Six PA Firefighters Suspended for Life

Today’s burning question: Please select the most likely response:

Six members of a Pennsylvania volunteer fire company, including the chief, have been “suspended for life” by the company’s trustees, and escorted from the monthly meeting by the police for:

a.      Committing arson

b.      Theft of large sums from the fire company

c.      Responding to a fire while intoxicated

d.      Conducting a fundraising event without permission

Answer: You guessed it… it is d. ….. Six members of the Blaine Hill Volunteer Fire Company including fire chief Brian Mason were suspended for life by the trustees over fundraising without permission. The suspended include Fire Captain Steve Trumpe, Deputy Chief Rick Lewis, Lt. Kevin Tennant and firefighters Mike Trumpe and Lisa Charleston.

Following the suspensions, the company’s vice president John Reese and secretary Dawn Reese resigned.

The suspensions are just the latest round in an ongoing dispute between the members and the trustees. They were handed down last Monday evening, where not only were the six members suspended, but they were unceremoniously escorted from the meeting by police. The event at the heart of the controversy was a fundraising fair that trustees claim was not authorized.

Chief Mason, was quoted on TribLive saying “I’m fighting it. We’re all fighting it.. I’ve been a fireman 22 years and I’ve never been through stupid (stuff) like this.” He also insists that the fundraising was approved at a meeting.

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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