Without the damned socialist fire departments....

As we are forced to listen the "socialist" labeling of Obama, et al, let's not forget that the majority of firefighting departments in the US are technically "socialist" having received public tax monies. Even our small county gives money to the volunteer fire departments. However, in one small Tennessee county, the fire department's action represents what would happen if we toss off the "socialist" mantle. See story below

This reminds me of the story of Crassus, the Roman politician, and the etymological root of the word crass. From the wikipedia article: Most notorious was his (Crassus) acquisition of burning houses: when Crassus received word that a house was on fire, he would arrive and purchase the doomed property along with surrounding buildings for a modest sum, and then employ his army of 500 clients to put the fire out before much damage had been done. Crassus' clients employed the Roman method of firefighting—destroying the burning building to curtail the spread of the flames.

Another point of interest lay in whether the firefighters received any public funds. If so, as a taxpayer, the home owner had a right to receive services. If that is the case, it sounds as if he has grounds for a lawsuit for denial of services.

I was reminded of an incident several years ago when some friends called to say a leaf and limb fire had gotten out of hand and their woods were on fire. Despite the fact the volunteer fire departments and forest service was on the scene, I grabbed some garden hose, hopped in my car and spent the morning helping with my hose.

In Tennessee I have to ask, "Where were the neighbors?" But more importantly, where was the "neighborliness" in the firefighters themselves, the man's own neighbors? How far will we go embracing this anti-socialist agenda that would leave us in a society without basic social services? Do we want this dog eat dog world the tea partiers envision?

Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground
Originally printed at http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Firefighters-watch-as-home-burns-to-the-ground-104052668.html

By Reporter - Jason Hibbs
By Photojournalist - Mark Owen
September 30, 2010
OBION COUNTY, Tenn. - Imagine your home catches fire but the local fire department won't respond, then watches it burn. That's exactly what happened to a local family tonight.

A local neighborhood is furious after firefighters watched as an Obion County, Tennessee, home burned to the ground.

The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late. They wouldn't do anything to stop his house from burning.

Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.

The mayor said if homeowners don't pay, they're out of luck.

This fire went on for hours because garden hoses just wouldn't put it out. It wasn't until that fire spread to a neighbor's property, that anyone would respond.

Turns out, the neighbor had paid the fee.

"I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong," said Gene Cranick.

Because of that, not much is left of Cranick's house.

They called 911 several times, and initially the South Fulton Fire Department would not come.

The Cranicks told 9-1-1 they would pay firefighters, whatever the cost, to stop the fire before it spread to their house.

"When I called I told them that. My grandson had already called there and he thought that when I got here I could get something done, I couldn't," Paulette Cranick.

It was only when a neighbor's field caught fire, a neighbor who had paid the county fire service fee, that the department responded. Gene Cranick asked the fire chief to make an exception and save his home, the chief wouldn't.

We asked him why.

He wouldn't talk to us and called police to have us escorted off the property. Police never came but firefighters quickly left the scene. Meanwhile, the Cranick home continued to burn.

We asked the mayor of South Fulton if the chief could have made an exception.

"Anybody that's not in the city of South Fulton, it's a service we offer, either they accept it or they don't," Mayor David Crocker said.

Friends and neighbors said it's a cruel and dangerous city policy but the Cranicks don't blame the firefighters themselves. They blame the people in charge.

"They're doing their job," Paulette Cranick said of the firefighters. "They're doing what they are told to do. It's not their fault."

To give you an idea of just how intense the feelings got in this situation, soon after the fire department returned to the station, the Obion County Sheriff's Department said someone went there and assaulted one of the firefighters.