Firefighters are the good guys, the guys that brave extreme danger to save lives and property. On anyones list of favored occupations firefighter comes out consistently in the top three.
Almost all little boys want to be a firefighter at some point in their childhood. Why? Because firefighters get to help people, are looked up to and drive cool trucks. Everyone speaks highly of firefighters and who wouldn’t want to be in that company for a living.
The boys of the South Fulton Fire Department in Obion County Tennessee must see firefighting a little differently. Read for yourself;
“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.”
Set aside the bureaucratic aspect, the billing issue for a minute, what about the first responders? What about their responsibility to the job? How could anyone in the fire service stand by and watch a family home, a multi-generational family home full of family history, photos, videos, heirlooms that would be in a family home, burn to the ground?
Shame on these guys. No heroes here. I understand the fire captain in charge had his orders but how hard would it have been for one or two of the responding volunteers to break ranks and do something? What is the downside, losing your volunteer spot with a department that stands by and watches family homes burn to the ground? No thanks, after this who would want to admit to being part of the South Fulton Fire Department anyway.
To the credit of the Cranick family they do not blame the firefighters, they blame the city administrators. Mr Cranick and his family are good and generous people. Bless them.
Here is my suggestion to the geniuses running Obion County and South Fulton Tennessee. Make the $75. fee mandatory. If someone does not pay make it known the fire service will respond and you will be billed for the services rendered. Minimum $500. per call and $500.00 per hour after the first hour. Cranick might have been charged $1,500. but he would still have his home and contents.
I asked the finest, bravest firefighter I’ve ever met what he thought of this situation. I got an earful. He told me this is the difference between professional firefighters vs rural volunteers. In his opinion he says, and I concur, no professional firefighter, nor the overwhelming majority of volunteer firefighters would sit back and watch a family home burn to the ground. You attack the fire and take the consequences, that’s what you do, it’s what you signed up to do.