By now, I am sure most of you have read about the firefighters in Tennessee who allowed a house to burn to the ground because the owners did not pay the Fire Protection Subscription Fee.
You get what you pay for!
Guess what happens if I don’t pay my electricity bill? Water Bill? Telephone Bill? That’s right…they discontinue service.
That is exactly what happened here.
The fire occurred in Obion County (rural Tennessee). The County does not have their own fire department. South Fulton, a nearby City, does have a fire department. South Fulton offers fire protection (Fire Protection District) outside the city limits for a fee. That fee…a whooping $75 a year.
The owner of the house states he forgot to pay the bill.
Here is the catch…Even after calling 911, the homeowner agreed to pay the $75 fee. However, that is against South Fulton’s policy because no one would pay the fee unless their home caught fire.
This situation is a black eye for the fire service. The fault lies with the homeowners for not paying the $75 fee. However, the public will not view it as such. The media is also jumping on the band wagon…saying that the homeowner is the victim. The only thing that failed here was the homeowner not paying the fee. Everything else operated as it should.
Kieth Olbermann likens this to A la Carte Government…something new to come in the future. Actually, this has been going on for years. As a matter of fact, this is how fire departments were initially formed.
There are solutions for this situation.
- Make the $75 fee mandatory and attach it to a bill they have to pay.
- Form Volunteer Fire Departments in Obion County.
- Have Obion County pay an overall subscription fee to South Fulton covering everyone.
- Pay your bill
So many people are pointing the finger towards the fire department. Once again, they fail to look at policies. This is bigger than the fire department. If someone wants to change the policies they need to look to the South Fulton City Government.
What do you think?