In Obion County, Tennessee, Gene Cranick, forgot to pay his yearly $75 fee to support the local fire department.  A bush nearby his house caught fire, later engulfing his house in flames.  When he called to have the fire dept. put out the fire, they informed him they wouldn't come out because the fire was not life-threatening.  It wasn't until the neighbors house became in danger(they paid the $75) that the fire dept. came to the scene.

Gene Cranick even told the fire dept. that he would pay  whatever it cost to have them come out.  He said, "I just forgot to pay my $75," he said. "I did it last year, the year before...It slipped my mind."

This devastating tragedy left the Cranick's house to burn to the ground and took the lives of their three dogs.

"So upset by the situation, Cranick’s son Timothy sought out the fire chief and punched him, according to police. He was charged with aggravated assault."

Now, I understand that in rural areas where there is a larger area for the fire dept. to cover, they need extra funds in order to run their stations.  I also understand that if the fire department came out to the put the fires out at homes who did not pay the annual fee, that no one would pay the fee in the future.  However, I think it's just wrong to require residents to pay for emergency services.  I feel like this situation never works, and there will always be the outliers who are too poor, or forgetful or just don't care about paying that extra $75 a year for the fire department.  There is a time and a place for privatization of public services, and emergency services is not one of them.

What do you think?

Read the full story here: newyorkdaily

    Carla Schechter

    Part-time superhero.  Currently unemployed.


    October 2010
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