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Author Topic: Fire Departments Watching Houses Burn!  (Read 2818 times)
hankdog1
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« on: December 07, 2011, 04:00:27 PM »

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/07/9272989-firefighters-let-home-burn-over-75-fee-again

Ya know I can't for the life of me figure out how anyone can be so heartless over 75 bucks.  What the heck is going on in TN?  TSA strike teams cruzing the highways and firefighters watching houses burn.  Man alive next time I'm down that way I sure hope I don't slip up and drink the water.  Ya know the sad thing about this is how the heck folks that put laws on the books like this get re elected. 
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 04:41:10 PM »

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,30152.0.html

Same thing happened a year ago.

Better pay for protection.
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 04:53:43 PM »

i thought you liked the idea of choice?  you'd rather be forced to pay for protection?  this might prove that people, left to their own, don't make good choices.  might be an argument for more government?

we are taxed to cover these services.  we pay even if we don't want to.  these people decided not to pay and took a chance......
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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
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 05:53:03 PM »

If they put the fire out, then next year nobody would pay the $75 and the fire department would be broke and would have to walk to the next fire toting a bucket if water by hand.
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 06:38:51 PM »

I pay my taxes, so the FD will come out and put out the fire.  But if I don't pay my insurance bill, I will have lost my house and possessions. This is just fire insurance. The FD protects their city, paid by taxes, but everybody else has to pay somehow too.

Hard cold truth.  Hurts, but those people have to pay or lose.  Like they said "we didn't pay because we didn't figure we'd have a fire".
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Rick
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 06:17:53 AM »

We should expect to see more of this as our Country continues to digress and our people become more divided.

thomas
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 08:33:56 AM »

At least they have an option for fire protection/response. The county I reside in has an all volunteer force. So, technically, no one even has to show up. I dont like paying for my heath insurance either, but I do. Cant afford not to. By not paying the fee, it sounds to me like your safety and all your possessions arent worth it. I'm going out on a limb here, but I would dare say that 'IF' someones life was endangered it wouldnt have mattered about the $75.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 12:35:01 PM »

Those reports are sad.  We have volunteer fire departments down here, but they normally break their necks trying to get to the fire quickly.  Sometimes more than one department will respond if it's close to being an overlapping area.  They take donations and get some grants.  They buy surplus equipment and most all of them have some fairly nice departments...and we are a poor county in a state that is not wealthy and most where most school districts are at poverty level.  But, we haven't had a fire department stand there and watch someone's house and possessions burn without attempting to put the fire out...if they did I think they would find that the world can be a lonely, cold place, but I seriously doubt they'll ever have a reason to find that out.

If a department accepts government grants, access to surplus government equipment, or accepts public donations as a non-profit organization I would think they would have to respond to any emergency situation regardless whether someone paid a specific "fee" or not.

I'm happy to live in the area that I do and I'm thankfull to, and proud of, the guys and gals on our volunteer departments.
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 01:08:32 PM »

as i understand it, these fire departments are funded by the towns.  the people who live in the rural areas have to option of paying for the coverage to be extended into their area.  perhaps, if they don't want to pay the fee, they need to create their own fire dept?  by their own admission, this family decided not to pay and to take their chances. 
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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
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 04:56:03 PM »

Every one in that county knew about having to pay the $75 for the fire service if the lived outside the city.  The home owner even admitted they knew about and thought it would never happen to them.  They took a chance and paid the price. 
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 05:52:56 PM »

I understand the situation of the $75, etc.,.  But, I cannot get it in my mind how someone who calls themselves a fireman can standby and let someone's house burn...for $75?  Seems almost a crime to me.  If I'd been there I'd of given the $75 myself!  Sad

My grandparents lived seven miles out of town.  Coming back home one evening my grandmother opened the backdoor to smoke pouring out of the house.  The local fire department responded.  Thankfully it ended up being a pillow left laying on an electric blanket that caught a mattress on fire and it was removed from the house...smoke damage and a small scorched spot on the floor.  The "local" fire department was from town...seven miles away...it is a volunteer department.  Thankfully, the small communities scattered around have started up their own volunteer departments and are glad to help each other if needed.

http://our-compass.org/2010/10/07/firefighters-watch-house-burn-animals-die-international-firefighters-group-slams-fee-as-%E2%80%98pay-to-play%E2%80%99/
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 06:36:55 PM »

My grandparents lived seven miles out of town.  Coming back home one evening my grandmother opened the backdoor to smoke pouring out of the house.  The local fire department responded.  Thankfully it ended up being a pillow left laying on an electric blanket that caught a mattress on fire and it was removed from the house...smoke damage and a small scorched spot on the floor.  The "local" fire department was from town...seven miles away...it is a volunteer department.  Thankfully, the small communities scattered around have started up their own volunteer departments and are glad to help each other if needed.


Just curious...did your grandmother get that mattress pulled out, or did she wait for the FD? 
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 07:03:51 PM »

The first we knew of it she was blowing her car's horn in our front yard.(they lived about 1/4 mile down the road from us).  They had been "riding around" some that afternoon...my grandfather had advanced parkinsons disease at that time and that was his " outside activity".  Me and father went up there and opened the back door....too thick for us to enter.  It wasn't long after that that the fire department arrived.  They found the source of the smoke and brought the mattress out.  I remember watching as they came out on the back porch with the mattress as a hot spring popped out of the mattress and landed on one of the firemen's back.  Interesting note...that fireman's son works for me now and has for over 20 years. Wink

The timing of the fire was before home health visits, etc., and grandmother had to do a lot of lifting and "helping" my grandfather...if she could've got through the smoke there's no doubt in my mind that she would have tried to carry the mattress out herself.

Another side note....  I have some property that has about a 3-4 acre pactch of some of the south's prized greenery, kudzu, growing on it. This property is in a very rural area off of several dirt roads and goes back into the swamp...timber, etc.,.  It was a couple of weeks after it happened when my cousin asked me if the local volunteer fire department had called me.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  Seems something had set the dry kudzu patch on fire.  The VFD responded, put the fire out, never even bothered me with it.  It was also at night...around 10pm when it happened.  I saw one of them later and gave them $75 (interesting number, eh?) to help out on the diesel fuel, etc.,.  If my cousin hadn't told me I would have wondered about the kudzu patch being burned....I kinda wish they'd of let it burn a little longer, but... Wink
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 07:24:05 PM »

Well to help in the confusion, the people who live in that county understand they do not have fire department coverage unless they paid the $75.  Now for the firemen who responded to the call most likely were told by there employer if the house that is buring is not paying into the plan then you dont put it out.  I am not sure about where y'all live but a fire department job is a pretty good job to have and I would not want to risk my job for some one else who thought they could get one over on the system by not paying and expecting the service regardless.
I can understand how and why folks are upset but these people were informed of the fee for service to help cover the cost of running the fire department outside its normal coverage area.  The city fire department has done a favor to the people who live outside the city, all they require is the $75. 
How would you feel if you lived in the city and your taxes were going to the fire department and your home was burning and no one was around because they were out fighting a fire in an area they were not suppose to be?
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2011, 09:37:19 PM »

Kathy honestly from the looks of how old that trailer is those folks may not have had the cash.  Even if they did have the money I'm sure if you told them we can put it out but you will be charged I'm sure the people would have been more then happy.  I am for choice but honestly it's not much of a choice when the town runs a monopoly with the fire department.  Besides this isn't so much about freedom of choice as it is to do the right thing.  Like I say put it out and hand them a bill the government seems to be really good about collecting their money before anyone else.  Plus the funny thing about it is and this is true everywhere while it is gonna cost the same per sqaure foot to put a fire out those just outside of the town are charged a much higher fee.
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 09:45:12 PM »

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I am for choice but honestly it's not much of a choice when the town runs a monopoly with the fire department.


it's not though.  the town pays for it's fire department and offers the service to those outside town for a fee.  the people outside town could create their own fire department, couldn't they?  i'm guessing that it would be expensive to do so.  for less than the cost of purchasing and  maintaining equipment, and whatever else it takes to provide fire protection, they are offered the chance to purchase protection from town. 

it seems to me that this is not only practical, but fair.  they are not forced (taxed) to pay for it.  they are not required to maintain it.  the fee comes out to a little over 1 dollar a week.  seems like a bargain to me.
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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
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2011, 10:13:10 PM »

One more way to look at it, those boys with the fire department are working for the city.  I would be willing to be that their insurance would not be so willing to pay if they were injured or killed doing something OUTSIDE their area.  I bet the very measly $75 fee covers the cost of the extra insurance and supplies.  There was an incident not long ago where several paid firemen who were off duty were killed while helping put out a house fire out side of their district.  Their familys were paid nothing....  So say what you want about how they are responsible for irresponsible people. 
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2011, 10:38:26 PM »

Bottom line is that it is just like most everything else today....about money.  Sad
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2011, 10:52:03 PM »

Can't run a FD without that money!
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Rick
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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2011, 11:17:21 PM »

What would Jesus do?
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« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2011, 11:19:51 PM »

Terribly Sad! $75.00 doesn't seem like a lot to gamble over, but a minimum wage, maybe only one bread winner?  Cry AW heck! they were probably just trailer trash anyway, livin on welfare , screwin up ar American Kuntry! To Bad sombud didn't spike the door shut with them init!  What do you want to bet they didn't have any insurance? Probably couldn't afford any of that stuff either! Would that make it doubly sad? Capitalism at it's worst - if you can't afford it / do without! 
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2011, 12:12:15 AM »

Odd.  When I lived in Oklahoma there was a similar situation, but the fire department, if you called them, would put out the fire and send you a bill...
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« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2011, 09:03:33 AM »

The city could annex all the area in question and impose the taxes on the people for the services they now provide, but you can only imagine the hell that would break loose if they tried that.
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« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2011, 09:21:48 AM »

Sadly if you don't live in the service area, indeed something like this can happen.  Ambulances  for rural FD's also may have a subscription service.  If you need the service and haven't paid the subscription fee you are charged in some cases as much as 10 times more than the family that paid the $125 yearly subscription fee...and both get charged.  Fire response also, but the way I have always seen it is the assistance first, then the bill for services renderded.  Pretty cold and hard that they would just let it burn, tho I can see them not wanting to leave their service area.  (did not read the article, just the posts)  Having been a member of a volunteer FD/EMS program, funding is very limited and the equipment is terribly expensive.  They must raise money some where.  These folks leave their work to respond.  Even now in a satellite of Vancouver/Portland area, our FD is only partly paid staff, part volunteer, and they charge for service after the fact.  It will vary all over the country.  Never go without fire insurance, never.  
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2011, 09:29:50 AM »

Quote
What would Jesus do?

render unto Caersar.....?

Quote
Terribly Sad! $75.00 doesn't seem like a lot to gamble over, but a minimum wage, maybe only one bread winner?   AW heck! they were probably just trailer trash anyway, livin on welfare , screwin up ar American Kuntry! To Bad sombud didn't spike the door shut with them init!  What do you want to bet they didn't have any insurance? Probably couldn't afford any of that stuff either! Would that make it doubly sad? Capitalism at it's worst - if you can't afford it / do without!


it is an awful system.  we should figure out a good number and take everything above that number and give it to everyone below.  it's  not fair for people to have so much when others have so little.  we need a fair system and the government needs to make sure it's fair!!
OH!!  and all services should be FREE! 
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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
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2011, 09:30:44 AM »

Ya right and I am the Pied Piper of Washougal
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2011, 10:07:27 AM »

If the firemen knew this was outside of their service area and was a non paying residence, then why did they even roll out of the fire house? It just makes it that much more of a sad case when they are standing there in their turnout gear and the fire trucks are just idling watching the structure burn to the ground.

Around here rural/metro fire department and the city fire department almost come to fighting at the scene sometimes because they are arguing over who is in charge. Many structures have burnt to the ground because of the non payment thing. What really looked bad was when two of the rural/metro firemen were caught setting fire to the public library one night, said they were bored and needed some excitement  rolleyes
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2011, 10:41:10 AM »

G3, it was probably to make sure that the people were safe first.  I don't know the situation, but I'd venture a guess that if there had been people in there those firemen would not have let anything stop them to get to the people.  They at least responded to make sure life wasn't at risk. 

Buildings can be replaced. (pets can too even if people have incredibly strong bonds to their pets)

It is a hard lesson.
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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2011, 11:26:17 AM »

 Hi ,  We live in an area where there is no rural fire service .  We also have a number of local water delivery companies with large water tank trucks .
Two years ago when we noticed our next door neighbors' large shop on fire, I told my wife to call the water truck and see if they could come and fight the fire .  As she was doing that , I grabbed fire extinguishers and shovels and ran over there to do battle . Within 10 minutes the water truck showed up with 3000 gallons of water and a spray nozzle that shot water for more than 50 feet.  The driver said they carry that for occassions like this and for flooding skating rinks .  The shop was a write-off , but the greater good was in that the fire was kept from spreading during the high wind and tinder dry conditions. My neighbors' insurance company gladly payed the $100 that the water truck driver charged . Yes , my neighbor got to rebuild the shop too .
It probably won't work in every circumstance , but this time it did .  Call the water truck , it's worth a try .      ---Burl---
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« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2011, 02:42:10 PM »

Quote
What would Jesus do?

render unto Caersar.....?

You are correct, if Jesus had been the victim He would have paid the $75.

But, if He had been the firemen He would have put out the fire.
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2011, 05:59:49 PM »

render unto Caersar.....?

Ah Religion, .... if I remember right  .... Jesus was talking about (wait for it) TAXES .....  paraphrasing...he asked the man who's likeness was on the coin used to pay taxes! When the reply was ' Caesar ' Jesus said ' render unto the Lord what is the Lords and render unto Caesar what is Caesars'  I take it as Jesus saying: Pay your taxes!
Another statement out of the Bible: It is harder for a rich man to get to heaven than getting a Camel through the eye of a needle! banana devil
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« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2011, 06:18:06 PM »

render unto Caersar.....?

Ah Religion, .... if I remember right  .... Jesus was talking about (wait for it) TAXES .....  paraphrasing...he asked the man who's likeness was on the coin used to pay taxes! When the reply was ' Caesar ' Jesus said ' render unto the Lord what is the Lords and render unto Caesar what is Caesars'  I take it as Jesus saying: Pay your taxes!
Another statement out of the Bible: It is harder for a rich man to get to heaven than getting a Camel through the eye of a needle! banana devil
That's an interesting smiley to use after referencing scripture from the Christian bible.  Strikes me as odd... Undecided
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

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sterling
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« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2011, 06:43:48 PM »

Ya'll are blaming the Fire Dept. for something that was the peoples fault. They are the ones who didn't do what they should have done to protect their belongings. banana devil Which is pay there $75 tax. Render unto the FD that which is theirs and they will put the fire out. Keep the money for yourself and take your chances. Cry Kinda like not paying for health ins. and expecting someone else to pay your doctor bill after you get sick. Socialism at its best.
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AllenF
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« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2011, 07:57:04 PM »

Let's hope that these people at least had home owners insurance, but since they live out in the "sticks" away from town, just how much of the trailer could the fire department saved?  The frame maybe?   The fire department rolled out in case of life safety.   Just to save a life.  Sounds like the county needs to get the people together to start a volunteer fire department. 
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« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2011, 05:14:05 AM »

AllenF, you nailed it. By the time someone realized what was happening and called for help there was likely nothing left to save other than a pile of hot tin. Trailer, espescially old trailers burn so fast and so hot it is really scary.(14 years in the fire service speaking). I'm sure they would have done anything to save a life if need be, but realistically they were just keeping it from spreading to joining properties.
Lets also remember how the media sometimes blows things out of proportion for a better story...
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« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2011, 07:36:41 AM »

I think the best solution is make those not paying up front, pay a much higher amount after the fact. 500, 1000, 1500...whatever is appropriate. I'm sure placing a lien on the property is easy since they do it anyway for taxes and other matters. You could even tie it to any insurance payout and have it included in insurance policies. (Most policies have have mandatory requirements for coverage if there is a loan involved, so I am assuming these properties had no mortgages).

I think sending the same 75 dollar bill after the fact, does no good as nobody would pay up front. So you discount those paying every year, by having it 75 dollars. And then charge appropriately for those not paying up front. And if they don't pay for costs incurred in saving the property, you can't get a building permit to rebuild or allowed to sell the property till it's paid.

Personally, I would just rather have everyone pay a small tax for such services. And forgo the processes and even legal matters of another approach. But if you don't tax everyone, then at least have  system in place for those that would not, or could not, pay ahead of time. Nobody should be without fire services regardless of the system in place.
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« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2011, 08:57:08 AM »

 applause
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« Reply #37 on: December 10, 2011, 02:41:42 PM »

I think the sticky wicket comes when these same fire companies accept any kind of county state and federal dollars.(taxpayer money from the larger pool).
 If it was outside their service area and they did not respond,it's one thing. But if they accepted federal and state grant money,especially monies many of these departments got in the antiterrorism spending spree,then they have some obligation once they showed up.They took money for the 'greater good" at that point but did not use it for the "greater good'.
  I do think they residents should have paid,but perhaps in the circumstance above they already have.
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