Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Firefighters refuse to help man who didn't pay his fee

This has to be the most ridiculous story I've read recently.

Let me set up the story for you. Every year, residents living in the rural area of Obion County must pay a $75 fee for fire fighter service from South Fulton. As you'd expect, this family did not pay the fee that year, for reasons I don't know.

Well, as you can probably assume at this point, their house caught fire and they called 911. "Didn't pay your fee? Whoops, talk to you later!" That's basically the response he got.
This fire went on for hours because garden hoses just wouldn't put it out. It wasn't until that fire spread to a neighbor's property, that anyone would respond.

Turns out, the neighbor had paid the fee.

"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.
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. 
So, let's get this straight. They denied coming to help him because he didn't pay the fee. Harsh. A short while later, the fire spread to the neighbors house. Then they came to the neighbors house to put out the fire, and continued to ignore the Cranicks' burning house.

Their response seems so ridiculously morally incorrect that it honestly upsets me. Over $75 measly dollars, they refused to come and save a man's residence from burning down. Then, even after they arrived on the scene to help the neighbors' houses, they still refused to help him. Are you shitting me? What happened to civic duty? How about instead of making it optional, you just tax them $75 a year so we don't have these situations? How about instead of refusing to put out a fire, you fine someone $300 if they didn't pay the $75 fee? How about instead of letting a family's residence and possessions get destroyed in a fire over $75, you just help them out because it's the right thing to do? How important is $75 to you that you are willing to risk the obvious media, community, and political backlash? It's so stupid that I can't fathom their thought process.
To give you an idea of just how intense the feelings got in this situation, soon after the fire department returned to the station, the Obion County Sheriff's Department said someone went there and assaulted one of the firefighters.
Good for you.

[Full story via WPSD]

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