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(Yahoo)   Firefighters to homeowner: We're really sorry your house burned down sir, oh by the way here's our bill for $20,000   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 180
    More: Asinine, Arizona Senate, Rural/Metro, unincorporated areas, fire departments, Rural Metro Fire Department  
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10512 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Nov 2013 at 7:20 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



180 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-07 12:42:30 AM  
Torch their station.
 
2013-11-07 12:49:34 AM  
What a freaking mess of a situation. My gut instinct was for him to STFU because he isn't paying taxes to support a fire department and wasn't complaining all those years of fire-free, low taxes. But then I kept reading and there was a vague reference to firefighting on his taxes, and the private company showed up after the city of Surprise responded.

The family's home insurance does not cover the charges.

That seems like a bad idea for someone in an area without a fire department. When I bought my house, I was asked on my homeowners insurance application the distance to the nearest responders - when he answered "There isn't one", you'd think the agent would have recommended some supplemental coverage. For all we know, they did and he declined it.
 
2013-11-07 12:52:27 AM  
Buy a yearly $500 subscription from Rural Metro for fire coverage, take the gamble of getting a bill if they have a house fire, or form their own fire district which could take months.

Less sympathy because of this, though without a written contract detailing their agreements with neighboring fire districts (and given the size of the bill) Metro may be SOL
 
2013-11-07 01:18:19 AM  
The primary responding department was Surprise, AZ FD who then called for mutual aid from Rural Metro FD to do the overhaul after the house is gone.
Rural Metro (the secondary responders) then charges $1,500 per hour per truck and $150 per hour per man.

As a secondary response called by the other department they should not be charging the homeowner. If the first department had charged, it could be different.

/served 22 years as a volunteer fireman and never got paid a cent
 
2013-11-07 01:47:12 AM  
FTFA: Surprise firefighters arrived at the house within 13 minutes and it took Rural Metro 24 minutes to arrive after the call. Their the closest firehouse is 20 miles away, Assessing the situation, neighbor Brian Repp said, "They got here late and his house is totally gone. OK. Then they're going to charge him $20,000 and they let his house go.

As best I can tell from this farking trainwreck of a sentence, even if we assume the first responders were sitting in the truck waiting for an emergency call, they still managed to average 93 mph on the way to the scene.
 
2013-11-07 01:58:05 AM  

ArkAngel: Buy a yearly $500 subscription from Rural Metro for fire coverage, take the gamble of getting a bill if they have a house fire, or form their own fire district which could take months.

Less sympathy because of this, though without a written contract detailing their agreements with neighboring fire districts (and given the size of the bill) Metro may be SOL


I pay a little less than $400 a year for city fire service according to my tax breakdown... $500 seems reasonable for low density countryside.
 
2013-11-07 02:03:21 AM  
65 year tradition of showing up to someone's house uninvited and then sending a bill?
 
2013-11-07 02:04:34 AM  
FTFA: Arizona State Senator Chester Crandell admitted that fire coverage in Arizona's rural areas is a mess, "Having county islands that have no service in, in uh, fireboards that are just packing up and leaving, going bankrupt... It's certainly something that needs to be addressed."

How are all the tax cuts and small government working out for you?
 
2013-11-07 02:29:05 AM  

Dufus: As a secondary response called by the other department they should not be charging the homeowner.


That's the long and short of it.

If YOU want backup, that's on YOU.
 
2013-11-07 03:06:28 AM  
Strange. I pay taxes and I get "free" police and fire.
I wonder why people complain so much about paying taxes.

/yes, I saw that he paid taxes. Yes, I saw that he was getting billed by the second responders. Yes, I think they should go to hell. Yes I think they are trying to screw him over.
 
2013-11-07 06:48:25 AM  

doglover: Dufus: As a secondary response called by the other department they should not be charging the homeowner.

That's the long and short of it.

If YOU want backup, that's on YOU.


Remember those FF's denied LODD benefits? Now you know why Surprise called for someone else to do overhaul once the fire was knocked down
 
2013-11-07 06:49:32 AM  

Peter von Nostrand: Remember those FF's denied LODD benefits?


Why would Final Fantasy deny Lord of the Devil Dogs benefits to firefighters? That doesn't even make sense.
 
2013-11-07 07:23:53 AM  
Surprise, Arizona, huh?  Surprise, indeed.
 
2013-11-07 07:24:49 AM  

Dufus: .

/served 22 years as a volunteer fireman and never got paid a cent


Is that common? I was talking to a volunteer firefighter the other day and they said they were in fact paid when called into service.
 
2013-11-07 07:29:06 AM  

doglover: Peter von Nostrand: Remember those FF's denied LODD benefits?

Why would Final Fantasy deny Lord of the Devil Dogs benefits to firefighters? That doesn't even make sense.


FF is for "fire fighters."  I think you've got LODD right, though...
 
2013-11-07 07:30:20 AM  
Was the fire chief's name Crassus?
 
2013-11-07 07:30:20 AM  

xanadian: Surprise, Arizona, huh?  Surprise, indeed.


Welcome to Arizona. You will not miss civilization at all.
 
2013-11-07 07:34:45 AM  
Free Market.
 
2013-11-07 07:36:23 AM  
$500 a year for fire coverage?  My local volunteer fire department only charges $75 a year and they have a new fire house and modern equipment.
 
2013-11-07 07:37:12 AM  
Can this also be explained as a weird accounting method?  Let me explain:

Occasionally we will read stories here on Fark where a home burns down and Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, etc. will then send a bill in full for their equipment - so the cable boxes, externally attached conversion boxes on the side of the house, modems, etc. amounting to hundreds if not a couple thousand dollars...

It seems outrageous to send a bill like this to a resident who just lost their home and all their possessions, but the intent is for them to send the bill directly to their own homeowners insurance policy, and let them work it out with the cable provider.

So could that be what is happening here?  Perhaps the rural fire departments/counties lack the resources to chase money down from the insurance companies, so they kick the bill over to the homeowner who is simply supposed to pass said bill to their insurance company?
 
2013-11-07 07:39:17 AM  
If the patient dies, the doctor still gets paid.
 
2013-11-07 07:40:54 AM  

Endive Wombat: Can this also be explained as a weird accounting method?  Let me explain:

Occasionally we will read stories here on Fark where a home burns down and Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, etc. will then send a bill in full for their equipment - so the cable boxes, externally attached conversion boxes on the side of the house, modems, etc. amounting to hundreds if not a couple thousand dollars...

It seems outrageous to send a bill like this to a resident who just lost their home and all their possessions, but the intent is for them to send the bill directly to their own homeowners insurance policy, and let them work it out with the cable provider.

So could that be what is happening here?  Perhaps the rural fire departments/counties lack the resources to chase money down from the insurance companies, so they kick the bill over to the homeowner who is simply supposed to pass said bill to their insurance company?


It states in the article that the bill is not covered by his homeowner's insurance.
 
2013-11-07 07:41:45 AM  

Elegy: FTFA: Surprise firefighters arrived at the house within 13 minutes and it took Rural Metro 24 minutes to arrive after the call. Their the closest firehouse is 20 miles away, Assessing the situation, neighbor Brian Repp said, "They got here late and his house is totally gone. OK. Then they're going to charge him $20,000 and they let his house go.

As best I can tell from this farking trainwreck of a sentence, even if we assume the first responders were sitting in the truck waiting for an emergency call, they still managed to average 93 mph on the way to the scene.


Uh, no. 20 miles in 24 minutes is nowhere near 93 mph. The 20 miles/24 minutes refers to the Rural Metro crew ("their closest firehouse" refers to the closest firehouse manned by Rural Metro, not the closest firehouse - operated by anyone - to the home). There is no mention of the distance that the Surprise crew, which arrived in 13 minutes, traveled.
 
2013-11-07 07:42:39 AM  
Was it Rural/Metro or F&B?

derricklferguson.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-11-07 07:42:40 AM  
Not a problem.  The homeowner just has to show up at the fire station uninvited.  Wash some windows, pick a few weeds out of the lot, and submit a $20,000 cleaning bill.
 
2013-11-07 07:43:30 AM  
They dont live in a fire district. The tax of $2 a year was for volunteer fire districts, which he did not live in. Perhaps the tax should only be changed if you live in one of the districts, but I see nothing asinine about being charged for a service that your area does not provide with taxes and people have to come from other areas to help. Would you prefer no fire station respond and guarantee your house be burned down due to your own fire or a neighbors fire?
 
2013-11-07 07:43:35 AM  

StrikitRich: $500 a year for fire coverage?  My local volunteer fire department only charges $75 a year and they have a new fire house and modern equipment.


These guys are a for profit company.  Thats the difference.
 
2013-11-07 07:43:55 AM  
Sue them for malpractice.
 
2013-11-07 07:44:25 AM  
But at least he is being helped by a good, kindly free market solution instead of an evil government socialism solution. This is true freedom!
 
2013-11-07 07:44:34 AM  

StrikitRich: $500 a year for fire coverage?  My local volunteer fire department only charges $75 a year and they have a new fire house and modern equipment.


You know why they call it a volunteer fire department?
 
2013-11-07 07:45:37 AM  

omnimancer28: Endive Wombat: Can this also be explained as a weird accounting method?  Let me explain:

Occasionally we will read stories here on Fark where a home burns down and Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, etc. will then send a bill in full for their equipment - so the cable boxes, externally attached conversion boxes on the side of the house, modems, etc. amounting to hundreds if not a couple thousand dollars...

It seems outrageous to send a bill like this to a resident who just lost their home and all their possessions, but the intent is for them to send the bill directly to their own homeowners insurance policy, and let them work it out with the cable provider.

So could that be what is happening here?  Perhaps the rural fire departments/counties lack the resources to chase money down from the insurance companies, so they kick the bill over to the homeowner who is simply supposed to pass said bill to their insurance company?

It states in the article that the bill is not covered by his homeowner's insurance.


I understand that.  However, that is not what I am asking here...
 
2013-11-07 07:46:41 AM  
It always amazes me how byzantine the whole covered vs. not covered situations for a homeowners policy and its almost random rules and regs based on different regions of even the same county.

I would be willing to pay a premium to have my homeowners policy with a gold foil stamp certified by the Fed, the Vatican and Hollywood (and whoever else I can think of... maybe a group of Fark Admins) that no matter what happens to my house (other than me intentionally burning it to the ground) I'm covered, no ifs ands or buts.
 
2013-11-07 07:48:10 AM  
Suck it, Randroids.

Going Galt is all fun and games until you need help.
 
2013-11-07 07:48:58 AM  

Jaws_Victim: But at least he is being helped by a good, kindly free market solution instead of an evil government socialism solution. This is true freedom!


Amen. We don't need none of that socialism round here.
 
2013-11-07 07:50:25 AM  

Endive Wombat: Can this also be explained as a weird accounting method?  Let me explain:

Occasionally we will read stories here on Fark where a home burns down and Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, etc. will then send a bill in full for their equipment - so the cable boxes, externally attached conversion boxes on the side of the house, modems, etc. amounting to hundreds if not a couple thousand dollars...

It seems outrageous to send a bill like this to a resident who just lost their home and all their possessions, but the intent is for them to send the bill directly to their own homeowners insurance policy, and let them work it out with the cable provider.

So could that be what is happening here?  Perhaps the rural fire departments/counties lack the resources to chase money down from the insurance companies, so they kick the bill over to the homeowner who is simply supposed to pass said bill to their insurance company?


It is probably like health care.  If you can't negotiate prior they will start high after.  So if you have $10k that 20k bill gets settled.  Maybe if you have $5k they will do a payment plan for the rest or figure something out, and write some of it off.  If that fire bankrupted you (possible) and you pay nothing, they write off the entire 20k.

So say three of these happens and a fair market price would be 2k.  If one person negotiates to 5k and pays it, while the other 2 pay nothing, you have 55k in losses to write off on 5k of profit.

My guess is it has a lot more to do with that type of thing.  When you inflate the numbers like that you turn it all into monopoly money as far as taxes are concerned.
 
2013-11-07 07:51:49 AM  

Fizpez: It always amazes me how byzantine the whole covered vs. not covered situations for a homeowners policy and its almost random rules and regs based on different regions of even the same county.

I would be willing to pay a premium to have my homeowners policy with a gold foil stamp certified by the Fed, the Vatican and Hollywood (and whoever else I can think of... maybe a group of Fark Admins) that no matter what happens to my house (other than me intentionally burning it to the ground) I'm covered, no ifs ands or buts.


Good luck on that.  I don't know if you noticed, but we recently tried to do that with health care insurance.  It really upsets lot of folks ;)
 
2013-11-07 07:52:00 AM  
Tell the FD they can have the house. Good job basement savers.
 
2013-11-07 07:59:59 AM  
RON PAUL!
 
2013-11-07 08:00:40 AM  
readwrite.com
 
2013-11-07 08:02:23 AM  

Bucky Katt: How are all the tax cuts and small government working out for you?


Take a good look at the area, the population density, the tax base, and the average income, and tell us how you could arrange fire coverage better.

Lefties. Full of snark and condencesion, only to reveal themselves as incompetent when in charge.
 
2013-11-07 08:04:43 AM  
Before the incident area residents thought they had fire coverage because they were paying a "fire district assistance tax." But it turns out that that is a countywide tax that funds volunteer fire districts.

That seems rather dishonestly worded. What, exactly, are you getting in return for this "fire district assistance tax"?

/come on guys, don't let me down . . .
 
2013-11-07 08:05:21 AM  

dfenstrate: Bucky Katt: How are all the tax cuts and small government working out for you?

Take a good look at the area, the population density, the tax base, and the average income, and tell us how you could arrange fire coverage better.

Lefties. Full of snark and condencesion, only to reveal themselves as incompetent when in charge.


Taxes exist for a reason.  Things like fire departments are part of that reason.
 
2013-11-07 08:06:18 AM  

dfenstrate: Bucky Katt: How are all the tax cuts and small government working out for you?

Take a good look at the area, the population density, the tax base, and the average income, and tell us how you could arrange fire coverage better.

Lefties. Full of snark and condencesion, only to reveal themselves as incompetent when in charge.


Are you just going to completely ignore the fact a public department DID make it there first and the huge bill is from the guys doing the clean up?
 
2013-11-07 08:06:32 AM  

NutWrench: Before the incident area residents thought they had fire coverage because they were paying a "fire district assistance tax." But it turns out that that is a countywide tax that funds volunteer fire districts.

That seems rather dishonestly worded. What, exactly, are you getting in return for this "fire district assistance tax"?

/come on guys, don't let me down . . .


They got the first responders who showed up and did not charge.
 
2013-11-07 08:10:40 AM  

LeGnome: If the patient dies, the doctor still gets paid.


Just like my vet did after my dog died in 'recovery' last week.  Got the ridiculous Rainbow Bridge sympathy card a few day later.
 
2013-11-07 08:15:50 AM  

Bucky Katt: FTFA: Arizona State Senator Chester Crandell admitted that fire coverage in Arizona's rural areas is a mess, "Having county islands that have no service in, in uh, fireboards that are just packing up and leaving, going bankrupt... It's certainly something that needs to be addressed."

How are all the tax cuts and small government working out for you?


Came here to say this, leaving satisfied.
 
2013-11-07 08:16:01 AM  
I absolutely do not feel sorry for these people. We have morons outside of fire juridiction do this every year. The refuse to buy a fire service subscription and then pay for the cheapest home owners insurance they can which usually does not cover fire damage. Then they scream bloody hell when they have a fire, have it put out, and get charged for it. Fark you people. Fire subscriptions help pay for training, equipment, and staff while allowing you a fairly low rate ($250 a year here) to protect yourself. Not getting it and then biatching when a fire happens is an asshat move.

I'm also laughing the article makes it seem $150 an hour is excessive for the hourly pay. Firefighters have to go through rigirous trainings, keep themselves in shape, work long hours, continue their education and endanger themselves everytime they go out on a call. $150 an hour is fair in my opinion.
 
2013-11-07 08:16:52 AM  
How about you guys privatize police and firefighters and prisons and hospitals and government. Then you reap what you sowed.
 
2013-11-07 08:17:28 AM  

dfenstrate: Bucky Katt: How are all the tax cuts and small government working out for you?

Take a good look at the area, the population density, the tax base, and the average income, and tell us how you could arrange fire coverage better.

Lefties. Full of snark and condencesion, only to reveal themselves as incompetent when in charge.


What's "condencesion"?
 
2013-11-07 08:18:26 AM  

dfenstrate: Bucky Katt: How are all the tax cuts and small government working out for you?

Take a good look at the area, the population density, the tax base, and the average income, and tell us how you could arrange fire coverage better.

Lefties. Full of snark and condencesion, only to reveal themselves as incompetent when in charge.


I grew up in an area where there were more cornfields than people, and we still had a volunteer fire department.

Ron Paul trolls...full of shiat.
 
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