The Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company refuses service due to a fire ordinance dispute, which allows the Township to have more governance over the fire company.
Tobyhanna, PA | The Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company no longer responds to calls over an ordinance dispute, leaving the residents without a township fire department.
A new ordinance passed by Tobyhanna Township forces the fire company to take more accountability, also adding a clause stating that the Tobyhanna Township would take control of the fire company when performance isn’t adequate, according to the new ordinance. The ordinance would also give the township power to approve the fire company’s chief and assistant instead of allowing the volunteer fire company to decide for themselves.
“It’s a little scary if anything does happen. I mean, all I have is a fire extinguisher in my house, so I would like to have somebody there that knows what they’re doing,” Adam Decker, a Tobyhanna Township resident, told WNEP.
The current assistant chief and fire company president, Ed Tutrone, says the fire company’s attorney attempted to negotiate several times and gave a warning notice that they would no longer respond to calls if the ordinance passed.
This dispute likely will continue, and a solution to the problem will not be reached anytime soon, according to Tutrone. The Monroe County 911 Center will no longer dispatch the Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company from now through the foreseeable future.
The Tobyhanna Township Supervisor, Ed Tutrone, released this statement:
“As this decision to remove themselves was made solely by the members of the Fire Department, the Board of Supervisors wants to ensure the residents and visitors of Tobyhanna Township that there will be NO interruption of Fire services to the Township and surrounding areas. “
“right now, they are putting the life and property of the township residents at risk whether they want to tell you that or not because they are delaying response by not having us dispatched.”
Although Tobyhanna Township no longer has the service of their volunteer fire department, Tobyhanna Township has been in talks with six other fire companies willing to help their situation by continuing to assist the area in case of fire.
The Pocono Summit and Tunkhannock Township Fire Companies are expected to answer the majority of Tobyhanna Township’s emergency needs, according to Tutrone’s statement. Tutrone says the other fire companies are to serve until the dispute over the ordinance is settled, and the Tobyhanna Township Fire Company is actively serving the area again.