NJ Fire Captain Charged with DWI of Ladder

A New Jersey firefighter has been charged with drunk driving a ladder truck at 2 1/2 times the legal limit following an apparatus accident that sent one firefighter to the hospital.

Captain Russell Fenn IV of the Elmwood Park Fire Department was driving the department’s ladder back from a run when it crashed into several utility poles. A firefighter on board was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

According to Bergen County Police, Captain Fenn’s blood alcohol level was 2 ½ times time legal limit, and he was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and assault by automobile. The accident occurred around 1:15 am last Sunday morning.

Captain Fenn was released on his own recognizance.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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