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Firefighters Let Tennessee Home Burn

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Taylor, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Anyone else see this story? I'm stunned. I fully understand the government's perspective and the firefighters' prerogative, but I don't think I could stand idly by with a hose and a truck full of water and watch someone's home burn.

    No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. Tennessee house in ashes after homeowner 'forgot' to pay $75 fee

    Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee.

    Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

    "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.

    The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.

    "We wasn't on their list," he said the operators told him.

    Cranick, who lives outside the city limits, admits he "forgot" to pay the annual $75 fee. The county does not have a county-wide firefighting service, but South Fulton offers fire coverage to rural residents for a fee.

    Cranick says he told the operator he would pay whatever is necessary to have the fire put out.

    His offer wasn't accepted, he said.

    The fire fee policy dates back 20 or so years.

    "Anybody that's not inside the city limits of South Fulton, it's a service we offer. Either they accept it or they don't," said South Fulton Mayor David Crocker.

    Firefighters did eventually show up, but only to fight the fire on the neighboring property, whose owner had paid the fee.

    "They put water out on the fence line out here. They never said nothing to me. Never acknowledged. They stood out here and watched it burn," Cranick said.

    South Fulton's mayor said that the fire department can't let homeowners pay the fee on the spot, because the only people who would pay would be those whose homes are on fire.

    Cranick, who is now living in a trailer on his property, says his insurance policy will help cover some of his lost home.

    "Insurance is going to pay for what money I had on the policy, looks like. But like everything else, I didn't have enough."

    After the blaze, South Fulton police arrested one of Cranick's sons, Timothy Allen Cranick, on an aggravated assault charge, according to WPSD-TV, an NBC station in Paducah, Ky.

    Police told WPSD that the younger Cranick attacked Fire Chief David Wilds at the firehouse because he was upset his father's house was allowed to burn.

    WPSD-TV reported that Wilds was treated and released.

    Read More.​
     
  2. That's a pretty sad situation. The Mayor of South Fulton really should be ashamed, and I hope he doesn't get re-elected. There were better ways to handle this situation.

    I'm not familiar with local and state laws in Tennessee, but in my state the County has the ability to collect the $75 annual fee in local taxes, and apply a lean on the property at the end of the year if it isn't paid. The County gets a small service fee for the collection. This is done with water and sewer utilities. and other local taxes. They could also bill the homeowners for the full cost of responding to the fire, which was probably several thousand dollars, and the attach a lein to the property if it doesn't get paid.

    This type of thing usually happens when the County and Cities don't get along with each other. It's probably all legal, and nothing the homeowners can do about it, but it's still wrong that they can choose which house fire calls to respond to.
     
  3. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    I lived in south fulton tn and fulton ky same city border runs through town lived there 10 years and just moved back to oregon ! laws in tn are messed up as are a lot of the people trust me on this!

    The city officials are very bad!!! The police are worse!! and a lot of the people are not smart enough to do things about it!
    Its actually a very very sad place !
     
  4. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    In my perspective, the government exists for two primary reasons: to execute public services and to provide for the common defense. There are certain public services that should not be relegated to private organizations--one of these services is firefighting.

    The county government, in support of the two responsibilities mentioned above, has a right to levy taxes necessary to provide firefighting services. This is precisely what they should do. If the city is not willing to extend these services, then it is the role of the county or state to ensure that this type of fee is paid.

    I'm still dumbfounded.
     
  5. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    He refused to pay the fee. They refused him service for not paying the fee.

    How is this a difficult concept to grasp?
     
  6. Zezak

    Zezak Guest

    Never trust the government. Anyway, he didn't pay the fee... so they didn't save the house. I, personally, if I was the fire chief... would have saved the house anyway, but that's me and the firefighters should not be faulted.
     
  7. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Firefighting should not be a for-profit venture.
     
  8. Sweety

    Sweety Guest

    firefighter [ˈfaɪəˌfaɪtə]
    n
    a person who fights fires, usually a public employee or trained volunteer

    They shouldn't even call themselves firefighters.
     
  9. BlissMarie

    BlissMarie Lore Keeper
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    Surely you posted this just for the sake of arguing. Just on the small chance that you didn't post it for that purpose, let me try to explain at least some part of it.

    Firefighting is an emergency service.

    m-w.com defines these two words in the following ways:

    EMERGENCY
    1: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action
    2: an urgent need for assistance or relief <the governor declared a state of emergency after the flood>

    SERVICE
    1
    a : the occupation or function of serving <in active service>
    b : employment as a servant <entered his service>
    2
    a : the work performed by one that serves <good service>
    b : help, use, benefit <glad to be of service>
    c : contribution to the welfare of others
    d : disposal for use <I'm entirely at your service>

    There are certain things humans should be prepared (enabled and equipped) to provide to or for other humans, which are not based on cost. It should not depend on a person's willingness or ability to pay.

    A fire emergency is a situation that is best handled by a team of trained men and women. Most places have a team of firefighters in place. They are already trained and already equipped. They wait around just hoping for a fire to happen, so they can jump into action and do what they have been trained to do - fight fires.

    Emergency situations need to be tended to as each emergency arises. If lives and property are at stake, action needs to be taken immediately in order to resolve the situation as best and as quickly as possible.

    Money should not be a factor.

    Most areas that can put together a firefighting team, can figure out a way to keep it functioning financially. There are lots of things that can be done, including seeing that laws are in place that enable emergency service providers to recoup expenses after the emergency has been dealt with.

    Morally, acting to help people in emergency situations is the right thing to do. For people who are trained and equipped to fight fires to stand by and watch a home burn to the ground, is ethically wrong.

    Some people do have poor morals and lousy ethics. I hope you aren't really and truly like that deep inside. I hope the things you say are just posted for the shock value.

    BlissMarie

    Afterthoughts:
    I should mention that I am not saying the group of firefighters who who were at this Tennessee home were wrong. I would imagine they were chomping at the bits to get in there and battle that blaze. They have to follow orders though and from what I can tell they did have orders not to fight that fire. It's an awful situation.
     
  10. No, he posted it to be a Troll, just like his other 14,134 posts. Some people forget to eat their vegetables as a kid, or didn't chew them properly if he did.

    Unfortunately, this isn't the way governments act in real life. We complain about our federal government, but local gioernment is often worse. I work directly with over 40 local governments in my state.. and well, this sort of thing just isn't uncommon. Doing the right thing just doesn't seem to be common sense.

    And governments do not have the "right" to levy taxes to provide firefighting. It has to be voted upon. Now, there are ways to get around that - for example those services can be contracted and taken out of the general fund rather than a budget line item.

    It's jsut a sad, sad situation.
     
  11. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    Yes, if I disagree, I must be a troll. It couldn't possibly be that you are absolutely wrong about the topic.

    No wait, that's what it is.
     
  12. Sweety

    Sweety Guest

    I did some more research on this topic and came across some things that made me angry.

    I want to feel sorry for this guy because he lost everything including three dogs and a cat . But apparently it took 2 hours for the fire to get to his house. During those 2 hours he could have at least got his pets out of the house. Ya, you could say he was convinced they would put it out, but that just makes him even more stupid and ignorant. Why the heck would you leave your pets in the house to burn?
    Whole lot of dumb going around that day.

    I can't really take a side either way on this incident, other than that policy is wack and that town is stupid. Grrrr...

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/tennessee-firefighters-watch-home-burn/
     
  13. simonovsk

    simonovsk Lore Master
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    I take the pet's side, as always, and my opinion is that the home owner could have at least shot the pets before leaving the house.
     
  14. Zin

    Zin Guest

    No emergency. Nobody died. Just objects were burning because someone didn't pay for the insurance.

    Now... If there was a person in the building and they showed up and didn't get them out... You'd have a point. Otherwise... *shrugs*

    I see this as the same thing as flood insurance. If you don't get it, and there is a flood... You just lost your stuff and get nothing back for it.

    Now... I've said much more on this topic... Just not here. However I don't believe calling Aran a troll when he actually has a valid point is a good thing to do. So....
     
  15. Mad Mim

    Mad Mim Adventurer
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    I googled the firefighter's creed, and Firefighter Code of Ethics, this is what I found. I also did find the creed for TN.
    Rather shameful *shakes head*

    The International Association of Fire Fighters, in its Manual of Common Procedure and Related Subjects, contains this code which helps union firefighters uniformly remember their career mission and goals.



    As a firefighter and member of the International Association of Fire Fighters, my fundamental duty is to serve humanity; to safeguard and preserve life and property against the elements of fire and disaster; and maintain a proficiency in the art and science of fire engineering.

    I will uphold the standards of my profession, continually search for new and improved methods and share my knowledge and skills with my contemporaries and descendants.

    I will never allow personal feelings, nor danger to self, deter me from my responsibilities as a firefighter.

    I will at all times, respect the property and rights of all men and women, the laws of my community and my country, and the chosen way of life of my fellow citizens.

    I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the fire service. I will constantly strive to achieve the objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession--saving of life, fire prevention and fire suppression.

    As a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters, I accept this self-imposed and self-enforced obligation as my responsibility.
     
  16. Kiminality

    Kiminality Guest

    While I don't agree with the "letting it burn" thing, it could be argued that they were within the law to not put out the fire of someone who hadn't paid for the service. Especially when you consider the firefighting equipment is government property.
     
  17. Zin

    Zin Guest

    Yeah?

    Rather shameful *shakes head*