Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

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22 Replies - 1406 Views - Last Post: 07 October 2010 - 05:18 AM

#1 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:35 AM

So a family in TN watched as their home burned down while firefighters watched because they forgot to pay the 75$ fire protection fee?

While there is a callous part of me that understands that a fire company is expensive and they have to get funding from somewhere -- after just scratching the surface I found this outrageous and just plain wrong.

According to one report the family lost 2 dogs and a Cat -- and while I suppose that in our society pets lives are not given that much weight -- this emergency could have easily killed people as well. How would these "heroes" feel about letting some little boy or girl burn to death in a fire because they were not paid their "protection fee" up front?

I am all for billing the homeowner after the fact, but not respond to 911 calls, and to stand around watch a home burn down is inexcusably callous. Even just letting untrained friends and neighbors fight the fire with bucket brigades and garden houses seem negligent on the part of the firefighters (though I suppose that is better than nothing).

I know when I was growing up a neighbor was charged for the fire fighters having to put out a leaf fire that got a little carried away (took about 2 seconds with a CO2 canister) -- So what would be wrong with just charging him for services rendered? Well obviously the "protection" message only sinks in if you let someone REALLY suffer for their non-participation. If you get a bill you can't pay you can always file from bankruptcy, if you home burns down and you lose all of your worldly possessions, your pets, maybe a kid or eldery family member -- well then the lesson really sticks.

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#2 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:45 AM

That's pretty fucked up. If I was a firefighter, I'd put out that fire. I wouldn't care if I lost my job, that's my duty as a firefighter.
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#3 blutrane  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:49 AM

wtf? no county responders?
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#4 Sethro117  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:49 AM

Thats some bullshit. The firefighters need to be fined $75 a piece, the fire chief needs to find a new job and that policy needs to be done away with.
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#5 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:50 AM

we were talking about this in the office earlier.

I find it weird that the fire station didn't collect their dues in normal taxes instead. It was a state fire station right?


I suggested there's probably more to the story. Like weird backwoods beuracracy for why they have the firestation funds set up that way, and a local who thought it was retarded and refused to pay, the firefighters probably called him out on it, and in small town fashion it turned into a yelling match/family battle type deal.

Then when it came down the firefighters sitting when the homeowner is pleeding:

"Sheet Clay, I's gives you eva you want, just put the damn fire out!"

"Hyuch, you says I sleep w/ my daughter and that grannies apple pie tastes like farts.... let it burn."

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 06 October 2010 - 10:51 AM

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#6 blutrane  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:51 AM

IAFF Condemns local dept

It becomes a question of whether firefighting is a duty or a service.

I say duty. part of protecting citizens from foreign and domestic threats, stands to reason the government should be allocating funds for that purpose. imagine a cop standing by as someone got killed because they didn't pay the fee.

This post has been edited by blutrane: 06 October 2010 - 10:58 AM

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#7 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:59 AM

I read he just forgot to pay.
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#8 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:11 AM

View Postlordofduct, on 06 October 2010 - 09:50 AM, said:

we were talking about this in the office earlier.

I find it weird that the fire station didn't collect their dues in normal taxes instead. It was a state fire station right?

i was discussing this on facebook and it turns out the area the burning house was in is unincorporated or something. pretty bizarre to me, but i'm a city boy.

seems to me like they should have just put the fire out and then charged them later/let them dealt with the fire insurance consequences. not only because letting their house burn down is fucked up, but also because it poses a threat to neighboring homes, gas lines, forestation, etc to just let the flames go.
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#9 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:18 AM

@lordofduct -- I would imagine it was a "volunteer fire service" which is all most rural areas have. These are generally not given sufficient funding via taxes and often rely upon donations and fundraisers (at least as far as I know).

View Postblutrane, on 06 October 2010 - 12:51 PM, said:

imagine a cop standing by as someone got killed because they didn't pay the fee.

We are not so far away from that in some places as there is a big push for police forces to be privatized. Personally my, left-winged-commy-libral-progressive views find this idea abhorrent but I fear that it will not been too long before it becomes pretty standard for police forces to be contracted.
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#10 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:19 AM

And in that case they should have pressured legislation for better funding then implementing a subscription system.

Years ago before the fire protection systems that we have in place today, we instead had private fire stations that took care of these things. The reason why we socialized the fire stations was because the subscription style services had NUMEROUS counts of this very occurance going on. The farm up north I come from still has the plackard on the side from back when this was the way.

It was blind ignorance on the fire station to implement such a system. And to take low funding out on local citizens (your damn neighbours) that way is horrendous.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 06 October 2010 - 11:20 AM

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#11 blutrane  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:22 AM

View Postsupersloth, on 06 October 2010 - 10:11 AM, said:

View Postlordofduct, on 06 October 2010 - 09:50 AM, said:

we were talking about this in the office earlier.

I find it weird that the fire station didn't collect their dues in normal taxes instead. It was a state fire station right?

i was discussing this on facebook and it turns out the area the burning house was in is unincorporated or something. pretty bizarre to me, but i'm a city boy.

seems to me like they should have just put the fire out and then charged them later/let them dealt with the fire insurance consequences. not only because letting their house burn down is fucked up, but also because it poses a threat to neighboring homes, gas lines, forestation, etc to just let the flames go.


actually there isn't a county fire department there, not even volunteer, which is weird cuz I'm pretty sure in NM every county has at least a volunteer department

@NickDMax the ones who demanded the fee are city of South Fulton and the home lay outside of the city limits, I also agree with you about the abhorrence of a privatized police force even though I'm a right wing-fascist conservative. I still think the fire and police should be funded by the appropriate level of government. A privatized police officer might do a better job because he is directly paid but its not ethical.

This post has been edited by blutrane: 06 October 2010 - 11:33 AM

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#12 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:06 PM

So as I understand it:

  • The house was not in the town of South Fulton whose tax-supported fire-dept is in question.
  • There is a optional fire protection fee that people outside the city limits can pay to have fire services.
  • The homeowner (who had payed in previous years) forgot to pay this fee this year.


The fire dept. did not respond because the house was outside of city limits and not within their regular coverage area AND no fee had been paid. This would have required that they extend their limited resources outside of the city (thus leaving the city with a reduced capacity to deal with fire).

Again, call me callous but I begin to lean a little more toward the fire department on this one... I mean honestly they had no duty to extend to these people. I do honestly think they should change things to a "ok but you will be billed if we have to come out" kind of setup -- but at least their actions are a little more understandable.

understandable yes. Excusable? -- I am not so sure.
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#13 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:23 PM

I think they should have put it out and billed him later. If others have to pay so does he, he is not exempt. I'm so sick of the whole gimme something for nothing mentality of this country.

You don't pay taxes, you go to jail. You don't pay insurance you get some heavy medical bills, you don't pay child support you have to deal with BenignDesign
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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:35 PM

If that happened here the fire station would probably burn down within a week or two.
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Re: Fire "Protection Fee" -- Let it burn

Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:42 PM

i agree, they def should have put the fire out, no questions asked. especially since their pets were in the house still. I'm all for the humans != animals and all that stuff but it seems like those poor animals suffered a most likely horrible death for absolutely no reason. 75$ and a little human error is nothing to result in having someones house burned down, along with all their possessions and their pets. Now whats the difference here in charging the fire chief with animal cruelty? seems pretty cruel to me to just let the house burn with them in it...

This post has been edited by bflosabre91: 06 October 2010 - 01:49 PM

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