The big fire story in today’s news was the release of the shocking video of Michael Jackson’s head going up in flames, but here’s another fire-related tidbit that may have flown under your radar. Fire departments in California might stop helping each other put out fires, because they’re too broke.
“…with the debt-saddled state issuing IOUs instead of providing cash reimbursements, a growing number of fire chiefs are warning that the day may come when they have to check their bank balances first before dispatching crews far from home to assist Cal Fire.”
Ok, so firefighters are always trying to scare us when they’re having budget problems by warning us that our houses are going to burn down if they don’t get more money… but shit is finally getting so bad that it might actually be true this time. To make matters worse, the federal firefighting budget was slashed so deeply during the Bush years that the US Forest Service firefighters—who are often the first on hand to battle California’s infamous wildfires before they rage out of control—are working with increasingly smaller crews despite the greater risk of catastrophic blazes resulting from another little problem called “climate change.”
Good thing our pals in the insurance industry have got our backs. Chubb Group, for example, recently “began offering fire protection to its clients in 13 Western states as long as their homes have a replacement value of at least $1 million.” Hell, yeah—once again, privatization to the rescue!
If you would rather support a “local business” rather than one of those faceless corporate giants, just give Golden Valley Fire Suppression a call, and for only $30,000, they’ll make sure your house stays nice and cool while your poorer neighbors watch their shitboxes go up in flames (Serves them right for relying on “the government” to protect them – suckers!)
But for real, you know fire departments are tapped out when they can’t even afford clothes for their hard-working firefighters anymore. These poor fellows don’t even have the money for shirts!