Firefighters watch as man's garage, v...

Firefighters watch as man's garage, vehicle burn

There are 18 comments on the Star Tribune story from Feb 16, 2006, titled Firefighters watch as man's garage, vehicle burn. In it, Star Tribune reports that:

MONETT, Mo. - Rural firefighters stood by and watched a fire destroy a garage and a vehicle because the property owner had not paid membership dues.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Star Tribune.

Karen

Ottawa, Canada

#1 Feb 17, 2006
I cannot put into words how disgusted and in disbelief the way the fire department handle this situation. I mean they could of informed they new residence more. They could of, would of, handle it differently.

I would demand the fire chief resignation (he spoke out and stood by his fire department, how disgusting). To watch someone possessions go up in flames is disgraceful because he did not pay his "membership". What type of "membership is this anyways? How much power did the county give there "brave firefighters" on this night they are a disgrace to there profession, I think they should take back there power. If any way stands behind this fire department there heads should hang in shame and I hope the fire department is taking a very long look at themselves today. What happen to compansion? Helping your fellow human being in the time of need? Americans always boosting on how proud they are of how they help others, well today.....is a shameful day.

I hope this gentleman sues this fire department and teach them a lesson or two on compassion for your fellow human beings because in the end it will cost the fire department more.

Remind me never to get lost in there back woods or back yard.
Shane

Newkirk, OK

#2 Feb 20, 2006
The department in question was a rural fire association (a private company) and not the City of Monett fire department. They are two seperate entities completely.
Rich - Monett

Springfield, MO

#3 Feb 22, 2006
In order to get help from the Fire District, you must pay your District Dues....aware or unaware, ignorance is not accepted.....If this was the case, everyone would pass on paying their District Dues.
The same goes for having extra trash on trash day...you must buy a tag for each item that is outside your personal bin. If you do not pay for the tag.....guess what....they will leave your stuff lay. This is America and you have your own right to pay or not to pay....everything comes with a PRICE.
Rich - Monett

Springfield, MO

#4 Feb 22, 2006
Just wanted to make it clear.......I have nothing to do with the Fire District and therefore I have no bias.
you got to b joking

Kathleen, GA

#5 Jan 11, 2009
Just think if everyone just stood around and watched as things happened without lending a helping hand....(IE robbery,rape,car crashes,beatings, shootings,) We will all live safer then huh world!
Blue Dog

Perrysburg, OH

#6 Jan 12, 2009
Well most of the time,that is exactly what happens.
Monettan

Sherman Oaks, CA

#7 Feb 17, 2009
I live out in the country, near Monett, and am a paying member of the Monett Rural Fire Association, which means if I have a fire the Monett RFD will fight it.

This guy whose garage burned (I've seen some mistaken news reports that stated it was his house that had burned) had not paid any dues--ever. So why do people assume he should get free fire coverage? He got more than he paid for--at least the RFD came out and stood by to make sure he wasn't in physical danger--if he had been, they would have rescued him, dues or no dues.
Solution

Joplin, MO

#8 Feb 19, 2009
This is absolutely disgusting. Here is the solution. If there is a fire, and you are a government funded fire department (meaning you get grant money from the government) it should be the law the fire must be fought. Each and every fire department recieves grant money. They are not buying all that equipment with a little $100 per year membership, trust me. They are accepting state and federal funds. If need be, sue the home owner for the cost of the membership, plus the cost of fighting the fire. But dont sit and watch it burn. If you take funding from us, the tax payers, then damnit, do your job. Worry about getting the money from the non-payers later.
Mike

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#9 Feb 20, 2009
Solution wrote:
This is absolutely disgusting. Here is the solution. If there is a fire, and you are a government funded fire department (meaning you get grant money from the government) it should be the law the fire must be fought. Each and every fire department recieves grant money. They are not buying all that equipment with a little $100 per year membership, trust me. They are accepting state and federal funds. If need be, sue the home owner for the cost of the membership, plus the cost of fighting the fire. But dont sit and watch it burn. If you take funding from us, the tax payers, then damnit, do your job. Worry about getting the money from the non-payers later.
Jackass, im a volunteer from a neighboring rural department and trust me, were not getting anything new and we all pay taxes too. Shut the hell up and pay your dues.
Monettan

United States

#10 Feb 20, 2009
Ditto what Mike says.

Mr. Solution needs to educate himself. The Monett Rural Fire Dept is run exactly like an Insurance Company--if you don't pay for Insurance, you don't get coverage.

And yes, the yearly dues cover ALL expenses. We don't need no stinkin' Guv'mint money to run our VOLUNTEER F.D.
Solution

Joplin, MO

#11 Feb 27, 2009
Thats interesting. Well I guess some investigation in needed. Since as of October of 2007 the Monett Rural Fire Department had recieved $154,660 from an Operations and Safety Grant from the State of Missouri. I guess both of you are jackasses rather than me. Perhaps you are the same jackasses who should never, ever, be on the end of a fire hose. You're welcome.
SW MO Firefighter

Reno, NV

#12 Mar 4, 2009
Just so you know, the Monett Rural Fire Association has indeed taken gov't money. How do you think they got all that new bunker gear and SCBA? Where do you think those old military trucks came from?

Also, you check your facts on the fire in question, as well as the "policy". The MRFA has on several occassions fought fires for non-members. The most recent was about a month ago, where they were told by the dispatcher, who happened to be on the phone with the property owner, that it was a non-member fire.

The owner of the property in question also suffered burns while fighting this fire with a garden hose.

The MRFA also relies heavily on the City of Monett FD to do their job for them. The City FD responds automatically to any fire within 5 miles of the city, arriving prior to the Rural firefighters, often having the fire out, or at least controlled, before the MRFA arrives.
Monettan wrote:
Ditto what Mike says.
Mr. Solution needs to educate himself. The Monett Rural Fire Dept is run exactly like an Insurance Company--if you don't pay for Insurance, you don't get coverage.
And yes, the yearly dues cover ALL expenses. We don't need no stinkin' Guv'mint money to run our VOLUNTEER F.D.
SW MO Firefighter

Reno, NV

#13 Mar 4, 2009
Sounds to me like you need to find someone better to write your grants for you. I don't know of any department neighboring Monett Rural who hasn't recieved some kind of grant funding or who doesn't take advantage of the Dept. of Conservation's surplus property program.

If there is a department that doesn't take advantage of either, shame on them and their administration for not doing so. The people they're protecting are the one's suffering.
Mike wrote:
<quoted text>
Jackass, im a volunteer from a neighboring rural department and trust me, were not getting anything new and we all pay taxes too. Shut the hell up and pay your dues.
solution

United States

#14 Mar 31, 2009
The Monett Rural Fire Department DOES get grant money. This guy is just a volunteer who signed up so he could put a little flashy blue light in the dash of his crappy pickup. He has no idea what runs the fire department. I would say its a glory thing, but I'm not sure what glory you would get from being on the Monett Rurual Fire Department??? lol
Mo Mo

United States

#15 Apr 6, 2009
Why not have a much higher fee if the fire department puts out your fire and you have not paid your dues. There can be some type of sliding scale based on size of the fire
SW MO Firefighter

United States

#16 Apr 6, 2009
Mo Mo wrote:
Why not have a much higher fee if the fire department puts out your fire and you have not paid your dues. There can be some type of sliding scale based on size of the fire
Missouri statutes allow a fire association to bill non-members for service. The rate they can bill is $100 to respond,$500 per hour (prerated per 1/4 hour), and the membership fee for that year. It also requires insurance companies to send any settlement checks in the name of the owner AND the fire association to ensure payment. Also, it's a misdemeanor offense for nonpayment.

Most departments take advantage of this statute. However, there's those who claim they've never been able to collect (in reality, they are either too lazy to do it right so they can collect or they don't understand the procedure enough), which is BS. I know numerous departments that have collect decade's worth of dues from one fire.

Ironic enough, it's the nonmember payment statute that these fire associations cite as their "right" not to respond to nonmembers, even though it says nothing of the sort.

This debate, plus the fact membership fees are an antiquated system for collecting revenue, is the primary reason so many departments are going to a tax-based district.
wow

Chicago, IL

#17 Feb 1, 2011
Rich - Monett wrote:
In order to get help from the Fire District, you must pay your District Dues....aware or unaware, ignorance is not accepted.....If this was the case, everyone would pass on paying their District Dues.
The same goes for having extra trash on trash day...you must buy a tag for each item that is outside your personal bin. If you do not pay for the tag.....guess what....they will leave your stuff lay. This is America and you have your own right to pay or not to pay....everything comes with a PRICE.
You could bill the person for the services after doing what most cities provide with tax money.... This was so sadistic!!! and completely cruel
wow

Chicago, IL

#18 Feb 1, 2011
you got to b joking wrote:
Just think if everyone just stood around and watched as things happened without lending a helping hand....(IE robbery,rape,car crashes,beatings, shootings,) We will all live safer then huh world!
I agree!!

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