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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!

Comments - Add Yours

  • http://www.anthonybuono.com Anthony Buono

    My station has the same thing. A fire department and a fire company. The Department fights fires. The Company fights among itself. Everyone has to be a member of both.

  • BILL SMITH

    ITS ALL RELATED TO A POWER STRUGGLE,I HAVE LIVED IT FOR 44 YEARS BTW HERE AND UPSTATE NEW YORK W HERE I WAS A 2 TERM CHIEF IN A VOLLIE UNIT.YOU GET A POWER STRUGGLE IN THE COMPANY OF A FEW WHO WANTS THE ULTIMATE NAME FOR THEMSELVES(AND THEMSELVES NOT SURE CORRECT)AND LEADS ONTO AND OUTWARD TO THE DEPARTMENT WHERE POSSIBLY AND A LOT OF THE TIMES MANY ARE OFFICERS WHO WANT CONTROL OF EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY,WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO IS LINE AND CIVIL OR LIKE NOT BRINGING UR WORK HOME AND THE WIFE TELLS YA LEAVE THE ATTITUDE AT THE DRIVEWAY.BEEN THIS FOR 100S OF YEARS AND ISNT GOING TO CHANGE ANYTIME SOON,NOT AS LONG AS YOU HAVE POWER HUNGRY PEOPLE WANTING CONTROL.

  • Pingback: Another Pennsylvania Fire Department Sues Itself | Fire Law()

  • Bernie

    Although I'm not familiar with this particular area of Pennsylvania the company members fighting over money is a common probem. 

    It has alot to do with fire house politics and the voting rights of its members.  Typically the active fire fighters/members are the voting minority and have a difficult time getting the company to vote on spending money.  The arguement can go either way but, this is often core battle.  Problems develope when a bill for services rendered comes to a vote and is denied. (As seems to be the case here) In this case it seems as if the fire fighters are the voting minority in the social club and have legal recourse on the department side to sue.

    It's also interesting to note, a bar in PA., can only serve until 2am and must have everyone out by 230a.  A social club gets an additional hour.       

  • Bob

    In this case the Fire Chief seen that the social side was struggling and instead of him working with the social side to salvage what has been up and running for years he decided to stalk them like a snake knowing that they couldn't fight the suite because of funding issues.  He changed the suite many times and drug it out to take as much as he could.  Why?  Because the social side has a stipulation in its policy that states if they can't survive they would turn everything over to a non-profit in the borough.  So greed took over and in the end he will tear down what took many, many years to build.  Oh and if you dig a little deeper you will find out this Fire Chief has been Fire Chief at many companies and has been removed from all so far but this one.  And now he will give this small town fire dept a black eye and known for putting a social club out of buisness because somone didn't get his way!