Worst Persons

Worst Persons in the World

Once again, the South Fulton, Tennessee fire department and Mayor David Crocker who allowed another house to burn down simply because the homeowner had failed to pay their "subscription fee."

“In an emergency, the first thing you think of, ‘Call 9-1-1,” homeowner Vicky Bell said.

Firefighters came out. Bell said, “9-1-1 said they were in fact dispatched and they showed that they were on the scene.” But once on the scene, they only watched. “You could look out my mom’s trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance,” Bell said. For Bell, that sight was almost as disturbing as the fire itself. “We just wished we could’ve gotten more out,” Bell said.

The firefighters sat there and watched the house burn to the ground.

Shockingly horrible people.

And this has happened before.

  • Chachizel

    What’s really crazy is I can’t believe that this is the America that these loons want. They are truly despicable.

  • Some facts (from Wikipedia)

    According to the 2000 census “The per capita income for the county was $17,409. About 10.10% of families and 13.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 15.10% of those age 65 or over.”

    We’re not dealing with a rich county here. I’m fairly sure that the per capita income number was far lower than the national average. It’s possible that the county simply cannot raise enough revenue to meaningfully provide services to its residents.

    Searching the web, neither Obion County nor South Fulton have functional web sites. South Fulton, where the fires occurred, adjoins the Kentucky border. The town of Fulton, which is basically the same town on the north side of the border, looks larger than South Fulton on a map. I’m sure that the taxing problems associated with having half the city in another state do not help with providing services either.

    Bob is right that part of this is a moral question, but even his example of the doctor (which has been part of our law for quite some time), entitles the doctor to be compensated for services rendered.

  • The better policy would be to put out fires on first response, but then bill the homeowners that didn’t pay the fire fee a significantly higher amount. Alternatively, the County needs to find a way to tax those residents who don’t live in the city but rely on its fire service, and then remit that tax to the city in exchange for expanded service out into the county.

    (That said, It could be that the County is simply corrupt and/or incompetent in managing the property taxes it collects, if any.)

    As horrible as this outcome is, I’m not sure I disagree with the notion of charging a fee. With regard to fairness, the city cannot be expected to provide fire protection outside of its taxing boundary.

  • trgahan

    Seems like a product of the economic morality we all so lovely embrace. Screw the common good, there is money to be made!

  • villemar

    This is a preview of the Randian Utopia that Republicans get quivers of holy ecstasy over.

    • MrDHalen

      I like to call them “Mad Maxers”. That’s the world they’d love for about a week and then they would be crying and begging to crawl back under blanket of our “evil” socialist society.

      I love the line from the movie Aliens when Ripley says “I don’t know who’s worse, you don’t see them (the aliens) screwing each other over for 2%”.

  • Blaming the firefighters is wrong. As someone with 20 years in the fire service and someone that has also trained countless firefighters I can tell you that their hands are tied. Sure they could say “screw that rule, we are going to fight the fire”, but that would be instant termination. Now if they end up getting hurt or worse in that fire they have no health insurance and their families are left without nothing.

    Not only that, but a lot of states have laws regarding “interfering with an emergency scene”. That can and does include emergency personnel. If the chief is there and says “nope, you can’t fight it” and you say “screw you, I’m fighting the fire”, then you can be charged under these laws. It’s messed up I know, but it’s still the law.

    About the only thing the firefighters could do is organize a strike or something to show their opposition to the rule. Of course again there are laws against public safety striking.

    So there really isn’t much these guys can do, short of actually quitting. I don’t know many people willing to do that in today’s economy.

    And trust me, a firefighter does not want to sit there and watch something burn. Unless you have been in the fire service, you don’t understand the rush you get when you have a good working structure fire. To not be able to fight that fire is like pulling the little boys away from Jerry Sandusky – a big let down!

    • There’s a moral obligation to help. If I see a doctor standing over a dying man refusing to help out of fear of a lawsuit, I’ll probably blame the doctor for letting the man die.

      • That’s also open to extreme debate. How about the pharmacist who refuses to fill a script for the morning after pill based upon his moral objection?

        When this happened a year ago some of the firefighters spoke out about how much they hated it but their hands were tied.

        To get one line going to a fire takes at least 3 people – two for the line and an engineer for the pump. That means at least 3 people have to be willing to risk termination and possible criminal prosecution to fight this fire. Given the area this fire was in I wouldn’t be shocked to find out there’s no hydrants either. Now you’re getting into relaying which triples the needed man force.

        There’s also another side to this story that people aren’t talking about. These people live in a county area, not an incorporated area by the city. The city contracts out fire service to the county and this was part of that contract. Why hasn’t the county officials tried to renegotiate to make this right? It seems like a very low density area. My guess is that it would only cost a couple of thousand for the county to pay everyone’s “fee”.

        The home owners also said they knew about the fee but didn’t pay it because they thought it would “never happen to them”. So they do deserve blame there.

        I really do hate the “pay to spray” or even “pay to treat” policies a lot of local fire departments and EMS have gone to, but I can also understand it. These services are very expensive to maintain and no one wants to pony up the money anymore, or even have the money.

        Now what the firefighters could do and would really be awesome is help them start their own volunteer department in that area. Tell the county to send the contract money to the VFD instead of the city. Getting equipment wouldn’t be that hard or expensive either as I’m sure some other fire departments would donate an old pumper and gear to them (we’ve done that in the past!). Hell some of these city guys could even volunteer on the department and really give a big F.U. to the mayor and county!

    • You couldn’t pay me enough to take a job whereby I would be forced to act against my own humanity and refuse to help my neighbors who are in critical need. There is no excuse for these firefighters or the mayor or the lawmakers who passed the bill that allowed for this Randian tactic.

      It is purely despicable.

    • I understand what you’re saying but it’s still wrong for them to stand there. Why do they even bother to go? Isn’t just standing there and watching insult to injury? Or are they there to make sure it doesn’t spread to home that have paid their subscription?

      • Miranda

        Its my understanding from the first time this happened that they are there to make sure it doesn’t spread.

  • Sociopaths, the lot of them.

    • holyreality

      But they are not socialists! 😛

      Socialism-phobes tend not to see the big picture, but this is the freemarketeers paradise and needs to be the poster child of freemarket fire departments.

  • Draxiar

    I once heard evil described as “a lack of empathy”…I’m pretty sure this qualifies as being in the same ball park.

  • Robert Scalzi

    The mayor, and his band of bootlicking Fucktards that have the gall to put on a uniform they have no intention of honoring is as Heinous an act as can be performed while in uniform. the Mayor and his band of chumps should all be HANGED in the town square.