New Tobyhanna Fire Unit Said to be Late to Respond

‘Station 44’ Appears to Have Failed to Respond to Alert Until After Three Tries

MAY 10, 2023

TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP- Tobyhanna Township’s newest volunteer fire company, the “Bureau of Fire,” has come under fire after inexplicably failing to respond to an emergency alert until the Monroe County Control Center had to issue it for a third time.

At about 8:45 on the morning of May 10, a 29-year old man was reported to have fallen forty feet out of a tree on the grounds of Lake Naomi.

According to the conversation reportedly heard over the county 911 radio, at 8:43 am an emergency alert was issued to Fire Stations 33 (Pocono Summit) and 44 (Bureau of Fire), as well as the local EMS.

A transcript of the May 10 call which had led to more criticism of the Tobyhanna Township Bureau of Fire. The transcript was published by the Monroe County Fire Wire. BORO Screengrab

EMS acknowledged the call and was on its way a minute later, at 8:44, was on the scene at 8:49, and called for a lifeflight for the seriously injured man at 8:50.

At 8:57, the county reportedly notified responders that there was “no response” from Station 44. The Pocono Summit Volunteer Fire Company, en route to the scene, asked County to issue a second alert.

At 9 am, with still no response from the new volunteer force, County asked if they should issue a third alert. Pocono Summit asked them to try 44 again.

Finally, Station 44 was reported to acknowledge the alert, telling control at 9:01 am that they “are responding.”

In the meantime, a fire officer with the Tobyhanna Township Volunteer Fire Company, employed at Lake Naomi, proceeded to the lifeflight landing zone – a baseball field.

According to TTVFC President Ed Tutrone, when that fire officer arrived at the field, no other responder had yet shown up. The TTVFC then proceeded to ready the field for landing by removing equipment which had been left on it.

At 9:03, he reported that the field had been cleared and asked control who was on the way. The Pocono Summit unit asked the TTVFC responder to continue preparing the landing zone and thanked him for his help.

Finally, at 9:05 am – 22 minutes after the emergency alert – the Bureau of Fire arrived at the scene. Three minutes later the Pocono Summit unit got there.

Ed Tutrone arrived immediately after that. He told us that a fire official from another part of the county had heard the radio calls and alerted him of the situation. When he arrived, he said Supervisors Dave Carbone and Joe Colyer were there as responders with Station 44.

“Carbone complained that we were there,” Mr. Tutrone said. “I told him let’s address the (emergency) situation and argue about that later.”

A witness on the scene told us that it appeared that Mr. Carbone did not have his emergency phone turned on and that the Bureau Of Fire personnel seemed to be uncertain on how to set up the field for a lifeflight landing. According to the witness, the TTVFC fire officer “gave them ‘suggestions’ on setting up the zone.”

The lifeflight was in the air with the injured man by 9:29. The victim has not been identified and was reported to have broken legs and in serious but not life-threatening condition. We have not been able to confirm that report.

Township officials ignored our invitation to provide the Bureau of Fire’s version of the incident.