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Movies => Press Releases and Film News => Topic started by: dean on October 07, 2010, 12:58:14 AM



Title: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: dean on October 07, 2010, 12:58:14 AM

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8100891/crews-not-blamed-for-letting-house-burn (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8100891/crews-not-blamed-for-letting-house-burn)


Quote
A US man is furious after firefighters stood by and watched his house burn down because they had not paid a $75 fee.


I find this situation utterly reprehensible.  A fire breaks out and the firefighters are told not to help all because of a $75 fee that wasn't paid by the home-owners.  Even after they desperately tried to offer more than 5 times as much for help in desperation as their home burns down.  The firefighters came, but only to put out the fire at the neighbours who did pay their fee...

This is an example where common sense and duty just failed...

I understand that the firefighters were told not to help due to regulations, but come on, common sense: you're there to put out fires, not let them burn...  They may have gotten a reprimand from the higher ups, but in the court of public opinion I can't imagine why any of them would have got in trouble for saving the house, especially since they were right there and could have!

The fact that this was all due to a small $75 fee makes it all the more ridiculous.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Newt on October 07, 2010, 06:11:15 AM
Isn't that along the lines of what the fire services in ancient Rome were said to have done?  Stand and watch unless/until fees were paid?


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: dean on October 07, 2010, 08:21:00 AM
Isn't that along the lines of what the fire services in ancient Rome were said to have done?  Stand and watch unless/until fees were paid?

Well the difference is that they were offered money, but still didn't help.  I understand the need to have an 'out of town' fee for people who live out of the way, but still...

I can't help but feel that this is a dangerous practice: just imagine if someone was trapped in the house, would they still have said no? 


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Mr_Vindictive on October 07, 2010, 09:19:42 AM
I'm going to have to be the dissenting view here.  The fact stands that these people did not pay the $75 fee that was required.  It's not like it was something new, it had been in place for a while.  The didn't pay for fire service, therefore they didn't get any.

I see people abuse emergency services EVERY SINGLE DAY in my line of work.  If this man's house was not worth $75 to him, then he shouldn't be complaining now.  The house was unoccupied at the time.  The owner's son was burning trash much too close to the house.  All of this could have been avoided if they would have just paid the $75.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Jim H on October 07, 2010, 11:24:57 AM
I'm going to have to be the dissenting view here.  The fact stands that these people did not pay the $75 fee that was required.  It's not like it was something new, it had been in place for a while.  The didn't pay for fire service, therefore they didn't get any.

I see people abuse emergency services EVERY SINGLE DAY in my line of work.  If this man's house was not worth $75 to him, then he shouldn't be complaining now.  The house was unoccupied at the time.  The owner's son was burning trash much too close to the house.  All of this could have been avoided if they would have just paid the $75.

Fires are a public safety hazard, and should be paid for with property taxes, etc.  There shouldn't be anything optional about being covered by the fire department in any area.  That's the real issue here.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: 3mnkids on October 07, 2010, 12:11:08 PM
Refusing to take his money at the scene was pure vindictiveness. They should be ashamed. They could have charged him more than the standard 75. They could have taken him to small claims court and tried to recoup whatever expenses they were out or they could have went to his home owners insurance(if he has any).

What you do not do is stand by and let it burn. Ridiculous.  :thumbdown:


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Pilgermann on October 07, 2010, 01:32:29 PM
I also think it's stupid and petty.  Why couldn't they just take care of the fire and tack on some sort of additional fee for late payment or something?  The article did mention that three puppies belonging to the man's grandchildren died in the fire.  It's a good thing that there weren't people inside (if there were I would hope they'd ignore any late fees) but that's still pretty cruel.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Sister Grace on October 07, 2010, 03:17:22 PM
This happened not too far from where I live and it's not the first time something like this has happened. Do these people have no soul? How can you stand back and watch someone's house burn over $75?


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: trekgeezer on October 07, 2010, 04:38:02 PM
I agree with this guy's point of view.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/stimulus/2010/oct/7/burning-down-house-beck-and-olbermann-are-both-wro/


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Umaril The Unfeathered on October 07, 2010, 08:24:35 PM
l totally agree with the majority of you: this was absolutely unnecessary, and
totally irresponsible, even moreso in the face of a a neighbor who was willing to pay for the protection of his fellow neighbor's home. 

Of most of the things that have gone on in recent times, this is the most
prominent example of total ignorance towards the plight of another person that
I've ever heard.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Andrew on October 08, 2010, 06:41:47 AM
Fires are a public safety hazard, and should be paid for with property taxes, etc.  There shouldn't be anything optional about being covered by the fire department in any area.  That's the real issue here.


I agree.  This shouldn't have been a tax or fee that can just fall through the crack.  Also, I believe everyone expects property taxes and there are systems in place to create penalties if they are not paid.  I imagine that there must be a lot of homeowners in that area who are not paying the fire protection fee.  Perhaps this was the firefighters' way of scaring all of those who are delinquent.  Still, allowing the house to burn because of this doesn't seem like it was in the best interest of the community.

I agree with this guy's point of view.

[url]http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/stimulus/2010/oct/7/burning-down-house-beck-and-olbermann-are-both-wro/[/url]


I agree with most of what he said, and believe he is advocating the same as Jim's comment:  this fee should be part of the local taxes.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: trekgeezer on October 08, 2010, 07:18:23 AM
I live in rural area and our fire protection is one of the items on our property tax statement.

I think the situation in this case is that these people live outside the city limits where property taxes go towards fire protection , thus they pay a fee because they don't pay property tax.

This doesn't morally excuse them from letting the house burn.  I have seen this scenario before.

Our fire department is all volunteers and sometimes they must have fund raisers to pay for new equipment. I'm always as generous as possible, but I know there are a lot of folks who don't help out. 


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: dean on October 08, 2010, 08:36:31 AM

I completely understand the need for a fee, don't get me wrong.  Especially since this property sounds like a rural area, and they're always short on volunteers/funding.

I just find it really dumb that they're right there, and are bound by rules and regulation telling them not to help.  Even though they're RIGHT THERE!   :hatred:

I guess I'm more annoyed by a stupid system that would rather a house burn down over a $75 bill than save it.

I suppose I compare this to the ambulance service here: you can pay for private health insurance which gives you ambulance cover, or you could join the ambulance's service for a nominal fee, or if you don't join and need an ambulance, they slap you with a large bill to pay after the fact. 

The same could easily be applied here, and completely negates the argument the writer in trek's linked article [in that if you can pay for something after the fact, what's the point of insurance.]  Well maybe not completely, but it certainly eliminates the idea that NO MATTER WHAT, the house isn't getting saved.  I'd much rather that option be on the table rather than punish those who forget/don't pay.

Make the bill large, not prohibitive, but large enough that most people would rather not risk it and pay their $75 fee.  To those who don't, well they have the option: let it burn or be prepared to pay a large bill after your house is saved.

I don't know, would that work?


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Umaril The Unfeathered on October 08, 2010, 03:30:09 PM
I just find it really dumb that they're right there, and are bound by rules and regulation telling them not to help.  Even though they're RIGHT THERE!
   :hatred:

I guess I'm more annoyed by a stupid system that would rather a house burn down over a $75 bill than save it.
 

Indeed. The system has truly failed  :bluesad:

Imagine if the police were in question and not firefighters.  Would they just stand there and allow a house to be broken in, or be prohibited from taking action against a home invader because someone didn't pay the fee for their services?


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Dr. Frank N. Furter on October 09, 2010, 03:35:19 PM
 I guess the firefighters were "just following orders" or "It was just policy".

 One thing that's sad about modern america is so many people just fall into submission when they hear the holy word "Policy".


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on October 09, 2010, 04:04:00 PM
Isn't that along the lines of what the fire services in ancient Rome were said to have done?  Stand and watch unless/until fees were paid?

Sorta. The richest man in Rome during the first century B.C. was a man named Marcus Linicius Crassus, who maintained a private fire fighting company of 500 men. And when a fire broke out in Rome, these firefighters would show up at the fire, but they would only agree to fight the fire, if the property owner sold the property to Crassus at a reduced price. Which the property owner normally would do, as it was either that or watch his property burn down to nothing, which would net him nothing.

Marcus Linicius Crassus is also the man who finally defeated Spartacus and his army of mostly slaves, and he can be seen in 1960's "Spartacus," where he is portrayed by actor Lord Laurence Olivier.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Pennywise on October 09, 2010, 06:49:31 PM
There is no excuse for firefighters choosing not to fight a fire. Public safety and trust in the people who we entrust it with should never have a dollar amount that must be paid personally. It should be paid for with tax dollars, which is what I thought it was in the first place.

The immediate termination of these firefighters and their superiors is needed to restore the image of firefighters in that community and maintain the trust of the people.


Title: Re: Firefighters let house burn due to late fee [or how the system fails, again]
Post by: Umaril The Unfeathered on October 11, 2010, 03:57:47 PM
There is no excuse for firefighters choosing not to fight a fire. Public safety and trust in the people who we entrust it with should never have a dollar amount that must be paid personally. It should be paid for with tax dollars, which is what I thought it was in the first place.

The immediate termination of these firefighters and their superiors is needed to restore the image of firefighters in that community and maintain the trust of the people.

 :thumbup: :cheers:  :thumbup:

Sadly, terminating them won't change the law. The law has to be changed.  But, your opinion is a good start.

At best, in lieu of firing, take a monetary amount equal to the value of the house out of the pension of the guy responsible for it. Hell, take all of it and give it to the people in a punitive measure, to let them know this will not be tolerated, and it will NOT happen a second time.