Randy Evans has been a volunteer firefighter for 30 years and is a member of the Obion City Fire Department. His department is one that serves Obion County with a subscription fire service but was not involved in Monday's fire that has again put the local fire department's in the news around the world.
Even though it was the South Fulton Fire Department that followed it's town policy of letting property belonging to non-subscribers burn, Obion City FD has been receving hate mail and death threats because of its name. They have been forced to take down the department's Facebook page.
Evans says it is time for Obion County to end pay for spray. Here are excerpts from an article by Jason Hibbs at WPSD-TV:
"We've had everything from "I'm going to shoot every firefighter to we're going to burn station to we're not American," Evans said.
But as nasty as these confused callers can be, deep down, this firefighter shares their concerns, since his own department has the same pay for spray policy.
Evans said in addition to a countywide public relations nightmare, pay for spray makes it tough to recruit new, young firefighters. He fears if something doesn't change, you'll see fewer new firefighters and more empty lockers.
"We plead with the county court to turn our hands loose, work with us, give us the opportunity to serve Obion County," Evans said.
It's just sheer luck that Obion Fire Department has never had to turn down a call. But it could happen someday. We asked Evans what he would do if they got a call from someone who hadn't paid the fee. He said he didn't want to discuss that.
Also on STATter911 …
- South Fulton, Tennessee’s Fire Department makes news after watching another house burn. ‘Pay for spray’ subscription policy in Obion County brings more heat for firefighters. – December 6, 2011
- Making a bad situation worse. Obion County, TN wants firefighters to be on the hook if county makes mistake in the ‘pay for spray’ subscription list. – April 19, 2012
- Local chief gives update on Obion County, TN ‘pay for spray’ policy. Union City’s Kelly Edmison says tax is cheaper than subscription, – December 9, 2011
- ‘Pay for spray’ update: Tennessee’s South Fulton FD says it was not on scene of controversial fire. Local chief says Kentucky company got close but had no authority to act. – December 9, 2011
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