Firefighter arrested in domestic dispute

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 


A firefighter from Northeast Fire & Rescue has been arrested following a domestic dispute incident involving his wife and another male.

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Fire Captain facing charges for DWI

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 


Gastonia Fire Department was forced to place their Captain, Michael Paul Cherry, on non-disciplinary suspension following his arrest for drunken driving. Once the investigation is conducted, the department will decide on disciplinary actions.

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Statutory rape charges face an 'inactive' volunteer

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 


Another volunteer firefighter is facing charges of statutory rape over an incident that allegedly took place within the fire station. Joseph MaQuiston, 36yo, allegedly had an intimate relationship with a juvenile female at PleasantView Volunteer Fire Department - Maxey Road Station 3.  According to the department, he hasn't been an active member since 2005 and they are cooperating with authorities and revisiting their security system.

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Firefighters go to training and end up in jail

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 

Two Sodus Point firefighters left for a training weekend and found themselves a trip to jail! Eric Frisbie and Jacob Williams allegedly broke into Enchanted Forest Water Safari theme park in Old Forge, stole food & stuffed animals, and then vandalized some of the building before heading back to the hotel. Police apprehended both men later at their hotel.   Read more at:



Befriending led to felony in the firehouse

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 


15 Felony charges have been filed against 22 year old Nathanial Allen Roland, a Shiremanstown volunteer firefighter, for having relations with an underage teenager.  Whether you are in uniform or not, the headlines will still capture the fire department association.  

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Can a sexual harassment policy cover everything?

Monday, September 23, 2013 


Elon Fire Station No 1 is in the public eye after one of their firefighters was charged with exposing himself to an underage female, while on firehouse property. While the law will be dealing with the accused 30yr old Nicolas James Campbell, the town & department will be re-evaluating their sexual harassment policy.

A sexual harassment policy is in place, however it does not specifically cover something that may occur in an open area such as this incident. Campbell allegedly exposed himself and made the female perform other acts in the engine bay, with the doors wide open.

So, can a sexual harassment policy cover everything?





Thursday, August 29, 2013  Our site will be down between the time of August 18th and September 24th, 2013. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to sharing more information with you soon!



Albany firefighter charged in arson of fire station

Friday, August 16, 2013 


A firefighter is behind bars charged with arson after police say a blaze at the Albany Volunteer Fire Department was an inside job.

Residents in Albany are breathing a sigh of relief after police say they've caught the arsonist who torched the town's brand new fire house.

"We're glad there's been an arrest made. I think a lot of people are going to sleep a better tonight knowing that it's sort of come to an end," said Chief Donald Peters, of the Albany Volunteer Fire Dept.

On Sunday firefighters watched their building burn. The flames trapped their tools inside.

"You know everything's right there to fight the fire but you just can't get to it to do so," Asst. Chief Josh Pilbin said at the time on Sunday.

Police say the arsonist used a passcode to access the station's back door. But was it an inside job?

James Joerg was one of the first volunteer firefighters on scene. Sunday he told Channel 3 News how frustrated he was by the crime.

"If somebody calls for help tomorrow I don't know what we're going to do." Joerg said at the time. "We're hoping that the insurance will help us out but 90-percent loss is unbelievable."

Prior to the blaze Joerg was soliciting equipment donations from Boston and New Jersey upset the department's newest pumper was from 1976. This arson was just another blow.

"We're just devastated by this because we have limited resources here now everything is gone by one person," Joerg said.

Police now say that one person is James Joerg. The 45-year-old firefighter is charged with second degree arson and reckless endangerment. Allegations he denied in court.

"We did have suspicion. We started eliminating who it could and couldn't be," said Chief Peters.

Police say game cameras -- set-up in the station -- caught Joerg in the act. He later confessed from the hospital after being admitted for an unknown illness. He told police he ripped down the smoke detectors -- turned the stove on high -- ignited cardboard -- and tossed the burning paper into one of the fire trucks.

"It's surprising when you see somebody quite often and to know that they could do something like that," said Bernie Alden. He lost his own store to a fire a few weeks ago. It sits right next to the firehouse. He says Joerg's confession makes him wonder.

"Who knows? I mean the fire investigators think it had started in the pizza oven but now there's that question," Alden said.

According to court papers -- Joerg told police he had frequent urges to set fires and admitted he was dangerous and wouldn't have minded dying in the firehouse arson.

"I think we got a good fire group too. Just one of them things. Just one nut in the barrel," said Carl Chaffee, Albany Selectboard Chair.

This is not Joerg's first brush with the law. In 2008, police say he reported being shot during a gun sale in Morgan. He was later charged with making a false report after police discovered he made up the story and shot himself in the arm.

And in 1999, Joerg's Holland home burned down, killing his father-in-law. That blaze was initially blamed on the 73-year-old falling asleep with a cigarette, but now state police investigators say there are going to take a fresh look at Joerg's entire history.

Joerg is being held for lack of 250-thousand dollars bail. A judge also ordered a competency and sanity evaluation.




Winlaw Canada - Fire Chief suspended & ENTIRE volunteer department resigns

Thursday, August 15, 2013 


The entire Winlaw fire department (19 volunteers in all) resigned last (Tuesday) night after their fire chief of 10 years, Jon Wollenberg, was given an open three-month suspension for insubordination after a disciplinary hearing held yesterday (Aug. 13).

“I can confirm he (Wollenberg) is suspended for a period not less than three months and is required to take a fire service supervision course, which we (RDCK) will pay for, prior to his return to duty,” said regional fire chief Terry Swan.

Swan said he could also confirm that Trail dispatch (which covers the entire RDCK area) received a call last night informing them the Winlaw department would not be taking calls.

“Dispatch immediately called me,” he said. “Within minutes of the call, Passmore and Slocan Fire Departments said they would respond to calls and look after those citizens.”

Swan took a moment to offer kudos to fire chiefs Gord Ihlen in Passmore and John Gates in Slocan for stepping up to cover the Winlaw area.

“There will be no interruption in fire protection service for that area,” he said.

Back to the disciplinary action, though, Swan said he's thinks the suspension and training requirement are fair.

“This is the third time he (Wollenberg) has wilfully disobeyed and disregarded direction from me and the RDCK,” he said.

Swan said he will be calling volunteers today to seek some sort of resolution.

Sources from inside the department have told The Castlegar Source that there's a long-standing animosity between the volunteers and Swan, arguing that he's consistently disrespectful of their roles as volunteers while demanding an outrageous level of respect for his own authority.

Volunteer firefighter Wolfgang Teiner said he feels Swan is “out of control,” and that, “He should look up the definition of 'volunteer'.”

Teiner said the Winlaw firefighters are happy to defer to Swan's greater experience and authority in emergency situations, but the demands being made of volunteers in non-emergency situations have, during Swan's tenure, become increasingly unreasonable.

Resident Chris Sapriken described it on The Source Facebook page as follows: “You've been up for 48 hours+ going door-to-door providing evacuation notices to your neighbors. You've barely been given the chance to organize your own affairs, business, family, requiring the assistance of friends to get your loved ones out of the affected area for you. There is no "ciesta" (sic), no rest, because now you're on call to assist anybody and everybody. Then there's a community meeting that you can hope to get information from, as you are a member of the community involved. You would otherwise have a weekly fire hall practice to attend, but your Chief has the heart to allow you to be a citizen for the night and attend the meeting to learn something, anything about what is happening, what comes next. Then your Region Fire Chief says you can't attend the community meeting because you have to hold a stop sign and direct traffic for everyone else attending. Your Hall Chief refuses, sighting (sic) that is not what your volunteer services are there for... directing traffic for a meeting? Highways can do that... trained traffic control services can be paid for that... heck, with a simple REQUEST, another volunteer hall can be asked to provide those services so Winlaw Hall members can be a part of their community in such a devastating time for them all. No, the Region Chief pulls rank, ordering it. Hall Chief refuses, and here we are.”

For his part, Swan said there was no explanation accompanying Wollenberg's refusal to provide traffic control for the meeting – had that conversation taken place, he said, the situation would not be what it is today.

(In an email exchange the day of the town meeting, Wollenberg simply declined to provide the service, and Swan replied with, “Have traffic control on scene by 6:00 pm or have your resignation on my desk by noon tomorrow.“)

A source inside the department also indicated that the Winlaw fire department had decided some time ago, as a group, not to respond to non-emergency calls, and said they believed Swan to be aware of the decision.

That same source said Wollenberg decided to accept this disciplinary action without further comment, and did not rally his volunteers to resign – that was a decision they made on their own (while attending a meeting at Wollenberg's home the night of Aug. 13).

RDCK director Walter Popoff declined to comment, deferring remarks to RDCK CAO Brian Carruthers, whom The Source was unable to reach prior to this publication.

Swan has promised an update by the end of business today regarding potential resolutions to the matter.



To Whom it may concern.

The Winlaw Fire Department is a volunteer group that has come together to help their community in the event of an emergency. We were recently asked by the Regional Fire Chief to provide traffic control for a nonemergency community event, I refused. Disciplinary action has now being taken against me for failing to take a command from a superior officer. I do not believe this is warranted given the lack of an emergency, I believe that demanding a volunteer fire department respond to a nonemergency goes against the principals of what this group has volunteered to accomplish. I recognize that due to the seriousness and risk of what a fire department encounters it is critical that we have a chain of command and any objections to an operation be voiced in an incident debriefing and not at the scene of an incident. However if no emergency exist I do not believe the Regional Fire Chief should demand actions from volunteer firefighters.

The members of the Winlaw Fire Department support this opinion and believe I have done nothing wrong in refusing to respond to a nonemergency event. The members have agreed that any disciplinary action taken against me will be served by the entire department resulting in the Winlaw Fire Department being out of service.

Jon Wollenberg

Winlaw Fire Chief





Port Washington Firefighter arrested - solicited impersonator to take EMT exam!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 



Bernard Shore offered $400 and a fake ID to take re-certification test, according to Nassau County port washington authorities.

A Port Washington man is facing multiple charges after he solicited another person on Craigslist to impersonate him for the purpose of taking an emergency medical technician certification test in exchange for a fee, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

The arrest is the result of a joint investigation between the DA's office and the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, with the cooperation of the Port Washington Fire Department.

Bernard Shore, 65, was arrested this morning by DA Investigators and charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, criminal solicitation in the fourth degree, and two counts of official misconduct. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in  First District Court, Hempstead.

“Had this defendant been able to successfully pull off this scam, his lack of qualifications could have meant the difference between life and death for an innocent person,” Rice said, in a press release. “It is unconscionable that Mr. Shore lied on his paperwork and then tried to cheat his way into a position of such importance. I want to thank the State Department of Health and the Port Washington Fire Department for their invaluable assistance in this investigation.”

Shore's ruse was a dangerous one that could have jeopardized lives, said State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah.

“It is a credit to the Nassau County DA’s office, the state Department of Health and Port Washington Fire Department that Mr. Shore’s plot was uncovered.”

Rice said that in May 2013, Shore, a 10-year volunteer critical care emergency medical technician in the Port Washington Fire Department, failed the New York State Critical Care EMT examination.

All EMTs are required to recertify with state every three years by passing this test. Shore applied to be retested on July 18 and placed an ad on Craigslist on or about June 19 seeking an EMT-CC or Paramedic to take the test for him, according to Rice.

Shore stated in the ad that he would provide the test-taker with an identification card and would negotiate a fee based on the test-taker’s qualifications.

Shore was contacted in an undercover capacity by the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, which saw the ad. Rice said, Shore agreed to pay the undercover $400 and provide him with a forged Port Washington Fire Department identification card with Shore’s name and the undercover’s photo.

On July 16, Shore contacted the undercover and told him that he had changed his mind and would be taking the test himself, according to the DA. According to published reports, Shore then met with an undercover reporter who had also answered his ad later that day and paid him $400 and gave him a fake ID.

Shore is also charged with signing and filing a test application on Feb. 13, 2013 that falsely affirms that he had not been convicted of any misdemeanors or felonies.

Rice said, Shore was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation in 1986 for a Suffolk County conviction of felony Attempted Insurance Fraud.




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