No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

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dox
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No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by dox » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:11 pm

I thought this was a joke... but it's not:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/
article wrote:The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.

"We wasn't on their list," he said the operators told him.

Cranick, who lives outside the city limits, admits he "forgot" to pay the annual $75 fee. The county does not have a county-wide firefighting service, but South Fulton offers fire coverage to rural residents for a fee.
?!?!

BlackHawk5
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by BlackHawk5 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:10 pm

I can see how people who live in a big city would be outraged at this, but out in the country it's a different scenario. If you live out in the middle of nowhere you run the risks of such events with no one to help you. It was the homeowners decision to live outside of the fire station's district where their fire fighting fees would of been apart of their property tax. It's a minimal fee to have the service & they should of paid it.

However, I do two problems with the hard line stance the fire fighters took:
-He offered the firefighters money when they arrived, but it's policy not to accept money atm of the fire... otherwise no one would pay the fee unless their house was on fire. I can understand this, but I think they should be a little more flexible. If the homeowner wants you to put out the fire on the spot, charge them more!
-Several pets (dogs & a cat) perished in the flames. Fee paid or not, it wasn't just stuff, a live being with feelings suffered because of a little $$.

IMO, at the homeowners request; put the fire out, save the pets, & charge the homeowner a heavy fee.

Smithy
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by Smithy » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:11 pm

Sounds about right if you ask me..

We pay taxes for our Fire and Police services if that was the case then maybe they should have put it out and stuck him with a higher fee..
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by Shaddowmaster » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:15 pm

I was outraged at this, because to me it's fucking obvious that they should AT LEAST put out the fire and then charge him afterwards, if the system says "no help unless you pay"

But to just arrive and then stand and watch it burn down? That's a fucking joke...

BlackHawk5
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by BlackHawk5 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:31 pm

Thinking about it again though, if you billed the homeowner for putting out the fire after the fact, how will you know if they will pay it? What can the fire department do to collect; put a lien on a half burnt house? :lol:

I discussed the situation with my boss, a hard ass old schooler from the Midwest with a very intolerant mindset. His father was the Chief of the Fire Department here in Ames, & I'm betting the fire fighters in the article are much like him. His response was as I expected:

"Yeah, so? They should of paid their fee. Let me guess, the bleeding heart liberals were upset? I have absolutely no sympathy for those people, not one iota."

And he goes on to tell me of different stories, like the USDA here that doesn't (or didn't at one time) pay for fire service and if it caught fire the city would let it burn. And how another large business just outside of town didn't want to pay for fire service either, instead they had a small fire truck on the property. Point is, if you don't pay the fee, don't expect the service. You can't get something for nothing.

dox
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by dox » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:39 pm

Of course this is a foreign concept to me -- I've never heard of having to pay for this kind of thing! -- but in my books, I look at the following as being in the same group:

Police / Legal
Doctor
Fire

My naivete would have me under the assumption that there's some kind of 'pyrocratic' oath that fire fighters take just as a doctor would their hippocratic. It just seems inhumane to drive up to someone's house with all the equipment to put out a fire and then.. let it burn..

My point is that I thought - fees aside - the fire fighters would have helped and billed after the fact (like a doctor? Do they perform credit checks when you get rolled in to the emergency room?!).

As to collecting the money after the fact -- again, perhaps it's my urban/Canadian bias that's leading me astray -- you sue.. No?

Just seems like poorly implemented capitalism: show up with all the gear, get the guy to sign/record his agreement to pay the bill, save his house. Easiest sale you'll make. Since these fire fighters charge fees I'm surprised they passed up the chance to make a couple of bucks..

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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by BlackHawk5 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:34 pm

The firefighters BOSS told them not to put out the fire.
South Fulton Fire Department wrote:“The mission of the South Fulton Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of its citizens, and provide good public relations through fire safety education to all businesses and schools.”
The fire fighters did break their oath to obey their superiors.

In the USA, Police (including free legal representation in a criminal case) & fire service are all rolled into property taxes. Evidently, if you live outside of the South Fulton city limits fire service is optional.

In the case of collection, suing the homeowner would result in either; garnishment of working wages or a lien would be filed against the property. A lien on the property means that the property can't be sold or transferred until the debit is paid.... but that could be years. The fire department is not a financing company. Still, both actions has additional legal, administrative, & police enforcement costs to the government & it ties up the system.

The county responded to the situation by issuing this statement:
Obion County has entered into a letter of intent with all eight fire district municipalities, so all eight departments will soon respond to county residents through subscription service only

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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by ent » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:53 pm

BlackHawk5 wrote: In the case of collection, suing the homeowner would result in either; garnishment of working wages or a lien would be filed against the property. A lien on the property means that the property can't be sold or transferred until the debit is paid.... but that could be years. The fire department is not a financing company. Still, both actions has additional legal, administrative, & police enforcement costs to the government & it ties up the system.
The other aspect of this is that it's likely that the $75 fee goes into some form of insurance policy for the out of county areas. If you don't subscribe, the property isn't covered under insurance, and if any firefighters were hurt or killed in the process of putting out the fire they would probably find themselves in quite a pickle.

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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

Post by redfireant3 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:54 pm

Smithy wrote:We pay taxes for our Fire and Police services if that was the case then maybe they should have put it out and stuck him with a higher fee..
^this
I work for the county and I get it however seriously, they could have put out the fire and made a debt some how.

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