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Now here is an example of public service
Old 09-14-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
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Now here is an example of public service

I was reading a book the evening and noticed a humming noise outside my window. I opened the curtain and saw a hook and ladder truck outside with the lights flashing and firemen climbing a ladder and entering a second story window in the house across the street. Seemed strange since I didn't hear sirens blaring when the truck arrived. Turns out the goofy old lady across the street locked herself out of her house and called the fire department. They came and rectified the situation. Must have been having a slow night.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:30 AM   #2
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No locksmiths in that town? What's next, should I call the FD to mow my grass?

FD should be on reserve for real emergencies.

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Old 09-15-2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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No locksmiths in that town? What's next, should I call the FD to mow my grass?

FD should be on reserve for real emergencies.

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And you kids get of my lawn!
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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No locksmiths in that town? What's next, should I call the FD to mow my grass?

FD should be on reserve for real emergencies.

-ERD50
My guess is she was so upset they realized they would need to call out EMTs with psych support if they didn't get her back in the house. Ultimately more cost effective to just deal with it.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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My guess is she was so upset they realized they would need to call out EMTs with psych support if they didn't get her back in the house. Ultimately more cost effective to just deal with it.
Don't you think they could have sent a locksmith for a tiny fraction of the cost of sending a staffed fire truck, extending ladders, etc? I mean..... it was kinda cute and all that, but from an tax expense perspective someone should be disiplined.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:24 PM   #6
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If you live in a quiet small town, something like that was probably good exercise for the FD--get those rigs out there. And the goofy old lady pays taxes too.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:29 PM   #7
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Ultimately more cost effective to just deal with it.
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Don't you think they could have sent a locksmith for a tiny fraction of the cost of sending a staffed fire truck, extending ladders, etc? I mean..... it was kinda cute and all that, but from an tax expense perspective someone should be disiplined.
Yep. I think it is that view of "cost effectiveness" that leads people like me to be skeptical of how our govts use our money.

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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Fire trucks in a small town (and firemen) spend a lot of time idle. If it gave them something to do, then why not go for it. Assuming they could still respond if there had been an actual alarm. Though if the place is so small, perhaps a volunteer force would be more appropriate than a full time force that has nothing to do most of the time. Do they also rescue cats out of trees?
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:42 PM   #9
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Yep. I think it is that view of "cost effectiveness" that leads people like me to be skeptical of how our govts use our money.

-ERD50
Hey! You're not implying that the lil ole lady who got locked out of her house is the grandma of an alderman are ya?

I don't think so. The firemen would have painted her house and redone the roof while they were there if that was the case
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:26 PM   #10
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I live in a sleepy little town and used to listen to the emergency bands on my scanner. From what I heard, I'd say that this is not unusual, as they have a lot of down time.

The calls coming from Detroit, on the other hand were something else. Calls like "man with gun in street threatening neighbors - third request!"
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:55 PM   #11
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Unless there was overtime involved wouldn't the cost have been almost nothing? Maybe a couple of gallons of diesel, but the firemen were getting paid the same, no matter what. One might ask what would have happened if there had been a real emergency while they were out playing good Samaritan though.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:51 PM   #12
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Unless there was overtime involved wouldn't the cost have been almost nothing? Maybe a couple of gallons of diesel, but the firemen were getting paid the same, no matter what. One might ask what would have happened if there had been a real emergency while they were out playing good Samaritan though.
They would have been suited up already, truck warm, and boogied. Maybe faster than a cold start from the station. How is it that firemen were storied to have rescued cats from trees back in the day and now it's too expensive? Do today's cat owners have a lawsuit propensity that requires way expensive insurance?
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:02 PM   #13
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Actually, after thinking about it, as long as the FD is willing to supply this service to all the town's citizens equally, why not? If the service is reserved for friends and relatives of the chief, the politically connected, etc., then of course the personnel involved should be executed.

They could publish multiple phone numbers:

non-emergency number

emergency number

locked out of your house number

kitty is in a tree and won't come down number

I've got extra burgers on the grill, come on over number

the neighbor's daughter is sunbathing in her bikini again, come on over number

etc.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:08 PM   #14
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Actually, after thinking about it, as long as the FD is willing to supply this service to all the town's citizens equally, why not? If the service is reserved for friends and relatives of the chief, the politically connected, etc., then of course the personnel involved should be executed.

The could publish multiple phone numbers:

non-emergency number

emergency number

locked out of your house number

etc.
Would you feel that way if you were the town locksmith?

Or how about the town butcher, and the govt decided to provide "free" butcher service to all the townsfolk?

I think govt services should be strictly limited to needs that cannot be met by the private sector, or are best met by the public sector.

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Old 09-15-2009, 10:39 PM   #15
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They would have been suited up already, truck warm, and boogied. Maybe faster than a cold start from the station.
If that is true, then I guess we should have fire-fighters and trucks just running around the neighborhood 24/7. We should add a whole list of tasks that they could do for the community on their daily rounds. Cut the grass, trim trees, pick up litter, etc.

Hmmm, not really such a bad idea. But if I had to call 911 with my home on fire, I'd like to know they are in the station, ready to go.

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Old 09-15-2009, 10:53 PM   #16
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Would you feel that way if you were the town locksmith?

Or how about the town butcher, and the govt decided to provide "free" butcher service to all the townsfolk?

I think govt services should be strictly limited to needs that cannot be met by the private sector, or are best met by the public sector.

-ERD50
So you think Ford should be concerned that they are competing against govt owned automobile manufacturers?


The locksmith needs to enhance her skills and service to that she can charge for what the govt gives away for free. If you don't see that general trend coming, you're not paying attention. Or perhaps the locksmith can be employed by the govt, reporting through the FD, and receive a higher salary that her entrepreneural endeavors provide.

What's the point of having a "Main Street" complete with shops and service providers when these things can be provided by centralized govt services? If entrepreneurs aren't good enough that citizens will pay them for what the govt will provide for free, then they shouldn't be in business.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:22 AM   #17
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I don't know what the old lady said on the call but I suspect it was ambiguous such that the FD (or 911 operator) was concerned they might ignore a true emergency if they didn't respond. Once on site, if no other real emergency intervened, why not help the old lady out? This was not someone rational enough that you would accuse her of abuse of 911. If I did it, that would be a different matter. Does anyone seriously think helping a batty old lady will undermine the local lock smiths?

When I was a kid on Chicago's south side a bully tossed my pogo stick down a sewer which had it's cap rolled back because of recent flooding. A passing police car stopped to investigate and called the FD which got my pogo stick out. Now that was real service in a real city Another example, in Virginia recently I locked my running car in a gas station with the dogs inside (I know, duh?). The owner called the FD which came right over with a big box of jimmies and got me back in the car. And what about the FD helping get cats out of trees - isn't that the Hollywood version of the "real America" that the tea-baggers keep pining for?
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:57 AM   #18
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And what about the FD helping get cats out of trees - isn't that the Hollywood version of the "real America" that the tea-baggers keep pining for?
I can't speak for "teabaggers", but I don't know why you would associate them with Hollywood? I get the impression that they are for personal responsibility and against big govt. That sounds like "take care of your own darn cat or keys".

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:29 AM   #19
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I can't speak for "teabaggers", but I don't know why you would associate them with Hollywood? I get the impression that they are for personal responsibility and against big govt. That sounds like "take care of your own darn cat or keys".

-ERD50
I'm thinking about the inconsistent, wild haired, whack jobs I have seen on TV saying, "give us back OUR real America," followed by "don't let them take away my Medicare." I visualize them glued in front of "It's a Wonderful Life" and hallucinating Mr. Potter morphing into Nancy Pelosi.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:32 AM   #20
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This thread appears to be circling the political drain and reaching the end of its short lifespan.
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