Drinking Leads to Suspension of PA Fire Department

A Pennsylvania Township has suspended and decertified one of its volunteer fire companies because a majority of the members who responded to a run on December 14th were under the influence of alcohol.

West Lebanon Township suspended and decertified Speedwell Fire Company within a week of the December 14, 2017 incident. The Township received a complaint about the firefighters and directed the North Lebanon Township Police Department to investigate.

According to Lebanon Daily News (who sought details about the discipline through public records requests), seven of the nine responding members to small fire at Pete’s Pizza had been drinking. No criminal charges have been filed to date but the investigation is continuing.

The Ebenezer Fire Company now handling fire calls in place of the Speedwell Fire Company. More on the story.

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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