2010-10-06

Firefighters let home burn

Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the September 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

Mr. Cranick called 911 after the fire started but the fire department would not respond. Mr. Cranick had failed to pay an annual $75 fee to cover fire protection for rural residents.

Firefighters did eventually show up, but only to fight the fire on the neighboring property, whose owner had paid the fee.

It is an interesting story for sure. Immediate thoughts might be: "If the firefighters where there, why didn't they help the Cranick family?"

Firefighting is not free. There is a cost associated, and the annual $75 fee is a small price to pay for insuring that those services are available when needed. (Keep in mind that many locations include support of firefighting with the collected taxes... this location required a separate annual fee.) Another option would be to simply charge the individual for the cost involved to fight the fire... which would be significantly more than $75. Paying the annual fee amount the day of a fire does not make much sense, because then no one would end up paying enough to cover the fire fighting costs.

A strong parallel can be made to health care. Health care is not free. There is a cost associated, and insurance rates are a small price to pay for insuring that those services are available when needed. (Keep in mind that some countries include payment for health care via taxation... for the most part in America, we pay for health care individually.) Another option would be to simply charge the individual for the cost involved to provide the health insurance... which would be significantly more than typical insurance rates. Paying the insurance rates on the day of an emergency (or with a pre-existing condition) does not make much sense because then no one would end up paying enough to cover the health care costs.

Comments?
Post a Comment