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Old 12-13-2008, 09:38 AM
 
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Three times in the last 6 months our neighbors have had the local Freeport fire department send the huge ladder truck to their house to pump out their basement. Is this a common practice in other localities that I am not aware of or perhaps a perk for someone on the fire department?
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: 43.55N 69.58W
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Holy cow, 3 times in 6 mos? I hope they were smart enough to not store anything of value down there. I learned that the hard way once after the water heater tank blew and everthing I owned was floating.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:01 AM
 
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That house is the one they have been trying to sell since July. They moved out and it's completely empty. Evidently they have a basement water problem that rivals mine! With no one there I suspect the power outage messed up their sump pump. It was probably a pedestal pump and got wet from the rising water making it useless when the power came back on. I would think he would have brains enough to get a submersible pump after having the same thing happen three times this year. I just wondered if the Fire Departments make a habit of pumping out cellars with public fire equipment as I had never heard of the practice. Do they do swimming pools too??
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
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They do it here too. Mostly I thought because we all know each other and its neighborly as heck. You'd think the guy would buy a sump pump for the cellar. Guy down the street here used to have 5 to keep ahead of the water. Teach him to buy at the bottom of 2 hills!!
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Emerald Coast
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I could justify it once as an emergency event, but after that they should buy their own pump. I often wonder about the whole public expense thing. I do alot of remodeling and repair work at a local nursing home. A fire station is less than one mile away, and they seem to be called out at least once a day to resuscitate someone . Both the ambulance and big truck are dispatched. Not sure who pays for the "scramble", but I was hanging some new doors one day and my router bit was a bit dull. Long story short, it set off the smoke alarm there and that "scramble" cost $500.00!
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Maine
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I lived in a small town for years and years. When I was in the hospital having my daughter, our well went dry. A friend of mine was on the fire department. He brought the truck out and dumped water into our well. It was ok to use for toilets and stuff but not for drinking. Bringing home a new baby with no water was not an option. I think because it was a small town and having friends on the fire department was the reason this happened for me. Probably not a practice in larger towns or maybe not at all anymore. This was over 20 years ago.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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The guy with the flooded basement is on the fire department so I was thinking it might be a perk for department volunteers. I don't really have a problem with it but I'd be willing to bet regular residents don't get their basements pumped out by the fire department for free.
They tried to charge me for a scramble, as you put it, once when I was burning brush out back. One of the local fire nuts went by and saw my fire and called on his radio to see if I had a permit. They sent two fire trucks and drove right across my lawn with one of them. I had purchased a permit online. They didn't check their computer before rolling the apparatus and tried to blame me for not calling them. I told him it wasn't my problem ,I did not have to call them, I had a permit, and get the truck off the lawn before I sue you!
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
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"Do they do swimming pools too??"

As a matter of fact, they do and they pump out cellars. We had a guy in town who bought a home with a swimming pool. He figured he better pump it out before it froze so he rented a pump and pumped out several thousand gallons. He told somebody he had done it and his friend said he better refill it and quick or the walls of the pool would cave in from the frost.

The fire department came out and dumped a few tanker loads of clean lake water in the pool. We do cellars too. Old houses have stone foundations and water seeps in between the stones. In the spring when the frost is still in the ground water can run in faster than the usual household pump can take care of it. Usually a young fireman can use the training involved by "drafting water" out of a cellar.

Every town is different. Down there in lower Maine where they have million dollar ladder trucks the three or 4 paid firemen need to be in the same place as their equipment so when somebody burns the toast at the nursing home they roll what they have. Up here where we drive 1947 Army trucks with an old Chrysler straight 8 engine in the back to run the pump we are just as likely to drive our own pickups to pump a cellar. Our own trucks have heaters. ;-)

Some towns are tied down like Gulliver with so many rules they can't function efficiently. Rural fire departments function on common sense.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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A neighbor of ours was once a FD volunteer, at his previous home. So he is in the mindset of calling the FD for stuff.

He has called the FD here to come and pump out his basement. He expected it to be free. But later they sent him a bill for $500.

I think that if you desire to be using FD equipment for routine things, you should probably be actively volunteering your time to that FD.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:29 PM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,311,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Some towns are tied down like Gulliver with so many rules they can't function efficiently. Rural fire departments function on common sense.
Well said Brother, well said.

Here pumping out cellars is part of the job, a service call if you will. Its free to townspeople because its an act of the weather and whatnot. 3 times in 6 months...probably not something we would continue to do. At some point people have to help themselves too.

As far as pools go, yes they are filled as well, and while they are "free" a donation is expected. That typically goes into the "Mens Fund" which is separate from the town fund which pays for the essentials. The Men's Fund pays for the goodies the boys would like to have, but don't want to go to the town for it. Other activities that donations are expeted is buring fields in the spring. That's a big thing here.

The one thing that should be said though. Volunteer Firefighters are just that, volunteers. They get up at 3 AM and go to fires, car accidents and medical emergencies in the most nastiest of weather, when it comes to town meeting we should all say thank you by voting for the things they want. Hey they are doing it for free, don't make them grovel and beg at town meeting so they can do their job easier.
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