Almost two years ago I reported that firefighters in Alameda, California allowed a man to drown because they were pissy about budget cuts. Not surprisingly the family of the victim filed a lawsuit and even less surprisingly the court ruled that the firefighters couldn’t be held responsible because they have no duty to protect individuals:
The police and firefighters who remained on shore as Raymond Zack waded into San Francisco Bay on Memorial Day 2011 and succumbed to hypothermia were under no legal duty to help him, a judge ruled Monday.
Officers and firefighters also did not worsen the 52-year-old Zack’s condition by clearing Robert Crown Memorial State Beach or by preventing people from going to his aid, Judge George Hernandez said in a ruling that effectively tosses out a lawsuit that Zack’s family filed against the city of Alameda.
Granted I wouldn’t hold the firefighters responsible either, nobody should be coerced into taking an action they don’t wish to take. What I take offense to is that we’re forced to pay these bums and receive no guarantee of service in return. Effectively we have to pay them or we’ll be kidnapped and locked in a cage or have are wages garnished but if they fail to provide the service we’re paying for no punishment befalls them. The true tragedy of this story is the fact that the firefighters allowed the individual to drown because they didn’t receive as much protection money as they wanted. This is askin to mobsters breaking your kneecaps because you failed to pay them protection money.