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God Bless America (Page 3)
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ebuddy
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Oct 4, 2010, 09:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by screener View Post
You have to take it a step further, from my opening post, I put forth the possibility of this sort of thing expanding to all aspects of citizen services.
Think about it.

I didn't defend the sons assault, but do understand it and I didn't deride any gun owner, carrier.
The intellectual conundrum of sorts must be assumed by you.
Thank you for responding to me screener. I'm being serious.

I understand that we likely perceive many things differently and I certainly do not want to assume there's an intellectual conundrum where there isn't. Let me try to explain where I'm comin' from...

The thread title is 'God Bless America' and starts off with a link to a horrible story in rural Tennessee, USA to parody the notion of blessedness, while at the same time connecting it to a nominee for a Senate seat in another state. While I have great big problems with how everyone involved in this story handled their issues, I was able to get past this with some comprehension skills I was tested for in the 2nd grade and had just begun to grasp your image. But then... less than 10 minutes later you posted a link with your view Drunk and legally armed, good idea huh?
  • Failure of the civil apparatus is not exclusive to America that blessed would mean immortal.
  • Sharron Angle is not tasked with addressing all poor decision-making everywhere. At best, she's running for office in another state. While her capacity would include having a role in decision-making in Nevada, there's absolutely nothing to suggest she would legislate in a way that facilitates a scenario like the Tennessee house fire.
  • [Move to gun control] Your legal possession of a firearm ends at drunk. While I'm certain drunk and illegally armed... wouldn't have had the same impact, it would've been a great deal more honest. And really, who could argue with whether or not that's a bad idea? Otherwise, you cite nothing to suggest the law is a bad idea.

The arguments within your package of posts lacked continuity and proved more antagonist than informed. The point you were trying to make was immediately lost in the idea that somehow other regions of the globe such as Canada for example, are impervious to the challenges of civil services in rural areas. What's left after this? Defending the questionable actions of two family members over a house fire while citing a link expressing firm opposition to... something that could be irresponsible? One ideal does not jive with the other, a conflict, a problem, or quandary, and in context with the remainder of your points; a conundrum.
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Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 4, 2010, 09:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThinkInsane View Post
The problem I see with volunteer fire districts locally is that many seem to feel that they are in a constant pissing contest with the other volunteer departments.
Is that really the issue in this case? I think the problem is that the citizens wanted services without paying for them. To me, the real story is that you get the option of saving $75 if you want to "chance it," while the underlying purpose of the fire department (protecting people from the shortsightedness of their neighbors) is upheld. The reason it still works of course is because of what you said, $75 is a bargain, meaning that the vast majority will still pay it, so the "herd immunity" is preserved. I think it's a plus that someone who would rather have $75 than have piece of mind if they can't remember if they left the iron on, can have that. Of course, if they want it both ways, they're not going to be happy no matter what happens.
     
ThinkInsane
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Oct 4, 2010, 11:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Is that really the issue in this case?
It would appear not in this case. It's just a topic that has been discussed a lot in these parts. There's been a lot of debate about whether it's better to invest an ungodly sum in creating and maintaining the county department, or take the chance of houses burning because the vols are busy measuring their junk and patting themselves on the back about how awesome they are*. Fire Service has become a touchy subject in lots of places.

*Don't get me wrong, although I am covered by a municipal, professional fire dept., I have a lot of respect for those that will run into a burning building gratis. At the same time, some of these guys (a lot, in my experience) are kind of obnoxious and feel entitled and seem to think everyone should bow down and kiss their feet because of their volunteer service to their communities. It's a little obnoxious.
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smacintush
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Oct 5, 2010, 04:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by ThinkInsane View Post
These incidents led to a lot of debate about abolishing the volunteer brigades and creating a professional, paid, county fire department.
I would just like for people to give it some intelligent thought. Most people are totally indignant about the issue.

Really, what is wrong with charging a voluntary fee for coverage instead of forcing people to pay taxes for everyone? And what is wrong with not feeling obligated to put out a fire for someone who decided for themselves that they didn't want or need fire protection?

Turns out the costs of running a department that covers such a large geographic area are absolutely staggering.
Part of the problem is that in most areas fires are becoming less and less frequent and thus there is less of a need, but there is almost an entitlement mentality among the fire fighters, and among the public and the politicians it is a third rail. "I mean, of all things...how can you get rid of fire fighters?"

I don't know if subscription coverage in rural areas is a good idea or not, but I think if I lived in such an area, the $75 is well worth the piece of mind.
I don't know, in a world without a fire protection entitlement maybe technology would become even more in demand and more prevalent. The entire service itself might open up to innovative ideas rather than the same old archaic system we have now.
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turtle777
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Oct 5, 2010, 08:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Really, what is wrong with charging a voluntary fee for coverage instead of forcing people to pay taxes for everyone? And what is wrong with not feeling obligated to put out a fire for someone who decided for themselves that they didn't want or need fire protection?
There is nothing wrong with it.

Obviously, there are not enough taxes in some areas to pay for it. Raising taxes will be far more inefficient than paying directly the $75.

Never forget to account for the "government multiplier": for every $1.00 collected, $0.25 in meaningful spending is achieved.

-t
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 5, 2010, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
I would just like for people to give it some intelligent thought. Most people are totally indignant about the issue.

Really, what is wrong with charging a voluntary fee for coverage instead of forcing people to pay taxes for everyone? And what is wrong with not feeling obligated to put out a fire for someone who decided for themselves that they didn't want or need fire protection?
I think its worth noting that the neighbor, who did pay the fee, end up paying the price for the Cranicks lack of protection.
     
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Oct 5, 2010, 11:40 AM
 
I avoided this thread like the plague because it went downhill as soon as it started for obvious reasons. But now I think I'll chime in and give my 2 cents ...

1. The family should have paid the $75. No question about that.

2. The fire department should have put out the fire. Then just charged the family the $75 plus a extra fine. That would have been the neighborly thing to do ... and a lot less expensive than a lawsuit. It would have been one thing to simply not respond because they weren't covered. But to go out there and stand around and watch a house burn down is pretty f*cked up. Yeah I know dude didn't pay ... but still. These are real human beings being affected here. To let a family's home burn down just to make a "point" seems unduly harsh. Making them pay the fee plus a hefty fine would have been sufficient IMO.

3. The guy was totally out of line for assaulting the firefighter.

OAW
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 5, 2010, 11:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
2. The fire department should have put out the fire. Then just charged the family the $75 plus a extra fine. That would have been the neighborly thing to do ... and a lot less expensive than a lawsuit. It would have been one thing to simply not respond because they weren't covered. But to go out there and stand around and watch a house burn down is pretty f*cked up. Yeah I know dude didn't pay ... but still. These are real human beings being affected here. To let a family's home burn down just to make a "point" seems unduly harsh. Making them pay the fee plus a hefty fine would have been sufficient IMO.
...
His wife said the couple had offered to pay the fire fighters whatever was necessary for them to extinguish the flames, but the officers refused
     
turtle777
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Oct 5, 2010, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
2. The fire department should have put out the fire. Then just charged the family the $75 plus a extra fine. That would have been the neighborly thing to do ... and a lot less expensive than a lawsuit. It would have been one thing to simply not respond because they weren't covered. But to go out there and stand around and watch a house burn down is pretty f*cked up. Yeah I know dude didn't pay ... but still. These are real human beings being affected here. To let a family's home burn down just to make a "point" seems unduly harsh. Making them pay the fee plus a hefty fine would have been sufficient IMO.
THIS. DOES. NOT. WORK.

Short: moral hazard.

Long version:

Think about it: If you just have to pay the $75 + a fine, people will opt for that solution as long as it's cheaper than total cost of covering that incident.

Therefore, the fine will rise until that fine is basically the total cost of covering that incident.

At that point, you might as well say: the fire department will put out the fire for the cost of doing that, probably thousands of dollars.
Problem: people don't have that money, so basically, the fire department has two choices:

a) sue the home owner to recover the money, which will result in recovery of significantly less than owed.
b) Have everyone else pay more to cover for that "free" service.

The result is: costs rise for everyone, and the fire services will ultimately not be able to finance itself, and close down for good.

And really, the $75 is like an insurance: instead of being billed the full costm you can be covered for $75 / year.

People (and the government) don't understand that insurances fail to work economically if you can opt in at the last minute, only if there's an incident.
We will see the same failure in the Health Insurance system, since Obama thinks it would work to fine people a lower amount than it would cost to be insured.

-t
( Last edited by turtle777; Oct 5, 2010 at 12:05 PM. )
     
olePigeon
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Oct 5, 2010, 12:07 PM
 
They didn't pay the money, so the fire department didn't save their house. If they didn't have home owner's insurance and some uninsured drunk college kid ran a car through their living room, I wouldn't expect the city to pay for repairs.

If there were peoples' lives in danger, I'd wager those fire fighters would be doing their job fee or no fee; risking their lives like they always do. You can't not pay insurance, then expect an insurance company to pay out. Doesn't work that way.

If there was a reasonable argument as to why they didn't pay that $75 (such as it was obscure and they didn't know about it, they were on disability and couldn't afford it, etc.) I might understand. Sounds to me like they just didn't want to pay the $75, betting that their house wouldn't catch on fire.
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OAW
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Oct 5, 2010, 12:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
THIS. DOES. NOT. WORK.

Short: moral hazard.
I hear what you are saying Turtle and I understand your point. I'm just saying that to allow a family's home to burn down under those circumstances is a bit over the top. The typical US mortgage has language in it that says that the mortgage holder can declare a homeowner to be in default if a payment is a single day late. They can then initiate foreclosure proceedings based on that if they so desire. And my point is that I understand principle involved in meeting your obligations ... but does the punishment fit the crime? Generally speaking, the typical mortgage company doesn't think foreclosure is a "punishment" that fits the "crime" of being a little late on a payment so they don't go there. Not necessarily because they are being altruistic ... but because the cost of foreclosure proceedings are not insignificant. Instead, it makes more sense to ding the homeowner with a hefty late fee if payment is not received after a certain "grace period". The purpose of which is to discourage future late payments and address the "moral hazard" issue you raise. Now of course, outright failure to make payments will result in foreclosure as it should. My point is that there is a middle ground between foreclosure and doing nothing!

Per the news report we see that the family had not paid their "subscription fee". Unfortunately, it doesn't provide any context around that. Where they simply late on payment? Or had they not subscribed at all? Here's a scenario ....

Say you've been paying for car insurance for YEARS .... and your September payment that's due on the 8th is delayed in the mail because of the Labor Day holiday and doesn't arrive until the 9th. And you just happen to have an accident on the 8th. Technically the insurance has "lapsed". And insurance companies will generally use that as an excuse not to cover the damages. In total disregard to the years of previous payments. Ok. They can do that. But it's still f*cked up. Especially when they could have paid but just upped your deductible or something.

But consider the same scenario and the payment was a month late. Or six months late. Or you just never had insurance to begin with. Well that's understandably a totally different situation.

So all I'm saying here is that it doesn't necessarily have to be so "black and white" so to speak. Imagine if the fire department's policy was that anyone who wasn't current on their "subscription" could get one fire response. And the fee would be three times the annual subscription. But this is a one time deal only. If they ever have to come out again and you aren't current ... then there would be no response. Seems to be that is a middle ground that would adequately address the moral hazard issue you raise.

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Oct 5, 2010 at 12:32 PM. )
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 5, 2010, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Imagine if the fire department's policy was that anyone who wasn't current on their "subscription" could get one fire response. And the fee would be three times the annual subscription. But this is a one time deal only. If they ever have to come out again and you aren't current ... then there would be no response. Seems to be that is a middle ground that would adequately address the moral hazard issue you raise.
Not even close. It would still be far more advantageous for people to not pay until they needed it (only a 3-year payback period for this strategy, far shorter than the average housefire frequency). The fine would have to be more like three times the actual costs of fighting the fire, or three times a life-time's worth of annual subscriptions. Only then would citizens actually be in their financial best interests to pay the subscriptions. But with such a large fine, collection would be a problem. People would play dirty, hide assets, strategic default, or flee the jurisdiction. Also court and other costs would create significant overhead. The "punitive fine" strategy has lots of disadvantages over the "passive aggressive" strategy taken in this case. It is definitely not an easy answer.
     
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Oct 5, 2010, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Not even close. It would still be far more advantageous for people to not pay until they needed it (only a 3-year payback period for this strategy, far shorter than the average housefire frequency). The fine would have to be more like three times the actual costs of fighting the fire, or three times a life-time's worth of annual subscriptions. Only then would citizens actually be in their financial best interests to pay the subscriptions. But with such a large fine, collection would be a problem. People would play dirty, hide assets, strategic default, or flee the jurisdiction. Also court and other costs would create significant overhead. The "punitive fine" strategy has lots of disadvantages over the "passive aggressive" strategy taken in this case. It is definitely not an easy answer.
Consider this. The annual fee isn't very onerous. Why is that? Because it's a volunteer fire department. It's not like there are salaries to be paid. Just funds for equipment, maintenance, etc. Furthermore, how often does someone's house catch on fire? It's not like that's a common occurrence. So if you think 3 times the annual fee is too lax ... fine. Make it 10 times the annual fee. That might be longer than many people even own a particular house. My point stills stands. There's a middle ground here that need not be overlooked.

OAW
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 5, 2010, 01:23 PM
 
You're treating this as if the homeowners weren't acting in bad faith, when they were. Of course you'll continue to see a disconnect if you're unwilling to accept this.
     
turtle777
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Oct 5, 2010, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Consider this. The annual fee isn't very onerous.
Actually, the only reason why the annual fee is not onerous is because it's an insurance payment.

You pay it no matter if you need the service or not. By insuring (bundling) the risk of many, a low fee will cover many.

This just doesn't work if you can buy insurance AFTER the fact, or get the service no matter if you are insured or not. Basic, simple economics.

It's funny that every person is able to make that utility calculation for themselves, but politicians don't get it.

-t
     
OAW
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Oct 5, 2010, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
You're treating this as if the homeowners weren't acting in bad faith, when they were. Of course you'll continue to see a disconnect if you're unwilling to accept this.
As I said earlier, we don't know the circumstances surrounding the non-payment. Had he never paid? Or had he missed a payment? If you are privy to additional information regarding this then please share it. The most I can find is this ....

The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.

"We wasn't on their list," he said the operators told him.

Cranick, who lives outside the city limits, admits he "forgot" to pay the annual $75 fee. The county does not have a county-wide firefighting service, but South Fulton offers fire coverage to rural residents for a fee.

Cranick says he told the operator he would pay whatever is necessary to have the fire put out.

His offer wasn't accepted
, he said.
No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn - U.S. news - Life - msnbc.com

The guy says he "forgot" to pay the annual fee. Which implies that he had in the past. You wouldn't say I "forgot" to pay my cable bill if you've never had cable service. But again ... I don't really know the details, that's just a reasonable deduction. If it's true ... then this doesn't sound like a guy that was just trying to get over. Most people's bills come on a monthly basis so it's not unheard of for those that come on a semi-annual or annual basis to get "lost in the shuffle" so to speak. Out of sight ... out of mind. In any event, this is why I say that seeking some middle ground was in order ....

Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee.

Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

"They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.
I mean come on man? You just let the pets burn to death? That's messed up anyway you slice it.

OAW
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 5, 2010, 02:59 PM
 
Who cares if he forgot the fee or never paid it to begin with. From the wording it sounds like he offered to pay any sum for them to go to work and was refused.
     
OAW
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Oct 5, 2010, 03:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Actually, the only reason why the annual fee is not onerous is because it's an insurance payment.

You pay it no matter if you need the service or not. By insuring (bundling) the risk of many, a low fee will cover many.

-t
This is true Turtle but that's not the only factor when it comes to cost. Of course we know this is how insurance works. But at the same time, some types of insurance cost a lot less than others. Renters' insurance is a helluva lot cheaper than Homeowner's insurance. Car insurance is a helluva lot cheaper than Medical insurance. A big part of the cost of the premiums is the cost of the potential outlay by the insurance company. So yes, the $75 annual fee isn't onerous because the risk is being spread around. But let's keep it real here ... this is rural Kentucky outside the "city" of Paducah. A place where people are sitting on acres of land. A place where you nearest neighbor might be miles away. The point is that there aren't a lot of houses in the surrounding area to spread the risk around to. So my contention is that the bigger factor involved in the less than onerous cost is because A) rural fires don't happen very often, and B) putting them out don't require a lot of resources.

OAW
     
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Oct 5, 2010, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
As I said earlier, we don't know the circumstances surrounding the non-payment. Had he never paid? Or had he missed a payment?
If you're asking this question, it means there is some answer under which you agree that the fire chief was correct in what he did. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. I bet dollars to doughnuts that the Cranicks are among a significant group of people that can easily afford to pay the fee, but frequently "forget," because they are penny-wise and pound-foolish.
     
turtle777
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Oct 5, 2010, 05:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
This is true Turtle but that's not the only factor when it comes to cost. Of course we know this is how insurance works. But at the same time, some types of insurance cost a lot less than others. Renters' insurance is a helluva lot cheaper than Homeowner's insurance. Car insurance is a helluva lot cheaper than Medical insurance. A big part of the cost of the premiums is the cost of the potential outlay by the insurance company. So yes, the $75 annual fee isn't onerous because the risk is being spread around. But let's keep it real here ... this is rural Kentucky outside the "city" of Paducah. A place where people are sitting on acres of land. A place where you nearest neighbor might be miles away. The point is that there aren't a lot of houses in the surrounding area to spread the risk around to. So my contention is that the bigger factor involved in the less than onerous cost is because A) rural fires don't happen very often, and B) putting them out don't require a lot of resources.


I really don't get your point.

Insurances differ because the risk and the coverage differs. That's ok.

The problem is when the government starts meddling with things and mandates rates that don't correspond to real market rates to cover the risk.

Then you start having some people pay for others, starting to "shift money around" etc... It only leads to problems.

-t
     
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Oct 5, 2010, 07:47 PM
 
sorry if this has been mentioned already (I did in similar thread before).

When Rural Metro Scottsdale's FD, they were the first to arrive at a fire (a Jack I The Box) but was told to stand down because "it was not in their jurisdiction"
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ThinkInsane
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Oct 5, 2010, 08:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Consider this. The annual fee isn't very onerous. Why is that? Because it's a volunteer fire department. It's not like there are salaries to be paid. Just funds for equipment, maintenance, etc. Furthermore, how often does someone's house catch on fire? It's not like that's a common occurrence. So if you think 3 times the annual fee is too lax ... fine. Make it 10 times the annual fee. That might be longer than many people even own a particular house. My point stills stands. There's a middle ground here that need not be overlooked.

OAW
It absolutely was not a volunteer department. It was the paid, professional fire department of the City of South Fulton, responding outside of the corporation line. This policy has been in effect for 20 years, and was enacted after long public debate whether or not to use the subscription based process in in place now, or start a county-wide fire district with a massive increase in taxes for county residents to cover the cost.

I was talking to a guy on another site that is a cop in South Fulton. He said unfortunately, due to the press this incident is getting, the likely outcome will be that the city will stop offering fire services outside the city limits. If the county residents want fire protection, they are going to have to accept a massive increase in taxes to start a department of their own or go without coverage.

And there seems to be a misconception that the fireman sat back and watched this fire burn while high-fiving each other and telling this guy to take his $75 and shove it. The fire department was never dispatched for this fire. The call never made it past the 911 dispatcher that informed the caller that they weren't covered. The fire department didn't know there was a fire at all until the neighbors called about their house. That's when they were dispatched.

Personally, I feel that letting someone pay the $75 only when they have a fire is stupid. It's like saying I only have to pay my homeowners insurance after the fact. I'm also interested to see how many years it's been that the homeowner "forgot" to pay his fire fee. If he hasn't paid it in years, then he has no one to blame but himself, and his kid should have punched him in the face for being a dumbass.
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OAW
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Oct 6, 2010, 11:55 AM
 
I stand corrected on it being a volunteer fire department. I thought I had read an article stating that somewhere. But as for whether or not the gentlemen paid his fee the latest I've found is this ...

South Fulton, Tenn., firefighters stood on the sidelines, watching as flames engulfed Gene Cranick's Obion County home. They refused to help because Cranick had not paid an annual "pay to spray" subscription fee.

"I just forgot to pay my $75," homeowner Gene Cranick said. "I did it last year, the year before. ... It slipped my mind."

The city of South Fulton charges that $75 fire protection fee to rural residents who live outside the city limits. When a household has not paid the fee, firefighters are required by law to not respond.
So it doesn't appear that this was a situation of a guy who was just trying to get over and pay the fee only after the fact. The man offered to pay the fee or whatever amount to get them to put the flames out. And he was refused. You are correct that the 911 dispatcher didn't even notify the fire department when this man called. But the neighbors called and the fire department was dispatched. And when they got there they watched this man's house burn down. With all his possessions and his 4 pets inside.

So here's the bottom line. The guy had been paying. He forgot his payment for this year. If they had simply allowed the man to pay his annual fee for this year he would have been in the exact same position as everyone else! This was not a case of someone trying to not pay premiums at all and then expecting coverage. And this family lost everything which is really f*cked up anyway you slice it. I'm a little less perturbed with the firefighters after reading this last article because their non-response is mandated by law and not merely by department policy. It's just sad that a middle ground couldn't be incorporated into this law for situations such as this. I wonder what the fire department would have done if there was a person trapped inside? Not respond because of a missed $75 payment? This is a classic case where something that is legal is not necessarily right.

OAW
     
turtle777
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Oct 6, 2010, 12:00 PM
 
IT. DOES. NOT. WORK. THAT. WAY.

Next, every person will be "forgetting" to pay every other year, because it doesn't have consequences.

You really need to get familiar with the concept of Moral Hazard, and how insurances work.
You buy (pay) for insurance, THEN you are insured. You don't pay, you are NOT insured. No insurance will keep yuou covered if you don't pay the premiusm, and certainly, it will not cover you in teh case of an incident.

It's not rocket science.

-t
     
olePigeon
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Oct 6, 2010, 12:30 PM
 
Apparently the guy didn't forget to pay, he just didn't pay. He received both a notice and later a phone call. Still didn't pay. This is a state that had riots in 2001 over a proposed income tax that actually addressed the issue of fire and police in rural areas.

I get the sneaking suspicion that his cat died because this guy didn't want to pay taxes.
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Oct 6, 2010, 12:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
This is a state that had riots in 2001 over a proposed income tax that actually addressed the issue of fire and police in rural areas.
Dude, link. Pls.
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
But as for whether or not the gentlemen paid his fee the latest I've found is this ...
Right now he is in prime position for both a lawsuit and a charity bid (if not a full-on Joe the Plumber). You have to expect spin from him. I'm holding out for the official record.
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 12:42 PM
 
Depending on which news source, it was either a riot or a protest with a police brigade, smashing windows, and a few arrests. Somewhere in the middle.

Let me google that for you

I find it ironic that Tea Party and Libertarians see it as a victory, while some guy's house burns down because he didn't want to pay taxes.
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Oct 6, 2010, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Nice try, smart ass. Flash is blocked at work.
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Apparently the guy didn't forget to pay, he just didn't pay. He received both a notice and later a phone call. Still didn't pay.
I'll let you google that for me. Flash isn't blocked here.

     
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Oct 6, 2010, 01:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
I find it ironic that Tea Party and Libertarians see it as a victory, while some guy's house burns down because he didn't want to pay taxes.
Not paying taxes ? What story is that ?

-t
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 06:19 PM
 
Tax revolt/riot.

Obion County residents are reminded annually to renew their optional fire protection service. Not only did he not pay it (he claimed he couldn't afford $75 a year), but stated he believed they would help even if he didn't pay the $75 fee (indicating he knew he had to pay it, but didn't, counting on the fire department to help anyway), then proceeded to burn garbage on his property. According to the Obion County Fire Department, 75% of calls to the fire department are from rural areas.

The county clerk is responsible for sending a delinquency notice if not paid, either by mail or phone. So he ignored both the annual reminder and a delinquency notice, then admitted he thought the fire department would help if he didn't pay it.


Just to be clear, I think the firefighters should've put out the fire anyway, then billed the family. Just like an ambulance. He may not have lost the house to a fire, but he would've lost it to the bank, and at least the pets and family treasures would be around.
( Last edited by olePigeon; Oct 6, 2010 at 06:26 PM. )
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Oct 6, 2010, 06:37 PM
 
Do you live in Obion County? How do you know all this?
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
They have their own site, but adding terms like cnn or foxnews don't seem to bring any articles to the front. Too long ago, I guess.
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Tax revolt/riot.

Obion County residents are reminded annually to renew their optional fire protection service. Not only did he not pay it (he claimed he couldn't afford $75 a year), but stated he believed they would help even if he didn't pay the $75 fee (indicating he knew he had to pay it, but didn't, counting on the fire department to help anyway), then proceeded to burn garbage on his property. According to the Obion County Fire Department, 75% of calls to the fire department are from rural areas.

The county clerk is responsible for sending a delinquency notice if not paid, either by mail or phone. So he ignored both the annual reminder and a delinquency notice, then admitted he thought the fire department would help if he didn't pay it.


Just to be clear, I think the firefighters should've put out the fire anyway, then billed the family. Just like an ambulance. He may not have lost the house to a fire, but he would've lost it to the bank, and at least the pets and family treasures would be around.
Uhm, yeah, you call it tax. I disagree.

It's an insurance, not a tax.

-t
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 08:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Uhm, yeah, you call it tax. I disagree.

It's an insurance, not a tax.
What's the difference?
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Oct 6, 2010, 08:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Do you live in Obion County? How do you know all this?
I can provide you with a Let Me Google That For You link.

Obion County Office of the Clerk and the Troy City Firefighter's website, which has a FAQ regarding Obion County fire policies including a link to the proposal that was ratified by Obion County regarding serving rural areas such as Fulton.
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Oct 6, 2010, 08:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
What's the difference?
If it's voluntary, it's not a tax. Period.

Anywho…

He got what he deserved, and caused what he got.

I fail to see ANY valid reason that forcing people to pay a tax they don't want and saving his property with stolen money would have been somehow be moral. I see some of you saying that the fire department should have done this or that, but I haven't seen why. To be "nice"? At what point do you agree that a person should be allowed to make a poor decision for himself and pay for that decision?

There's a word for someone who thinks that they should be free to make mistakes but shouldn't have to actually suffer the consequences of those mistakes: teenager
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Oct 6, 2010, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
...which has a FAQ regarding Obion County fire policies including a link to the proposal that was ratified by Obion County regarding serving rural areas such as Fulton.
Where? Is this a prank or something?
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 08:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
If it's voluntary, it's not a tax. Period.

Anywho…

He got what he deserved, and caused what he got.

I fail to see ANY valid reason that forcing people to pay a tax they don't want and saving his property with stolen money would have been somehow be moral. I see some of you saying that the fire department should have done this or that, but I haven't seen why. To be "nice"? At what point do you agree that a person should be allowed to make a poor decision for himself and pay for that decision?

There's a word for someone who thinks that they should be free to make mistakes but shouldn't have to actually suffer the consequences of those mistakes: teenager
That's why prostitution, drugs and gambling should be legal too. But you're fighting an uphill battle.
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 08:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
That's why prostitution, drugs and gambling should be legal too. But you're fighting an uphill battle.
Yeah, I know.
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Oct 6, 2010, 10:09 PM
 
What would have happend if someone's life had been lost, or the fire spread and someone else (who had paid the fee) lost their property or life?

I can see merit in both sides of this, but really, since the fee was only $75, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to err on the side of what's actually more valuable to the community: putting out fires and saving property and lives, not quibbling over 75 bucks.

So basically, put the fire out then bill the guy for $75, or heck, make it $150 as a late fee.

"But then people won't pay their bill ever and just wait til their house is on fire!"

I don't buy that. This is akin to how just shutting off someone's electricity the instant they are late paying the bill, or evicting a person on the spot for their late rent isn't the most effective way to enforce those things either.

There's easily a better deterrent to that than just letting houses burn down. How about, the fire bill is due by thus and such a date, or the penalty is thus and such. Don't make that deadline? Then the penalty gets worse. Your house catches fire in the interim of an extended period where it's clear you haven't made any reasonable arrangement to pay your bill? Fine, we'll put it out, but the fee will get REALLY hefty after that.
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 10:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
What would have happend if someone's life had been lost, or the fire spread and someone else (who had paid the fee) lost their property or life?

I can see merit in both sides of this, but really, since the fee was only $75, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to err on the side of what's actually more valuable to the community: putting out fires and saving property and lives, not quibbling over 75 bucks.
Why does "what's valuable to the community" take precedence over personal responsibility? "The community" is merely a collection of individuals, if "the community" wants to be protected the individuals in that community can pay the damn fee.
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Oct 6, 2010, 10:23 PM
 
OMG, I agree with Crash!
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 10:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Why does "what's valuable to the community" take precedence over personal responsibility? "The community" is merely a collection of individuals, if "the community" wants to be protected the individuals in that community can pay the damn fee.
I consider it FAR more valuable to the community not to have every other house burned down on my block because someone didn't pay $75. I also consider it of extreme value to my own household and family's safety, if my neighbor's house catching fire is put out quickly, before it spreads to my property.

Personal responsibility isn't left out- a person is still responsible for the fee, and for any late fees for not paying on time.

To me this is like arguing that most people actually require an eviction notice before they'll pay their mortgage or rent, or repo men to show up in their driveway before they'll make a car payment. I just don't buy it. Most people would simply pay their fire service bill on time and never have to be fined, and you'd have a few bad apples that would have to be reminded. But it's just such a minor problem, I can't fathom why the best possible way to handle it is just let houses burn to the ground.
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
"But then people won't pay their bill ever and just wait til their house is on fire!"

I don't buy that. This is akin to how just shutting off someone's electricity the instant they are late paying the bill, or evicting a person on the spot for their late rent isn't the most effective way to enforce those things either.
Dude, in what fairy tale world do you live ?

Insurance is different than rent or electricity, especially when you try to get "in" after you had an insurance event.

Seriously.

-t
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 11:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Most people would simply pay their fire service bill on time and never have to be fined, and you'd have a few bad apples that would have to be reminded. But it's just such a minor problem, I can't fathom why the best possible way to handle it is just let houses burn to the ground.
Did you conveniently skip the part where that person was given repeat notices, and CHOSE not to pay the bill ?

Really, this has nothing to do with an honest mistake. That guy was too cheap to pay for insurance.

-t
     
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Oct 6, 2010, 11:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
I consider it FAR more valuable to the community not to have every other house burned down on my block because someone didn't pay $75.
There's no need for the hyperbole, every other house will not be burning down.

Given that, in an actual situation where a house might burn down, what's the problem? You have no right to live in a neighborhood with no burned houses.

I also consider it of extreme value to my own household and family's safety, if my neighbor's house catching fire is put out quickly, before it spreads to my property.
If the fire is actually a threat to your own property than your fee can cover saving your house. The government's role here is to ensure that he pays for your damage, and charges him if appropriate.

Personal responsibility isn't left out- a person is still responsible for the fee, and for any late fees for not paying on time.
Puhlease. That fee is tiny. At the very least he should be charged the TRUE cost of putting out the fire. Wages, equipment usage, everything.

To me this is like arguing that most people actually require an eviction notice before they'll pay their mortgage or rent, or repo men to show up in their driveway before they'll make a car payment. I just don't buy it.
I'm not arguing for the value of a deterrent. I think whether or not they are deterred is beside the point. This is about who's responsible for your property.
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Oct 6, 2010, 11:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Where? Is this a prank or something?
No. Why would you think it's a prank?

What are the Facts about Rural Fire Protection in Obion County, Tennessee

Oh, and here you go.
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Dude, in what fairy tale world do you live ?
One where people don't allow disasters that destroy lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars in property go unchecked over... $75? I'd ask in what sorry backwater do you live in where that's any kind of excessive amount to make into some grand 'personal responsibility' battlefield?

Insurance is different than rent or electricity, especially when you try to get "in" after you had an insurance event.
And emergency services are different from insurance. You don't pay insurance to have someone actively prevent an event. (Extortion maybe). Your car insurance company doesn't come out and keep you from wrecking your car. A life insurance company won't swoop in and save you from falling off a cliff. Having actual insurance that would pay for your home after a disaster is a completely different matter than having emergency services that respond to and prevent damage and even death in the areas they serve.

And I'll ask again: what's the liability to the city if life is lost? Over $75 freakin' dollars? All by itself, that a dispatcher didn't even alert firefighters over a $75 petty squabble should be criminal.

Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
There's no need for the hyperbole, every other house will not be burning down.
Of course not, because as I said MOST people pay their bills. Just as most people don't need eviction notices to pay their rent on time. A few bad apples not paying their $75 on time is NOT an insurmountable problem, but for some hardheaded reason, people seem hellbent on making it one. I just find that weird.

You have no right to live in a neighborhood with no burned houses.
That's truly a laughable quote.

Puhlease. That fee is tiny. At the very least he should be charged the TRUE cost of putting out the fire. Wages, equipment usage, everything.
Exactly- the fee is tiny, as in TRIVIAL, so it's not worth squabbling over at the time of an emergency. And charge the person what-the-f-ever for the cost of putting out the fire- you're the one making a $75 molehill into a mountain of 'personal responsibility' to fight and die on, not me.

Even if the few instances of people not paying $75 was enough to make or break the FD's ability to fight fire in the first place, then they'd stand to be even better funded by the few morons who had to pay exorbitant late fees, or truly excessive fees after the fact.
     
 
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