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

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

  1. 786 Searching for Truth Valued Senior Member

    Lol... why should I fuck off if you're the emotional one.

    Unfortunately for you at that time I wasn't spewing anything about evolution but trying to show a way of incorporating evolution into another system (ie. a 'new system').. Theistic evolution- you would be a dumbass to think that I'm saying evolution (as in science books) is theistic.

    Vice versa.

    No, mentioning the similarity between these firefighters and brainless military personnel is relevant as the topic is essentially brought up to show the f'ked up system we have- my comments just say the military has been like that for some time- sure this type of news pisses me off but its old news when you think about the military (of all nations, i know of no exceptions)

    Peace be unto you

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  3. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

    The US Supreme Court has said as much (regarding police, not fire departments).
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  5. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Do you think something is Funny?

    That IS spewing. You were distorting reality in order to pander to your own selfish need to cling desperately to faith.

    The only relevance is you trying desperately to support your repeated insults.
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  7. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    That is fucking disgusting and those firefighters should be locked up.

    Letting animals die because someone didn't pay? Even though they said they'd pay right there?

    How would it be if they'd let children die in that fire?
  8. countezero Registered Senior Member

    I'm not sure your partisan conclusion is supported by this event, but the actual event is disturbing as hell. What if someone died? They just aren't going to come out to try to save people? And what moral obligation do the firemen owe this family? Their community?

    I'm sickened.

    Actually, there is talk of charging people for ambulances in DC
  9. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Well it is a subscription service.
    Why do you think that with the Universal Health Care plan being set up, at the SAME time that they make the Insurance companies drop the ability to exclude for pre-existing conditions they require everyone to purchase insurance?

    Simple, because financially it would not work otherwise. Way too many people wouldn't pay their high monthly premiums when they were healthy (which is typically for most of their lives) and then when illness struck they would go out and pay their first payment.

    This is why they set it up this way.

    Not saying that's a good thing, but the funding logic is sound.

    But it is EXACTLY the same from a FUNDING perspective. A whole county worth of residents pay a small fee yearly so that collectively they have the protection of trained men on standby with very expensive equipment who will come out on a moments notice and risk danger to put out their fire. But the reason it's just a small fee is only a few actual fires will need to be put out. Even better than typical insurance there is no co-pay or 80% coverage for visits.

    And they may have to, that depends on the actual policy. But after this I wouldn't be surprised if policies change. If I was the insurance agent selling home insurance in that county, I'd make benefits due to fire damage contingent on keeping your coverage with the city in effect.

    Ah, I didn't say how I'd have handled the situation.
    But, assuming there was no legal/liability issue with doing something, then I'd have accepted his offer to pay the actual costs of putting out the fire and done so.
    There is no reason not to for this fire. The county fees have already been collected for this year, so the issues raised about funding don't really matter till next year's funding cycle.

    I'd then I'd fix the Funding issue by doing one of two things:

    Make sure that county residents were aware of the cost that they would incur if they were called out and had not paid their fee, most likely thousands of dollars, and in that case I'd arrange for an annual contract to be signed by each resident, either pay the annual $75 fee or agree to pay actual costs to put out a fire, with a minimum of X per call out.

    Alternatively, assuming the above can't be done because of legal issues, for the following funding year I'd negotiate with the County for a set fee to cover all residents, and if that couldn't be agreed to I'd let the County go back to providing their own coverage. And just like before, their 911 calls would no longer be routed to the City.

    What I do agree with is Fireman on the scene should never be put in the position of having to verify that someones paid a fee in order to provide assistance. For several reasons, one it's morally indefensible, particularly when more than property is involved and two you would invariably screw it up and withhold it from someone who did pay but there was an accounting error.

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Don't take it out on the Fireman, they were likely in a no win situation, it was the City/County government who allowed for this untenable situation to occur.

    But children weren't involved, so don't project what firemen are willing to do/risk to save a pet to what they are willing to do/risk to save a child.

  11. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Don't be deliberately pedantic. He said that it's like an insurance policy in that most of the people who pay won't end up needing it, while the few who do actually end up needing it will receive a benefit that's grossly in excess of what they paid. This does not mean that it's an actual insurance policy and should conform to each and every law regulating the insurance industry. Sheesh.
    In all likelihood the city did try to negotiate with the county, but the county refused to pay. So the city fire department, not wanting to leave everyone else in the country without some form of fire protection, decided to offer their services to individuals for a fee. What else could they do, if the county wouldn't pay them to protect everyone? And since from what I've observed of you here so far you don't appear to be an idiot, you know damn well that if the city fire department started putting out fires for people who hadn't paid the fee, almost everyone else would immediately say "Oh, they'll put out fires even if I don't pay? Okay, screw the $75 payment..."
    Yes, everyone here has been going on about this ad nauseum. But lives weren't at stake. If they had been, in all likelihood the firefighters would have done everything they could to rescue people on principle, even if they hadn't paid. But since lives weren't at stake, it's irrelevant to the discussion. People commonly act differently when lives are at stake than they do when lives aren't at stake.
    Given that the city doesn't have the legal authority to compel non-city residents to pay taxes, these two statements are pretty much mutually exclusive. If they are obligated to help everyone regardless of whether or not they pay, then they are de facto robbed of the right to collect revenues. Everyone can simply say "Screw it, I'm not paying, they'll have to help me anyway."
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  12. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    No joe, this was very poorly thought out by the home owner, the city has no responsibility to any one out side of the city limits, and it's tax paying district, that is controlled by city, county, and state, law and regulation.

    $75.00 a year, that is what the home owner bet that he wouldn't need the fire department, go to Las Vegas and try to put your money down after the dice roll, you don't get to collect.
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Every home owners insurance policy that I have ever seen takes what sort of fire protection your house has into account when setting rates. He was probably already paying a higher premium because he lived outside of normal fire department coverage.
    As others have said, I agree that this would have been the best solution. Still, it could have gotten very legally complicated. After the fire was out he could easily argue that he made the contract under duress and refuse to pay.
    What if they refuse to sign the contract? It's not like the city can force them to sign anything. Sure, you can send out mailings or something, but many people will probably just throw the paperwork away.
    As I already said in a previous post, it's a pretty safe bet that they did indeed try to negotiate such a deal, and set up the fee-based system when the negotiations proves unworkable. Letting the county provide their own coverage would likely mean no coverage. Then tons of people would be utterly without fire protection and wouldn't even have the option to pay for the subscription.
  14. countezero Registered Senior Member


    They have a moral and ethical obligation -- to say nothing of human decency -- to perform their duty and help people. Hell, if I was this man's neighbor, I would help and I am no firemen.

    Whatever happened to doing the right thing?
  15. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I can believe that. But what if it wasn't your neighbor, but rather some guy you had never met who lived 10 miles away who called you up and said "Dude, you don't know me, but my house is on fire and I need some help putting it out"? Would you still go help for free? Perhaps, if it was a one-time thing. But if random strangers were calling you up frequently asking for such help, I suspect you would eventually either demand payment of just stop helping people.
  16. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    The article said: Gene Cranick asked the fire chief to make an exception and save his home, the chief wouldn't.

    The fireman could disobey the Chief and possibly get fired or try to save some property.

    Tough call.

    And one a Firefighter shouldn't have to make.

  17. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Not as sworn employees of the City, their duty exist only to the city and anyone who established a contractual obligation by paying the Fee.

    The right thing? the right thing was that Gene Cranick, shouldn't expect free services for nothing, why should His neighbors pay the cost for His cheapskate?

    The moral and ethical answer is to pay for service, either by Taxes or Fee, and that payment when concerning something like fire protection must be made up front, why? because of the cost of having a fire department, equipment, and men on standby 24/7/365, it has to be paid for day by day, budgeted for, and planning for replacement of equipment.

    If that money isn't paid up front you can't keep a active or even a volunteer fire department, viable and available.
  18. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    That I don't know, but the current set up is not workable either.

    The City has no obligation to provide services to the County residents and if I was the Mayor I would simply say to the County Government, either come up with a funding plan that covers all residents or provide fire coverage yourself, because I can't have City fireman and City 911 support checking a list to see if we can provide service or not.

    And self coverage is done all over the country today. I used to live in the rural area of a County, and the City would not respond to calls outside the city limits, firefighting in the county was provided by several Volunteer fire departments, which meant that there was no one sitting in a firestation waiting for a call.

  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    There are communities who do charge for ambulance services, and I don't have an issue with that practice. In fact it is probably a good thing because it discourages abuses. But those communities I am familar with do not require up front payment for service before the service is rendered. Asking someone if they have paid and refusing essential EMS (Emergency Medical Service) to someone because they did not pay a fee is not an acceptable practice.
  20. Bells Staff Member

    It is a emergency service. They pay their taxes. Adding on an extra external fee is pure greed and stupidly managed.

    So the funding logic is more sount to make a whole family homeless, meaning that they will have to now depend on social services (such as Government payments and handouts, not to mention emergency accomodation)? Wow..

    I can see the logic now..

    It's an emergency service. We are not talking about plumbers here or electricians. But one that is put in place to protect people and property from fire. That is their obligation.

    Their very expensive equipment would not exist if the people did not pay tax, which this man does. They also travelled on roads and used water that this man's tax dollars would have contributed to maintain, when they responded to the neighbour's call.

    In no way is it comparable to insurance. They failed to do their job and in doing so, acted like complete arseholes. They did not check if the residents of that property were safe. He and his family called 911 and were told no.

    He offered to pay and pay extra and they said it was too late.

    Quite simply, that was ridiculous. The fire was not yet at his home when that offer was made. They could very well have accepted the payment. But they refused.

    And then those firemen sat and watched as the fire consumed the house and left when it was a smoking ruin. What kind of fireman does that?

    Those firemen should have done the right thing. They specifically chose not to.
  21. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1, 4 (D.C. 1981), quoting the trial court decision

    By a 4-3 decision the court decided that Warren was not entitled to remedy at the bar despite the demonstrable abuse and ineptitude on the part of the police. The court held that official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for a failure to provide adequate police protection.
  22. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    No, Bells they didn't pay their taxes, they weren't part of the Tax District of South Fulton, Gene Cranick, did not live inside the city limits, so guess what the city of South Fulton, doesn't have the right to tax Mr. Gene Cranick, and if they tried, guess what, Mr. Gene Cranick, would have sewed the pants off the City.

    Mr. Gene Cranick had the option of paying the Fee, a tax by another name, and cheeped out, and paid the price......He had no expectation of service, because He failed to establish a obligation by paying the fee, a tax by another name, and the department had no duty to provide service because they were not a county agency, which is the taxing district that Mr. Gene Cranick is taxed by.
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Lives were at stake here. There were animals who were left to burn. It seems to me that puts the city a risk of animal abuse laws. And human lives could have been at stake here. What would have happened then?

    The issue here is that local government is not serving its citizens well. They should have had a better plan to deal with the problem other than let the building burn down and twittle your thumbs as the building burns.

    In this case what are the incremental costs of throwing water on the house? Very little, as they had already responded and could not leave until the fire was over because it endangered other homes who's owners did pay.

    Two the city could have provided the service and charged a reasonable fee for the service. I would expect the city to have two rates, a prepaid rate and a per basis rate which would include all of the costs associate with providing the service including administration (billing and collection) costs.

    Two you are assuming the city tried to negotiate with the county, I have seen no evidence of that yet. But even if they did, that does not and should not stop the city from seeking to mitigate its risk in these matters.
    The city chose to respond to areas outside their tax base. It was a deliberate decision by the city. As such they need to be accountable for that decision. When they operate beyond their charter then they need to play by the rules other businesses are required to adhere to.

    The city may not have the right to tax in non incorporated areas, but they do have the right to bill for and collect payment for services rendered. Your arguement that everyone would just say "screw it" and not pay the bills for service is just not borne out by history. If that were so, no one would pay their credit card bills or bills for other services. I will grant you that there will be some segment of the population that would not pay their bill. And the city would need to initiate collection proceedings against those individuals. Those collection costs would go into the cost of service billed to those individuals receiving the service.

    And all of this does not mitigate the obligation of county residents (which includes residents of the city) to work together to find a better solution to the problem other than let the buildings burn.

    And again, what if human life were at stake? Would the city have taken action to put out the fire? And if they did, how would they have recovered their costs in that event?

    The bottom line is this is a very poorly thought out system.

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