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Those who don't remember history are condemned to repeat it.


These people did remember, so apparently even they are condemned to repeat it.



Ya know, I think we need an expansion of obamacare. How about free fire insurance for everyone, too? Obviously people cannot be trusted to handle such things for themselves. :rolleyes:
 

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Home burns while firefighters watch, again
Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

Story Created: Dec 5, 2011 at 8:50 PM CST

Story Updated: Dec 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM CST

OBION COUNTY, Tenn. — A local family watches their home burn to the ground and just a few feet behind them, firefighters watch, too.

It's happened multiple times before in one local community: firefighters refuse to respond because the homeowner didn't pay a fire subscription fee.

The last time this happened, the city of South Fulton, Tennessee, received a lot of heat nationwide for this policy. That was more than a year ago but nothing has changed.

The mayor said it comes down to simple business. If they don't collect fire fees, the fire department can't survive and if they make exceptions to the rule, no one will ever pay the fee.

Besides that, he likes the "pay for spray" policy and said it's fair.

But that's hard to stomach when you've just lost your home and everything you've worked for.

"In an emergency, the first thing you think of, 'Call 9-1-1," homeowner Vicky Bell said.

Firefighters came out.

Bell said, "9-1-1 said they were in fact dispatched and they showed that they were on the scene."

But once on the scene, they only watched.

"You could look out my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance," Bell said.

For Bell, that sight was almost as disturbing as the fire itself.

"We just wished we could've gotten more out," Bell said.

It's a controversial policy that we've dealt with before. If you live in the city, you get fire protection but if not, you have to pay the $75 fire protection fee each year. With this policy, the city makes no exceptions.

"There's no way to go to every fire and keep up the manpower, the equipment, and just the funding for the fire department," Mayor David Crocker said.

And Crocker said by now, everyone should know about the city's fire policy.

"After the last situation, I would hope that everybody would be well aware of the rural fire fees, this time," Crocker said.

Bell and her boyfriend admitted they were aware but thought this would never happen to them.

For tonight, this hotel is home and they're happy be alive.




If it's all about business why expend the fuel to spectate?
 

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Because I know people you don't want too.

First thing I would have one of them do is, wait until the Mayor left his house, and burn the mother down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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If it's all about business why expend the fuel to spectate?
Yes, lets pick on poorly chosen word.

That aside, from what I remember from last years brouhaha, they provide life-safety when they can, and assure that members houses are protected.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Because I know people you don't want too.

First thing I would have one of them do is, wait until the Mayor left his house, and burn the mother down.
Maybe you missed the FACT that they the house is OUTSIDE the CITY.

As a matter of fact, the rural area just as far outside the city but in Kentucky (adjacent North Fulton City) have no fire service.

When houses burn down there is no national news coverage.

People get outraged over stupid things when they are ill-informed.
 

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Maybe you missed the FACT that they the house is OUTSIDE the CITY.

As a matter of fact, the rural area just as far outside the city but in Kentucky (adjacent North Fulton City) have no fire service.

When houses burn down there is no national news coverage.

People get outraged over stupid things when they are ill-informed.
Ahh, thanks for getting me back on track. I had no-idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ahh, thanks for getting me back on track. I had no-idea.
I have a friend who is way off the left edge liberal.
I think he gets all his news from "Think Progress".

You should see the bleeding heart reaction to this over there.

Probably from a bunch of people who have never stopped at a auto accident to help, or would dare check a burning building for occupants before the fire service arrives.
 

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As I mentioned the first time this topic came up here, my father retired from the force on disability from a work-related injury (firetruck rolling down a 75' embankment) and my brother is currently on the Bellevue force. The notion that firefighters would stand aside and watch a structure burn for purely financial reasons is completely foreign, and frankly quite alien to most modern social concepts. Kentucky policy makers need to get with the program and develop a rational security financing scheme for their entire state. Embarrassing
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As I mentioned the first time this topic came up here, my father retired from the force on disability from a work-related injury (firetruck rolling down a 75' embankment) and my brother is currently on the Bellevue force. The notion that firefighters would stand aside and watch a structure burn for purely financial reasons is completely foreign, and frankly quite alien to most modern social concepts. Kentucky policy makers need to get with the program and develop a rational security financing scheme for their entire state. Embarrassing
Rural fire protection and urban/suburban are very different.

Should the adjacent city be responsible for wildfire protection outside its jurisdiction?

When you live in an area without fire service you know it.
Everyone knows it.
Your taxes are lower, and your insurance rates are higher.
 

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That's a stupid policy. Proximity to service levels is one thing, but refusing to respond is completely another. I've lived in very rural areas, and there was nothing like this Darwinian nonsense out there. We have fire levies in which folks vote to tack on to their property taxes to pay for these vital services. Our insurance was based in part on potential response times, but there was never any doubt that the full resources would be brought to bear as needed. Again, quite embarrassing
 

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Discussion Starter #18
An interesting perspective: (From someone who knows the area)
(Borrowed from a Facebook thread)

Okay, fine, here's the deal: for over 20 years, the County of Obion has tried to solve this problem. Three times there was vote for a fire levy for the county to provide fire protection for rural residents and 3 times the rural residents voted it down. So the city of South Fulton stepped up, pretty much out of the kindness of their hearts, and volunteered to cover what area they could with their own fire protection service (which is paid for by the taxes of the city of South Fulton - not a dime of a rural Obion resident contributes to it) for a very modest fee, much less than the levy the residents had voted on repeatedly. South Fulton made sure that all residents in the area they volunteered to cover knew this service was fully voluntary - you did NOT have to take it, and that the $75 a year fee would cover the extra costs of covering a larger area. South Fulton receives about $8000 a year in these fees - not a lost considering the costs of fire equipment and training. They cannot cover as much as they would in the city - in the rural areas there are no fire hydrants or other ways to pump water with pressure, so basically they have to bring whatever water they can with them.

South Fulton even takes the time to send a notice every year to remind you your fire levy is due. The gentleman whose house burned last year, Mr Crannick, got his yearly notice, 3 reminder letters, and 3 reminders phone calls over a period of 9 months. To each reminder he promised to pay the $75. He never did. Yet he said, on national television, that he still expected that the fire department would come put the fire out even though he had not paid their fee.

Fire protection is not a public service that is provided from sea to shining sea. It costs money, and lots of it. In larger areas, this money comes from taxes. So no matter where you live, somehow, somewhere, you ARE paying for your own fire protection. But the rural population of Obion County refused to pay such taxes. They may have been right if there are so few residents that the tax burden per resident would have been too great. But some of them near South Fulton were offered another option, and a pretty cheap one I have to say. Some took it and quietly and thankfully pay it and are glad of the coverage. And some do not. It's a choice.

This is the rural South. And it's a stereotype, but if you really needed $75 to protect your home from a fire and you truly could not come up with it despite your best efforts, your neighbors would probably help you out. Or your local church. There are options. These people who lost their homes decided not to take up the option. If God send you a county option, a city volunteer option, and reminder calls and letters, you lost your right to say, "God, why didn't anyone take care of me?"

Let me also be very clear about the position of the firefighters. If there were a human endangered, they would have done their level best to rescue them. What their particular policy on pets is I cannot tell you, but I would bet good money it is no different from any other respectable fire department. The family last year had 3 hours in which to rescue their dogs before their fire reached their house. They chose not to. Yet they would ask a firefighter to risk his own life to do so? The family last year made other bad choices - one was, knowing they had refused all offered fire protection, they decided to let their unsupervised grandson burn some trash in their yard. You can't protect somebody from their own stupidity or when they have refused protection. The firefighter were there, not to laugh and point, but to make sure no one went BACK into the house when it was unsafe. Oh, and forget not that if they had defied their higher ups and fought the fire - if anyone was injured Workers Comp would not have paid a dime. Now, given all of this, and this man's chronic refusal to pay for a service, would YOU as the spouse of a firefighter want your beloved to risk his or her life for this person who does not choose to help the City that volunteered to help him pay the firefighters or pay for their training and equipment?

Help our fellow man? You betcha. Help our fellow man who thinks everything should be handed to him? No. In my book he is just as bad as the wealthy that want to get rich off the backs of the poor. Everything is a choice, every choice has consequences. Don't blame others for your choices.

Mr Lentz, there are many firefighters who have bothered to read into the whole situation and they agreed that while usually if firefighters are present, they should make an effort to put out the fire. But in this case, with limited water and having the obligation to make sure the fire did not spread to neighbors who HAD paid their fee, those firefighters are faced with difficult decisions. But they are far from heartless. I wish you could see their faces as they are required to stand there and be reviled for doing their jobs as best they can in the difficult situation.

I hear everyone's outrage. But this situation has been going on in Obion County for well over 20 years. You never hear about it until someone's house burns down. But if people were really that worried about protecting their homes, 20+ years would be enough time to think up a realistic solution, hmm? The best solution they could come up with was this subscription service. In over 20 years they have not been able to come up with better, so the citizens of rural Obion County must be pretty satisfied with it. The vast majority pay their fee and are glad of it. But those who choose not to (it comes out to little over $6 a month), and then say the system failed them, I cannot find much sympathy for them.

My house insurance has risen every year, especially since the economy collapsed, while my income has not risen at all, in fact it has decreased by 1/4. Yet I keep my house insurance and do without other things, just in case. My just in case was April - when a huge oak tree fell on my house. And if I had decided to let my house insurance lapse before that tree fell, I would have lost my house and been stuck with the mortgage. And it would have been all MY fault, because it was MY choice. If I can pay $1300 a year on a fixed income, then paying $75 a year for fire protection doesn't impress me as budget-breaking, no matter how poor one is.
 

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It would not surprise me if we were to learn that the municipalities who charge for rural fire department protection actually ignited a few trailers just to drive the point home.

You know, they say that pyros rarely miss a chance to watch the fire........
 
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