The Privatization of Your Fire Department
As you know, it’s been a record year for fires throughout the Western states, especially California. And the fire season has barely begun.
The need for fire safety is on a collision course with the exploding population in fire-prone areas. More and more self-absorbed yuppies are moving to their own private paradise in the woods — right smack in the middle of a potential firestorm. Something's gotta give.
Oh, here's an MSNBC.com article about some changes that will be made because of all these fires. It's about time. More funding for local fire departments would be a good start. And the public needs to be made much more aware of the potential for fire and how to avoid it. In rural areas, newcomers need to be reminded that "you are no longer in downtown San Francisco or L.A. Things are different here. You need to adapt."
And every homeowner is going to have to make a few personal sacrifices so that his/her neighbor won't get killed in a fire. No more of those flammable shake roofs; talk about a no-brainer. And everyone should be required to maintain a firebreak between their house and the nearest vegetation.
These changes are long overdue, but better late than never. Anyway, this article says...WTF?!?!? Private fire protection services for wealthy property owners.
Great. Just fuckin' great. It figures. The Gilded Age lives on and on and on... Hey, if some deadbeat can’t pay for his own fire protection, why should he be coddled by a big slobbering Nanny State? Burn, Hippie! Watch your family DIIIEEE!!!
Socialized fire protection?? Bootstraps buddy.
Janet Upton of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said: “Life has to come first, then property. We know the number of private contractors is on the rise. If they communicate with us, they could be an asset. If not, they’re a big liability.”
One private contractor in Montana, Wildfire Defense Systems Inc., deals exclusively with homes that have a replacement value of $1 million or more. And at least one major insurance company — which has donated millions of dollars in the past to local fire departments — is now underwriting three of these private fire protection contractors.
A spokesman for another insurance company said: “Very wealthy people like to live in places that are naturally perilous. With the fires right now, we’re getting a lot of calls about fire protection.”
Lori Moore-Merrell, a researcher for the International Association of Fire Fighters, said: “In a fire, if there are houses, there is higher risk. We don’t know much about the contractors’ level of training. And fire protection should be available to all citizens regardless of how much money they have.”
Lori, Lori, Lori — that’s sooo twentieth century. Commie! Get used to it! You now live in the Ownership Society.
cross-posted at Bring It On!