Monroe County Fire Company retaliates against its own township

TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Monroe County fire company is at odds with its township over a new ordinance that would give the township more control over the company.

The Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company is privately owned, but the new ordinance gives the township almost total control of the fire department.

Fire company president and deputy chief Ed Tutrone said he wanted everyone in the fire company to see it before giving their opinion. The company therefore held a meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the 13-page order proposed by township supervisors.

That’s 10 pages longer than the current ordinance that’s been in place for several years, and it would allow the municipality to exercise a lot of control over the fire company, and firefighters don’t necessarily agree with that. this dynamic.

“It’s not just taxpayers’ money, we’re fundraising. All these trucks that you see here, probably for $5 or $6 million just trucks, that’s not the equipment. This was not only paid for with taxpayers’ money, but also with donations. He also got paid, Coolbaugh Township is giving us some money. said Tobyhanna Township Fire Company President Ed Tutrone.

Tutrone also explained that it is a 501c3 nonprofit and not legally affiliated with the township.

The proposed order states that if the board of supervisors finds that the fire company is not operating effectively, supervisors have the power to appoint their own fire board. Their fire board would have complete authority over the fire company.

“This is a guilty-until-you-prove-you’re-innocent type of document,” says Chief Troy Counterman of the Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company

The proposed order also states that the board of oversight must approve elected fire chiefs and deputy chiefs. And that gives the board of supervisors control of all expenses of the fire company, and the equipment and trucks purchased by the fire company would now belong to the township.

Chairman and Deputy Chief Tutrone said: ‘They have control of this fire company because they think we are delinquent. Another will be the equipment they tell us what we can and cannot buy. If we want to go to the bank and take out a loan and buy something, we have the credit to do it, we will do it.

President and Deputy Chief Tutrone says the fire company has had no problems in its 92 years of service and he’s not sure why the township is pushing for it.

The canton has the power to do so under the current ordinance.

Eyewitness News contacted the township manager, but was told the township would soon release a public statement to communicate the township’s explanation of the proposed fire ordinance.

You can read the prescription written by yourselves here.

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