Video: Firefighters let home burn to the ground because owner didn’t pay annual $75 fee

posted at 9:24 pm on October 4, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Dan Foster, who looks upon the libertarian paradise and shivers.

Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.

The mayor said if homeowners don’t pay, they’re out of luck…

“I thought they’d come out and put it out, even if you hadn’t paid your $75, but I was wrong,” said Gene Cranick.

Because of that, not much is left of Cranick’s house…

The Cranicks told 9-1-1 they would pay firefighters, whatever the cost, to stop the fire before it spread to their house…

It was only when a neighbor’s field caught fire, a neighbor who had paid the county fire service fee, that the department responded. Gene Cranick asked the fire chief to make an exception and save his home, the chief wouldn’t.

I’m guessing 95 percent of our commenters will say, “Right on, let it burn. A contract’s a contract!” And yet 95 percent of those same people, upon finding themselves at the scene with a hose and a truck full of water, would have done the moral thing and tried to put it out notwithstanding the free-rider problem created by the Cranicks. That’s America’s health-care dynamic in a nutshell, no? No one’s getting turned away from the ER, even if they can’t afford to pay; thus, we need a mandate to force everyone to pay up front in order to shrink the pool of free-riders and help absorb the costs of those left in the pool. Which is to say, why not simply levy a $75 tax on everyone to force them to pay for fire coverage? Or, as Foster notes, if they’re willing to pay anything once the fire’s consuming their house, why not let them opt in after the fact for a vastly increased fee? It would have to be many times larger than the $75 service charge, obviously, partly in order to deter others from opting in after the fact and partly because the service charge helps cover the fire department’s expenses going forward. If everyone opted out of the service charge on the assumption that they’d pay the larger after-the-fact fee if/when a fire broke out at home, the department would start the year with zero funds; but if the after-the-fact fee was large enough, some of the surplus revenue generated could be carried over from one year to the next so that there’d always be funding for operations. There must be some amount large enough that the after-the-fact fee would make putting out the fire the efficient, cost-effective choice for the department. The question is, is it so large that realistically no one could afford to pay it? Exit question: Admit it, you’d try to put the fire out. Wouldn’t you?

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So… what if you live in a property-tax area but you don’t own your own place? What if you don’t earn enough income to pay income tax? Do services only serve the taxpayers?

I have a great idea for a child-pornography service. We’ll specifically pick young children who don’t own property and don’t have any taxable income, like summer jobs, so they can be our victims and, since they don’t pay taxes, the police should just let our business grow and grow and grow…

Any problems with that?

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 3:35 PM

WTF?!
I think I agree with what you’re trying to say here, but your analogy is ridiculous.
If you stay on topic, I don’t think it’s such a stretch for those with 1/2 a brain here to get that if you are indigent & live in a rented rural home, or city home, that you don’t deserve to have your house burn down.
The kiddi porn reference it quite unnecessary.
Ick.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 3:57 PM

meh. confusing me with someone else. I’m a libertarian. Do I feel pity for the guy? Yes. Would I have helped him out? Yes. But, as TJ once said: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

Firefly_76 on October 5, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I think, personally, that if the SHTF… and there were the FD standing thier scratching their butts… most of use would be pulling our hair out.

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 3:58 PM

This thread is a perfect example of why O!care will NEVER be repealed and government will NEVER be shrunk. Boil it down:

“You mean his gamble to avoid paying the $75 dollars didn’t pan out? and there are actual consequences?!?!?!? NOT FAIR!!!!eleventy!!”

SDN on October 5, 2010 at 3:58 PM

I was just leaving when I saw this for the second time — are you really serious? You want the STATE to position fire-houses within 10 minutes or so of every village, hamlet and farm?

By the time anyone from Tennessee’s state government even knew the house was on fire, the rebuilt house would need a new roof.

RegularJoe on October 5, 2010 at 3:45 PM

It’s not that complicated. The state could simply pay the nearest town fire department(s), or send in the national guard if the situation was totally out of control. The point is, fires need to be controlled. Somebody has to have responsibility for it.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Just pointing out the flaw with the guys who still want us to live in a libertarian fantasyland, as if they just read their first Ayn Rand novel and haven’t learned anything else about the world.

I must have missed that chapter in Atlas where Dagney sets up a kiddie porn ring in their new oasis.

Imagine if everyone were responsible for the stretch of road in front of their house. Everyone in the state could maintain theirs properly, but one a**hole could decide to use his stretch as a parking lot, or dig a ditch through it. That guy would be destroying the value of millions of dollars of effort undertaken by his fellow citizens. That’s why states and cities are in charge of roads. (Yet, many brand-new libertarians still fantasize about voluntary and private control of roads.)

You obviously never read Rand.

The fire service is an example of the same. You’d allow a wildfire to destroy dozens of homes, based on one idiot opting out of paying for fire protection, because it makes your libertarian heart beat a little faster. In the real world, the solution is obvious — support the fire department with a tax, and don’t give anyone the option of declining to pay it. Again, it could be at the state level, or local level, whatever works.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 3:55 PM

No, in this situation, the fire fighters went into action the moment the fire spread.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 3:57 PM

OK, so it was a bit over the top. The point is to get the libertarians to think over the precept that if you don’t pay taxes, you don’t deserve any government protections.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 4:01 PM

No, in this situation, the fire fighters went into action the moment the fire spread.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 3:59 PM

….TO THEIR CUSTOMER’S HOUSE.
If it had spread in any other direction, they weren’t moving an inch.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 4:02 PM

If you stay on topic, I don’t think it’s such a stretch for those with 1/2 a brain here to get that if you are indigent & live in a rented rural home, or city home, that you don’t deserve to have your house burn down.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Even in a rental, someone is paying taxes for the house. It’s that person who also has to get insurance and/or pay relevant fees.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Jason.. My AUNT would very much mind. But then again, I don’t expect you to tell me where you live via address. Would you?

There you go again. . . .

I didn’t asked for her address, I just asked what part of rural TN they made common the practice of burying large diesel tanks in during the 30′s and 40′s.

I’ve redacted the rest of the snark I was going to post, but I am curious to know where in TN such a practice was so commonplace in the 30′s and 40′s that they’d lose the location of these tanks over time?

Are you absolutely positively sure your auntie lives in TN? Are you sure she’s not a little further north?

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:04 PM

….TO THEIR CUSTOMER’S HOUSE.
If it had spread in any other direction, they weren’t moving an inch.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Until it again spread to another customer’s house.

Still better off than if the town hadn’t had any fire department available.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:06 PM

If the City of South Fulton is ever the victim of a natural or unnatural disaster I will the first one to say they ought not receive a single dime of state or fed. disaster aid. thmsmgnm on October 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM

In fact, South Fulton should just be enslaved by the whole state and made to work on a prison farm to feed everyone else!

Akzed on October 5, 2010 at 4:08 PM

I think, personally, that if the SHTF… and there were the FD standing thier scratching their butts… most of use would be pulling our hair out.

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 3:58 PM

I actually think, depending on the situation that my neighbors (and I) would ignore the FD and commandeer their truck/resources and get to work. Worry about the consequences later… but hey, that would be our personal choice.

Firefly_76 on October 5, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Ooops. . .fireman stepped through the porch and sprained an ankle – $1000
Fireman heading to the oxygen tent for smoke inhalation – $400
Fireman dies clutching family photos from upstairs closet – PRICELESS

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Seriously, no one’s arguing that the fire fighter should go inside the house if no one is inside.

And your whole list is irrelevant. The 5k isn’t the issue. Covering the costs and then some is. So if 5k isn’t enough, raise it.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:09 PM

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Your terrible kiddie pr0n analogy aside, methinks you don’t understand libertarianism.

Daft Punk on October 5, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I don’t think anyone is going to change their minds on this. I’m calling it quits, though I may look in later. I certainly don’t claim victory; on the contrary, I suddenly have the sinking feeling that the mass of seemingly gung-ho conservatives are, in actuality, sharply divided between genuine conservative warriors and those who will run for the hills when the fight gets tough; between those who really believe that the freedom to succeed must come along with the freedom to fail, and those who think every child must get a trophy. This is so disappointing.

RegularJoe on October 5, 2010 at 3:41 PM

What this does show is how hard it’s going to be next year for the House Republicans to do any serious rollback on the Democrats’ splurge of spending. There may not be any battles in Congress over rural fire service subsidies, but every program has a group that thinks their needs are vital and is willing to apply pressure to keep other peoples’ tax dollars flowing that way.

In the case of Obion County, anger at the South Fulton officials and fire department should be directed at the county government for not working out an interlocal agreement with the city to set up a flat payment for rural fire coverage, which would then be passed along in county ad valorem taxes. Or, if the county officials were specifically following the will of the majority of non-city residents within Obion County, then it’s the responsibility of those rural residents to provide funding for their own fire protection, and not expect the folks within South Fulton, Union City or other cities in the county to subsidize their emergency services.

I’d also be interested to know what the arrangement is for fire protection to the north side of South Fulton, since that’s in Kentucky. South Fulton may still be the closest fire department to areas there, but how does the county government there handle rural fires that are just on their side of the state line? If there actually is a (much tougher to implement) agreement for South Fulton’s fire department to handle fires just across the state line and still get compensation, then it’s even more outrageous that the Obion County officials couldn’t work out an interlocal to provide universal fire coverage to rural areas within the county.

jon1979 on October 5, 2010 at 4:10 PM

I gotta run, but let me give you another (less over-the-top) hypothetical scenario: The house burns. The fire department is called, but they neither fight the fire nor call for assistance from the state. The fire spreads to the nearby woods, and becomes a wildfire. By the end of it, a dozen homes and a thousand acres of forest are destroyed, costing millions of dollars. What’s the proper outcome?

1. The fire department gets sued for watching the fire start and doing nothing.
2. The homeowner gets sued for not paying the protection fee.
3. The state gets sued for not having somebody in charge of situations like this.
4. The property owners eat the damage, because it was their own fault for owning flammable property.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

We would ALL help our neighbors… but just WHAT IF there were fire fighters just standing there…. wouldn’t you be a tad P.O.ed especially if you are trying to make sure the fire doesn’t spread to your house?

If what you say is true, then why aren’t volunteer fire houses overflowing with new members? America is all talk on this issue.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

I actually think, depending on the situation that my neighbors (and I) would ignore the FD and commandeer their truck/resources and get to work. Worry about the consequences later… but hey, that would be our personal choice.

Firefly_76 on October 5, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Okay I can agree with that…

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Illegal, shmillegal. It’s not “law” if it’s not enforced. Why would the police enforce law to protect people who don’t pay taxes?

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Again, we’re not talking about taxes. We’re talking about a fee.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Gimme a break. Is this guy going to hand over $5000 cash on the spot to pay for this? Or would this cost thousands of dollars more by going to the court system to sort out? Yeah, it would be the latter.

Daft Punk on October 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Even in Tennessee, I believe, loser pays. Liens on real property are created for a reason. The fire department wouldn’t even need to go to court to slap a lien if they do it right. All they have to do is get the homeowner to sign the form. And I may be mistaken, but I didn’t float the idea of $5K for a call to a non subscriber.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

The following quotes are not by the same people and shouldn’t be taken as such.

And if he doesn’t pay? Or if he can’t pay? Then what? Force him to sell his land? Take if from him?

Sure. Why not?

A town/city has no legal authority to lien property outside of town/city limits. If he doesn’t pay the city, the city has no recourse on him. . . they can sue, but they have no case.

“but if the man is willing to pay out the nose for property that’s mostly destroyed, what’s it to the fire department if it’s possible for them to save it.”

Because he’s not “willing to pay”, he’s emotional and irrational and any contract or decision he makes he can argue was under distress.

When the fire department drops a bill that’s five figures or greater (IF YOU WANT THE HOUSE “SAVED”. . . 6 figures), do you honestly think dude is going to whip out a checkbook and pay.

That’s ridiculous. It’s intellectually dishonest.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

If what you say is true, then why aren’t volunteer fire houses overflowing with new members? America is all talk on this issue.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

We have quite a few VF up here. Maybe that is a problem in your area.

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 4:13 PM

If what you say is true, then why aren’t volunteer fire houses overflowing with new members? America is all talk on this issue.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

That’s cause we live in Obama’s America, where we’re so busy trying to get (or save) jobs, we don’t have time for anything else…sometimes even our families.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:14 PM

A town/city has no legal authority to lien property outside of town/city limits. If he doesn’t pay the city, the city has no recourse on him. . . they can sue, but they have no case.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Untrue. All that has to be done is a legal binding contract between the two entities, and a lien can be slapped on the property and if the language is correct in the contract, it would be tough to dispute.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Sadly, the Mayor and the entire city council in this matter are Republicans. Keith Olbermann hasn’t picked up on that yet (but I suspect he will), and this will certainly give us Tea Partiers a bad name. Keith is already heralding this as the ultimate result of Tea Party policies — where the taxes don’t cover essential services.

Those dickheads should have responded while it was a field fire; I bet we lose a bunch of votes over this one.

unclesmrgol on October 5, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Wrong. I also live in a very rural area. Rest assured, everyone I know would have pitched in to help, voluntarily. That doesn’t change the fact that a rather surprisingly large group of people here are arguing that somehow the firefighters should have been compelled to put out this guy’s fire, at personal risk to themselves, for free, knowing that the free-rider problem would inevitably lead to more and more of these situations.

These firefighters were not his neighbors, btw.

Firefly_76 on October 5, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Never said any firefighter sohuld have been compelled to risk his life for this guy’s trinkets for free.
Bcs evidently, the only time a firefighter takes a risk with his life is bcs he knows the bills are gonna get paid to the FD.
Give me a freaking break.
And neighbors could be someone who lives 100 miles away.
But if you showed up to watch, then why in the hell wouldn’t you actually do a little something?
This line of reasoning is pure BS.
And it has nothing to do with Dems vs GOP or RHINOS or anything else.
The costs incurred, I am sure, could have been recouped SOMEHOW.
And the pain in the a$$ it would be to do so would eventually be taken up by responsible individuals.
What this tells me about TN is that I would NOT want to ever live there.
Bcs there’s a lot of a-holes there running the show.
It’s why I don’t live in Seattle anymore-a-holes who wouldn’t lift a FINGER to save your a$$ if it was on fire.
When my husband’s cousin got breast cancer, she didn’t have all the $$ it took for treatment. Even though she was a single pharmacist w/ health ins.
So the community got together & through several benefits, raised enough $$ to cover the rest.
This is what human beings do for each other.
I am shocked by the attitude of many of you here that think this man DESERVES to have his home burned to the ground.
As I stated before, my neighbor is a complete waste of human skin-but I would risk it to help put out a fire at his house.
My husband has risked his LIFE to help STRANGERS (who knows-they could have been a-hole tax/fee evaders)-and he helped them ANYWAY.
My God the stink of apathy & bitterness & rage is full on here on HA today.
Helping your neighbor put out a fire, regardless of whether it’s a business or not (like healthcare-recoup the costs through asset confiscation, don’t let bankruptcy erase debt, etc)should never be based on $$.
Just like we do not deserve the very best access to all things in this country, I think it’s safe to say no one has to be turned away in this country from either medical care, life saving services like ambulance or fire, just bcs they didn’t pony up immediately.
Make them pay later-And make it easier for us to get the $$ out of them rather than harder through legal wrangling.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 4:18 PM

We have quite a few VF up here. Maybe that is a problem in your area.

Hurting for members all across the country. We are maintaining.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Yeah, let’s have a flat rate 5K, that’ll cover everything.

I’m sure no one will stop paying the $75 to self-insure on the 5K? Nah, no one would do that.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM

My point was not that $5000 is a magic amount. My clearly stated goal was to make a per-call fee…

…sufficient to cover any and all expenses (including portions of long-term infrastructure costs) the fire department would incur plus acts as a deterrent so people don’t skip the $75 annual coverage…

I’m not going to argue with you over your amounts, but even everything you listed is under $7000. So if the fee needs to be $10,000, or $15,000, or whatever it needs to be to accomplish those 2 goals, then make it that. Make sure the amount truly covers all costs. Make sure it is high enough that it does not result in people dumping the $75 annual fee. And then give the fire department the legal ability to collect the money.

The uncovered homeowner can then decide whether to employ the fire department or not at the high rate.

willamettevalley on October 5, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I need a Vacation.. can I come play on your ranch? I will feed the cows!

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Policyholders were required to affix these metal fire marks on their houses.

Akzed on October 5, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Read the article. The fire department was formed in 1736 and the insurance company in 1751. The fire department was formed for the good of all the residents to prevent fires from consuming the whole town.

John Deaux on October 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

A town/city has no legal authority to lien property outside of town/city limits. If he doesn’t pay the city, the city has no recourse on him. . . they can sue, but they have no case.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Well the city off Mott ND sends out the road grader & the grass cutter & the weed sprayer to my place every year.
If I cut my own ditches, they don’t add the charge to my property taxes.
If they don’t spray my weeds, then they don’t charge it to my property taxes.
If they grade my road, it’s automatically covered.
Maybe you do live in a $hitty area like that. I understand it’s possible.
But something tells me that there’s more than meets the ey here.
Guess we’ll see in time.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Untrue. All that has to be done is a legal binding contract between the two entities, and a lien can be slapped on the property and if the language is correct in the contract, it would be tough to dispute.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:16 PM

OK. But when would the contract be done; on the spot when the fire is raging? Seeing how the Cranicks seem now to like to be the ‘victims’ I wouldn’t be surprised if they later disputed the contract as signed under duress.

Firefly_76 on October 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Even in Tennessee, I believe, loser pays. Liens on real property are created for a reason. The fire department wouldn’t even need to go to court to slap a lien if they do it right. All they have to do is get the homeowner to sign the form. And I may be mistaken, but I didn’t float the idea of $5K for a call to a non subscriber.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Your argument is invalid because there was no signed form. In the future, sure, they can try this.

Daft Punk on October 5, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Seriously, no one’s arguing that the fire fighter should go inside the house if no one is inside.

That’s BS.

You got no hydrant. That means you have, maybe 5k max gallons of water able to be delivered via your engine. That’s about 5 minutes.

Residential flow will take a half hour or more to fill the truck. IF you can get to the big tap and get hoses to the fire simultaneously. That’s a big if.

You might have some foam. You have about 10 high capacity extinguishers.

The house is 1/3rd involved when wheels stop.

If you want to SAVE that house, you have to go in. There’s simply no other way to do it.

Save your water, make sure it doesn’t spread. IF the area is sufficiently rural, the proper course might actually be to use your firecans, burn a fire line break and stand back.

That’s the reality of rural firefighting.

Anyone here who is talking about SAVING this mans house is talking about firefighters going into that burning house.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:23 PM

I need a Vacation.. can I come play on your ranch? I will feed the cows!

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Anytime!
Get me on FB. In fact-I won’t be embarassed to have company now since we just redid the whole outside & part of the inside of our house.
I don’t look like I’m living on the rez anymore ;)

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Anyone here who is talking about SAVING this mans house is talking about firefighters going into that burning house.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:23 PM

My husband saved a man’s house AND his life-and he never had to go inside.
He also risked his life for this man’s home. I also think this man may not have even paid his taxes. GASP!
What a moron I guess. I’ll have to let my husband know it wasn’t necessary.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 4:26 PM

OK. But when would the contract be done; on the spot when the fire is raging? Seeing how the Cranicks seem now to like to be the ‘victims’ I wouldn’t be surprised if they later disputed the contract as signed under duress.

Firefly_76 on October 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Sure, they could, but then, in the last few decades, everything is subject to litigation. Would you rather be sued for offering a service for fee, perform the service, and face someone who is now in breach of contract, of be sued for not being willing to do ANYTHING other that stand around while a house burns? If I’m going to be sued, I’d rather be sued for trying to help. I can morally justify my actions then. I can’t morally justify not doing anything to help.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Well the city off Mott ND sends out the road grader & the grass cutter & the weed sprayer to my place every year.

Let me get this straight, A city department sends city equipment out to your private property to do work? All I know if it happened where I live our 3 TV stations would be all over this and the next day someone would be fired. Stuff like this I’ve seen before and people (usually a political hack) get fire.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:27 PM

That’s the reality of rural firefighting.

Anyone here who is talking about SAVING this mans house is talking about firefighters going into that burning house.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Well, I guess your rural volunteers just don’t have what it takes then. Apparently guts or equipment. I know that in our rural areas (all volunteers), they get the equipment and the training to handle fires, even from the outside.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

I have to do a road pull out in the winter when the graters can’t make the drive. Crap happens… I like getting out of my driveway.

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 4:32 PM

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Well, my point was, good luck trying to get any $$ out of the Cranicks. But, if the Cranicks want to sue, I’m not seeing the legal basis to sue another city’s FD. As far as I know, you can’t sue a doctor who on his day off happens to pass by a heart-attack victim and does nothing. There may be recourse to publicly shame that doctor or for a professional association to restrict his license to practice, but what else?

Sure, shun the individuals in this FD, call them out, make them feel like crap. But sue?

Firefly_76 on October 5, 2010 at 4:34 PM

I don’t look like I’m living on the rez anymore ;)

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 4:24 PM

You are going to make me put on the arm condom.. aren’t you! *Screams*

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 4:34 PM

hat’s BS.

You got no hydrant. That means you have, maybe 5k max gallons of water able to be delivered via your engine. That’s about 5 minutes.

Residential flow will take a half hour or more to fill the truck. IF you can get to the big tap and get hoses to the fire simultaneously. That’s a big if.

You might have some foam. You have about 10 high capacity extinguishers.

The house is 1/3rd involved when wheels stop.

If you want to SAVE that house, you have to go in. There’s simply no other way to do it.

Save your water, make sure it doesn’t spread. IF the area is sufficiently rural, the proper course might actually be to use your firecans, burn a fire line break and stand back.

That’s the reality of rural firefighting.

Anyone here who is talking about SAVING this mans house is talking about firefighters going into that burning house.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:23 PM

I want that engine if you’ve got 5k on it! With no hydrant our 750 gets you a blitz attack and hope for the best.

I agree that with the added response time in a rural setting other than saving the foundation from the outside you will need an aggressive interior attack to have anything left to salvage.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:36 PM

First of all, subscription “fire service” outside of city and district limits has been the norm in much of rural America since Day One. I wonder why it’s suddenly become an MSM issue now. Is Obama planning a national fire insurance version of Obamacare?

Secondly, had been people been trapped the firefighters would have attempted rescue, subscription or not. The issue is saving property, period, and there has been an obvious calculation by all parties involved.

kd6rxl on October 5, 2010 at 4:37 PM

I’m guessing 95 percent of our commenters will say, “Right on, let it burn. A contract’s a contract!”

Why would anyone say that? If anything, I thought that’s what we paid taxes for. Police, Fire, etc. It’s not like it was some emergency rescue off a cliff- that you pay for yourself.

xax on October 5, 2010 at 4:38 PM

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:27 PM

More rural areas make arrangements with DOT or other agencies to have a property tax lowered (most of the time it never happens) to help out with certain things. But in my area… I do the pull out for free. Why? I like the mailman to bring my mail.

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 4:38 PM

If the City of South Fulton is ever the victim of a natural or unnatural disaster I will the first one to say they ought not receive a single dime of state or fed. disaster aid. thmsmgnm on October 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM

In fact, South Fulton should just be enslaved by the whole state and made to work on a prison farm to feed everyone else!

Akzed on October 5, 2010 at 4:08 PM

No, just left to fend for themselves.

No _________ disaster insurance, why should the rest of the country pay for your trouble South Fulton? You should have paid your ___________ disaster insurance fees.

Bet the city of South Fulton would sing a different tune in that situation.

thmsmgnm on October 5, 2010 at 4:39 PM

The following quotes are not by the same people and shouldn’t be taken as such.

Might be easier just to include names with quotes.

A town/city has no legal authority to lien property outside of town/city limits. If he doesn’t pay the city, the city has no recourse on him. . . they can sue, but they have no case.

It has just as much authority to do that as it does to charge a fee for its services. If the man signs a contract saying that he will pay or else give up his property, it makes the case pretty cut and dry.

Because he’s not “willing to pay”, he’s emotional and irrational and any contract or decision he makes he can argue was under distress.

That comment was actually mine too.

Somehow that doesn’t work when you go to an emergency room and have to pay through the nose just because you don’t have health insurance. In those cases, they don’t even tell you upfront the costs.

Same with those caught in an emergency situation out in the wild. If people have to send a helicopter to come and get you, you will have to pay for it.

When the fire department drops a bill that’s five figures or greater (IF YOU WANT THE HOUSE “SAVED”. . . 6 figures), do you honestly think dude is going to whip out a checkbook and pay.

That’s ridiculous. It’s intellectually dishonest.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

No, it’s really not. It’s what we expect in every other area of our lives.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Please show me this link and where it says the firefighters are career, i.e. paid.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 2:18 AM

Sorry, just getting back to article. No where are any of the fire depts in the county referred to as volunteer. I got the nearest answer from the Obion Co FD presentation (page 5) of 2008 outlining that each town in the county furnished operating expenses for their fire depts. receiving no funds from county or state. There was no mention of volunteer.

Don’t volunteer dept always signify volunteer?

Oleta on October 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Well the city off Mott ND sends out the road grader & the grass cutter & the weed sprayer to my place every year.

IF you don’t live in Mott how would they add or subtract anything to your property taxes?

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM

I know that in our rural areas (all volunteers), they get the equipment and the training to handle fires, even from the outside.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Yep, you just hook the hose up to that hydrant and use the never-ending supply of water from the water main… oh, whoops… “rural”.

Ok, so you spend 3-5 minutes emmptying the truck, 30-45 minutes driving to refiil the truck… hope you really got it good with that first truckload.

So can you explain how your firefighters are magic? Do they show up just as the fire starts and have no drive time? Do they have a hydrant that they haul around with them with endless water? Or do they maybe have to let the house go and contain the blaze on a somewhat regular basis on rural calls?

I’m not sure how “guts” counts; and I’m not familiar with teh “equipment” that lets you fight a building that has been burning for some time with one truck and save the house… so, where do you get this magical equipment? Is there a catalog?

gekkobear on October 5, 2010 at 4:45 PM

My husband saved a man’s house AND his life-and he never had to go inside.

Was the house 1/3rd involved when you got there?

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:45 PM

So the specualtion here should be on the legal ramifications & what the laws & duties & responsibilities are in that area.
Not on whether the Cranick’s ‘deserved’ to have their home burn to the ground, for crying out loud.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 3:50 PM

From everything I’ve read about this case, the Cranicks are very gracious, humble and kind people. In now way do I think they “deserve” for their house to burn to the ground.

But deserving has nothing to do with it. Whether someone deserves (or not) something is a moral argument that has nothing to do with the black and white situation of paying for a service, which they chose not to do.

The Cranicks don’t even blame the firefighters. Mrs. Cranick said she understands why they didn’t do anything because they have families to support and their own lives to look out for.

The “victim” in this situation is more understanding about her own failures and the associated consequences than the outsiders like us debating it.

People have offered her money and she has refused it because she doesn’t think it’s right.

By all means I’ve never met anyone that I think “deserves” for something bad like this to happen to them, but to quote one of the best movie lines ever, “deserves got nothing to do with it”.

ButterflyDragon on October 5, 2010 at 4:46 PM

No, it’s really not. It’s what we expect in every other area of our lives.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:39 PM

?

Like…expecting to pay the $75 fire service fee? Obviously these homeowners believed that they could skip the fee and still get service (if this is the second time this has happened) so ‘expects’ got nothin’ to do with it.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Even in Tennessee, I believe, loser pays. Liens on real property are created for a reason. The fire department wouldn’t even need to go to court to slap a lien if they do it right. All they have to do is get the homeowner to sign the form. And I may be mistaken, but I didn’t float the idea of $5K for a call to a non subscriber.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Ahhh… no. The loser does not pay in TN. The “American” system (in place in all states for most legal actions except for very rare cases where spcific statutues allow for limited fee-shifting) is that each party is responsible for its own attorney fees and court costs. There is no general “loser pays” in TN or in any other state that I’m aware of. They have loser pays in U.K. I’m not sure what the system is in Canada. But not in U.S.of A.
Also …. no to the automatic lien. The fire department wwould be required to go to court to enforce its contract. Only after going through litigation, trial and obtaining a favorable judgment, would the FD get a lien on the property. Signing a form doesn’t automatically put a lien on your house. (Exception for Mortgage note securing purchase money mortgage.)

Untrue. All that has to be done is a legal binding contract between the two entities, and a lien can be slapped on the property and if the language is correct in the contract, it would be tough to dispute.
john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 4:16 PM

If only. I want to live in your world. My job would be so much easier if all you needed to do to slap a lien on somebody’s property was “legal binding contract between two entities”. No litigation, no due process, no court system stickin their nose in to make sure that somebody’s property was not wrongfully taken without any hearing or process. Life would be much simpler for me. /sarc

New_Jersey_Buckeye on October 5, 2010 at 4:46 PM

OK, that was weird Butterfly, I paraphrased something which you quoted within seconds of each other…

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 4:49 PM

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:36 PM

5K was a max number with a big engine and a trailer.

I figure people will freak if they realize the average response carries with it around 1K of water.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Sorry, just getting back to article. No where are any of the fire depts in the county referred to as volunteer. I got the nearest answer from the Obion Co FD presentation (page 5) of 2008 outlining that each town in the county furnished operating expenses for their fire depts. receiving no funds from county or state. There was no mention of volunteer.

Don’t volunteer dept always signify volunteer?

Oleta on October 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM

I can’t recall this discussion, but I’m willing to bet quite a bit that South Fulton does not have a paid department. The county only has 30,000 residents total. Union City has 10,000 of these and South Fulton has only 2500 people. For 2500 people to support a fully paid department would be unheard of especially when the median family income is only 35k a year.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:52 PM

That’s BS.

No, it’s pretty accurate. Feel free to do a poll if you want. But no, no one here is arguing that any life should be risked for property.

You got no hydrant. That means you have, maybe 5k max gallons of water able to be delivered via your engine. That’s about 5 minutes.

From what I’ve read it’s actually 10k, and your full list of over 7k worth of expenses makes it sound as if they have even more than that at their disposal.

Regardless, if not being able to put out the fire was the issue, that’s what they should be saying now, because even if he had paid the $75, no lives should be risked over property.

But that’s not what they’re saying.

Anyone here who is talking about SAVING this mans house is talking about firefighters going into that burning house.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Or they disagree with your assertion.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:53 PM

From everything I’ve read about this case, the Cranicks are very gracious, humble and kind people. In now way do I think they “deserve” for their house to burn to the ground.

And when they had a chimney fire, the FD showed up and they “promised to pay tomorrow”. The FD put out their chimney fire. They didn’t pay.

Fast forward a couple of years. . . and here we are.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:54 PM

no one here is arguing that any life should be risked for property

No, just fight the fire, save the house, but do it in such a way that there is risk to the firefighter.

Yeah. Got it.

Oh, I almost forgot, with 5 minutes of water.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Like…expecting to pay the $75 fire service fee? Obviously these homeowners believed that they could skip the fee and still get service (if this is the second time this has happened) so ‘expects’ got nothin’ to do with it.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 4:46 PM

No, like suddenly learning you have cancer after years of not having health insurance. Doctors don’t simply refuse to treat you, though they may end up owning your home to cover the treatments.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:58 PM

IF you don’t live in Mott how would they add or subtract anything to your property taxes?

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Calm down. Sometimes counties issue the property tax bills. Towns and cities in that case send their tax assessments to the county, and those assessments can include surcharges for people not residing in the city, there’s jurisdiction as long as the agreement specified the exact land to be burdened.

alwaysfiredup on October 5, 2010 at 4:59 PM

I can’t recall this discussion, but I’m willing to bet quite a bit that South Fulton does not have a paid department. The county only has 30,000 residents total. Union City has 10,000 of these and South Fulton has only 2500 people. For 2500 people to support a fully paid department would be unheard of especially when the median family income is only 35k a year.

reddevil on October 5, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Personnel
One hundred eighty-six (186) municipal firefighters are located in Obion County. There are forty-two (42) career firefighters (Union City Fire Department) and an additional one hundred forty-four (144) volunteer firefighters

This is from the 2008 report.

So, in 2008, South Fulton’s fire department is a volunteer fire department. It would probably be a safe assumption to think they still are volunteer.

ButterflyDragon on October 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM

No, just fight the fire, save the house, but do it in such a way that there is risk to the firefighter.

Yeah. Got it.

Oh, I almost forgot, with 5 minutes of water.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Fine. Accepting that your argument is that the house couldn’t be saved without risking death. Does this become any less true if the $75 has been paid?

No? It’s still true?

So then this isn’t about the $75? Why doesn’t the fire department just say that? Surely they know just as much about fighting fires as you do.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM

I’ve read pretty much every post in this thread and still haven’t seen one that has countered any of the points Jason made in this post about 6 pages ago.

About the only important detail to add to his post above is this 1987 study, linked by ButterflyDragon (I believe) some number of pages ago which explains, at least in part, why they developed the annual fee for people outside their municipality. From the report:

“All fire departments in Obion County charge a $500.00 fee per call in rural areas,but collections are, less than 50% and the fire departments have no way of legally collecting the charge. Therefore, the service was provided at the expense of the municipal tax payer.”

That should put an end to those still pushing the idea that they FD should have just saved the house (which was already done for by the time they arrived) and billed him later but I’m sure it won’t.

The simple undisputed facts:
- This did not occur in the city limits of South Fulton so was well outside the area officially covered by the SFFD.
- The SFFD arrived on scene to determine if any lives were at risk and determined none were.
- The SFFD prevented the fire from spreading.
- Cranick had the option to pay for fire coverage but even by his own admission had failed to do so, repeatedly.

So any arguments about preventing wildfires (they did), allowing people to die (they didn’t) or getting paid afterward (historically unlikely to happen) have no basis in reality. The SFFD did exactly what they were supposed to do; assess the situation, prevent injury and contain the threat.

Bic667 on October 5, 2010 at 5:01 PM

The simple undisputed facts:
- This did not occur in the city limits of South Fulton so was well outside the area officially covered by the SFFD.
- The SFFD arrived on scene to determine if any lives were at risk and determined none were.
- The SFFD prevented the fire from spreading.
- Cranick had the option to pay for fire coverage but even by his own admission had failed to do so, repeatedly.

Bic667 on October 5, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Have you got a source for this? Because from the excerpt above, it sure sounds like they didn’t do a thing to stop it from spreading. In fact, it appears that they watched it spread, and only when it touched a paying customer’s property, they fought the fire at that site. Unless the property owners on all four sides were paying customers, there’s no indication that they had an interest in preventing the growth of the fire.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:07 PM

From the article itself:

They called 911 several times, and initially the South Fulton Fire Department would not come.

So much for assessing the situation, protecting lives, and containing the fire from spreading!

[After reporters arrived] …firefighters quickly left the scene. Meanwhile, the Cranick home continued to burn.

They left while a potentially out-of-control fire was still burning? Sure, they did their duty as responsible citizens!

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:12 PM

I’m not sure how “guts” counts; and I’m not familiar with teh “equipment” that lets you fight a building that has been burning for some time with one truck and save the house… so, where do you get this magical equipment? Is there a catalog?

gekkobear on October 5, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Most of the rural (and I did specify “rural”) volunteer departments in the outlying counties work together, and there is rarely only one truck, unless only one is needed. Also, our wells are equipped with valves to fit the hoses used by the fire departments, and finally, the trucks pack fire retardant in reasonable quantities. Sometimes all you can do is prevent the spread by putting the fire out. These firemen did nothing, until someone else’s property was threatened. They were driving home a point. That is the reason for the “gutless” remark.

But then, we have always known how to handle such things. Superior? No. Prepared? Absolutely. Now, if we get hit with a blizzard, we’ll be in trouble, but I seriously doubt that’ll happen unless there’s some sort of serious shift in the Earth’s poles, so we’re not absolutely perfect.

We also don’t leave a family in the lurch. We will make them pay for their stupidity. We’re not communists, after all.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Bic667 on October 5, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Of course overlooking the fact that the fire department, being paid, with the trucks, just sat there and watched.
This is what bureaucrats do, they abide by the exact letter of the law. Opinion, doesn’t enter into the discussion, that makes a good comrade, a loyal comrade.
“You vill let the building burn, and vatch as the people suffer for the good of the government, they vill learn der lesson and be better for it”.
“Compassion is a veakness ve must eliminate…it has no part in our successful campaign to teach the useless beggars a lesson”. “Only the strong vill surfive, an vill be able to rule”. We vill be a stronger nation to force people to abide by der laws, no exceptions or you vill be punished”.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Fine. Accepting that your argument is that the house couldn’t be saved without risking death. Does this become any less true if the $75 has been paid?

Because now you’re part of the risk pool. Because that’s the deal you make with the RFPP. That’s the mutually agreed upon contract.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Have you got a source for this? Because from the excerpt above, it sure sounds like they didn’t do a thing to stop it from spreading. In fact, it appears that they watched it spread, and only when it touched a paying customer’s property, they fought the fire at that site. Unless the property owners on all four sides were paying customers, there’s no indication that they had an interest in preventing the growth of the fire.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Do you have any links about the other houses destroyed by this fire? Or the hundred of acres of forest burnt to cinders? If not then pretty much by definition the fire was contained.

They did their jobs and no one died which is exactly what was asked of them.

Bic667 on October 5, 2010 at 5:14 PM

No, like suddenly learning you have cancer after years of not having health insurance. Doctors don’t simply refuse to treat you, though they may end up owning your home to cover the treatments.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 4:58 PM

It would be more accurate of an analogy to say that you suddenly learned you had the flu. It could possibly become dangerous, but since there was no immediate danger to your life, the doctor did not take any action.

Again, we are talking about personal property here. As a neighbor, you are welcome to help your neighbor put out the fire. A business is under no obligation to help you save your photos if you haven’t paid for their service. This is not a moral issue, any more than if the owner’s son had wrecked the car…the fire fighters and EMTs wouldn’t care that much about the property unless it posed a risk to others, but if their son was still in the vehicle, THEN it would have mattered. Otherwise, nobody cares (except the owners) that the car was totaled.

As it was, what was lost was property and any valuables obviously weren’t valued enough by the owner to consider paying the $75 annual fee which MAY have averted some of the loss. No matter what, these people wouldn’t have been spending the night in that house, and their insurance company would have been the ones dealing with the financial loss.

.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Bic667 on October 5, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Ve vill make you a commandant…you vill report anythink unusual in your neighborhood and report it to the authorities.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Okay, after 1,000 comments, lets get down to reality. When you live out in the country, away from fire hydrants, with a small pump on a water well for the only way to get water along with limited amount in a fire truck, once you realize your place is on fire, call the fire dept, they respond after they get their crew together and get to your place, your house, more than likely is already so far gone that there is no saving it. That is the situation that I knowingly face, so I really think all the outrage about letting this house burn is nonsense. Even with the intent to battle the blaze, it would probably have been an unsuccessful attempt.

Oleta on October 5, 2010 at 5:17 PM

They did their jobs and no one died which is exactly what was asked of them.

Bic667 on October 5, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Spoken like a good union thug. And you call yourself a libertarian?

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Good comrade, do not let compassion enter into the debate…they must be punished for not following the law.
We vill make you a Lieutenant. Keep us also informed of your neighbors, ve will not tolerate insubordination.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 5:19 PM

- The SFFD prevented the fire from spreading.

Bic667 on October 5, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Except they didn’t, because the fire did spread to a paying neighbor’s yard.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Because now you’re part of the risk pool. Because that’s the deal you make with the RFPP. That’s the mutually agreed upon contract.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 5:14 PM

So the mutually agreed contract states that your pictures are more important than a fire fighter’s life so long as you’ve paid $75?

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Spoken like a good union thug. And you call yourself a libertarian?

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:18 PM

You must follow the law…or be punished, that is the way of the new order. Comply, you have no choice.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Ah, to hell with it, it’s only Tennessee, and rural Tennessee for that matter.

/of course it’s sarcasm, but that’s the gist I’m getting from this board.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:22 PM

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Be careful, or it’s off to the camps for you!

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:23 PM

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 5:13 PM

You’re right, our government should rule by compassion…bureaucrats are always to be trusted with looking out for the welfare of others…/sarc

Family and Child Services
supporting Planned Parenthood
CRA/Fannie/Freddie
Obamacare
the EPA

WOW! This is such a great idea! Let the government protect us from every danger and service our every need, and teach our kids everything they’ll ever need to know (without interference from us moronic parents) and…and…and…

You are on a slippery slop r2b, for every protection you let the government take care/control of, you sacrifice your liberty.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Again, we are talking about personal property here.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Fine, then it’s like auto insurance. Just because you only have liability doesn’t mean anyone will refuse to fix your car for a fee. This is true even if your car is totaled.

But even with the above scenario, the doctor wouldn’t refuse to fix your flu just because you don’t have insurance. It’s still entirely possible to pay for all of your medical bills without having any insurance. Or at least it will be until 2014.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Even with the intent to battle the blaze, it would probably have been an unsuccessful attempt.

Oleta on October 5, 2010 at 5:17 PM

If that’s the argument, then that’s the one they should be making, not that $75 would have saved this man’s house.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:29 PM

You know, everyone has good points on this. The what if’s the should have’s and the oh well’s are high.

Anyone else agree? None of us are all totally going to agree on this.

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Daft Punk on October 5, 2010 at 4:22 PM

What, they don’t have enough room in the truck for a folder with a contract inside? Are the firemen all Shriners?

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:30 PM

We vill make you a Lieutenant. Keep us also informed of your neighbors, ve will not tolerate insubordination.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Yes, make me a Lt. so I can destroy the regime from within.

Could you remind me how the government structure you seem to be espousing could possibly be for the betterment of the citizenry? Perhaps you believe in mythological creatures, like the ‘benevolent’ government?

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:32 PM

You are on a slippery slop r2b, for every protection you let the government take care/control of, you sacrifice your liberty.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Exactly. Every area should have it’s own “Fires ‘R’ Us” franchise.

Fire protection, like police protection, isn’t exactly a “taking care of every need” type of deal. It’s something that’s been around for a long time, and is part of (apparently) almost every locality.

The homeowner shouldn’t have been a putz. He should have paid. From all accounts, he made an offer to pay them to put out the fire, which they refused. Great PR for them. There are no winners here, but maybe, just maybe, they can learn something for the next time this happens. Then again, maybe not. This is, after all, Tennessee.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Fine, then it’s like auto insurance.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

A busted fender doesn’t “spread” to other cars the way an untended fire spreads to adjacent properties.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM

So the mutually agreed contract states that your pictures are more important than a fire fighter’s life so long as you’ve paid $75?

No, it means that now you are part of the shared risk group that the RFPP creates. The firemen are willing to go in to try and save what they can for your house because they now know that THEIR insurance will cover them.

They also be more willing to light off a highpressure hose in your house because they now know that you can’t sue them for the damage they do while fighting the fire.

They, the volunteer firefighters sign up for the gig, just like the members sign up for the RFPP. This way everyone knows what is expected of and not expected from the parties involved. Dude explicitly turned down the offer of service. Stole it once, and still refused to be part of the community protection plan.

A repeat freeloader who sets his own house on fire, has burned the dept. before (pun intended) and who is now begging them to risk their lives to go in and save his family photos.

No Sale.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM

But even with the above scenario, the doctor wouldn’t refuse to fix your flu just because you don’t have insurance. It’s still entirely possible to pay for all of your medical bills without having any insurance. Or at least it will be until 2014.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

I agree. If you can pay for the service, then the service should be rendered. In this case, the FD/hospital cannot function without someone paying for its existence in the first place. BTW, if I don’t have insurance, I cannot go to see my doctor for a simple ailment. He wouldn’t refuse to ‘fix my flu’, he just wouldn’t see me in the first place. I could go to the ER, but if I go to the ER we all know SOMEONE pays for that visit regardless. It could be in the form of higher prices or gouging insurance companies, but it all comes back to those that actually pay their bills, doesn’t it? Apparently, the Cranicks have visited the ER before and didn’t pay their bill, so when they stopped by the ER a second time, are we faulting the doctor for not treating their non-life threatening ailment? No.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:38 PM

You’re right, our government should rule by compassion…bureaucrats are always to be trusted with looking out for the welfare of others…/sarc

Family and Child Services
supporting Planned Parenthood
CRA/Fannie/Freddie
Obamacare
the EPA

WOW! This is such a great idea! Let the government protect us from every danger and service our every need, and teach our kids everything they’ll ever need to know (without interference from us moronic parents) and…and…and…

You are on a slippery slop r2b, for every protection you let the government take care/control of, you sacrifice your liberty.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Who in this thread is talking about government serving our every need? Fire protection is a public need, because fire is a public threat. How can you say this is a slippery slope argument, but your idea that everyone should individually bear the cost of their own fire risk isn’t a slippery slope argument in the other direction?

This is why nobody votes libertarian, guys.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:40 PM

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Yes, its a bad system. And, no one comes out a winner.

A government is responsible for protecting its citizens and enforcing the laws, that’s it primary reason for existence. The government is allowed to tax for such reasons. If fire fighting is a part of that protection (which I think it is, or should be), then the county should tax for it and provide that service just like sheriffs. Since that is not the case here, the home owner should have paid the fee because continued operation of saving people for ‘free’ means that NO ONE gets protection when the fire department cannot be paid for any longer.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:43 PM

No, it means that now you are part of the shared risk group that the RFPP creates. The firemen are willing to go in to try and save what they can for your house because they now know that THEIR insurance will cover them.

And that’s worth risking death, all for some pictures that are pretty much ruined anyway?

Not even for a second buying this argument.

If the fire fighters are risking their lives, they’re not doing it for pictures just because someone paid $75 that year.

They also be more willing to light off a highpressure hose in your house because they now know that you can’t sue them for the damage they do while fighting the fire.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Neither can that man if he signs a contract.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:44 PM

A repeat freeloader who sets his own house on fire, has burned the dept. before (pun intended) and who is now begging them to risk their lives to go in and save his family photos.

No Sale.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Where the heck are you getting this “family photos” nonsense argument?

It’s very simple: A fire starts. The responsible fire department puts it out. Period.

Any other policy puts everyone in the area at a significantly greater risk, which is why everyone pays taxes to a government to protect them from things like out-of-control fires. Neither the decision whether to fight the fire, nor the entire cost, is laid on the individual on whose property the fire starts.

If the town government wasn’t responsible, then the state was.

joe_doufu on October 5, 2010 at 5:45 PM

BTW, if I don’t have insurance, I cannot go to see my doctor for a simple ailment. He wouldn’t refuse to ‘fix my flu’, he just wouldn’t see me in the first place.

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:38 PM

They have this magical thing called cash. Doctors do take it. Health insurance isn’t a requirement if you can pay. Have you really been listening to Obama THAT long?

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Anyone else agree? None of us are all totally going to agree on this.

upinak on October 5, 2010 at 5:29 PM

No, we won’t, but it is enlightening to see who the tyrants of the good intentions are.

Looks like Obamacare is here to stay. . . with a new added federal fire department operating to an ultra-efficient national standard.

But, I’m still really really curious to know what parts of rural TN it was so common to bury diesel tanks on that now they’ve lost track of them and they are ticking bombs waiting for a housefire to go off and destroy all the sewer and water lines in rural-town.

Jason Coleman on October 5, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 5:44 PM

It’s now time to call the $75 what it is; a shakedown.

john1schn on October 5, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Who in this thread is talking about government serving our every need?

Right2bright is talking about government that has compassion, as if there were such a thing. Individuals have compassion, not government bureaucracies. Clearly, these people illustrate a disregard for their own property. So, is it the job of the government to protect these people no matter what? Their system isn’t set up that way.

The government has to be constrained in any way possible or it will absorb as much power as it possibly can. If this county would have taxed for fire services, then I don’t think any of us would be in disagreement

Geministorm on October 5, 2010 at 5:50 PM

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