Pennsylvania Fire Department Decertified

By a controversial vote, the Rice Township Volunteer Fire Department was decertified as the fire service provider for Rice Township, Pennsylvania. Last night the Rice Township Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 to adopt an ordinance decertifying the department and contracting with the Wright Township Volunteer Fire Department to replace it.

According to, the ordinance stated that “the ability of the Rice Township Volunteer Fire Company to provide adequate fire and emergency service has been compromised by a number of problems” that includes a “lack of adequately trained and qualified individuals residing in Rice Township; financial mismanagement; violations of December 2012 contract between the township and the fire department; illegal burning of refuse on fire department property and failure to maintain fire department property”.

The vote caused quite a stir among citizens of Rice Township, who had to be cleared from the meeting before the vote could be taken.

However, not everyone is unhappy with the decision. Officials with the Wright Township VFD are claiming that they are confident it is the “start of something big”.


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.

Check Also

Nashville Firefighter Claims Discipline Over Sick Leave is Retaliation

A Nashville firefighter who is suing the city contending his earlier discipline violated his First Amendment rights, has been disciplined again resulting in him amending his original complaint to include retaliation. The complex case involves firefighter Josh Lipscomb, who is a comedian under the stage name Josh Black.

Pittsburgh Reaches Agreement With Union on Residency

The City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Firefighters IAFF Local 1 have reached a compromise on ending a residency requirement for firefighters. The residency requirement was incorporated into the city charter in 2013 for firefighters and police officers.