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Author Topic: Fire department let house burn to the ground.  (Read 2795 times)
Jerrymac
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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2010, 11:01:51 AM »

WOW ya'll have been busy on this one  shocked

I haven't read every post but....

 I wish it was where we could pay for any services we wanted, would lessen our tax burden. I am sure that where I live the house would be pretty much burned down by the time the volunteer fire department got the men rounded up and out to where I am.

Also I have to rely on the Sheriff's department or Texas Department of public safety to answer any 911 call, not that there would be one  evil and that takes awhile to get here. All that is left to do is pick up the pieces. Perhaps that should be done by some one that cares for the/ what's left of the perp. and not covered by any tax or pay. "Here's the dead guy. Come get him before the coyotes do."  Jerry
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ronbert
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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2010, 11:31:23 AM »

When we first built our house the area was very rural. We had to pay the electric company to run service to the house (2 miles). The fire dept. was volunteer and a $250 a year fee was required for them to respond to a fire. The insurance company would not insure the house unless we paid the fee. To be sure we paid the fee the $250 was part of the premium.
I thought the fee was high and said so to the volunteer fireman that came to look at the house. He then explained that they would have to bring the water to the fire (7
miles). My well could not supply enough water to put out the fire.
I had to widen my driveway (3/4 of a mile) and provide a turnaround for the fire trucks.
The fireman that came to our house was my brother-in-law.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2010, 12:07:50 PM »

I have an above ground pool, 24000 gallons  grin
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AliciaH
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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2010, 12:43:15 PM »

Sounds like a poorly thought out process all the way around.  It hasn't been that long since our volunteer department was annexed by a larger fire district providing a paid force.  Most of us are on wells.  We are outside the city limits, so we don't get police coverage, we have to wait for County.  Until recently, that was a significantly delayed response.

You can prepare for those things, but you need to be aware that the danger is there.  Yes, we all know what fire does.  But most people need a more vivid picture.  Our department is very clear, if they can't get down your driveway, your house is gonna burn.  If you don't have sufficient water and no storage cache, your house is gonna burn.  In this case, if you don't pay your fee, your house is gonna burn. 

People who have never seen a fire outside a firering have no clue how fast it can move.  So, were they really that stupid, or just ignorant. 

As for the firefighters responding to the neighbors and then not doing anything for the first guy, I can't answer that.  I have a hard time imagining our home boys just watching like that once there were already there.  But maybe the house was already too far gone? 

I do know that the one circumstance under which our volunteers would not approach a fire was if the house had the funny "cat pee" smell.  Short of saving lives, the house was better left to burn.  Now, I AM NOT SAYING THESE FOLKS MADE METH.  But I am saying that the news got quite a sob story out of running it the way they did and maybe, just maybe, there were other circumstances we are not aware of.

Sorry, I'm rambling, but no matter how you look at it, these folks lost their home and their pets and that's just sad.
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AllenF
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2010, 02:24:45 PM »

I paid $273 for emergency services on the property tax this year.   Years ago, we still had the all volunteer fire department.   And their money came from BBQ and fish fry's through the year.  But you do get what you pay for.  We now have EMS along with a bunch new fire houses. 

Unless people want to pay and vote it in, they will only get what $75 will get you. 
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kathyp
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« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2010, 02:34:45 PM »

another question:  we have a contract with our community.  we pay a certain amount of tax to cover services that we feel are important.  fire, police, ems, etc.  what do you all think of communities that are now going to charge extra for emergency calls?  maybe if they were going to charge those who pay no taxes i could see it, but otherwise, no.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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AliciaH
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« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2010, 02:45:44 PM »

Our fire department borders a reservation.  When our district was volunteer, the reservation was not part of the fire districts' normal coverage area.  The tribe negotiated a contract with our department for coverage of its residents to keep them safe.  I think they knew that individual payments were not going to be an option for many of the folks there.

But that means someone has to spearhead those talks, negotiate the contract, and like Allen suggests, chair the fundraising.  The tribe had a political structure in place to handle all that.  But looking at it from ground level, and not at a system that's up and running, that's a lot to take on.

However....your neighbor's burned down house can be very motivating.
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AllenF
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« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2010, 02:53:33 PM »

I like the volunteer tax (is that a Tennessee tax?) like the lotto, or the fund raisers where you can choose what to pay.    But up there today, I bet a lot of people were dropping of their $75 checks.  If they did put out the fire and people found out that he did not pay, or was going to pay afterwards, they would not be getting any money in, ever.   Why should they pay for that service if they are still going to put out the fire?
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kathyp
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« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2010, 02:56:36 PM »

75 seems like a heck of a deal to me.  i know what i pay in taxes in my county and it's a lot more than that.  i don't even have police!   grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
AllenF
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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2010, 03:00:20 PM »

Ya $273 here for just fire and EMS.
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« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2010, 06:04:29 PM »

Now as far as paying up front to buy equipment,if only half of any community pays that "fee" upfront,is the rest who do pay going to get short changed from a company that has insufficient equipment to cover this emergency?
 And as stated,if this company received any funds from a larger community entity,such as a county r the state,can they still randomly select protection based on a fee?
 I think most homeowners policies make a payment to the fire companies for response to fires.Not sure if all do,but I know the couple I have had do.
  And I also agree that in the case of emergency services,maintaing a list of payers and non payers could result in nothing less than a deadly clerical error.
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charmd2
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« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2010, 08:44:41 AM »

Our fee is $75.   And god forbid the house burns down without the fee being paid.   The insurance will NOT pay out. 

Even if I live 15 miles from town and the local volunteer fire department most likely would have nothing left to save but the foundation.. 
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Charla Hinkle
AllenF
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« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2010, 12:09:02 PM »

Our fee is $75.   And god forbid the house burns down without the fee being paid.   The insurance will NOT pay out. 

Even if I live 15 miles from town and the local volunteer fire department most likely would have nothing left to save but the foundation.. 

So your fire department will not come out if the fee has not been paid also?
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2010, 12:18:21 PM »

we have a poorly rated volunteer fire dept, but we dont pay a "Protection fee" directly to them. I don't fault them for being poorly rated, they have the same training as the rest of the state, but the volunteers could work as far as 40 miles away - and are very likely no closer than about 20 miles.
um, yeah, I think our fire protection comes out of our taxes, and a little extra out of the turkey shoots. I honestly think this fire department is criminally negligent.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2010, 04:29:40 PM »

This discussion brings up an old point that has been decided several times, over various issues, by the Supreme Court of the USA due to appeal from lower courts.

The gist of it is this:  Although governments were created to serve the public welfare they do not have an obligation to respond to every incident, and can literally pick and choose.  Most of the court decissions about this have dealt with the police refusing/failing to respond to a reported emergency wherein the courts have as much as said the police can stand and watch someone be murdered and are under no official obligation to prevent the crime from happening.  What government has is the power to investigate, arrest, and prosecute after the crime has been commited.  But the court findings heavily suggests that this lack of obligation to prevent or deter applies not only to the police but any other governmental inforcement agency such as the fire department and, say, immigration.

It is exactly this policy that the Federal Government is currently using in regard to illegal immigration.  They have decided not to prevent the illegal entry of foriegn nationals into the US but, instead, concentrate on persuing a policy of identifying and deporting those who prove to be a crimimal element.  Janet Napalitano, on the O'Rielly Factor last week, reported that a record number of illegal immigrants, identified as law breakers, have been deported so far this year (if I remember correctly), even over 2009. 

So they are using the president of past court decissions to decline to prevent a crime (illegal immigration) but choose to act upon a crime that is commited within the US (ie, robbery, assault, etc).

Another point is that, here in my local area, there are properties that chose to be excluded from an organized fire prevention district.  Thge fire departments have the choice of responding and watching it burn while protecting the adjacent properties that lie within the fire district or, if asked by the owner to put the fire out, to charge a large fee for out of district responce.  The reason the out of district option is available here in washingington is that the fire districts are a quasi-governmental agency and, as such, have the ability to place a lien upon the property that remains after the fire. 
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