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Old 03-23-2006, 09:23 AM  
C-Mac C-Mac is offline
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Rural firefighters take pass on battling flames at nonpaying residence

http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs...ING01/60216004
Rural firefighters take pass on battling flames at nonpaying residence

Associated Press

Monett, Mo.
Rural firefighters stood by and watched a fire destroy a garage and a vehicle because the property owner, who was injured battling the flames, had not paid membership dues.
Monett Rural Fire Department Chief Ronnie Myers defended the policy, saying the membership-based organization could not survive if people thought the department would respond for free. The department said it will fight a fire without question if a life is believed to be in danger.
Myers said he would make an effort to explain the membership policy to the area's new Hispanic residents after the property's owner, Bibaldo Rueda, said he had never been told of the dues policy since moving there 1 1/2 years ago.
According to Barry County Sheriff's Detective Robert Evenson, the fire broke out Monday on four acres owned by Rueda south of Monett, about 50 miles southwest of Springfield.
Four mobile homes and a number of vehicles were on the property. Rueda managed to get one mobile home out of the way, using a garden hose and buckets, but was burned in the process, Evenson said.
Monett Rural Fire Department responded to the scene but did not fight the fire. Firefighters stood by from the road as the fire burned itself out, watching in case the flames spread to neighboring properties owned by members.
"People need to realize you've got to become a member. If you live outside the city limits, you need to join one of the rural fire departments", Myers said.
Rueda offered to pay, Evenson said, but the Monett department does not have a policy for on-the-spot billing.
Nearby Cassville and Mt. Vernon have gone to tax-supported rural fire districts, following a public vote, wherein all fires are fought.
Rural Monett members have not been asked to choose between memberships and tax support, though they came out strongly against a proposed Aurora Rural Bi-County Fire Protection District, which was voted down in 2001.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:26 AM   #2
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It sounds harsh, but the idea of a rural fire department is that everyone chips in to pay for the equipment and maintenance and stuff. If everybody could pay only when they needed the service, the service wouldn't exist in the first place.

Either pay the dues or keep a bunch of buckets handy.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:27 AM   #3
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Unreal. I understand the policy, but I can't imagine having that much disregard for others.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:27 AM   #4
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Hmmm,victim was of Hispanic background.
Doubt that would had any bearing on the matter.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man
It sounds harsh, but the idea of a rural fire department is that everyone chips in to pay for the equipment and maintenance and stuff. If everybody could pay only when they needed the service, the service wouldn't exist in the first place.

Either pay the dues or keep a bunch of buckets handy.
He did offer to pay once he knew he was supposed to.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:30 AM   #6
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Compassion at work again...
damn tree huggers.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:31 AM   #7
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They drove out there, and just watched?

I'm pretty mixed on this. I understand the fiscal side of it, but at the same time I would hope that human compassion would play a role in all of this. Seems kind of cold to just let a man's shit burn to the ground.

There was a time in this country when neighbors would have been hauling buckets without a thought of money or the effort they were putting forth.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
They drove out there, and just watched?

I'm pretty mixed on this. I understand the fiscal side of it, but at the same time I would hope that human compassion would play a role in all of this. Seems kind of cold to just let a man's shit burn to the ground.

There was a time in this country when neighbors would have been hauling buckets without a thought of money or the effort they were putting forth.
You are correct, its a sad state of affairs. Reminds me of the old days in the south.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:38 AM   #9
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I wasn't aware there were still rual residents paying for fire services. I was on a volunteer fire dept. growing upin Kansas in the late 70's. We switched from a resident volunteer pay to a county wide tax that covered this.

Matter of fact , I was under the understanding that all county residents were to be taxed in the country by the year 1980 if I recall.

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Old 03-23-2006, 09:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Mac
He did offer to pay once he knew he was supposed to.
Well, yeah, once he needed the service. But fire protection by definition isn't a pay-as-you-need-it kind of deal.

The only other option on this would be for the fire department to have a form that gives them a lien on the property if the guy doesn't pay them some penalty amount. You could either charge the guy for this fire "and the next one's free" as long as he pays his dues, or you can offer "pay on the spot" for a price of twenty times the amount of paying up front.

Fire trucks aren't free.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man
It sounds harsh, but the idea of a rural fire department is that everyone chips in to pay for the equipment and maintenance and stuff. If everybody could pay only when they needed the service, the service wouldn't exist in the first place.

Either pay the dues or keep a bunch of buckets handy.
Yeah, I agree. If there's no danger to a person or to it spreading anyway. You can't have a membership fire department when people know that if they don't pay the fire department will still show up.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Mac
Four mobile homes and a number of vehicles were on the property. Rueda managed to get one mobile home out of the way, using a garden hose and buckets, but was burned in the process, Evenson said.
Ok, let me get this straight. So this guys is, what, a landlord for Hispanics who probably work at a chicken processing plant. It's certainly questionable whether he's fluent in English enough to understand the fire dept dues.

So the guy tries to save 4 mobile homes, get burned in the process, and the firefighters sit around and watch. Enjoy church next Sunday, you hypocrite f****.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:45 AM   #13
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In the town where I live (Oklahoma) we have $35 fire dues every year. If you don't pay those fire dues and you have to make a call to the Volunteer Fire Dept. it costs you $500. They will put out the fire, but you are charged a lot more. I can't imagine them just watching it burn.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittsie
Enjoy church next Sunday, you hypocrite f****.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittsie
Ok, let me get this straight. So this guys is, what, a landlord for Hispanics who probably work at a chicken processing plant. It's certainly questionable whether he's fluent in English enough to understand the fire dept dues.

So the guy tries to save 4 mobile homes, get burned in the process, and the firefighters sit around and watch. Enjoy church next Sunday, you hypocrite f****.

he didnt get burned bad and he spoke fluent english.

Lawerance county has had some nice methlab fires where firefighters have gotten hurt and equipment destroyed.
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