(Thanks to Kevin Lybrook for being the first to send this to STATter911.com.)
A fire department has been refusing to respond to vehicle fires on I-24 in Marion County, Tennessee. It became a story after the chief of the Battle Creek Fire Department said his apparatus and firefighters would not respond to a burning charter bus carrying U.S. Marines on September 5.
Chief Eddie Haggard tells WSMV-TV reporter Jeremy Finley the issue is money and the department’s charter. Haggard says unless there is someone trapped on I-24 they can’t respond. The department’s charter only covers “homes in his area and Highway 2.”
Radio communication between the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Marion County 911 dispatchers reveal what happened on Sept. 5.
“I just wanted to verify that you guys have a fire apparatus for the charter bus,” the THP dispatcher can be heard saying.
“I paged them out, but the fire chief called and refused it,” the Marion County dispatcher responded.
“Even though it’s fully engulfed?” the THP dispatcher asked.
“Yep, it’s the same thing every time,” the Marion County dispatcher said.
“So we’re just going to let it burn off the side of the road?” the THP dispatcher asked.
“I guess,” the Marion County dispatcher responded.
“There’s no entrapment in that bus, is there?” Haggard asks the Marion County 911 dispatcher.
“No, sir. It’s a bus full of Marines,” the dispatcher responded.
“We’ve been denying all the other fires on the freeway, I’ll probably have to deny this one too,” Haggard said.