Unfortunately for Bell, once firefighters arrived they realized that the family had not contributed to the department this year, so they stood down — exactly as instructed to by the City of South Fulton’s “pay for spray” policy.
Due to budget cuts, residents of rural areas outside the city limits have to pay the city for fire protection, or face potential disaster.
“We are a city fire department,” city manager Jeff Vowell said at the time. “We are responsible for the City of South Fulton and we offer a subscription (to rural residents). If they choose not to, we can’t make them.”
“[Firefighters] shouldn’t be forced to check a list before running out the door to see which homeowners have paid up,” the IAFF said.
In a similarly shocking incident this past August, police and firemen in Alameda, Calif. stood by and watched a man drown because they did not have enough money to pay for shore-to-water rescue certifications.
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