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(News-Leader)   Man injures himself battling a blaze in his garage while firefighters stand around watching, because he hadn't paid his fire protection dues   (news-leader.com) divider line 257
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26402 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Feb 2006 at 3:14 PM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-02-16 01:09:26 PM
WTF, i cant understand the concept. its like a fire-protection mafia. good god, i hope no one forgets to pay protection $$$ and gets seriously hurt..
 
2006-02-16 01:15:30 PM
Tax me all you want, just turn on the water and put the flames out.

/... was in two house fires before the age of 13.
 
2006-02-16 01:19:45 PM
I think I'd go burn down the houses of those "firemen". If they're already there, why not fight the fire? Is water too expensive?
 
2006-02-16 01:23:31 PM
WTF are "fire protection dues"?
 
2006-02-16 01:24:42 PM
Shoulda paid I guess. Karma is a biatch.
 
2006-02-16 01:34:27 PM
Rueda offered to pay, Evenson said, but the Monett department does not have a policy for on-the-spot billing.

Holy fark. I guess this is what you could expect, though, if Libertarians ran the country.
 
2006-02-16 01:36:25 PM
Volunteer department here sends out requests for donations every year; every year they get a check for $100. Just good policy.

As for the asshat who didn't pay his dues: too farkin' bad. It's not a protection racket where they threaten to burn your house down if you don't pay, it's insurance: pay it, if something happens, they come in and try to stop it. Don't pay, you takes your chances. Standard policy is that they'll do whatever they can to save human life no matter what, and prevent the fire from spreading, but you don't get the services for free.
 
2006-02-16 01:37:41 PM
Holy fark. I guess this is what you could expect, though, if Libertarians ran the country.

I doubt there are many Libertarians in Missouri.

Also, Libertarians favor smaller non-essential government. Essential includes infrastructure, which includes firemen.

This is the first I've ever heard of citizens being separately billed for the services of firemen. Do these people have to pay "protection dues" to the cops too?
 
2006-02-16 01:39:32 PM
Sounds like the Roman Empire to me.
 
2006-02-16 01:42:50 PM
onecanshort: Do these people have to pay "protection dues" to the cops too?

And if so, can we get a list of names and addresses?
 
2006-02-16 01:45:18 PM
verybeefyboy: As for the asshat who didn't pay his dues: too farkin' bad. It's not a protection racket where they threaten to burn your house down if you don't pay, it's insurance: pay it, if something happens, they come in and try to stop it. Don't pay, you takes your chances.


Or, for the asshat who can't read the article, the guy didn't even know you had to pay dues because he had just moved into the area and no one told him. I hope he sues them for racism, since the fire marshall made it pretty clear no one bothered to tell the hispanic families that the fire department is opt in.
 
2006-02-16 01:48:11 PM
When firefighting was in it's early years this is how it worked. "You don't pony up the cash, we don't put out the fire."
 
2006-02-16 01:49:04 PM
onecanshort: Also, Libertarians favor smaller non-essential government. Essential includes infrastructure, which includes firemen.

Most libertarians I've seen argue that it would be more "efficient" as a private sector business...
 
2006-02-16 01:52:17 PM
onecanshort: Also, Libertarians favor smaller non-essential government. Essential includes infrastructure, which includes firemen.

Not really. Most libertarian types would like to see this sort of thing privatized in order to make emergency services more efficient and less costly.

It's remarkably like this story from the great news source that is The Onion:

Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department
CHEYENNE, WYAfter attempting to contain a living-room blaze started by a cigarette, card-carrying Libertarian Trent Jacobs reluctantly called the Cheyenne Fire Department Monday. "Although the community would do better to rely on an efficient, free-market fire-fighting service, the fact is that expensive, unnecessary public fire departments do exist," Jacobs said. "Also, my house was burning down." Jacobs did not offer to pay firefighters for their service.
 
2006-02-16 01:52:47 PM
If he's paying his taxes, he's paying his "dues". Those firefighters are scumbags.
 
2006-02-16 01:53:21 PM
KyngNothing



Most libertarians I've seen argue that it would be more "efficient" as a private sector business...


True, I have heard some make the argument, I consider myself somewhat of a Libertarian because I prefer a smaller government, I just wanted to point out that not all Libertarians feel that way. I suppose in rural areas it works as a private business, but in a city, it would be nearly impossible.
 
2006-02-16 01:56:02 PM
WTF. I used to be a rural volunteer fireman. We never, EVER, had dues you had to pay for us to put out a fire. We had fund raisers, we had fund drives, we were active in the community so people donated to us all the time. We put out any fire in our region, regardless of if the person had donated to us or not.

fark, I would have straight kicked them all in the nuts for that. Serve and protect man, serve and protect.
 
2006-02-16 01:57:54 PM
BooBoo23

Haha, that is a great story. I have been proven wrong, perhaps this is why I only consider myself "somewhat Liberterian"

As I said above, it would probably benefit a rural area much more than a city, imagine privatizing the FDNY. It's tough enough to get them and the NYPD to work together when they report to the same upper management. Although I would love to see a rival to the Hoboken Fire Dept, the amount of times a firetruck goes by my apt in a day, you'd sweat the whole farking city would be burned to the ground by now.

Back to the story at hand though, a) did it not occur to them to send a bill and b)where is that "good samaritan" law from Seinfeld when you need it!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2006-02-16 01:58:43 PM
Fire fighting is an essential service in a city where flames can spread. If your house in the middle of nowhere goes up, that's your problem.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2006-02-16 01:59:45 PM
The town I grew up in had a volunteer fire department. One of the firemen was caught setting fires.
 
2006-02-16 02:02:13 PM
If one "opts out" of fire protection, can one also "opt out" of following local fire & building codes? Or is this one of those "heads I win, tails you lose" situations?
 
2006-02-16 02:03:23 PM
Yeah, if I own a 2000 acre farm 80 miles from the nearest incorporated area, I might consider hiring a guy and a truck to stand by in case of a fire. Now, my neighbor sees that one day and asks if he can get in on some of that. Sure I say, but I need to buy him a bigger truck then, can you pitch in. Sure, my neighbor says. And now we have a deal. So the next guy over asks one day if my fire department can cover his spread too. I'll tell him sure, but we need another guy and a small truck to cover that much area. If he says fark off, he's out of the deal.

I'm sure this story is somewhere between that and a traditional VFD.
 
2006-02-16 02:04:14 PM
Interesting example of the free-rider collective action problem and a potential solution, i.e. lets all the free riders' houses burn down.
 
2006-02-16 02:04:25 PM
ZAZ: The town I grew up in had a volunteer fire department. One of the firemen was caught setting fires.


One of the full time pay firemen in this area was caught doing the same thing. What is your point?

No it is /not/ your problem when your house goes up in flames and there is a fire department in your area. Now if you literally live out in the middle of the desert and the nearest person is 100 miles away, then I can see that as your problem. But as long as you are paying your county taxes then they should protect you. If the county is providing jack and shiat for protection then I would say you have a good case for not paying county taxes at all.
 
2006-02-16 02:20:58 PM
Most places just have a small amount added to your property tax to cover the costs of basic fire service, any extras are covered by fund raisers, donations, etc.

There are some places that have not seen the wisdom of this practice, and instead ask for "dues" that each person pays for fire service. Of course people forget, cant afford it all at once, etc, and it causes problems like in the article.

Now if I'm a firefighter under this "dues" system, and I get called to a fire at the home of someone who isn't covered, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt, PUT OUT THE DAMN FIRE ANYWAY, and then worry about the bill. It's just professionalism.

I hope he sues them for the injuries he sustained, maybe that will force them to rethink their procedures.
 
2006-02-16 02:22:51 PM
FTA:`"Rueda offered to pay, Evenson said, but the Monett department does not have a policy for on-the-spot billing."

Wow. That just sounds heartless.

"Please help me, my house is on fire!"

"Let's see.. Rueda, Rueda... nope, not on the list. You'll have to pay us in order for us to help you."

"Ok, I'll pay you right now."

"Oh,.. geez, we're really sorry about this one, but we only accept payments on the 1st of the month."

Why don't these people have a policy whereby they'd help anyone, and if they're not a dues-paying member, then they would just bill them after the fact?
 
2006-02-16 02:47:33 PM
Atvar: Sounds like the Roman Empire to me.

Yes, exactly. Some Roman (Watch it be someone big like Julius that I'll be embarassed to have forgotten) was famous for only protecting houses that agreed to pay his fees. However...

BooBoo23: Rueda offered to pay, Evenson said, but the Monett department does not have a policy for on-the-spot billing.

Holy fark. I guess this is what you could expect, though, if Libertarians ran the country.


The Roman dude was very generous about letting you pay on the spot. "The firemen are here. Your house is on fire. Sign here and we put it out." Although, y'know, caveat emptor. Hope you can read fine print really fast.

If I were libertarian, I'd start pushing the idea that in a truly free market (True scotsman alert), a competitive fire department would have already (or is now going to) move in with a more friendly on-the-spot billing policy. But there's probably some legislated monopoly on the rural fire department that prevents that from happening.
 
2006-02-16 02:59:38 PM
Everyone had to pay dues just over a hundred years ago, at least in Natchez.

Even today, rural non-municipal volunteer fire services will bill you if the chief determines an incident was not accidental, or was a result of excess stupidity ("My spawn was playing with matches", "I wanted to see how big a fireball I could make", "They did it on TV no problem!", "IIs only havin two of teh beers, hic", etc.).
 
2006-02-16 03:06:39 PM
Tubercular Ox: I'd start pushing the idea that in a truly free market (True scotsman alert), a competitive fire department would have already (or is now going to) move in with a more friendly on-the-spot billing policy

And you'd have a damn fine point.
 
2006-02-16 03:16:32 PM
there would be much angry cockpunchage.

i don't think i'd be able to even concentrate on an attempt to put the fire out. people standing there with the know how, and the tools to do something with it...spectating, as your shiat burns down...

again, maybe i just grew up in a different kind of 'rural' area. people actually volunteered. yes, that word has a meaning, and 'watch shiat burn down' doesn't really seem to fit with it.
 
2006-02-16 03:16:40 PM
BooBoo23: And you'd have a damn fine point.

And if I weren't a libertarian, I'd start talking about barriers to entry, duplication of effort, and optimal economies of scale compared to total market.

Like shoes. The greatest economies of scale for the manufacture of shoes are experimentally when your company is responsible for filling 15-30% of the total demand for shoes. That means that there's only room in the market for 3-6 shoe companies to share 15-30% of the market each. Any less companies and diseconomies of scale allow a competitor to enter at a profit. Any more companies and diseconomies of scale will force the smaller people out because they can't build a shoe at a price competitive to the big guys.

But 3-6 companies isn't really enough for a truly free market. It's not monopoly, but it suffers a lot of the same problems.

Hence, Nikes cost too damn much.

I wonder what the optimal economy of scale for a fire department is, as a percentage of total market?
 
2006-02-16 03:19:34 PM
verybeefyboy: As for the asshat who didn't pay his dues: too farkin' bad. It's not a protection racket where they threaten to burn your house down if you don't pay, it's insurance: pay it, if something happens, they come in and try to stop it. Don't pay, you takes your chances. Standard policy is that they'll do whatever they can to save human life no matter what, and prevent the fire from spreading, but you don't get the services for free.

What, taxes don't count? Those fire fighters should be brought up on charges. Not fake-@55 internal fire dpt charges, but actual legal charges.
 
2006-02-16 03:21:20 PM
submitter: hadn't paid his fire protection dues

wouldn't this be tax evasion?
 
2006-02-16 03:22:15 PM
On the Monette City website it says a guy named Tom Jones is the Fire Chief. Who is Ronnie Myers??

http://www.cityofmonett.com/city_departments/fire_department_index.htm
 
2006-02-16 03:22:48 PM
WTF, you have to pay 'Firefighting dues' in America? Don't you people pay any taxes at all?

/Canadian
 
2006-02-16 03:22:52 PM
To the people saying that you have to pay your local FD to get fires put out at your house, let me give you a hint and welcome you to the 1900s: if there's a fire at your house, the firemen put it out.

There's no "protection," no "dues," if you're a farking fireman, you farking put fires out or you should get thrown into a fire yourself. Those who don't "pay up?" Too bad for you. Don't get into a service profession if you don't want to do your farking job.

Asshats.

/This is why small town america is dying
 
2006-02-16 03:23:29 PM
Monett Fire Chief

www.popapez.com
 
2006-02-16 03:24:59 PM
Rueda managed to get one mobile home out of the way, using a garden hose and buckets

How do you move a mobile home with a hose and buckets? Is this guy MacGyver or something?
 
2006-02-16 03:25:24 PM
Four mobile homes and a number of vehicles were on the property. Rueda managed to get one mobile home out of the way, using a garden hose and buckets, but was burned in the process, Evenson said.

???

Using a garden hose?????
 
2006-02-16 03:25:36 PM
If I was one of the firemen on that crew, I would have told my boss I was taking the day off of work and tried to help the guy put out the fire.

If I was his neighbor I would have helped too...

Hell... if was just wandering by, I would have tried to help.

Of course that's just me... I'm not one to stand by and not help someone when I'm perfectly capable of doing so.
 
2006-02-16 03:25:43 PM
ZAZ

The town I grew up in had a volunteer fire department. One of the firemen was caught setting fires.


ME TOO! No joke, really!

This cat was wierd, but it's volunteer so they took him. But there were a rash of fires that were pretty unexplained until they found out he was doing it!

/weirdest part of this story? The guy's name is Tony Pussy
//Swear on my grandmothers life, man.
///Ever in St. George's Newfoundland, check him out...
 
2006-02-16 03:26:04 PM
Maybe they could rachet it up another notch: Chant Na-Na-NA-NA, or play the trombone WOO-wooooo sound. Pointing and laughing would be a help, as would spraying water NEAR, but not ON the guys house.

I hope those farkers have nightmares about this until their dying days.
 
2006-02-16 03:26:54 PM
"2006-02-16 02:04:25 PM cannotsuggestaname
ZAZ: The town I grew up in had a volunteer fire department. One of the firemen was caught setting fires.
One of the full time pay firemen in this area was caught doing the same thing. What is your point?"

That your "area" could save a bundle with a volunteer arsonist?
 
2006-02-16 03:27:06 PM
those are some real heroes, right there.

go fark yourself, Monett firefighters. I hope the new hispanics in the area take your jobs.
 
DS
2006-02-16 03:27:10 PM
I think it is BS that they came at all. If they are not going to help, Stay away. Don't distract the guy while he is trying to save his stuff. I do think it is even worse they would not help. I'm just trying to say they did less then nothing.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2006-02-16 03:27:15 PM
What, taxes don't count?

Taxes pay for whatever the law says they pay for.

Boston tried to charge a large building extra fire protection money but the courts said that violated the state constitution because there was no opt-out provision. Fire protection was provided to all buildings. It was provided to all buildings because in a city fire is likely to spread, and in fact much of downtown Boston had been burned in a 19th century fire.
 
2006-02-16 03:28:11 PM
Not to mention the guy obviously offered to pay them if they would just help him and they told him they didn't have an "on the spot billing policy" while they watched his stuff burn.

Damn... those are some messed up people.

/makes not never to move anywhere near there.
 
2006-02-16 03:28:19 PM
elendilmir:What, taxes don't count? Those fire fighters should be brought up on charges. Not fake-55 internal fire dpt charges, but actual legal charges.

If you actually RTFA, you'd find out that in that county, taxes do not fund the fire department, and in fact voters had rejected a tax-funded system. So no, taxes do not count, and if you want your fires put out you darn well better pay the fees.
 
2006-02-16 03:29:16 PM
What, taxes don't count? Those fire fighters should be brought up on charges.

Sheesh. RTFA. In this area, the fire department isn't funded through taxes, but through dues in the association.

I'll agree though that when he claimed he didn't know about it and offered to pay on the spot they should have went ahead and put it out and made sure he paid.
 
2006-02-16 03:29:46 PM
note even... sheesh.
 
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