Pennsylvania Firefighter Accused of Stealing Rescue Equipment

A Pennsylvania firefighter is accused of stealing rescue equipment from his fire department and selling it on eBay.


Timothy Kennelly was arrested last week and charged with stealing over $30,000 worth of equipment from the Lower Southampton Volunteer Fire Department. The stolen equipment includes SCUBA tanks, masks, underwater airbags, dry suits, chainsaws and regulators.

The department discovered the equipment was missing when personnel were dispatched to a water rescue last month in the Delaware River that resulted in the death of John Poltonowicz. No word on whether Kennelly will also be facing homicide charges related to Poltonowicz’s death.

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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