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House burns 3 miles from station, chief: 'Not our problem'

The Ariz. fire chief said the blaze was out of their coverage area

By FireRescue1 Staff

ELOY, Ariz. — An Ariz. fire chief is defending his decision to not battle a blaze that was just three miles from his station.

Eloy Fire Chief Coy Amerson reasoned that the fire, in a rural area called Picacho, was not in their service area and did not need to respond, according to Tuscon News Now.

"It's like everything I had I don't have anymore," Edward Ortiz said.

His home was burned down, but he says it might have been saved if the Eloy Fire Department had responded, saying crews were only three miles away.

The news outlet requested access to the 911 dispatch tapes where the Eloy Fire Department says they will send out crews, only to call the dispatcher back to say they actually weren't going to respond to the blaze.

"That's going to be out of our area and no one's going to be able to respond," a member of the Eloy Fire Department said.

Chief Amerson said that because the residents of Picacho don't pay for fire service, they didn't need to respond.

"Not our problem. Sorry, but you're not in the district you're not our problem," Chief Amerson can be heard saying on the tapes.

He added that if someone had been trapped inside of a structure fire, they would have sent crews, but that was not the case with this blaze.

Another fire department 20 minutes away from the fire also did not respond to the blaze. It was Avra Valley Fire that responded, driving 30 miles to the scene.

Chief Amerson says he has approached residents in the past about paying for the fire service, about $50 to $250 per year, but some residents said they've never received an option to pay for the service.




Comments
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Scott Dillon Scott Dillon Friday, January 25, 2013 11:37:37 AM WOW!
Bill Rigby Bill Rigby Friday, January 25, 2013 11:38:11 AM All I can say is what a shame that this chief think of money over all other things in life and How did he know for sure no entrapment ( thank God there was none). I am Appalled at this situation.
Nic Maquet Nic Maquet Friday, January 25, 2013 11:38:19 AM Those are tough calls but the chief has a point,I'm sure it ate him up inside but it would cause a huge backlash from the people that pay for fire protection, this is why we have mutualism aid agreements in Illinois
Garrick Paddock Garrick Paddock Friday, January 25, 2013 11:39:33 AM Your a damn Fire Department!!! Do your job!!!
Scott Dillon Scott Dillon Friday, January 25, 2013 11:42:36 AM If they fought the fire out of it's district and a Firefighter gets hurt then who pays the bill? That's why there are Mutual Aid contracts with other Cities, TWP's ect. I agree that the Chief has a bad bedside manner sort of speak and should have handled it in another way.
Jason Browne Jason Browne Friday, January 25, 2013 11:43:55 AM what ever happened to the fire service responding as a humanitarian service surley it would of been the only sensible thing to do and respond and sort out any monetry problems afterwards the two chiefs who declined to assist should be removed from there posts.
Jason Browne Jason Browne Friday, January 25, 2013 11:45:50 AM all I can say is thank goodness for our free emergency services in the uk who will respond what ever the situation without discriminating.
Brian Wenrich Brian Wenrich Friday, January 25, 2013 11:46:39 AM ALL I CAN SAY IS WTF WAS HE THNKING! IM A FIRE FIGHTER TO AND THAT IS OUR JOB!
Scott Musich Scott Musich Friday, January 25, 2013 11:46:47 AM I live right on Town Line... the fire dept I belong to is closer to my house than my town dept. We currently have mutual aid but if I ever had to call 911 I would specify who to page! BOTH DEPARTMENTS! Since I joined our dept I always find it odd the politics involved
John K Catterall John K Catterall Friday, January 25, 2013 11:49:01 AM Fee for service works so well! I guess not this kind of thing should not happen EVER!
Jay Brand Jay Brand Friday, January 25, 2013 11:49:34 AM you always commit to a quick attack, knock it down and out and leave, then you set up a community meeting to set up taxing for fire service, wonder if the home owner even had insurance, being outside any fire protection area, the home owner does have to take some responsibility here.....I still say you commit crews and do a quick knockdown.
Pete Gravell Pete Gravell Friday, January 25, 2013 11:51:21 AM Fucker would make a good politician. Goddamn Weasel.
Tom Smith Tom Smith Friday, January 25, 2013 11:54:15 AM Not saying i agree with the decision but if they wont pay for it and no lives were in danger can kinda see why the decision was made.......
Dan Hecker Dan Hecker Friday, January 25, 2013 11:55:56 AM Jason, I'm sorry to break this to you,but there is no such thing as "FREE emergency services"...Believe me, SOMEBODY is paying for it SOMEHOW!!
Ryan Sessions Ryan Sessions Friday, January 25, 2013 11:57:10 AM It's the responsibility of the homeowner, not the fire department to ensure adequate precautions are made in case there is a fire. This means that they should ensure they have both insurance and fire service provided to that house. Negligence is no excuse for getting by with free services. Since it's very difficult to operate a fire department on a budget determined by "fees per incident", I think the chief was right in this situation.
Michael Hansen Michael Hansen Friday, January 25, 2013 11:58:37 AM Sorry Jason but it is not free.You pay taxes, you pay their check. So yea not free sorry you have been brainwashed. But on the same coin other side I agree they would respond regardless of the call and/or who made it.
Jack Beville Jack Beville Friday, January 25, 2013 11:58:43 AM Not to sound like I am taking sides, but there is alot of information NOT included in this story. I know for a fact that many rural FD's function entirely on their own with no public funds at all. Operational expenses have to be paid someway. May Dept's are forced to resort to service contracts. If you want fire protection you have to sign and pay for an annual fire service contract. I know this sounds bad, but in many cases this is the only way some Fire Dept's survive. Don't judge someone until you know ALL the Facts.
Jim Carley Jim Carley Friday, January 25, 2013 12:00:15 PM Its a damn shame that someone lost everything just because of red tape.. you bet your butt had it been that fire chiefs house 3 miles away and not in his district they would have battled the blaze! shame on that fire department for lack of proper humankindness.
Pete Gravell Pete Gravell Friday, January 25, 2013 12:00:22 PM Since when are Fire Trucks, Turnout Gear, fuel to run them, hose, tools, free?
Chris Nolan Chris Nolan Friday, January 25, 2013 12:01:44 PM The only thing that isn't paid for is me. The volunteer.
Michael Hansen Michael Hansen Friday, January 25, 2013 12:02:34 PM I am not a Firefighter, and will respect those that due. But this action makes it hard for people to like them or even support them. The one thing I can say I agree with is who would pay the bill for a FF who was hurt out of area while fighting a fire? The contract sounds like a good idea, but remember it is all politics and they all want power.
Mike Healy Mike Healy Friday, January 25, 2013 12:03:08 PM I have long argued against subscription fire service. But, someone has to pay for the apparatus and equipment. This is not unusual in AZ, or many other states. Often these people had the opportunity to pay a subscription fee or enact a fire tax but have declined to do so. This is the result of those actions. I guess if you aren't willing to pay for fire protection perhaps you should consider installing a residential sprinkler system.
Ryan Sessions Ryan Sessions Friday, January 25, 2013 12:03:40 PM no, they lost everything because they didn't prepare for such an emergency......and if we are betting, I'd put my money on the fact that the fire chief would know to pay the low fee per year to ensure he had fire coverage.....what a stupid argument, like you're now saying that the fire chief wouldn't even fund his own department??
Jerry Kirsch Sr. Jerry Kirsch Sr. Friday, January 25, 2013 12:03:51 PM This is directed directly at Eloy Fire Chief Coy Amerson, I just want to let you know that you and your fire department, are a disgusting disgrace to the fire service. You and your fire department are not fit to call yourselve's FIREFIGHTER'S.
Tim Jensen Tim Jensen Friday, January 25, 2013 12:03:51 PM SOOO RIDICULOUS! HOW WOULD THIS IDIOTIC CHIEF FEEL IF HIS HOUSE WAS ON FIRE AND TWO DEPTS REFUSED TO RESPOND CAUSING HIM TO LOSE EVERYTIHING, ALL BECAUSE OF AN IMAGINARY LINE. I FEEL IF YOU ARE NOT IN IT TO PROTECT "LIFE, PROPERTY, AND NATURAL RESOURCES, GET THE HELL OUT OF FIRE! THE SAME HAPPENED HERE IN OREGON. A CHRISTIAN REHAB CENTER WAS LEFT TO BURN BECAUSE IT WAS OUT OF JURISDICTION BY MERE FEET. GOD BLESS AVRA VALLEY FOR AT LEAST SHOWING UP.
Richmond Wayne Harris Richmond Wayne Harris Friday, January 25, 2013 12:04:31 PM If the people never got a notice that they had to pay for this service then?
Ryan Sessions Ryan Sessions Friday, January 25, 2013 12:05:51 PM Then they shouldn't have bought a house! You should know better to check on everything when buying a house. You don't just assume you get services provided without asking first.
Pete Gravell Pete Gravell Friday, January 25, 2013 12:05:54 PM True. Damn such an ugly business.
David Singleton David Singleton Friday, January 25, 2013 12:06:49 PM I have been a volenter fire fighter for over 21 years that is not what I was trained in not to respond to a fire that chief should be removed from the fire service so it was not in there area we respond to other areas that is what we call mutural aid.
Michael Hansen Michael Hansen Friday, January 25, 2013 12:08:03 PM Please understand it is the Chief that is the ASS not the crew. They might have issues with this like we do about this.
Richmond Wayne Harris Richmond Wayne Harris Friday, January 25, 2013 12:11:41 PM Is that common knowledge? I don't think it is. A lot of fire departments are volunteer or paid for by the taxes.In this case and cases like it would be better if they would just send a bill afterwards for services and assume that people don't know don't you think ?
Rich Boyer Rich Boyer Friday, January 25, 2013 12:12:28 PM I'm glad I don't live in a area like that. I belong to a department and we run mutual responses to other departments.
Michael Hansen Michael Hansen Friday, January 25, 2013 12:13:22 PM While I agree on premiss with your comment, what could have been done was they respond and then bill him for that incident. Say what 2000-3000 dollars, and then have him get on a service plan which sounds like extortion to me. Also make sure he know in full detail of his choices and have them in writing so that way if anything like this happens again to anyone in the area they know they may not be covered or helped. And then as a county sit down and plan out a fire tax to be included in the property tax. Just a thought
Jason Browne Jason Browne Friday, January 25, 2013 12:13:41 PM sorry dont agree we all would be the first to slate any emergency service for not responding especially if it was our own property we are lucky we take it for granted but if they didnt turn up to your house when it was on fire how would you react
Bill Belcher Bill Belcher Friday, January 25, 2013 12:14:23 PM I'm sorry, had it been me, I would have responded. If nothing else, I would have billed the homeowners insurance company. There are some departments that do that already when they respond to something WITHIN their districts, such as a vehicle fire, MVA, etc., and the person involved does not live within their districts. I'm not sure, but I think that an insurance company wouldn't balk at paying the bill if you were able to save the structure from total devastation.
Richmond Wayne Harris Richmond Wayne Harris Friday, January 25, 2013 12:20:17 PM You could charge nonpaying customers a premium charge at up to three times the normal amount I believe by law. So why not just charge them afterwards for the service you could charge other expenses I am sure. It is better to do this than assume that these people know this information and it might even be taken care of by the insurance.
Christopher Aaron Smith Christopher Aaron Smith Friday, January 25, 2013 12:21:26 PM Maybe the fire district lines need to be redrawn or at the very least, mutual aid agreements need to be signed for that area. Politics, however unfortunately, get in the way of not only the fire service but also EMS as well.
Brandon N Bailee Mccormick Brandon N Bailee Mccormick Friday, January 25, 2013 12:21:54 PM This is just crazy Iam a volunteer and our departments travels hours away to help out in any situation this guy should be canned lazy over payed asshole is what he is. I will keep this in mind to never applying for a job in your district maybe I will but to take your over payed position!
Jodi Cummins Jodi Cummins Friday, January 25, 2013 12:22:22 PM Leave it to the all mighty dollar!!! Whatever happened to "help thy neighbor"?!?! That is ridiculous, paid or volunteer service if you are dispatched you go!!! I bet if it was a family members home, that was outside the area & didn't pay for the service, he would have gone. Shame on him
Chris Lander Chris Lander Friday, January 25, 2013 12:27:47 PM Chief you are a disgrace to the firefighter code! your a damn chief and you let homes burn? firefighting isn't about money its about protecting life and property, not your pocket book. maybe you need to step down and become a grunt in a volunteer dept again and do the real work. IM A PROUD VOLUNTEER AND NOBODY IN OUR AREA WOULD DO THIS. "WE BUST OURS TO SAVE OUR COMMUNITY".
James Whited Sr. James Whited Sr. Friday, January 25, 2013 12:29:34 PM If you don't have fire insurance you insurance co wont pay. How is this different? Somebody has to pay for all the equipment, shouldn't the ones who pay for it be the beneficiaries?
Steve Weaver Steve Weaver Friday, January 25, 2013 12:30:36 PM Tough decision to make but if you we're one of the ones payin and they didn't come because they were attending to someone who didn't pay......
Richmond Wayne Harris Richmond Wayne Harris Friday, January 25, 2013 12:34:03 PM You could charge nonpaying customers a premium charge at up to three times the normal amount I believe by law. So why not just charge them afterwards for the service you could charge other expenses I am sure. It is better to do this than assume that these people know this information and it might even be taken care of by the insurance I like Michael Hansen's response but two to thee thousand dollars is a lot it's like insult to injury I would think, but not sure. Why do they not do this I see some people respond to the idea that it is just the fault of the person that owns the house but none to what Michael and I have said? Can the subscription fire departments not do this?
Dinesh Daswani Dinesh Daswani Friday, January 25, 2013 12:35:23 PM Wtf! I am a fire volunteer myself and i give my service to rhose who need it. This fire cheif shouldnt be in this position. Heartless!!! I wish it was his home that got burned and no one would respond!
Ken Corrigan Ken Corrigan Friday, January 25, 2013 12:40:46 PM Lynch this guy by his eyeballs.
Thomas G. Charette Thomas G. Charette Friday, January 25, 2013 12:47:21 PM To asshole fire chief: the way you get support is to lend a helping hand and serve the community. The rap you just gave the volunteer fire service is now everybody's problem. Thanks asshole!
Steve Grundt Steve Grundt Friday, January 25, 2013 12:50:23 PM This is appauling! This Chief should be embarrassed to say he is a fire fighter. In my area we respond to ALL calls for help in our district or not and work out the logistics later.
George De Joinville George De Joinville Friday, January 25, 2013 12:56:36 PM THIS IS BULLSHIT DROP YOUR BADGE ON THE DESK ON THE WAY OUT THE DOOR IN MY BOOK HELP IS WHAT A FD IS SUPPOSE TO DO.
Allison Smith Carleton Allison Smith Carleton Friday, January 25, 2013 12:57:07 PM that sickening...
Marc LaRue Marc LaRue Friday, January 25, 2013 12:59:35 PM whether or not physically said the oath when you becoming a firefighter in this case a Chief. We protect life and property. Its not about the money its about the ones we serve.
Fredric L. Rice Fredric L. Rice Friday, January 25, 2013 1:04:13 PM Isn't Republicanism just lovely?
Wheeling WV Fire Department Station 5- Wheeling Island Wheeling WV Fire Department Station 5- Wheeling Island Friday, January 25, 2013 1:05:01 PM Hard to believe here in 2013 that this happens. Damn you Chief for putting $ in front of YOUR duty. Resign and move aside letting someone with more freaking sense of civic duty take over. Appalled by this and any other FD in our great country that would do this over "service fees". Hope it your house next.
Michael Tremblay Michael Tremblay Friday, January 25, 2013 1:10:30 PM Hey, Chief, try DOING YOUR JOB and then sending them a bill after the fact! We are here to serve the people, not check lines on a district map! Shame on you!
Chris Lucas Chris Lucas Friday, January 25, 2013 1:19:29 PM that chief needs to be fired.
Todd Perez Todd Perez Friday, January 25, 2013 1:28:13 PM They did. They covered their area.
Richmond Wayne Harris Richmond Wayne Harris Friday, January 25, 2013 1:29:03 PM This might be more of a mayor problem than a Chief problem. I am finding this to be more of a political problem that city board members might have had more to do with this. an example http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Firefighters-watch-as-home-burns-to-the-ground-104052668.html
Richmond Wayne Harris Richmond Wayne Harris Friday, January 25, 2013 1:49:36 PM I think on this one it is a subscription service. They offer it as long as you pay upfront on the subscription rate. You could charge nonpaying customers a premium charge at up to three times the normal amount I believe by law. So why not just charge them afterwards for the service if they haven't subscribed. You could charge other expenses I am sure. It is better to do this than assume that these people know this information and it might even be taken care of by the insurance Also the reason that people do not pay on the taxes for one is because like where we live our fire department would be over run with calls 40 miles away. Since we are part of a very large county so even though they are right next door it is going to be awhile for them to get back to us if they are that far away.
Pete Medved Pete Medved Friday, January 25, 2013 2:04:21 PM Don't know the perticulars but my own house burned when I was a fireman at n Fayette and was at the firehouse when the call came in but couldn't pull a truck cause my house was in imperials area and the fire depts insurance wouldn't pay for trucks or firefighters if some one was hurt or a truck was wreaked cause it wasn't n Fayette area had to respond in my own vehicle and beet imperial to the scene turns out imperial called n Fayette for mutal aid house was a total loss . Talk about a sick feeling when your standing next to a fire truck and get the call for your own house and can't pull it cause of insurance coverage now that sucks
Neal Davison Neal Davison Friday, January 25, 2013 2:14:45 PM The Emergency services in Australia is the responsibility of the States and Territories and funded as such...you dial 000 and someone will come... no ifs, buts or maybe's.
Sherri Simmons Jewell Sherri Simmons Jewell Friday, January 25, 2013 2:24:23 PM I hope they got rid of that man. What if it was his home or family. Pitiful!
Craig Breeden Craig Breeden Friday, January 25, 2013 2:42:54 PM what about mutual aid? must companies have mutual aid all the time but I guess this station don't believe in this thought process!
Harold Shingler Harold Shingler Friday, January 25, 2013 2:49:09 PM The chief of this dept. should be removed from his post, you take a oath to protect lives and property 24/7 no matter where, and this indeed is a very bad exsample for his men and women, and the community, If you stop and look, ill bet that the tax payers provide money grants to that dept.HOMELAND SECURITY.This just looks like lazyness to me, Appalled is not the word...IGNORANT.
Tom Smith Tom Smith Friday, January 25, 2013 3:08:01 PM True, but we pay council tax towards the emergency services, if half of the said state pay towards the fire service, and the other half dont but still get same cover, then the first half would surely stop paying....thus leaving the firefighters without a wage and without running costs........as said in the article, if somebody was trapped they would have attended, shame it had to come to it but hopefully will be a wake up call to the people who don't pay towards it over there
Charles Cunningham Charles Cunningham Friday, January 25, 2013 3:13:25 PM In our volunteer community we spend more time fighting fires as a mutual aid company than we do fighting our own fires. I understand the pay for service but I do not agree with it. Our department is tax supported but our neighboring departments that we work with are not.
Doug Terrell Doug Terrell Friday, January 25, 2013 3:21:53 PM We don't know any of the history behind this story. And all the feel good " Firefightes protect Life and Property... Do your duty, etc." sounds real nice. But the bottom line is every run cost someone something. If nothing more that fuel for the trucks. But the actual expense is far higher, ask any volunteer who had to take a vacation day from their paying job the next day. The bottom line is home owners should know and care about their community and prepare. Not wait for the poo to hit the fan and expect someone else to be there! Every few months we read a similar story, Citizens WAKE-UP you expect a truck to show up when you dial 911, then pay the piper. Know what you have and where your taxes are or are not going!
Doug Terrell Doug Terrell Friday, January 25, 2013 3:23:32 PM Second point - What is going to happen if the Chief is our giving charity and the resources are needed back home?
Gary Bloch Gary Bloch Friday, January 25, 2013 3:29:03 PM Didn't they ever hear of a thing called mutual aid dispatching ?
Jeff Swan Jeff Swan Friday, January 25, 2013 3:33:33 PM Pete Medved Wow Pete!!! That does suck!!! Iím so sorry to hear this!!!
Terry L. Wise Terry L. Wise Friday, January 25, 2013 3:57:41 PM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHYPZBpxeZE
Warren Kelly Warren Kelly Friday, January 25, 2013 4:00:10 PM I agree with Neal Davison, Nearest brigade responds with backup as required. Fire is Fire and the role of firefighter is not something that is for sale to the highest bidder.
Jim Hensel Jim Hensel Friday, January 25, 2013 4:08:40 PM Wow I thought this type of thinking went out the window 30 years ago. This just makes me ashamed.
Doug Terrell Doug Terrell Friday, January 25, 2013 4:13:58 PM Can I assume you paid for you apparatus, turnouts & training while not taking a paycheck or stippen?
Byron Ostrom Byron Ostrom Friday, January 25, 2013 4:14:49 PM Wow! Way to give the fire service a bad name!!!
Mike Price Mike Price Friday, January 25, 2013 4:18:56 PM I am grateful that I work for a dept that wouldn't stop me from going outside the county line.. I hate to hear of a story like this, but if it is contract work and people have to pay for this individual service then why would anyone pay if the department will always respond. The chief stood his ground.. I do hate to hear of a story like this..
Kenny Herinckx Kenny Herinckx Friday, January 25, 2013 4:19:01 PM If they responded out of thier area without a mutual aid agreement it is very possible that their insurance would not have covered them. I say good job Chief for making the tough decision to keep your taxpayers covered with the service they paid for.
Jim Richards Jim Richards Friday, January 25, 2013 4:23:35 PM As a firefighter, seeing these stories time and time again disgusts me.
Alvan Bello Alvan Bello Friday, January 25, 2013 4:24:50 PM This is not good at all. That wont happen in my country.
W Joseph Lacks W Joseph Lacks Friday, January 25, 2013 4:31:00 PM FIRST OF ALL THE CHIEF WAS WRONG. HE SHOULD HAVE SENT A CREW THERE. 2ND, WHAT's THE DEAL WITH THE TOWN OF ELOY? DOn't THEY HAVE A CONTRACT WITH THE DEPT? IF NOT, HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON. IS THEIR ANY AGREEMENT AMONG ANY ENTITY OR CITIZENS. LOOKS LIKE THE STATE NEEDS TO LOOK INTO THIS. MUST BE THEY DOn't HAVE MANY FIRES THERE.
Frank Mea Frank Mea Friday, January 25, 2013 4:31:34 PM Disgusting
Royette Williams James Royette Williams James Friday, January 25, 2013 4:36:01 PM u can say that again. not when my committed roommate is just a stone through away...lololololol
John Liebfred John Liebfred Friday, January 25, 2013 4:38:53 PM There's some townships in Oregon that have no municipal fire services Either,.... Home owners have to contract with the likes of Rural/Metro and the such..... But that "Chief".......Needs to read my post a couple hours ago and ponder it.
Friedrich VonDeitsch Friedrich VonDeitsch Friday, January 25, 2013 4:41:40 PM Pete, Thank you for your experience and understanding of the "politics" of the Fire Service. It seems most folks have no idea how society works and so they have emotional responses to problems like this one. It is a fact that the insurance industry is pretty much running the show in most areas of our lives. You hit the nail right on the head with your understanding that many things can and will happen that could leave a person in real bad straights if they deployed equipment and souls against the policy of their insurer. People need to consider what would they feel if a Firefighter was injured seriously and had to face having to pay for their health care and recovery out of their own pocket because they were not covered by the underwriter of the station insurance program. This persons life would be destroyed by the sky high cost of hospitalization just because they used their heart instead of their head. Good call Brother! Stay safe and of course.. thank you for what you do. Respectfully, Lieutenant Frederick Georges N.S.V.F.A./Orleans Fire and Rescue-Retired
Friedrich VonDeitsch Friedrich VonDeitsch Friday, January 25, 2013 5:04:29 PM People please! All of you who have negative feelings for the Chief obviously have never had the enormous responsibility or understanding of being in command. When you are responsible for an entire department you are afforded the information that many outside of the organization do not have, such as, the mandates of the controlling council board officers as well as the state and national codes governing the operation of public service entities. The Chief knew his hands were tied and had to make a call that I am positive made him as angry and hurt as all of us here responding to this news. He not only should not lose his job, as some here have suggested, but in fact be supported for having done the "right" thing that was obviously going to be meet with a powerful cry from all who are ignorant of the rules Fire officers are bound by. It sure would have been nice to just go and help your neighbor but not if it means you will possibly hurt someone else doing it. I am positive the Chief was not thinking of "the money" issues but the liability issues instead. It is truly tough being in command. Especially when so many people have no idea of the demands placed on you. Stay well and safe all. Respectfully, Lieutenant Frederick Georges. N.S.V.F.A./Orleans Fire and Rescue-Retired.
John Novak John Novak Friday, January 25, 2013 5:11:05 PM He is legally required to cover his own area. If his crews were in Picacho and a fire broke out in his district, they would get sued for not covering the area which pays taxes for fire protection. Nobody wants to annex into a fire district because of the taxes. They are willing to roll the dice until there is a fire then depend on the court of public opinion to destroy a fire district's reputation. I have the same potential issue in my fire district. If I do not have adequate staffing or one of my two engines is out of service, there will be no out of district response. It truly sucks, but it is what it is. There is nothing preventing the citizens of Picacho from forming their own fire department.
Peggy Morton Peggy Morton Friday, January 25, 2013 5:25:38 PM What a damn shame. Chief Amerson. God forbid ANYTHING like this should happen to you or your family. I cannot seriously believe the stories I see like this on daily basis. He IS a disgrace to his uniform, his towns people, especially to his comrades. I'm sorry, I would not want this man as my chief. How 'bout you? regular basis. Why do we even have first responders, if they refuse to do what they've been hired to. Volunteer or paid
Pete Miller Pete Miller Friday, January 25, 2013 5:32:48 PM Disgraceful and appalling.
Victor Junior Barbee Victor Junior Barbee Friday, January 25, 2013 5:34:13 PM I can't sit here and let these people bash this chief on a decision that is hard fron anybody to make. First of all good job brother and sorry you had to make a tough decision for the better of your department. Second blinded ppl of America stop being dumb butts. Yall all know money talks and BS walks. Yall are so simple minded when it comes to things in this nature, but do you know how much it cost to send one fire truck? More than most ppl make in a year. Not to mention how much fire EMS, and police are underpaid for there jobs and hazards the face every shift. Talking linguistics well he did he thought about it and made the better decision for his department. Im sure they had plenty of time to pay for their fire service, and if was that important to them you will find who they need to pay. But just like many ppl the had the what ever mind set and they will respond BC they have to
Ted Hall Ted Hall Friday, January 25, 2013 5:38:28 PM Yeah, it's a shame that the Chief realized that his department would have been crucified if anyone got hurt on the job while out of their jurisdiction... We all want to save the world... but dirty financial considerations come up.... How would YOU like to be the guy with a broken back on this job and denied workman's comp because you weren't covered? Or the IN DISTRICT homeowner that lost his family while resources were out wildcatting where they didn't belong? This isn't the first time we've discussed this issue on the forum here... and the answer is always the same the FIREFIGHTERS safety comes first! Worse yet... getting sued by that homeowner because you "didn't do enough" and the house was a total loss... and having to settle for the price of your next four new engines since you were there but not covered by THAT liability insurance either...
Victor Junior Barbee Victor Junior Barbee Friday, January 25, 2013 5:39:20 PM Are the ones who look at their Ambulance bill and put it in the bottom of the pile. I think he did a great job and its about time someone stepped up and held them accountable for there negligent and it came back to them. I know if my local fire department said hey we are 2mins away from your house you can add us for additional what ever a year I would asked rite then who do I meed to pay. Again great job chief/brother great work...
Stacey Nicholas Stacey Nicholas Friday, January 25, 2013 5:43:39 PM I would never assume that people who do not pay for their fire service have paid for home insurance. Homeowners insurance is often mandated by the lender to protect the lender's interest. Persons in homes that are paid for are not required to purchase home owner's insurance. So billing at 3x the limit would still get you nothing.
Steve Adams Steve Adams Friday, January 25, 2013 5:43:55 PM When you let common sense replace the wide eyed emotions that you are displaying, you have to realize that the Chief did exactly the right thing. Under the laws of the land, he is forbidden to use the assets paid for by one entity, to protect the property of another. That's the law, and he did the right thing. Emotionally and in some cases depending upon your moral code this is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the law. Those of you who are hollering the loudest should honestly answer what you would do if your house caught fire, and when you called for the fire department, you were told they would be then in about an hour because they are currently at Edward Ortiz's residence putting out a fire there...because it was the morally right thing to do... Yes, I can hear your shouts of anger from miles away. So please put your emotions away and be logical. As for those proud volunteers who would ignore the law and go put it out? Hope you and your dept have tons and tons of insurance that protects you while doing illegal acts - because regular insurance doesn't... would it be worth jail time or losing your own home in a judgement because of your illegal act? There is a simple cure - join a fire service area and pay the fees/taxes.. Then those big red trucks will show up when you need them.
Glenn Johnson Glenn Johnson Friday, January 25, 2013 5:44:41 PM No Fire Service is free. Someone is paying for it somehow.
Rob Scott Rob Scott Friday, January 25, 2013 5:45:48 PM What a asshole
Dustin Dinwiddie Dustin Dinwiddie Friday, January 25, 2013 5:47:36 PM It was handled poorly they should have gone used it as a teachable moment and made a political push for funding
Stacey Nicholas Stacey Nicholas Friday, January 25, 2013 5:48:16 PM Sorry, but I find it interesting that the people who do not take the responsibility for their property are usually the one's arguing against paying a unified service tax, are against the "government getting in their business," but expect "big brother" come come and pull their fat from the fire. The chief said they would have responded if there had been a question of life endangerment. Charging them 3x the rate is not any promise of payment and there is a responsibility to those who have subscribed to the service. A few years ago, we tried to expand our service area to a community that is close to one of our stations. The vocal minority responded "why should we pay taxes to your district. You're closest, you're going to come anyway." That whole experience changed my opinions on this issue.
Ted Hall Ted Hall Friday, January 25, 2013 5:49:00 PM We have a mutual aid agreement with every fire service in the county, and the next county north... that's probably a dozen districts... that STILL leaves one place on the south end where people don't want a fire district or contract with the nearby district... We're an all volunteer department and would roll wherever the Chief sent us... but HE is the guy that is SUPPOSED to make the hard call when it's the wrong thing to do...
Doug Gregg Doug Gregg Friday, January 25, 2013 5:49:31 PM He made the only legal option there is. No policy or agreement for "no man's land" than no response. If the resources are out of their jurisdiction than what happens if an incident happens to a taxpayer/owner of the resource? That "what if" should have been addressed before it happened. I bet if he could he would choose other words to decline the response request.
Bruce Whaley Bruce Whaley Friday, January 25, 2013 5:54:21 PM What a shame ,
John Drady John Drady Friday, January 25, 2013 5:59:56 PM How can you be certain there is no one trapped? That situation can change in an instant.
Ted Hall Ted Hall Friday, January 25, 2013 6:03:56 PM The last time we had a similar incident on the forum was a fellow that had sat with his cronies and laughed at the idea of paying $75 a year for fire response outside of the city limits... He was quoted as saying the same thing... "they going to come anyway" Turns out they did... since his neighbors were covered and THEIR property was entitled to protection. It's understandable that anyone who wants to be a Firefighter has the impulse to respond... that's what we're about.... You don't become a Firefighter to get rich and famous! HOWEVER: Scene Safety for the Chief includes those "what if" situations that the Initial Attack crew doesn't have time to worry about.... like "are we covered if we do this?" Our district includes state and federal land, so crossing those jurisdictional boundaries are part of the process too... sometimes over a hundred foot difference in location. Some of the folks that don't get it right now will eventually catch on, after they have some time to get seasoned... and see what happens when it's all covered and their friends get hurt...

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