1. #1
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    Default Blaze That Destroyed Arizona Home Went Unfought

    Blaze That Destroyed Arizona Home Went Unfought, Woman Says



    Today's News-Herald via Associated Press

    PARKER, Ariz. (AP) -- A woman who lost her home in a fire is complaining that no fire department would respond to the blaze in her unincorporated western Arizona community, which lies outside any fire district.

    Rachele Kelley said the McMullen Valley Fire Department declined to respond to the fire, which destroyed three mobile homes near the community of Brenda on Jan. 17.

    ``Those trailers were 25 feet apart,'' Kelley said. ``If they had come, we would've lost just the one. We could've saved the homes of three people.''

    McMullen Valley Fire Chief Desi Wolfe said the community where the fire occurred lies outside the district and the department didn't have enough personnel available at the time to cover the district and to respond to calls from outside.

    He acknowledged the department had responded to calls in Brenda before because it had the personnel available.

    The Quartzsite Fire Department was also contacted about the fire. Capt. Kevin Cushman said the captain on duty decided not to respond because of staff shortages and the number of people in Quartzsite this time of year

    Cushman said he had never seen a situation like this before. ``We don't like turning people down,'' he said. ``We're all here to help each other. We're usually more than willing to go outside our district.''

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are always two sides to every story. I can certainly understand not wanting to take your manpower out of your own city if your short already. I certainly believe that they could have come up with a truck and manpower from all neighboring communities to handle a trailer fire. How can we just sit back and let someones house and life possessions burn up? Not to mention, what if there was a small child trapped in that trailor? How could you live with yourselves knowing that you could have done something but didnt? We are supposed to go above and beyond. You certainly didnt do that in this case. You sat back and said to yourselves, "Its not our responsibility". We have our own community to take care of. What happened to "MUTUAL AID"? Yes I know that "MUTUAL AID" means. Just because this city didnt have a fire department does not mean you could not assist. You made a very poor decision on this one. I sure hope you can live with yourselves knowing that you didnt do a damn thing.
    Andrew J. LaPrise

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    There are always two sides to every story. I can certainly understand not wanting to take your manpower out of your own city if your short already. I certainly believe that they could have come up with a truck and manpower from all neighboring communities to handle a trailer fire.
    How do you know this? They said they were short of manpower. This is not their response area. They are protecting what they are paid (whether vol's or career) to protect.

    You live in an area WITHOUT fire protection... then you pay the price when it comes to fire protection. You get what you pay for.

    How can we just sit back and let someones house and life possessions burn up? Not to mention, what if there was a small child trapped in that trailor? How could you live with yourselves knowing that you could have done something but didnt? We are supposed to go above and beyond. You certainly didnt do that in this case.
    What about their community?! What happens if they are off fighting this fire and there is one in their area where someone dies. What about the rights of the community that pay for fire protection?!

    You sat back and said to yourselves, "Its not our responsibility". We have our own community to take care of. What happened to "MUTUAL AID"? Yes I know that "MUTUAL AID" means. Just because this city didnt have a fire department does not mean you could not assist.
    There are responsible for their fire protection district and theirs only while on duty. I live in town A... does that mean I am responsible for a house fire in Community B because they decide not to pay taxes to have fire protection?!

    You made a very poor decision on this one. I sure hope you can live with yourselves knowing that you didnt do a damn thing.
    I am sure they can live with theirselves knowing what they did was the right thing. Granted it SUCKS that some peoples houses will burn or some people will die because of lack of firefighters or fire protection... but you must remember that THEY chose this path. I say again... you get what you pay for.
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    Hmm, perhaps a certain "chief" from Arizona might be willing to relocate to "help"...

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    Mutual aid is when you assist another jurisdiction, there was no other jurisdiction to assist. Like SCON said, you choose to live where there is no fire protection, that's your choice.

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    The unfortunate reality is that people chose to live in areas that do not have fire protection. That's a risk I'm not sure I'd take. If they weren't aware that there was no fire protection, then shame on them for not learning about an area in which they were choosing to live.

    It is a horrible feeling not being able to do anything but as was stated the officers said they would, and have in the past, gone out of their districts to help. They just couldn't spare the manpower and it would have been extremely irresponsible to leave their own district unprotected.
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    wasn't there a there a thread on here several months ago (maybe even over a year) where a department refused to go into another department's district for a structure fire, and many posters here chastised them as not being real firefighters?
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    Sconfire was right on target. Though I don't often agree with him, this time I could have not said it better. They chose to live in a community without fire protection, and it is not the reponsibility of any neighboring department to respond if they feel that it leaves the area they are responsible for uncovered. This was a very simple call and a very clear cut case of having to say "no".

    There have been times where our department has responded to some "gray" areas surrounding our district where there is no official fire protection, but that was because we had to the staffing to send a piece or two. If we were called to go to those areas and we only had one piece in service, we would probably say "no" as well. You are accountable to the folks that pay your bills ... it's that simple.

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    Sounds like either company didn't have the ability to send someone. If the people in that community are so worried about it, maybe it's time for them to step up.
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    where a department refused to go into another department's district for a structure fire, and many posters here chastised them as not being real firefighters

    into another department's district.

    That's a big difference -- one between a mistaken dispatch, and one where you have an area that doesn't pay for fire protection.

    We don't know the whole story -- maybe for some reason this area has been refused to be annexed by a fire district.

    My gut is however they've chosen not to provide fire protection to themselves.
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    I'm with Dal on this one. A dispatching mistake is one thing, but an area that has no coverage for whatever reason is another. I would like to say that I would go into the area if we were called, but if an area chooses to not have any protection, I can't force it on them.

    Having said that, I'd be curious as to the details on why this area has no coverage.
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    Unfortunate situation it is! Seems somewhat similar to a situation we have here. For many years our department provided fire protection to an area that falls outside the boundries of the fire protections district. That area is roughly seven miles from here and 25 miles from the neigbooring community. Does it make sense that the closest responder should provide the protection? ... yes-absolutely ... Is it fair to the taxpayers within the district to pay for us to provide protection to people and property outside of the district? ... no-definitely not ... A couple of years ago the fire protection district board informed the out of district area that we would no longer provide first response protection service to that area. An unpopular move ... yes ... the right thing to do ... yes ... There is an open invitation for that area to join the fire protection district-always has been, or to pay for protection on an equal basis - they have chosen not to do so. We would still run mutual aid to the area if requested. It's not fair, or legal for us to provide service to that area at no cost, and tax the folks within the district for the same service closer to home. Unfortunately someone has to pay the bills.

    Rick

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    Default I don't know about Arizona, but

    In ohio, it is ultimately the responsiblility of the local governing authority to provide fire service. Whether it is done within the district, or contracted out.

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    Default Re: Blaze That Destroyed Arizona Home Went Unfought

    Originally posted by FIREFLY2420
    He acknowledged the department had responded to calls in Brenda before because it had the personnel available.
    This is my only problem with the story. the other fire departments might be opening themslevles up to litigation for past practice. Just a thought.

    Rigin

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    I have to agree with the masses here. If someone decided to save some tax money by not living in a fire protection area, that is their choice.

    Its too bad we have so many bleeding heart liberals out there who believe us middle-income folk should pay for other people's fire/police/ems protection

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    This is my only problem with the story. the other fire departments might be opening themslevles up to litigation for past practice. Just a thought.
    ... or open themselves up for litigation for not covering their own district properly.

    They did say they assisted when they had the manpower.

    They did CLEARLY say they did not have it on this night.

    However this is the United States, and when an old lady can sue McDonalds for not warning her about how hot her coffee was before she poured it in her lap and people can sue McDonalds for being overweight... nothing would surprise me.
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    Default FIRE PROTECTION

    You get what you pay for.
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    Right or wrong -----this is the kind of news that get's around. We are the people that would not help when a person had a fire, that will be remembered.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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    Default Re: FIRE PROTECTION

    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    You get what you pay for.
    You are also what others percieve you to be.

    Rigin
    Last edited by Rigin1; 02-01-2005 at 10:44 PM.

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    I dont disagree with any of you. I am just sayin, somebody should of done something. They have helped in the past, how do you say you will help one time but not another? Nobody had to take all their manpower out of thier community. The surrounding communities could have pooled together to help. Come on, lets think about these poor families that lost everything. I'm sorry, but I got into this profession to help people in need. You just do what you have to and worry about the money later. Thats why we have "Cost Recovery". You send a bill to the insurance company for your services. They will pay you. You could even send a bill to the city you gave your services to. I think/hope they would pay for the services you provided for these people. This is just my opinion. I just think they could have done more to help.
    Andrew J. LaPrise

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    somebody should of done something.

    And that somebody should have been the somebodies living in the unprotected area long before this happened.

    Some point along the way, we've become a society that assumes someone else will do stuff for them -- whether it's call 911 and they will come, or just slough off the funding and make the State or Feds pay for it!

    Recently, I kind of shook my head at the admonishment for winter hikers/skiers at Mount Washington --

    "Even under ideal circumstances, you will be several hours away from an ambulance or advanced medical care. Your actions may have serious, life threatening consequences for you, your party and volunteer rescuers. Visitors to the Ravine should never come expecting to be rescued when something bad happens. Don't rely on other people being around to help you; ultimately your party may be the only rescue team available to respond. This means that you need to come prepared for the conditions, and be prepared for a potential emergency. "

    Mainly because anyone who hikes into the mountains several hours in winter...would even consider that anyone else has responsibility for their well being.

    People make choices. They can choose to hike in places that they're far from help. They can choose to live in places without fire protection. They can choose not to do something about it, they can choose to try and make a difference.

    Perhaps I have even less patience for whining from this area because other fire departments had responded in the past -- obviously there was a history of needing fire protection there, but the people who lived there for what ever reason continued to choose not to provide it -- either in taxes or donations or their labor or even an agreement to contract-as-needed.
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    I think/hope they would pay for the services you provided for these people.
    Maybe if the people had paid for fire services (in some way) beforehand, they would have coverage. IF they have some type of governing agency for their area, they are the ones at fault for not providing for their residents.
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    i agree with the statement that you get what you pay for but for christ sakes its a human being. In the amount of time dispatch must have had and realized that there was no units respodning dont you think that one of the deparments realizing that no one was taking it could have coordinated something?

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    Have you guys ever been involved in rural areas where there is like 200 hundred miles between stations? Parts of Arizona do not have a firehouse every 5 miles. Combining may really not be at all practical in that area due to mileage between stations so don't be so quick to fault them for not following that route.
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    well then dont you think if your getting calle dout 200 miles away there is already a pretty damn good reason for doing so?

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    Exclamation

    If I may say, Scottsdale, AZ is a contractual fire department. It is NOT the City of Scottsdale's agency, but one that it ran by Rural Metro. Unless they have contractual agreements, they will only operate inside the city limits.


    Years ago, in the 1950's St. Louis County, Mo, had a membership funded fire department. This means that you paid a membership for fire service and hung a plaque or device on the front of your house indicating such. If, by chance you didn't belong to this and if by chance your house caught on fire, and if by chance some one called the fire department and they arrived and did not see you membership plaque on the front of your house, they would watch it burn. They would make sure no one was inside and all members of this house or building was accounted for. They would protect the structures on any of the four sides, proving that they belong to the fire association.


    Right or wrong, this was the deal back then.
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