 3.1% $893,043
191 Holden 2.7% 1.9% $750,850
192 Shirley 2.7% 2.4% $359,926
193 Northbridge 2.6% 2.9% $775,625
194 Sharon 2.6% 3.8% $1,262,279
195 Russell 2.5% 1.1% $44,622
196 Stow 2.5% 0.8% $369,565
197 Auburn 2.4% 1.5% $747,274
198 Orange 2.4% 3.3% $389,411
199 Townsend 2.4% 3.0% $300,497
200 Charlemont 2.4% 2.1% $46,141
201 Hopedale 2.4% 4.1% $357,478
202 West Newbury 2.4% 1.9% $170,910
203 Oakham 2.4% 2.5% $43,055
204 Gill 2.4% 3.8% $46,408
205 Hamilton 2.3% 0.8% $392,555
206 Acushnet 2.3% 2.4% $391,288
207 West Boylston 2.2% 1.2% $337,688
208 Tolland 2.2% 0.0% $15,913
209 Bernardston 2.2% 1.4% $74,474
210 Worthington 2.2% 1.4% $42,023
211 Egremont 2.2% 1.3% $57,226
212 Great Barrington 2.2% 1.3% $295,243
213 New Ashford 2.2% 2.9% $7,301
214 Lunenburg 2.1% 1.8% $401,209
215 Marion 2.1% 1.7% $299,349
216 Otis 2.1% 0.9% $53,990
217 Sterling 2.1% 1.8% $289,643
218 Millbury 2.0% 1.1% $472,713
219 New Salem 2.0% 1.7% $31,684
220 Sherborn 2.0% 0.6% $326,169
221 Chester 2.0% 1.7% $43,262
222 Chilmark 1.9% 0.8% $91,063
223 Hinsdale 1.9% 0.2% $49,725
224 Savoy 1.9% 1.0% $24,859
225 Rehoboth 1.9% 1.2% $258,938
226 Leyden 1.9% 0.6% $25,888
227 East Longmeadow 1.8% 1.7% $566,906
228 Groton 1.8% 2.1% $387,199
229 Uxbridge 1.8% 2.2% $441,093
230 Merrimac 1.8% 1.3% $183,274
231 Ashby 1.8% 1.8% $67,555
232 New Marlborough 1.8% 1.0% $43,269
233 Rutland 1.8% 1.6% $160,410
234 Provincetown 1.8% 1.3% $342,013
235 Rowe 1.8% 3.2% $39,624
236 Plympton 1.8% 2.6% $91,449
237 Groveland 1.8% 1.1% $152,024
238 Millis 1.8% 0.9% $301,249
239 Tyringham 1.7% 1.4% $15,567
240 Truro 1.7% 3.7% $150,169
241 Webster 1.7% 1.2% $402,356
242 New Braintree 1.7% 2.1% $22,871
243 Spencer 1.7% 3.9% $193,494
244 Templeton 1.6% 1.9% $121,367
245 Essex 1.6% 2.2% $111,730
246 Hardwick 1.6% 1.7% $51,774
247 Sutton 1.6% 0.7% $288,259
248 Berkley 1.6% 2.9% $199,281
249 West Brookfield 1.6% 1.4% $62,689
250 Peru 1.6% 1.0% $17,457
251 Hawley 1.6% 2.5% $9,457
252 Boxford 1.5% 1.3% $322,303
253 Monterey 1.5% 3.1% $29,514
254 Erving 1.5% 0.7% $76,711
255 Aquinnah 1.5% 0.7% $31,342
256 Paxton 1.5% 1.0% $146,022
257 West Tisbury 1.5% 1.7% $138,355
258 Pelham 1.5% 1.1% $41,294
259 Tyngsborough 1.5% 2.1% $393,561
260 Ashfield 1.5% 1.2% $37,784
261 Florida 1.4% 0.8% $30,092
262 Princeton 1.4% 4.1% $96,775
263 Heath 1.4% 1.4% $20,966
264 Southampton 1.4% 2.2% $140,179
265 Hancock 1.4% 2.3% $16,613
266 Swansea 1.4% 1.2% $365,352
267 Pepperell 1.4% 1.5% $181,788
268 Mattapoisett 1.4% 1.0% $202,739
269 Leverett 1.4% 0.9% $48,270
270 Medfield 1.4% 1.1% $462,780
271 Goshen 1.3% 1.0% $21,547
272 Colrain 1.3% 1.5% $30,781
273 Lancaster 1.3% 0.9% $144,178
274 Blandford 1.3% 1.9% $22,902
275 Hatfield 1.3% 0.0% $81,003
276 Winchendon 1.3% 2.1% $285,432
277 Harvard 1.3% 0.6% $206,071
278 Carver 1.3% 0.9% $326,337
279 Sunderland 1.3% 2.3% $71,037
280 Holliston 1.3% 1.3% $499,880
281 Brimfield 1.2% 0.8% $87,390
282 Washington 1.2% 1.0% $10,388
283 Dover 1.2% 1.5% $225,184
284 Lenox 1.2% 0.5% $169,379
285 Northfield 1.1% 1.6% $60,315
286 Rochester 1.1% 0.2% $122,895
287 Richmond 1.1% 0.7% $42,792
288 Williamsburg 1.1% 1.3% $46,949
289 Grafton 1.1% 1.5% $281,006
290 Douglas 1.1% 0.6% $170,004
291 Hadley 1.0% 2.2% $100,519
292 Huntington 1.0% 1.5% $25,804
293 Granby 1.0% 1.7% $114,185
294 Edgartown 1.0% 2.3% $190,623
295 Petersham 1.0% 1.0% $22,904
296 Stockbridge 1.0% 1.8% $44,965
297 Medway 1.0% 0.5% $320,094
298 Southwick 1.0% 0.0% $120,523
299 Holland 1.0% 1.1% $47,726
300 Georgetown 1.0% 0.6% $165,794
301 Brookfield 1.0% 0.7% $61,205
302 Granville 0.9% 0.9% $33,057
303 Leicester 0.9% 1.6% $188,694
304 Cummington 0.9% 1.1% $11,678
305 Berlin 0.9% 1.8% $58,539
306 Oak Bluffs 0.9% 1.4% $143,829
307 Warwick 0.9% 0.9% $13,351
308 Boylston 0.9% 2.5% $73,620
309 Lanesborough 0.9% 0.1% $61,326
310 Shutesbury 0.8% 1.3% $35,481
311 Rockport 0.8% 0.7% $169,606
312 Belchertown 0.8% 1.1% $252,599
313 Carlisle 0.8% 1.0% $144,970
314 Windsor 0.8% 1.0% $10,237
315 Monroe 0.8% 1.0% $3,365
316 Monson 0.8% 1.9% $149,558
317 Whately 0.8% 1.8% $27,907
318 Cheshire 0.7% 0.6% $25,299
319 Plainfield 0.7% 1.1% $7,090
320 West Stockbridge 0.7% 0.9% $20,818
321 Oxford 0.7% 1.5% $161,295
322 Clarksburg 0.7% 0.4% $18,644
323 Montgomery 0.7% 1.3% $7,391
324 Middlefield 0.6% 0.9% $5,225
325 North Brookfield 0.6% 0.9% $55,166
326 Becket 0.6% 1.6% $21,716
327 Wendell 0.6% 0.5% $8,458
328 Conway 0.6% 1.0% $21,246
329 Chesterfield 0.6% 0.1% $10,895
330 Lee 0.6% 0.6% $67,768
331 Bolton 0.6% 0.5% $66,656
332 Tisbury 0.5% 1.3% $68,805
333 Gosnold 0.5% 0.8% $4,393
334 Westhampton 0.5% 0.8% $14,918
335 Wales 0.4% 0.5% $12,000
336 Hampden 0.3% 0.5% $24,475
337 Sheffield 0.3% 0.6% $17,869
338 Dunstable 0.3% 1.1% $15,618
339 Adams 0.1% N/A $6,064
340 Williamstown 0.0% 0.0% $3,675
-- Barnstable N/A N/A N/A
-- Buckland N/A N/A N/A
-- Dalton N/A 0.0% N/A
-- Dartmouth N/A N/A N/A
-- Deerfield N/A 0.1% N/A
-- Montague N/A 0.0% N/A
-- Mount Washington N/A 0.1% N/A
-- Palmer N/A 0.1% N/A
-- Shelburne N/A 0.0% N/A
-- South Hadley N/A 0.0% N/A
-- Wareham N/A 0.7% N/A
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