No Fire Service Fee, No Service?

By: Amy Long Email
By: Amy Long Email

Todd Cranick is still fired up about the blaze that destroyed his family's home in Tennessee that could have been extinguished - "My neighbor was standing there with an open check book and told them to put it out no matter what it cost. My dad had an open check book. It's not like the money wasn't there."

But firefighters refused because the homeowners didn't pay a 75 dollar fire service fee. Bob Reavis, Obion Co., Tennessee Fire Dept. Chief says "The point in all this is if we have to go to the subscription program, that's what we've been dealt. Then people should understand that houses are going to burn."

After hear this - some Leon County folks were fuming and others checked on their fire coverage when they caught wind of the story.
Sylvia Hunger-Miller says, "I had to check. I wanted to make sure and I'm pretty sure that we are still covered."
Dawn Sherer says, "It infuriated me. Absolutely infuriated me that someone could stand and watch someones house burn down."

But- Leon County residents can rest assure that when it comes to their safety, money is not an issue.

TFD Chief Cindy Dick says, "In Leon County, fire service is not a subscription service. We are coming no matter who you are, no matter where you are. And we'll work out the rest later. Having been in the fire service for 25 years, all I can say is it must have been extremely difficult for those firefighters."

Tallahassee Utility costumers pay a flat fee monthly. Those outside the city limits pay a quarterly fee. Those to decline to pay the fee will have it tacked onto their property tax.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by SSgt. Barnes on Oct 16, 2010 at 08:32 AM
    I want to know why everyone in Leon County pays 160 dollars extra a year for our Fire Fee. I agree that our fire fighters deserve the best, but 160 per home. In Killearn alone, with about 2000 units, you are talking $320,000 for one station. Why do they need this much more? How much are they getting paid? I live right by it and I rarely hear any sirens. The county informed me it is so each station could have one more employee. At $320,000? Seriously? Where is my money going?
  • by tgirl on Oct 13, 2010 at 10:44 AM
    fire fighters oh sorry, watchers. each one of them and the commissioners will have to answer to the higher guy one day. i have a feeling it want go great for any of them.
  • by Sylvia Location: Tally area on Oct 8, 2010 at 01:57 PM
    you sicko fire fighters. How can you call yourselves firefighters when you didn't fight the fire? residents and home owners pay your stupid salary. Karma will be back around for you all; what goes around, comes around...... This isn't about the unpaid fee or what they were told to do, they did it because they could. Every civil servant at the scene should be criminally charged
  • by Me on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:10 PM
    Why doesn't the town add the $75 to the town tax so everyone is covered. The home that burned was a mobile home, no less someones home, but they go up in flames quickly burning to the ground leaving nothing but ash. Even if the FD had responded chances are they would have not been able to save the structure. We live in a town of 12,000. Somewhere under 5000 total living units, under 4000 single family units. I'm sure our share of the FD costs more than 75 bucks a year and I joke about having our FD as being cellar savers as they have to come out with pumper trucks, we have no hydrants. We pay more in home/fire insurance living here.
  • by FIRE STARTERS? on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:38 AM
    What a coincidence?! Wonder what if the fire department started the fire too?
  • by this is stupid on Oct 8, 2010 at 09:57 AM
    So a mechanism needs to be put in place where the fire department is able to charge people by the hour. I think this guy has a terrific lawsuit and I'm betting the lawyers are lining up. This was so ridiculous... The next story will be that his insurance company will refuse to pay because he didn't keep his fire coverage up.
  • by Steve Location: Tallahassee on Oct 8, 2010 at 09:44 AM
    Well said, sickofit. Tennessee is a "Red" state... I know, as I lived there until coming to FSU as a freshman. They want lower taxes. Well, they chose not to have a "tax" that pays for firefighting, like we have here. They have the option of buying the service for $75/year in that county, or not. This family chose not to buy the service and now had to face the consequences of that choice. If it was a "tax" everyone had to pay, like it is here, their house probably would have been saved. What will happen next? Are people going to cry because State Farm won't pay to have the house rebuilt assuming they had not purchased insurance from State Farm? Why should everyone who pays the "tax" see people who choose not to pay it see the same benefit? With more and higher taxes, EVERYONE pays in some way or another, and Government services don't have to be cut like they are anytime someone wants lower taxes.
  • by Daniel on Oct 8, 2010 at 09:24 AM
    This is not a political issue. It's not bushes or obamas fault. Unions have been in place way before them, and that fire departments policy has been in place way before them. Someone mentioned its like insurance, when you don't have insurance you pay out of pocket. The fire department should have put the fire out and sent them a bill for the charge of them going out there.
  • by sikofit Location: ga on Oct 8, 2010 at 08:47 AM
    just like so many other people in this world who sit back and don't want to pay the bills but want to reap the benefits of America while everyone around them pays the bills for them. Then when the face the consequences they yell "discrimination" and want to sue somebody. I'm sure some extreme nutso group will come in and support their cause. Once again, more standard BS. If you don't pay, you ought not to expect to receive what you didn't pay for. That was a decision you made!!!!
  • by Steve Location: Gainesville on Oct 8, 2010 at 08:43 AM
    No Ms Dick....those fire-fighters did not care about the house burning...they are unions....and unions do not care about anyone...they were saying to themselves "That will teach them".....Flush the toilet and get rid of obummer and the rest of the libs.
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