A rural Southwestern Missouri fire department watching a house burn has prompted legislators to consider new legislation on fire fighting.
Hillari Duthoo (DOO-Thoh) has that story from the Capitol.
Fire fighters were unable to respond to a house fire in Monett Missouri in mid February because the home owner did not pay membership dues.
The Monett Rural Fire Department, as well as many others like it in Missouri, is comprised of volunteers and charges dues to be able to function.
Senate Republican Jack Goodman is currently working on legislation to keep rural Missourians safe and at the same time, protect volunteer departments.
"My concern is if we go too far and just order these departments to respond to all situations, then no one is going to pay their dues unless or until they have a fire."
Goodman says he hopes the department's actions don't tarnish the reputation of other fire fighters.
From Jefferson City, I'm Hillari Duthoo
Lack of response to a house fire in Monett (MOH-nett) Missouri prompts senators to look at fire fighting legislation.
Hillari Duthoo (DOO-thoh) reports from the Capitol.
The Monett rural fire department is a group of volunteers who rely on membership dues to stay active.
This month, that department did not respond and infact watched from the road as the house burned because the owner was a non-member and did not pay dues.
Southwest Missouri Senator Jack Goodman says while he thinks the department should have responded, doing so may only cause people to stop paying dues.
"The effect of that will be that there won't be dues to support the departments and the fire departments will go under and then we won't have any resources in rural areas for anyone when a fire developes."
The deadline to enter new legislation is March 1st, but Goodman says he hopes to find a solution to incorporate into an amendment or bill substitute later in the session.
From Jefferson City, I'm Hillari Duthoo.