Pennsylvania Trooper and Fire Lieutenant Go At It In The Latest Round of Police-Fire Wars

An altercation between a Pennsylvania fire lieutenant and a state trooper at the scene of an accident on Sunday led to a brief detention of the lieutenant, but no criminal charges as of yet.

Lieutenant Mike Naylor of the Goodwill Fire Co. from York Township was handcuffed but later released following a disagreement over the breaking of glass to access the passenger compartment of a vehicle located on Interstate 83 near the Queen Street exit. The incident was reported as a single vehicle accident with entrapment. Goodwill Fire Co. spokesperson Wendy Tracey reported that firefighters were informed that occupants were trapped in the vehicle and that it was on fire.

Troopers who arrived first believed the driver was overdosing, and after being unable to open the doors opted to break a window. Upon his arrival, Lt. Naylor yelled at the troopers to stop breaking the glass.

According to the York Daily Record, the state police issued a press release describing what occurred as follows:

  • A firefighter became upset towards the troopers on scene that they were breaking the glass to provide first aid and started to yell at the troopers.
  • The trooper then attempted to escort the firefighter away, when the firefighter pushed the trooper away.
  • The firefighter was taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs.
  • This is an on-going investigation.

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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