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Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Old 10-06-2010, 02:27 PM   #16
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

3 dogs and a cat died? the guy said he tried to put the fire out with his garden hose (in another article). Why couldnt he have just opened the damn front door and let them out? its a freakin double wide, cant be that hard to atleast get the dogs out.

Also surprised noone has commented on the son going down to the station and punching the fire chief in his face. that a boy!

its a shame that the guy said he paid the fee last year and the year before but just forgot to pay this year.

FRPLG - that makes the most sense. have the county/township enter into a contract then pass the cost in taxes.

as americans we have to be careful about public policies favoring the wealthy, especially when it comes to basic services and rights.

a few years ago they debated about whether you could pay a fee to drive solo in the HOV lanes. this sounds good and all but really it is saying rich people dont have to wait in traffic like the poor people.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #17
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Rules are rules...they will likely die because of their parent's negligence. You are free to pay or not pay, it is incumbent upon you to insure the safety of your house and children.

Tough sh*t, the invisible hand at work.
Talk about a shit storm if a kid died over a $75 fee.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:31 PM   #18
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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3 dogs and a cat died? the guy said he tried to put the fire out with his garden hose (in another article). Why couldnt he have just opened the damn front door and let them out? its a freakin double wide, cant be that hard to atleast get the dogs out.

Also surprised noone has commented on the son going down to the station and punching the fire chief in his face. that a boy!

its a shame that the guy said he paid the fee last year and the year before but just forgot to pay this year.

FRPLG - that makes the most sense. have the county/township enter into a contract then pass the cost in taxes.

as americans we have to be careful about public policies favoring the wealthy, especially when it comes to basic services and rights.

a few years ago they debated about whether you could pay a fee to drive solo in the HOV lanes. this sounds good and all but really it is saying rich people dont have to wait in traffic like the poor people.
Depending on where the fire was perhaps the animals were trapped? I find it hard to believe nobody thought about trying to open a door.

As far as his son, yeah good for him. Now he's up for a felony. Smart move. So now they can tack on a bunch of legal fees in addition to having to find a new place to live.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:36 PM   #19
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

My question is who has the time to look this stuff up when the alarms are going off? Or does every house have a sticker on it like the car property tax sticker in VA?

My gut tells me there is more to the story like someone didn't like this guy and they found a loop hole when he was in need.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:37 PM   #20
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Talk about a shit storm if a kid died over a $75 fee.
And the impending lawsuit the county would face.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:43 PM   #21
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Talk about a shit storm if a kid died over a $75 fee.
Yeah...I guess someone is always going to be upset. If they want a "community" funded fire department they always have the option of shitcanning the Mayor and the Fire Chief.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:46 PM   #22
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

The National Review has a good article on the whole matter.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:50 PM   #23
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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My question is who has the time to look this stuff up when the alarms are going off? Or does every house have a sticker on it like the car property tax sticker in VA?

My gut tells me there is more to the story like someone didn't like this guy and they found a loop hole when he was in need.
They're called dispatchers. Their job is to sit and answer the phone and look stuff up on the computer. They have plenty of time to do it. No one singled the out. They didn't pay..they got what they paid for. That's how the system works. Shitty system or not it is what it is. The firefighters don't get to ignore the rules and use their multimillion dollar equipment to do whatever they think is right. The problem isn't what any one person did or didn't do. The problem is that fire service is something that costs money and someone has to pay for it. Leaving that up to individuals is either a good idea if we're all cool with those who didn't pay not getting the service at all or a bad idea if we want everyone to get fire protection because they are never going to get every single household to pay up every year.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:53 PM   #24
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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The National Review has a good article on the whole matter.
Pretty good write-up/opinion.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:57 PM   #25
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

And that is the problem inherent when common sense has left the equation, and stupidity prevails........
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:32 PM   #26
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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And that is the problem inherent when common sense has left the equation, and stupidity prevails........
Is that the common sense that tells you "those who paid get service" or "put it out even if someone hasn't paid?"
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:36 PM   #27
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

I bet everyone who hadn't before now sent their $75 in.

However, I believe they really had the ethical responsibility to help the family. Firefighters don't work piece-rate or on commission, most of them volunteer in fact...so I'm surprised they let this happen. They must have had strict orders not to help people who had not paid the fee.

They've already used the resources/time/manpower to come to the house...why not put it out?

I certainly hope they at least made sure everyone was out of the house before watching it burn down completely. What if it began to spread to a neighboring house, would they make a call to the treasurer to see if the neighbor paid the fee before deciding to take action?

Holding citizens' safety hostage to impose a tax or make a political statement is wrong. Yes, people need to pay their bills, but $75 is a strain on some family budgets in today's economy. I wonder if they allow payments to be made...$5 every paycheck or something easier for cash-strapped families. They should not have to risk their lives by not being able to afford yet another fee/tax imposed upon them.

Much like doctors outside of their office, firefighters have an obligation to help when people need their skills.




What would happen if it turns out the secretary misposted their payment or they can prove it was sent in (bank records)?

Can they sue the municipality to replace their house?

Over $75, these actions (or lack of) are potentially opening all taxpayers and the fire department/local government to MUCH MORE liability than $75.

Yes they made their point...but at what cost?
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:43 PM   #28
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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To me it is and it isn't.

Areas like this don't have the money to have paid fire protection units so they contract with surrounding localities to provide them. Public safety costs money and when fire units have to leave their locality it creates a public safety issue so they have to hire more people to offset this possibility. More money. Look at it this way...for 75 bucks their house doesn't burn down.

A better solution is to have the county contract on its own and then pass the cost on via taxes. Then firefighters don't have to deny service.

This is very common in rural areas. In fact it is the norm.
Another option could be to set the funding baseline where they need it to operate for the fiscal year. When they reach that through the fee, donations (people and businesses DO make separate unsolicited donations to fire departments), their capital campaigns/appeals they always mail out and their bingo/carnivals/spaghetti dinner fundraisers.

When they reach that level of operational funding...do their job for ANYONE who needs. Does it really matter who specifically paid their way as long as they have enough money to operate? Unlike most entities, a fire department has much more of a moral obligation to provide their services.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:45 PM   #29
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
Is that the common sense that tells you "those who paid get service" or "put it out even if someone hasn't paid?"
Except - per the article you sited - the victim offerred to pay for the cost of the fire company's expense. Not just the missed $75 fee.

I get the whole "gotta pay the fee, dude" but, as Schneed said, they are just sitting there watching burn while the owner is offering to pay the full cost of the expense. If he is willing to obligate himself to that - fine.

I am conflicted. On one hand I get the hard line - if the fireman break the rules and start putting out the fire, all sorts of liability issues not to mention the potential economic pitfalls (many opt out with the thought they can pay if needed, etc.). On the other, there is just a wrongness to watching something burn when the means to put it out are at hand and absolutely available.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:46 PM   #30
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

A firefighters opinions on the South Fulton incident
South Fulton Firefighters: A Disgrace To The Uniform?
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