You know the story I am talking about right?
A man in rural Tennessee had his house burn down after he failed to pay $75 to the nearest fire station – an annual fee that covers his property which is outside their normal radius of service. He offered to pay the day of the fire, but policy states that that is not allowed – some people will then only pay when they have a fire.
I guess the fee is a little like insurance. You pay in case you need it. I can’t buy car insurance to cover an accident once the accident has been had. So I do kind of understand the logic here. In a way.
But there is a difference between a car that is lost in an accident and a family losing all of their possessions to a fire. A fire that the firemen apparently watched happen as they turned the water on the house next door. A fire that they were forbidden to help with. A fire that was an accident.
He doesn’t deny that he forgot to pay the fee. But it does seem like the rule against last minute payments should be revoked. Or make the fee mandatory – a tax if you will – that someone can not just “forget” to pay.
It seems like there are some jobs where you don’t refuse someone service. Ambulance drivers, hospitals, police and firemen. It is sad to think that $75 could have saved this man’s house. His pets. His possessions.