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Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Old 10-06-2010, 11:47 PM   #46
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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This doesn't work necessarily.

Imagine this becomes the SOP. So what happens? Now people get to basically decide whether to pay the fee or risk having to pay umpteen more in fines/interest/whatever if they have a fire. Let's say it's a lot. Like 100X the fee...so $7500.

Now how many people pay the fee? None? Some? Who knows but I'd bet a good many of them don't pay their fee. As luck would have it most of them won't have a fire but if just one in a hundred does then the whole deal is all square monetarily. But what if only one in thousand do? Now the county is out a bunch of money. Seems to me that the fines/interest have to be significant...to the point of prohibitive. I am guessing a guy living in a double-wide in a poorish rural county doesn't have the juice to pay $20,000 in fines.

This is definitely not a simple moral question to me. On one hand you can't simply make it policy to provide a service whether someone paid for it or not. Regardless of the nature of the service the leverage to actually collect a fee for the service disappears as soon as you set precedent that the fee is essentially voluntary. On the other hand it obviously doesn't seem right that someone loses their home because of a stupid $75 fee. I guess sometimes fair and right aren't the same thing.
There's a simple principle in contract law. No contract is above the law. The fact that this county and fire department is allowed to ignore a house fire should be a crime. Just like it's illegal for a police officer to ignore a person in need. The closest scenario I can think of is having an illegal alien getting robbed of their belongings right in front of an officer and the officer does nothing. And why should he? The illegal alien doesn't pay his salary.

On top of that the firefighters were way to cocky in this story. A house is burning, that's a hazard. You don't know if something is going to blow up, like a gas line or a propane tank, and do more damage (and you can't say they knew it was safe to let the house burn because they didn't show up when they were initially called). Instead they waited for the fire to approach the neighbors property and then only fought the flames approaching the neighboring property. Someone could have been hurt due negligence. As sick as it sounds, they're lucky that the only casualties were the pets. It's not much different then us taking for granted that we were going to beat the Rams this year.

Protect and serve is not a suggestion based on capitalism. It's a basic right that keeps the citizens of this country safe. You don't get to make an example of people who skimp on payments like that. You find another way to remedy the situation. Actually above all else it's obvious that this method of paying for fire protection is obviously broken. This should have never been an issue to begin with.

Check out the video to see what another local fire chief had to say.
Woman Says Firefighters Blameless In House Burning - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:20 AM   #47
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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There's a simple principle in contract law. No contract is above the law. The fact that this county and fire department is allowed to ignore a house fire should be a crime. Just like it's illegal for a police officer to ignore a person in need. The closest scenario I can think of is having an illegal alien getting robbed of their belongings right in front of an officer and the officer does nothing. And why should he? The illegal alien doesn't pay his salary.

On top of that the firefighters were way to cocky in this story. A house is burning, that's a hazard. You don't know if something is going to blow up, like a gas line or a propane tank, and do more damage (and you can't say they knew it was safe to let the house burn because they didn't show up when they were initially called). Instead they waited for the fire to approach the neighbors property and then only fought the flames approaching the neighboring property. Someone could have been hurt due negligence. As sick as it sounds, they're lucky that the only casualties were the pets. It's not much different then us taking for granted that we were going to beat the Rams this year.

Protect and serve is not a suggestion based on capitalism. It's a basic right that keeps the citizens of this country safe. You don't get to make an example of people who skimp on payments like that. You find another way to remedy the situation. Actually above all else it's obvious that this method of paying for fire protection is obviously broken. This should have never been an issue to begin with.

Check out the video to see what another local fire chief had to say.
Woman Says Firefighters Blameless In House Burning - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports
If you create a legal responsibility for them to provide a service regardless of payment what incentive exists for the citizens to pay the money that the service costs?

I want to make clear that I am not for them having let the place burn down necessarily. I simply don't know enough about the specifics economically, logistically and administratively. So my opinion is more from a general point of view.

In this case they were denied a service they had no legal right to. The fire-fighters have a responsibility to the people who pay for their service. What they do simply isn't free or even cheap...someone has to pay for it. And a system has to be in place that efficiently collects the money needed to provide the service to those who pay for it. Railroading the process by inserting real incentives to NOT pay for the service is irresponsible. The solution here isn't to make a service a legal right regardless of payment. It is to make the payment a tax and create other real incentives to pay. Like jail. Don't pay your taxes..go to jail.

But here they had to make a call. Put out a fire and create the impression and precedent that paying the fee is not only NOT mandatory but economically stupid or let the fire go. Anything that realistically puts the necessary funding of public safety at risk in the general community is way more irresponsible and unethical than letting someone's house burn down in my opinion. I can see a very realistic situation that endangers proper funding here. That is a huge problem.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:26 AM   #48
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

BTW...this is a super-interesting discussion to me. I work in local gov't so I have the perspective of a damned bureaucrat when it comes to stuff like this I guess.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:33 AM   #49
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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But here they had to make a call. Put out a fire and create the impression and precedent that paying the fee is not only NOT mandatory but economically stupid or let the fire go. Anything that realistically puts the necessary funding of public safety at risk in the general community is way more irresponsible and unethical than letting someone's house burn down in my opinion. I can see a very realistic situation that endangers proper funding here. That is a huge problem.
Yeah, putting aside for a moment the moral and legal repercussion the fact remain that a fire department, so dependent on funding and donations, made possibly the dumbest mistake they could make from a financing standpoint. Yeah, they saved some money by not fighting the fire and sure they set an example for all 5 people living in the city. However there's something to be said for goodwill, and it's with good reason that businesses across the country strive to acquire it and protect it.

Next time when that fire department goes to the state asking for additional funding they shouldn't be surprised when they get met with a big **** you. Next time they want a raise in salary, '**** you.' Equipment's not up to date, 'looks fine to me.' Standing outside their local Wal-Mart with a fire boot asking for donations, '**** YOU!" The choice they made over $75 in regards to the Cranick's possibly cost them tens of thousands of dollars in funding.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:05 AM   #50
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Yeah, putting aside for a moment the moral and legal repercussion the fact remain that a fire department, so dependent on funding and donations, made possibly the dumbest mistake they could make from a financing standpoint. Yeah, they saved some money by not fighting the fire and sure they set an example for all 5 people living in the city. However there's something to be said for goodwill, and it's with good reason that businesses across the country strive to acquire it and protect it.

Next time when that fire department goes to the state asking for additional funding they shouldn't be surprised when they get met with a big **** you. Next time they want a raise in salary, '**** you.' Equipment's not up to date, 'looks fine to me.' Standing outside their local Wal-Mart with a fire boot asking for donations, '**** YOU!" The choice they made over $75 in regards to the Cranick's possibly cost them tens of thousands of dollars in funding.
You might very well be correct. Emotional responses like this are borne out of the perception that someone was wronged. To me the way to mitigate the risk of that type of perception is that you set the rules (rules that make sense) and you follow them. They followed the rules here. Rules that are in place in some form or another all over the place. I would like to know how this is handled other places. I know this is a common model but we never hear about this happening anywhere else. Fires aren't so uncommon that this couldn't have happened before. Statistically speaking there have to be many fires every year at households where they didn't make their yearly payment.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:09 AM   #51
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

I suppose one way to prevent this is to simply charge people to put our fires. Put them all out and hand them a bill when done. That's maybe the fairest way to go about it. Sort of defeats the purpose of a community existing to spread the cost of services out and make them more affordable though.
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:38 AM   #52
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

i dont see how as a human being you can sit and watch someone's house burn down when you have all the tools to help that person. Incredible, thats what this country has become too worry about a money to help another? I mean thats what it comes down too and $75 at that. Petty society
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:04 AM   #53
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

Maybe an opt-out statement. If a person absolutely doesn't want to pay the yearly fee, they can put an opt-out statement on file. Otherwise, if the fee is not paid, then as was said, the FD will act in best interests of the property, and a heavy fee will be assessed and that is noted in the annual assessment bill. So, in this case, the homeowner would have had his house protected, but the integrity of fee for service is also maintained in a prior contract.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:16 AM   #54
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Why do you doubt my rational? Do I not make any sense?
It's just not necessarily consistent with your history
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #55
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Did Buster and Saden switch accounts in this thread? Seriously I'm confused. :cheeky-sm

At the end of the day we're talking about a measly $75. They seriously let someone's house burn down over $75? As a society you've gotta just ask WTF are we doing?

What's next? Police not responding if you haven't paid a fee?

You caught us. We had a detailed plot to overthrow your sanity and when you step down, we were going to hijack your profits and redistribute the wealth to all active members of the WP.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:24 AM   #56
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Your problem is you actually think this is over $75. Its about them providing a service to another county they don't normally service for a fee. I sell Ins. and I guess next time when our customer lets his homeowners lapse and they have a fire 6 months down the road we should still pay the claim. You know in good faith to keep the companies name in good standing. Maybe its time for people to take RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM SELF. I feel bad for the guy but he even admitted that he thought they would still provide service if he did not pay the $75. That tells me he figured why pay the $75 when I can just pay it if something happens. I guess he was wrong.
I don't think insurance and protecting in advance is quite the same. One is arguable, and can be resolved through a series of grievances; the other has an immediacy about it that can't be repaired retroactively.

I understand your point, but think that the comparison is not 100% valid
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #57
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

Yeah, insurance is a product you can shop for and choose your coverages and rates.

Emergency services are not a matter of choice. They're also not a for-profit business like insurance. There's an expectation of them being available when needed.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #58
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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You caught us. We had a detailed plot to overthrow your sanity and when you step down, we were going to hijack your profits and redistribute the wealth to all active members of the WP.
Profits and wealth...
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #59
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

I think it's unbelievable that they let someone lose everything and let 3 dogs and a cat burn to death over $75. They took an oath...now they need to do their job-politics or not. What a disgrace.

Firefighters Creed

When I'm called to duty God, Wherever flames may rage
Give me strength to save a life, Whatever be it's age.

Help me to embrace a little child Before it is to late.

Or save an older person from The horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert To hear the weakest shout

And quickly and efficiently To put the fire out

I want to fill my calling and To give the best in me

To guard my neighbor and Protect his property

And if according to your will I have to lose my life

Bless with your protecting hand My children and my wife.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:31 PM   #60
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Re: Firefighters Let Home Burn Over Unpaid Fee

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Profits and wealth...
We saw your house! :cheeky-sm
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