Privatize fire departments

John Seiler:

We pay massive taxes to subsidize, among other things, massive pay and pensions for firemen. In Orange County, firemen receive on average an incredible $175,000 yearly pay, perks, and pension package.

Now, around the state, fire departments are starting to charge for services that taxpayers already have paid for. The chutzpah of it all! The Bee reports:

Drivers in California who cause crashes may find their pocketbooks dented as well, courtesy of local fire departments.

More than two dozen fire agencies, struggling for ways to boost sagging budgets, have begun tallying service charges at crash sites and sending bills to drivers or their insurance companies.

Is a pumper truck called to the scene? That’ll be $400. Traffic cones and flares needed? Another $20. An incident commander to oversee? That’s $75 an hour.

Roseville, Woodland and at least a half dozen smaller Sacramento area fire districts have imposed such fees in the past year. The city of Sacramento expects to start this fall. And, beginning July 1, Placer County Fire will charge non-local drivers or their insurance companies for crashes that require fire agency response.

Well, if we have to pay extra for it — on top of our taxes — then why not privatize it? Turn every fire department into a private company. Allow competition from other companies. And charge for services.

And, of course, cancel all the taxes currently paying for the services, including the massive compensation packages — and refund the money to taxpayers.

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