Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shivetya, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008


    OK, this should be an interesting conversation. What would you suggest should have been done. Should the fire fighters have put out the fire anyway?

    I say put it out, your there already, do it. Hell, put it out anyway. Why is there a separate charge for this service in the first place? The charge needs to be rolled into county taxes (property or whatnot) as fire and police protection are not exactly opt in items.
  2. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    Are you advocating that residents should be forced to pay for something through taxation, rather than having the individual right to decide for themselves?

  3. dscuber9000 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2007
    Indiana, US
    I'm surprised it's not part of their taxes. It's a danger to the entire community that firefighters will refuse to put out a fire. Especially over $75. :confused:
  4. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    I'm a libertarian, take your strawman back to elementary school.
  5. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    But you are advocating that the local government be entitled to remove the rights of these residents to choose whether or not they opt into a provided service or not, right? How exactly is that a libertarian value?
  6. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    That's insane. Firefighting is a public service, like the police.

    "Hey, if you want us to arrest the man who broke into your home, you gotta pay us."

    Tell me the difference.
  7. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    (Off-topic: That must be one of the most badly-written articles I have ever read.)
  8. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2002
    Sarasota FL
    When it comes to fire department protection, hell yes.
  9. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    From the article I got the impression that the firefighting service was in a different division (a city) than where the house was (county), and was provided at a fee to individuals outside their division. Why there's not a county wide contract, I don't know - perhaps they are unincorporated and there's no local government?

    It's unlikely the owners would be able to collect on any insurance, if they had any, since not having paid for firefighting coverage would be a perfect excuse for denying a payout.

    They should have put out the fire and sent a bill to the owners, although it's probable that would have also caused a fuss. I would expect a big uptick in the number of locals paying the $75, but it's a bit extreme to make an example this way.

    To use your analogy, I think it's more like Skedsmo not having their own police and phoning the police in Oslo to report a crime ...
  10. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    I really feel bad for this family because my family endured something similar years ago (older members might remember).

    My family's house sits right on the edge of the city. We receive city trash pickup, fire response and city water. In the past our heater blew out in our attic, set off the smoke alarm and our security company called and the fire department was there in a matter of minutes.

    Fast forward a few years and one night our house actually caught on fire. Our security company called the fire department and they refused to come despite being around the corner. The next nearest city was called in who was a volunteer fire department, which meant they had to wake up, put on clothes and drive to our house to help, which by then was too late.

    It was a huge ordeal in our neighborhood because neighbors were now unsure if the fire department would help in a future situation.

    Either way, I truly feel for this family regardless of the $75 fee. Watching your home burn down with all your family history, belongings and pets inside is not something I would wish upon anyone.
  11. eng42ine macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2010
    Running into a burning building...
    Not thrilled about this...

    But you absolutely cannot blame the firefighters in this situation, they are following a city policy.. The real issue here is the ridiculous city policy to charge people fire fire protection..

    If the SFFD cannot provide adequate protection to the people that they serve, then they need to hire more people, or recruit more volunteers...

    The city needs to get their **** together.
  12. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    Doesn't really matter, this should be universal. Also, they should have just been decent human beings and tried to put out that fire anyway, payment or not.
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Reading the article the house was out side city limits so the guys taxes did not cover anything for city services. I am surpised the county did not have something worked out with the city but that is another issue.

    From the cities point of view they are stretch really thin budget wise and helping people out side the city is not in the budget. 75 per year is what I would call cheap insurance and more than likely reflects the average cost for the city per person outside the city. No real profit in it for the city.
  14. eng42ine macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2010
    Running into a burning building...
    Agreed... But at the same time, by the sounds of it, when they got there, they'd have been putting out coals... Not really going to do anything, more of a PR thing...

    But seriously, $75? How hard is that to pay once a year?
  15. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    1) It sounds like this is a fairly rural county. It's the city's fire department that taxes are levied against city residents to provide fire service witin city limits. Providing extended coverage to a large rural county is expensive.
    2) Likely, the unincorporated county has no formal fire department, and any county taxes are not applied towards fire protection. Therefore, it is an opt-in fee for fire protection coverage.
    3) The homeowner didn't pay the fee. Therefore, he technically has no right to the service. Any fire call is going to cost MUCH more than $75. Even if he coughed up $75 on the spot, the years he did did not contribute to the system to spread the risk/cost of a de facto fire protection over large numbers of homeowners increased the cost to others.
    4) With RIGHTS come RESPONSIBILITIES. The right to protection from fire comes with the responsibility to pay fees/taxes.

    Taxes are the cost of civilization: the roads, police, firefighters, basic education, defense, etc. How small DO you want your government?
  16. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I watched the video and the homeowner stated (at -2.44 mins):

    "I thought they'd come out and put it out - even if you hadn't paid your 75 dollars - but, I was wrong".

    It's tragic. It really is. But if they let the homeowner freeload (which is what it boils down to) then nobody would pay their $75 "insurance" and the fire service would go bust.
  17. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    To me the problem is that homeowners are given an option. Why isn't it a mandatory part of the tax bill? Of course some are going to play the odds that they don't need fire protection if given the option--and this homeowner lost. I would certainly pay if it were an option for me but it is just part of my tax bill along with everything else.
  18. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008

    After reading other sources behind this, they are pretty much the bullet points you have listed in your post, I change my mind. Leaving it to burn was the right thing. Since no coverage was available before any homeowner who did not think they needed coverage faces the possibility of losing their home.

    the earlier stories I read did not make the distinction that the fire department has to operate outside of their normal bounds to serve these issues. As in, if there isn't a fire department or similar services you take responsibility for your own.
  19. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    My dad was the captain of his town's volunteer fire department, my uncle is currently.

    When stuff happens, they don't question, they just go to help. It's not uncommon for trucks from neighboring towns to come by just to help. Hell, its what they're supposed to be here for.
  20. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    Sound like a bunch of lily livered Socialists.
  21. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    ridiculous situation.
    it shouldn't be a opt-in system. local taxes must include fire coverage.
    in any case the firefighters should have come and then billed the homeowner for whatever the actual cost of the intervention was (much more than the 75$).

    the homeowner not paying the 75$ because 'it won't happen to me', and the firefighters letting a house burn to make a point embody all that is wrong with america today, IMO.

    and i can't believe how these people can call themselves firefighters and then let a house burning on purpose, city policy or no city policy.
  22. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    While I think the firefighters should have put the fire out, I don't blame them directly.

    Firefighting is a dangerous job, and if one of them were to get injured while putting out the fire in violation of orders from the city, they would almost certainly not get any compensation for their injuries and probably get fired, and in turn, lose their insurance.
  23. CHAOS STEP macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2005
    playing tiddlywinks with Kim Jong-un
    Maybe in the next 50 years, the US might drag itself out of the 17th century.

    What with the likes of this type of thing going down, the whole gay rights debacle, tea baggers and health care, it's really seems like America is a joke.

    But you do have guns and possibly free-er speak, so I guess it balances it out a tad.
  24. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    No. You might self-identify with Libertarianism. However you aren't a libertarian.
  25. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    Because that would be "Big Government", and we can't have that. :rolleyes:

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