YCMTSU PA Fire Department Sues… Oh You’ll Just Have To Read It

We have seen firefighters sue fire departments. We have seen fire departments sue firefighters. We have seen fire districts sue fire departments and fire departments sue municipalities. We have even seen fire departments sue other fire departments.

But here is a first: a fire department suing itself… sort of…

The Macungie Volunteer Fire Department in Macungie, Pennsylvania has filed suit against the Macungie Fire Company over what it claims are nearly $17,000 in bills paid and repairs made to the fire station they both share. While the two organizations share the same building (ie. a fire station), the Fire Company is simply a “social organization” that runs a social club and bar… in the fire station’s hall… while the fire department is… well… a fire department.

According to news reports the two entities were originally a single non-profit corporation until 2008, when a decision was made to split off the firefighting function from the social organization. The Fire Company kept the liquor license and a brand new entity was created: the Fire Department.

It is me? Maybe I just cannot get my brain around how a fire department and a fire company that share the same facility, practically the same name… and might I venture a guess… many of the same members…  can’t get along to the point that a lawsuit must be filed. It’s like one shift suing another shift because they didn’t leave enough milk in the fridge at shift change… (BTW … true stories from the firehouse…. sorry C Group).

Trust me… the lawyer in me get’s it… it’s the firefighter in me that is struggling with this one.

Here’s more on this crazy story… and certainly if anyone from PA can fill in the blanks, I’d love to hear from you!

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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