(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A Crawford County volunteer fire department is closed down and under investigation, and county leaders say “a complete lack of financial responsibility” is to blame.
Brian Wilk was live in the studio with the story.
You wont be seeing any firetrucks coming out of the Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department #27 any time soon.
County leaders say they are done giving them money and not knowing how it’s being spent.
Over the past couple months, Vernon Township leaders have been aware that the Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department has a very poor financial standing.
“Their insurance was actually cancelled. At that point we had to take them out of service in responding to calls, because they had no insurance on any of their vehicles, any liability insurance, anything like that. Due to their poor financial standing and the lack of insurance we made that move,” said Robert Horvat, Vernon Township Manager.
He said they could no longer put money into something that wasn’t viable to them.
They even asked the department what they spent the previous year’s donation money on, and they never got an answer.
“Their foreign fire relief audits were very poor with several findings and repeated findings from past audits. They had a truck that was repossessed at one point, and they’re still paying the state of Pennsylvania on that, said Horvat.
He added that they have to take care of their financial standing before they ever open back up again.
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With the volunteer fire department closing, the Vernon Central Hose Company will be taking over their responsibilities.
“They are handling using mutual aid from other departments when necessary to assist them, but Vernon Central Hose Company will cover the township and we are very confident in their ability to do so,” said Horvat.
We did reach out to the Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department chief, but he did not respond.
The Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department is currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s office.