# Fire Fighters Refuse to Fight Fire, Homeowners Forgot to Pay Fee

Discussion in 'Politics' started by spidergoat, Oct 6, 2010.

1. ### countezeroRegistered Senior Member

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Again, you're been intentionally dense or just don't understand why this isn't worth posting.

3. ### spidergoatVenued Serial MemberlistValued Senior Member

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Property taxes.

5. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Absolutely, but unfortunately the amount of money allocated from their tax revenue by the Obion County government to fight fires was $0.00. The average for the surrounding counties was$158,000.

The City put together a detailed plan that would have provided coverage to everyone in the County for a measly $3 per month per household (less than half of the annual Subscription cost). The County turned it down. Arthur 6. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 7. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member Messages: 7,829 As detailed in their plan for universal coverage, the Fire Dept also bills someone$500 if they have to come out for a fire (yes, that's less than the actual cost), but less than half the people pay the bill and the Fire Dept does not have the legal authority to collect the bill.

245 Rural calls were handled in 2006.
So that's $117,000 worth of bills, but less than$60,000 collected.

To put these costs in perspective, Union city has 42 fireman, which at a low average fully loaded cost of $50,000 per year is well over 2 million dollars just in salary, forget training, cost of the fire stations etc. Union city alone has over$1.2 million in equipment that they use to fight these fires. The county is getting a GREAT deal and not paying for it.

Arthur

8. ### PandaemoniValued Senior Member

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3,631
CAVEAT to my response below: When I say “in your mind” or “in your model” "you assume that" or words to that effect, I am really saying “if I understand you correctly, I believe that your position is…” I am not intending to be a presumptuous mind reader, but rather I am too lazy to preference those sorts of thoughts with “if I understand you correctly” every time. I am also aware that I could be mischaracterizing your position, which is why I feel the need to state what I understand your position to be.

Oh dear. This is one of those cases where I prepared a long a detailed response, line by line, and then managed through an unfortunate set of keystrokes, to close the tab I was working in, thus losing my very long and time consuming post. Drats.

As is always the case, I haven't the heart to rework my prior answer in full, so allow me to summarize.

With no animosity towards you for disagreeing with me, here is why I am not persuaded by your argument. It seems to me that you are drawing a moral conclusion based on assumptions that I find open to debate.

First, you seem to be assuming that lives are at risk. In fact, no lives were at risk. The fire chief refused to risk the lives and safety of his men and to incur costs to save the homeowner's property. The reports said that if lives were on the line, the fire chief would have made a different call. It seems to me that you verge on calling the fire chief and his men immoral, when I actually think they satisfy much of the test you would impose on them.

Second, you start with the premise that public servants must serve all members of the public. I understand that it the traditional model, but I do not agree that anyone who wants a different model is setting up an undesirable world in which public servants behave in an immoral way.

In fact, a model where public servants serve those who "opt in" and have the right to "opt out" is a very libertarian model. You are free to live in a community that uses the traditional model, and I likely would join you there, but I would fight hard for the right of anyone who wanted the other model. You seem poised to deny them the choice entirely, as I read your post.

Your assumption boils down to saying that public servants have a duty to the entire public, whether they pay or are deadbeats. That flows naturally from the traditional model, but the traditional model itself is not a categorical imperative...it just happens to be tradition (and a very modern tradition that arose in the last century or so in the U.S.). It is also not required by the economics of the situation. In fact, the private sector uses the model of serving only paying clients to great economic effect.

Still, because you start with the assumption of this universal duty that public servants have, you reject the comparison to private actors...except in one case--your lifeguard metaphor. In the case of a lifeguard, of course, they traditionally *also* have a duty to all swimmers. I assume you would agree--again since no lives were on the line, just property--that a lifeguard is well within his rights to refuse to risk his life to save a surf board that is being swept out to sea. More fundamentally though the lifeguard analogy is a good one if you make your assumption about the universal duty of public servants. Let's relax that assumption a bit.

Consider a related case, where you have a "lifeguard" who is hired to protect everyone on the beach and you have a bodyguard (or chaperone, or government hired secret service agent), who has been hired to protect specific people. If the poor swimmer is the person being protected by the bodyguard, and that person starts to drown. Both the lifeguard and (likely) the bodyguard have some duty to act. Imagine that as the lifeguard and bodyguard look on that another swimmer who is not the bodyguard's charge starts to drown. In that case the lifeguard has the same duty as before, but the bodyguard is off the hook (and is not behaving badly by staying with those under his protection).

The lifeguard and the bodyguard has substantially similar jobs in the relevant respects (even if both are government employees) except for the assumption of who it is that they are "supposed" to protect.

In your mind, you assume that firefighters are supposed to be equal opportunity. To be honest, I generally agree and that assumption swims around in my head too. Again, though, if anyone chooses to live in a community where that is not the case, that is their choice. if anyone there then chooses to opt out, that is another choice. Your preferred path eliminates the right to choose duifferently than you or I would by requiring all fire companies follow the traditional model. I see no reason to impose my preferences in that manner.

If anyone lives in this particular community that happens to use the "libertarian" model, and they prefer the traditional model, they can simply move into the city. In the city in question, they use the traditional model, where you have no choice and *must* pay for fire protection services through your increased taxes.

It seems that, far from being a bad world, my world accommodates whatever preference individuals may have in this regard. The only caveat is that I see it as destructive of the liberty I would like to allow to let people who knowingly choose to "opt out" to change their mind as soon as there is a fire. It's not that I hate them, it's that I love liberty and personal responsibility more.

[You can count your lucky stars that the "long version" of this, complete with a better economic analysis, was deleted.]

Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
9. ### TrooperSecular SanityValued Senior Member

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1,784
Bravo, Pandaemoni! :bravo:

10. ### spidergoatVenued Serial MemberlistValued Senior Member

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And finally, that is because the County is a bunch of Republican idiots, which was the whole point of this thread.

11. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Ah, they might be idiots, but not providing fire service to your community is NOT a plank of the Republican party.

Oh, and the Mayor, who apparently was the one to OK not fighting the fire, is a Democrat.

Arthur

12. ### spidergoatVenued Serial MemberlistValued Senior Member

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No, of course not, they don't believe government should be doing anything but fighting wars, and even that should be privatized in many areas.

13. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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So are you defending the Democrat Mayor for his 'burn baby burn' approach?

14. ### spidergoatVenued Serial MemberlistValued Senior Member

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I'm not sure what the Mayor's position on this is, or what his or her role would be in allocating funds from property taxes.

15. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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22,908
I think maybe you should check your facts my dear Arthur because it is not consistent with what is being reported.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/04/county-firefighters-subscription

It is being reported the mayor of South Bend is a Republican. And the other funny thing about your claim is that it is not consistent with the local GOP party web site. They have the mayor (David Crocker) that you are claiming to be a Democrat listed as one of their own, a Republican...fancy that.

http://www.obiongop.com/?page_id=85

If you have some references to support your positions and claims it would be nice to post them.

Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
16. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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My bad, I thought it was the Mayor of Union City, but it was the Republican Mayor of South Fulton (not South Bend)

Arthur

17. ### TrooperSecular SanityValued Senior Member

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Is this just a rumor or is he a repeat offender? Did the fire department already bend the rules for them once? :shrug:
Insurance Journal News

18. ### NeverflyBannedBanned

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3,576
No, sorry- I have actual experience. I guess that doesn't quite measure up to your guesses... But I'm willing to bet it comes close.

19. ### NeverflyBannedBanned

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Considering the media attention... Farm Bureau is doing an excellent job of really getting down on all fours and kissing some serious booty.

20. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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So if you were there you'd tell the Chief to take this job and shove it and start putting out the fire?

Easy to act like a big man on the internet isn't it?

But of course the ACTUAL fireman there did not do so.

Arthur

Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
21. ### NeverflyBannedBanned

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3,576
I'd have started hooking up the hose- yes. Wouldn't be the first time.

And for the record, my "Chief" and I had MANY Disagreements. The other guys often remarked that we were like brothers we argued so much.

I had similar occurrences while I was in the Army and I came pretty damn close to getting myself in a Lot Of Trouble.
But I was lucky and the higher ups agreed with my reasoning and I ended up getting a slap on the wrist.

This coming from the guy talking about swinging dicks.

I dunno Adoucette, perhaps you should let your personal bigotry step aside long enough to ask yourself whether a small man is to afraid to speak up or stand out.

I don't think I'm acting like the Big Man, at all. I'm acting like the average man.
The problem is one of perspective-- You're just acting small. So average looks big, to you.

And that was them. Not me.

Apparently, they also went to the family tail tucked between their legs...

22. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Funny,

Anyone I know who would do it, wouldn't brag that they would do it.

In real life, none did it.

On the internet though everybody acts brave.

Wonder why that is?

Arthur

23. ### BellsStaff Member

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How did they know though? How did the person on the phone know for sure?

The people who rang them may have said no, but how can they be sure that someone had not strayed onto their property and was not trapped? There have been many times where firemen will be called and will be told that there is no on trapped, and then later in the debris, they find that someone had been?

I will put it this way.. A few years ago our family home was taken out by a mudslide, as was that of our neighbour's, in the middle of the night. When the fire brigade were called, they asked if anyone was trapped inside and were told no. They came regardless and checked, just in case..

Now, prior to this fire getting to their house, it was actually a field fire. Field fires are known to be unpredictable and quite dangerous. They would have known that from the phone call. Yet the operator chose to ignore the dangers connected to field fires and told them no. Here is what the Government in Indianna describe field fires:

Now, we know this one was dangerous enough to take out the neighbour's field as well.

So how can the operator know on the phone what the conditions were there on the ground and could assure that no one was in danger? I'll give you an actual example. My parents live next door to a wide track of bushland. From their fenceline, is a very wide track of overly dense bushland. And in the summer in Australia, bushfires are an extreme danger. Several times over the years, fires have started in that tract of bushland, fairly far away from my parents house. When they see smoke rise on the horizon, they call the fire brigade, because they know that fires can spread very quickly. Now, even though that fire may be over 1km away from their property, the fire brigade or the volunteer fire brigade come regardless and check to make sure there is no danger to anyone or property. At no time have my parents ever been told no.

Yet, in this instance, a 911 operator took it upon themselves to determine that no one was in danger, when they could not be certain for sure and had determined for themselves that a field fire was apparently not dangerous. That decision proved costly, not just to the Cranick, but also to the neighbour who lost part of their fields as a result.

Had the fire brigade done their job and actually responded immediately from that first call, the neighbour would not have lost their field and the Cranick's would not have lost their home and pet. But since the operator determined that the field fire was not dangerous to warrant that actual firemen come out and check the fire, over a $75 fee, that fire did go on to destroy property and family pets. Why would you be upset? You view it as being "just property". Would you expect a fire fighter to actually put out a fire? Or would you expect that a phone operator would decide if you are in danger or not before they send out a fire fighter? You mean the local news that the Fire Chief tried to have arrested when they asked him why the firemen were not actually fighting the fire at all and had refused to? That local media? Let me tell you something. When insurers pay out people, it costs everyone collectively, something. And I mean everyone in the country. Now, as a result of this little exercise in lesson teaching, Cranick is the recipient in emergency payments, which actually comes from the Government, to cover immediate costs. So in the end, everyone has paid over that$75 lesson..

So tell me, how is this supposedly good?

What lesson has been taught? Ah yes, the lesson of condemnation from fire fighters around the world by way of the international body? That lesson? How about those fire fighters now receiving hate mail and threats for their refusing to put out that fire (as noted in the link above)? Good lesson or bad lesson?

People do forget. It does happen.

No one has denied that he had paid in the past.

But what I'd like to know is why they refused to accept the payment before the fire actually got to his house?

In fact, he offered to compensate them for more than the $75 and they refused. But instead, in that little lesson he and the County apparently needed to be taught, he will have received in excess of that$75 out of the public's pocket for emergency funding. Excellent philosophy there. Instead of the fire department being compensated by him for more than the $75, everyone gets to compensate him for more. Astounding reasoning there.. Yes. We know that Cranick and his neighbour offered to pay the fire department the$75 and more, as much as they wanted at the time. And they refused. Since they appear to be running the fire department as a business in that part of the world, it does not make good business sense to refuse even more at the scene. Quite the contrary, it makes no sense at all. The fire department would have benefited financially, emotionally and benefitted in receiving praise in the eyes of the general public as well. The house would have been saved, the pets saved and the general public would not have had their tax dollars be spent on emergency funding to the Cranick's or medical costs of the fire chief and Cranick's son, nor would the insurance have had to make everyone pay in paying out the Cranick's for their loss.

Instead, they elected to refuse not just payment at the scene, they refused to be paid more or be compensated more, their actions also cost the public more in relation to the insurance pay out and cost the tax payers more since the Cranick's are now recipients of emergency payment/welfare from the Government. The firemen in that City have been abused and threatened by one and all for their lack of action and the fire chief injured when he was knocked out by the Cranick's son afterwards, who also cost the tax payers money as he was then arrested and charged, using up precious police resources to do so, and then taken to hospital to receive free care to his injured hand (an injury that he received when he punched the fire chief), the fire chief for his part, also cost the tax payers more since his treatment would have come out of public funding/insurance - paid for by the tax payers. All of which, I can assure you, will have cost well in excess of the $75 they could have recouped at the scene and could recouped afterwards, hell, they could have recouped much more at the scene. And that is why, for that$75, those firemen ensured the tax payers as a whole, would now have to cover thousands of dollars in emergency payments, medical costs, and other costs associated (such as paying for media consultation, legal consultation, etc).

Which is ironic really..