Volunteer Firefighter International

Volunteer Fire Chiefs Resign, Fire Assoc. May Sue for Department Control

The Pa. chief and assistant chief are out as conflict with town council and neighboring fire department came to a head

By Michael Roknick and Eric Poole, The Herald

A conflict between borough council and the West Middlesex Volunteer department culminated this week with the abrupt resignation of the fire department’s assistant chief and the fire chief’s termination.

It could end in court, said fire department President Adam Garrett, who said the fire company is consulting with attorneys and state fire commission officials.

Some of the uproar surrounds merger talks between the West Middlesex Fire Department and Shenango Township Volunteer Fire Department. Discussions on combining the two departments, which was supposed to have been a smooth process, has instead led to open hostility among individuals and groups in both municipalities.

In a meeting Thursday, the fire department expelled former Chief Don Hoover — Garrett said Hoover resigned first. Hoover could not be immediately reached Friday for comment.

Whether council supports the department, and vice versa, is another matter.

Council voted Tuesday to appoint Shenango Township fire Chief Justin Barnes as an administrator who would oversee West Middlesex Fire Department and conduct a study of the borough’s fire protection needs, including the fire department.

Read the full story here.

Image: John Zavinski, The Herald

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