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Mo. Firefighters Refuse to Help Non-Member

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  • Mo. Firefighters Refuse to Help Non-Member

    Anyone know anything about this other than this blurb?

    Mo. Firefighters Refuse to Help Non-Member


    This looks real good for us.
    Truth is weirder than any fiction I've seen.
    -- Hunter S. Thompson

    I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

  • #2
    This does look horrible but as much as I hate to say it, the homeowner knew he had to pay for the service. It should of came as no surprise when they refused to put it out.
    FTM - PTB

    Comment


    • #3
      I wonder why there are still subscription fire departments around today -- you'd figure if they have enough people subscribing, they'd have enough people willing to vote to form a district.

      If less than 50% of your area subscribes, that's not a lot of property being protected...if more than 50%, why not use that base to vote for a fire district?

      Is it something where a County Commission or similiar body has to create it and they're the resistant ones?

      That said, these are the cases I don't have a lot of sympathy for -- if you don't pay subscription fees, if you don't want your property annexed into a fire district...so sad, too bad if the property is lost. Hopefully it translates into action to form a taxing district.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dalmatian190
        That said, these are the cases I don't have a lot of sympathy for -- if you don't pay subscription fees, if you don't want your property annexed into a fire district...so sad, too bad if the property is lost. Hopefully it translates into action to form a taxing district.
        I also have little sympathy...those are the rules they chose to live by...they must accept the consequences of not paying for the service.

        My only semi-related experience was in a former dept where a thunderstorm had just blew through the city and on the tail end a stray bolt of lightening ignited a wood shake roof on a house. And if you aren't familiar with wood shake roof fires...they will go from a small fire to the entire roof in about the time it took you to read this paragraph.

        Now this house sat in a small 4 block subdivision surounded by our city....technically they were protected by the county fire department. (Who's closest Engine would arrive 3rd due normally after us.) They refused to be annexed because they didn't want to pay the city taxes.

        Our 1st Due Engine was occupied at another fire and my company showed up 1st due when we are normally assigned 2nd. Well this pompus windbag homeowner is now yelling at us as we are hooking up to the hydrant in his front yard. "WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?!" WHY DON'T YOU DO SOMETHING AND PUT OUT MY FIRE!!!" ....etc.

        We brush him off and do what we need to do. Needless to say it was explained to him later that he doesn't even pay for our services so he should shut it and be grateful we are there to begin with as we showed up long before the other county dept. A short time later the neighborhood chose to be anexed.

        There is no free lunch in this world, you get what you pay for.
        Last edited by FFFRED; 02-16-2006, 08:17 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FFFRED
          I also have little sympathy...those are the rules they chose to live by...they must accept the consequences of not paying for the service.
          I agree.


          Originally posted by FFFRED
          My only semi-related experience was in a former dept where a thunderstorm had just blew through the city and on the tail end a stray bolt of lightening ignited a wood shake roof on a house. And if you aren't familiar with wood shake roof fires...they will go from a small fire to the entire roof in about the time it took you to read this paragraph.
          When I was rookie cleaning the horse hooves an older captain pointed to a shake roof and asked me "rook, do you know what the difference is between an attic fire and roof fire?" I nodded in the negative. The captain replied, "about 30 seconds".


          Originally posted by FFFRED
          Now this house sat in a small 4 block subdivision surounded by our city....technically they were protected by the county fire department. (Who's closest Engine would arrive 3rd due normally after us.) They refused to be annexed because they didn't want to pay the city taxes.

          Our 1st Due Engine was occupied at another fire and my company showed up 1st due when we are normally assigned 2nd. Well this pompus windbag homeowner is now yelling at us as we are hooking up to the hydrant in his front yard. "WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?!" WHY DON'T YOU DO SOMETHING AND PUT OUT MY FIRE!!!" ....etc.

          We brush him off and do what we need to do. Needless to say it was explained to him later that he doesn't even pay for our services so he should shut it and be grateful we are there to begin with as we showed up long before the other county dept. A short time later the neighborhood chose to be anexed.

          There is no free lunch in this world, you get what you pay for.
          I am told anecdotally this same thing happened with the Phoenix FD with the citizens of Scottsdale. Scottsdale had Rural Metro with its delivery being horrible and it counted on Phoenix's mutual aid. And one day Phoenix FD stated they would no longer provide service to Scottsdale since it was a one way ticket. Only send units to the city limit to ensure structures in Phoenix were protected. And homes in Scottsdale burned while Phoenix units watched after ensuring there was no life safety issues in the structures. Does anyone know if that is true?
          Truth is weirder than any fiction I've seen.
          -- Hunter S. Thompson

          I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would say that if the department is hard up enough they need to rely on subscription then you dont pay ....tough luck. We always say that the people will pay the amount of protection they want. So...................to darn bad I say ...........
            Last edited by Weruj1; 02-16-2006, 11:10 PM.
            IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
            Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
            ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
            RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
            LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
            I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
            "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
            http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

            Comment


            • #7
              This is another article (same one I posted in the Strategy and Tactics thread) about the incident from a local paper, The Cassville Democrat.

              Fire destroys Monett repair shop By Lindsay Reed

              An auto maintenance and repair shop building, which was located outside of Monett on Farm Road 1090, was completely lost in a fire on Feb. 13.

              Bibaldo Rueda, who owns the damaged building, was using a wood heater to warm the inside of the shop building. After a few minutes, Rueda noticed smoke behind the heater and found that some pieces of cardboard behind the heater had ignited.

              Rueda clled the Monett Rural Fire Department at around 1 p.m. Firefighters arrived on scene 15 minutes later, but when the learned that Rueda was not a member of the fire department, they did not help extinguish the fire.

              "The fire department was here but they didn't do anything," said Rueda. "They said I needed a membership."

              "Our fire department is a member-based department," said Ronnie Myers, Monett Rural Fire Department fire chief. "If you are not a member, we can not help you fight a fire unless it is life threatening. Then we will go in and get the person out."

              The Monett Rural Fire Department has between 1,100 and 1,200 members. According to the membership office, those numbers are low compared to the number of households within the fire department district.

              Rueda said that he was unaware of the Monett Rural Fire Department's membership requirement.

              "We put information about the membership requirement out in the paper," said Myers. "We sit at Wal-Mart two or three times a year. We sit on Main Street during October Fest."

              Myers said he hopes when new people move into the Monett area neighbors will contact each other with information about the requirement.

              "Several times I sai I would pay the fees or just send me a bill," said Rueda.

              According to the Monett Rural Fire Department membership office, firefighters cannot accept membership fees after a fire has started.

              With the help of friends and family, Rueda used buckets of water and garden hoses to keep the fire from spreading to a nearby mobile home. He was burned on the left side of his face while trying to contain the fire.

              "The fire department stayed an hour just watching," said Rueda. "A lot of things could have been saved."

              As Rueda fought the fire, a member of the Monett Rural Fire Department contacted the Barry County Sheriff's office.

              "They called the sheriff because they thought we were mad, but we just wanted help," said Rueda.

              Detective Robert Evenson, with the Barry County Sheriff's Department, and Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper John Luekenhoff were dispatched to the scene at around 1:25 p.m.

              "When I got there the firefighters were in the street watching it burn," said Evenson. "They (Rueda's family and friends) are the only reason the trailer didn't burn up. They didn't get a bit of help from the Monett Rural Fire Department."

              Evenson was surprised to learn that the Monett Rural Frie Department would not fight the fire because Rueda was not a member of the department.

              "They said their by-laws would not let them help unless the property owner had a membership," said Evenson.

              When Luekenhoff was leaving the property, Evenson heared a member of the Monett Rural Fire Department state that the department would help the officer under the same circumstances.

              "He said, 'John, if this was your house, we would put it out whether you had a membership or not,'" said Evenson. "That comment was inappropriate."

              Myers said he was unaware of the statement.

              Rueda, who was uninsured lost around $30,000 worth of cars and equipment in the fire.

              Comment


              • #8
                I also have little sympathy...those are the rules they chose to live by...they must accept the consequences of not paying for the service.
                Well, the man stated he didn't know about the policy. For departments who operate like this, how are new members of the community notified of the requirement? If someone moves into a community that has a department like this, how do they know? Is there a system set up to identify new citizens automatically and make them aware of the situation by sending a notice or something?
                Member IACOJ

                Comment


                • #9
                  "We put information about the membership requirement out in the paper," said Myers. "We sit at Wal-Mart two or three times a year. We sit on Main Street during October Fest."
                  Myers said he hopes when new people move into the Monett area neighbors will contact each other with information about the requirement.
                  I'm sorry, but that's just not good enough in my opinion.
                  Member IACOJ

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My biggest problem with this is the last few paragraphs of the article. This department has in the past fought non-member fires if the owner was a buddy of a board member or someone else of importance.

                    I'll agree with you Nozzleman, and even go as far as to say most of the departments in our area don't do a good enough job of educating the public on the membership requirements. Which is why most departments will fight non-member fires and bill them. State law actually classifies failure to pay as a Class A Misdeameanor (not much I know, but it's better than nothing) and requires the insurance to put the FD's name on the check along with the owners to help insure payment. We can bill up to $100 for responding + the membership fee + $500 per hour of operations.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok...so I'd assume Wal-Mart is self-insured...

                      But if you're in an area with enough infrastructure to support Wal-Mart...cripes, between adding in everyone who doesn't subscribe now plus taxes on commercial buildings...if it's $65/year to subscribe to the FD, what would it be with a tax district? $20/parcel for a minimal funded department like they have? $65/parcel and almost a decently funded department?

                      And what the &@#$ would their ISO rating be? "Um, it's a 10 if you don't pay, a 5 if you do..."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        well if they passed laws letting these areas tax (in check of course), not one homeowner or FD would be put into this spot. its a shame depts have to "sell" their services to cover expenses, but if you don't pay, you are rolling the dice. Since insurance companies can lobby for seat belt laws, lobby for taxable fire districts.

                        For a country that has some of the most advanced training, equipment and tactics in the civilized world, its a shame a dept has to operate this way...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Catch22
                          "Several times I sai I would pay the fees or just send me a bill," said Rueda.

                          According to the Monett Rural Fire Department membership office, firefighters cannot accept membership fees after a fire has started.
                          right, because if they did allow that, no one would bother to pay the fees. they would just offer to pay if they needed the service. they put ads i the paper, had a stand at walmart, and told people about it at octoberfest. what do you want, every new resident gets a personal phone call and visit from a volunteer FF explaining how they work?
                          Originally posted by Catch22
                          Rueda, who was uninsured lost around $30,000 worth of cars and equipment in the fire.
                          and yet, I have little sympathy. what he should have done was while the fire was burning, called his insurance company and set up a policy, to cover all of his stuff. this way after the fire, the company would write him a check to replace the damaged stuff.
                          If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

                          FF/EMT/DBP

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            well if they passed laws letting these areas tax (in check of course),

                            There are fire districts in Missouri.

                            So the question is why haven't the citizens in this area voted to form one, or does another political body (like a county commission) need to form it?

                            The laws are in place however to form a taxing district...I just don't know the mechanism there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              THIS IS CRAZY!!!! I know its expensive to maintain equipment and the other things that go with the service but WHAT IN THE WORLD is the fire service coming to. The first thing I learned in the academy was FIRE SUPRESSION was our FIRST duty. Its not about money its about SERVICE to the community!
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