Tobyhanna Supervisors Form New Fire Company to Service Township

APR 6 2023

Tobyhanna Township’s “newest” fire fighting equipment. (Provided Photo)

TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP – After attempts to form a regional fire company met with less than an enthusiastic reception from area towns, supervisors in Tobyhanna Township have turned to forming their own company to make up for the loss of the Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company.

“Maybe we don’t want you to know.”

– Dave Carbone, Supervisor, responding to complaint about lack of information provided on new fire company

In February, the supervisors apparently filed paperwork with the state to form “Tobyhanna Township Bureau of Fire – Station 44” as a non-profit corporation under state law.
In March, they announced on Facebook the acquisition of what called “Rescue/Engine 44” for the new company. According to supervisor Brendon J.E. Carroll the vehicle is being leased at a cost to the township of $42,000 annually.

Participating in the March meeting by phone, supervisor David Carbone said they have had “a lot” of applications coming in for volunteer firefighter positions since the town began soliciting them in February.

He asked the supervisors to allocate $30,000 which supervisors Joseph Colyer could use to purchase used equipment no longer needed or wanted by area fire companies. He told the board that “Joey is going out this week to county fire companies selling equipment,” he said.
The request was granted unanimously by the board.

At the March meeting the supervisors were criticized by resident Jack Poland for spending the money on an old truck. Several people said the truck was a 2000-year model. While the supervisors did not release any details on he specifications or acquisition, they did not deny the truck was 23 years old.

Mr. Poland told the supervisors that under the National Fire Protection Association standards, which are called out in the Fire ordinance passed last year, once a truck hits 20 years is is no longer qualified for service.

Ed Tutrone, president of the Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company says his company has $6 million of vehicles available to the township, plus $1 million in equipment. He thought it seemed wasteful to purchase an old truck instead of working with his company. Mr. Tutrone is a candidate for supervisor this year, running against Supervisors Carbone and Carroll.

At the April meeting of the supervisors, the board adopted a resolution appointing the new fire company as a primary responder in the township. When Mr. Tutrone pointed out that the company did not qualify under the fire ordinance passed last year, the solicitor said that it did not have to because it was not an operating company.

The supervisors declined to provide the name of a contact person for the new appointed company; nor would they reveal how many members it had. When Mr. Tutrone complained about the lack of information they are giving about the company, Mr. Carbone, who has largely been spearheading this, told him, “Maybe we don’t want you to know.”

TTVFC Chief Troy Counterman, also running for supervisor, commented on the lack of information about members, contacts, and officers, calling it a “Ghost Company.”