999 – fire service – there’s a fire in my house – please hold for credit card payment clearance

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^1 ^2 Yesterday in Dublin the new stealth tax of charging people for a call out of the Fire Brigade began. House fire call out will cost home owners €500 per call.

But there is some irony about the Irish Insurance Federation taking a position on this. Stealing the words from Joe Higgins mouth ^3 the industry federation calls it a double tax. and I don’t argue that it isn’t a shame on the city council for forcing in this unjust tax. But the origins of a municipal public funded free at the point of use fire tender service was invented purely due to the greed of insurance companies.

from ^4 Irish Fires Services / History
“At this time with the expansion and increase of wealth in the city it was the insurance brigades which had become the main fire fighting force. Dressed in brightly coloured costumes with the badges of their company on their uniforms and supplied with engines by the companies these men attended fires only in building which displayed the mark of their own insurance company. Later on cooperation did develop between the companies. The crew of the engine which arrived first received the highest amount of pay.”

The competition and greed of the insurance companies helped force the city to set up a publicly funded service in 1862. 150 years later Ireland demonstrates how we are returning to these dark ages where the uninsured or the not so sure, will hesitate to call the fire brigade as Dublin burns and lives are lost. Dublin City Council say this charge “will not be an issue” ^5 can they measure this?

Story links
^1 http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0116/firebrigade.html
^2 http://www.herald.ie/news/safety-fears-over-500-fire-service-callout-fee-2989…
^3 http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0117/1224310362756.html
^4 http://irishfireservices.ie/dublin-fire-brigade/history
^5 http://url.ie/dzyp