Man lost house for $75 firefighting fee.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by nsaspook, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. nsaspook

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  2. retched

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    Sheesh. Now thats nuts.

    "What's that sir? Your pets are burning to death? Ok, we will have our trucks out there imediat....OOOHHH...sorry sir, It appears you are not up to date with the $75 fire fighting fee.." "NEXT!"
     
  3. JoeJester

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    Do the good citizens of Baltimore pay for their FD to go outside of Baltimore?
     
  4. retched

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    The volunteer firefighters go where they must, And with the budget cuts and fire house closings, the other houses are traveling all over.

    I dont know the specifics of how the bill is paid.

    HOWEVER, they arrived and sprayed water on the neighbors FENCE LINE! Because the neighbor HAD paid the $75.

    So if they were ALREADY THERE what difference would it have made? They WATCHED IT BURN!
     
  5. gerty

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    We also have a Volunteer Fire Dept system here, it's how the system works. The firefighters spend a lot of their time/money getting traing that's required by the state in order to be a firefighter. The equipment (firetrucks,SCBA,hoses,etc) must be up to standards in order to be put into service.They also must have a fire hall, or in our case, we have 11. Then there's fuel,electric bill, insurance,radios,I could go on.
    This is where the fees go.
    I volunteer in Rescue Services (EMT) and one fire I went to about 15 years ago, the homeowner never paid for fire protection. The fire dept responded and put out the fire. Unfortunately the home owner died. He had knee surgery recently and, while on oxygen, was smoking in bed.
    The family blamed his death on the fire dept, filed suit on each member individually and collectively.
    In court they said they were entitled to the protection, even though they never paid a penny in the dozen odd years they lived there.
    The fire dept sends an annual bill, with a reminder 6 months later for those that forget.
    When asked by the Judge why they felt they were entitled, while everyone else has to pay, the only answer was "because". The case was dismissed.
    The city has its own fire dept (I live in the county) and they will not cross the city limit.
    Some people just want everything for nothing. And in case you're wondering, the man that died in the fire had a job that paid well. If everybody just paid only when they had a fire, nobody would pay. Then the equipment wouldn't be up to standards, then they couldn't respond to any fires. Do I agree with policy of not putting out the fire in the OPs article, not necessarily. Do I understand their position, yes

    Basically your damned if you, and damned if you don't.
     
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  6. retched

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    No. No!

    If you are a fire-fighter, and your at the NEIGHBORS HOME, there is NO REASON to not put the fire out. NONE. You are already there, already working.

    It would have been better if they didn't show up at all.
     
  7. JoeJester

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    And when the pumper truck was empty .... or do you think they had hydrants on their property line?

    They should have paid the $75 up front like their neighbor. That's inexpensive for the future services provided.
     
  8. loosewire

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    When the county shows up to replace the
    volunteer fire service,they will scream and holler
    like a lot volunteer fighthers.Where possible the
    counties are taking over fire companies. With all
    fire hero stories you hear,they should been
    fire hero's first.It would have been a better
    story to save the house. What If firemans kid
    were drowning,would they want somebody to
    yell,you should have to swim,let this be a lesson.
    What happened to the good samartian act.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  9. jpanhalt

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    I would guess not based on my experience with Balto's finest. In the early 1970's, my wife had the windshield of our VW knocked out/shot out while driving home on Pulaski highway. Our 1-year-old daughter was fortunately in the back seat. The police wouldn't even respond until the dispatcher determined on which side of the county line the incident occurred.

    As regards this case, a lot would depend on details that are not given in the news report. Is the fire department organized as for-profit or not-for-profit for tax purposes? There are, of course, strings attached to being not for profit and having the advantages of that status. Does the state have good Samaritan laws? Some of those laws require individuals to provide aid commensurate with their ability, if they witness an accident. Do those laws apply to animals? (I suspect they might not, but it would take a pretty heartless person to let an animal burn because a fee was wasn't paid.)

    All in all, I think the response of the FD is pretty tacky, because it could have responded and sued for full costs. Hospitals and doctors have to give care first regardless of insurance or ability to pay (see: EMTALLA).

    Whether their action was legal or whether the so-called victim can sue successfully for damages will depend on the details. The victim's story that he "forgot" to pay the recurring bill doesn't pass the sniff test with me. I suspect there may be witnesses (maybe even the neighbor) who can say he knew he was avoiding the fee. It's like The Three Little Pigs.

    John
     
  10. DumboFixer

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    Feb 10, 2009
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    Think I'll stick with the system we have here in the UK. you have a fire, you dial 999 (or 112), ask for the Fire Service and they'll send a wagon, if appropriate, to you - no if's, no but's and if the nearest available wagon is across a county line they'll send it anyway.

    Same goes for Ambulance, Police, RSPCA, Air Sea Rescue etc etc etc though with all the cut backs you may not get the speed of response you'd ideally like.
     
  11. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Generally that is how it works here, but something people outside the USA forget is how big this country really is. The reason volunteer fire departments exist is the US simply can not cover the entire country, it just isn't practical.

    Personally I think they should put the fire out and presented a bill. A big one. Maybe the state legislature could put something on the books to cover this contingency.
     
  12. nsaspook

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    If they had put out the original house fire there would have been no need to stop the fire from crossing the property line in the first place.
    If the fire chiefs grandmothers house was burning and she didn't pay, you think they would have not rolled and sent the bill later? There has to be some bad history among these people.

     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  13. jpanhalt

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    Here's another bit:
    All cities are incorporated, and apparently the TN Good Samaritan Law exemptions may not apply to volunteer fire departments organized by a corporation and operating outside the incorporated area. Paying the fee for coverage generates a contract and might address that issue. I am aware the term "private company" is used, but I am not sure how it is defined. In any event, if a Good Samaritan law doesn't explicitly protect you, you should probably assume you are subject to suit.

    John
     
  14. JoeJester

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    Catch-22. If the homeowner paid they would have responded to squelch said fire.
     
  15. nsaspook

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    Yea, bad Karma
     
  16. gerty

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    What wasn't mentioned in the article was how advanced the fire was in the mobile home. One of my friends in the fire service approached me today and asked if I heard of the incident, he then stated the one simple fact that I hadn't thought about, "have you ever arrived on scene and the roof of the mobile home wasn't on the floor". They burn fast, in his words "like a box of kitchen matches". The fact that the home owner didn't let his pets out of the house should put some credence in that statement.
    Basically there probably wasn't much to save in the first place.
     
  17. gerty

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    @ jpanhalt
    That refers to factories and gated communities that have their own fire depts. I was a member of one where I used to work and we had to sign "mutual aid" agreements with other businesses that might need our help.

    The standard fire depts in TN are county run by the individual comminities that they serve, all the vehicles have state government license plates on them. A copy of the respective depts insurance policy must be on hand with the county clerks office before the vehicles can be driven on the road.
     
  18. loosewire

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    @ Dumboboxer,we have the same system here,
    this fire was different for some reason.The Miami
    radio station,an exdolphin player was all over this
    fire story with comments,from listeners most
    would have tryied to put fire out.There Is always
    the local story,best handled by the people
    Involved.
     
  19. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    Its all about shaking people down for money. In small rural area's you can still shake people down for basic services. Is it really that surprising? Look what making our healthcare system private did. Both I and creators of robocop fear this may be a reality sooner then later.
     
  20. jpanhalt

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    Your sense of history is warped beyond recognition. Our health care system was the best in the world and quite affordable when it was entirely private. Costs have increased and quality has decreased with increasing government involvement.

    As for the shake down aspect of paying for various services, there are those who believe everyone should contribute to society and pay their fair share and then, there are those who are simply parasites and want to be supported by others. Apparently you and the so-called victim in this matter are of the latter ilk.

    John
     
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