Lawnton Fire Company suspended during investigation


The Lawnton Fire Company has been inactive since May 31.

Swatara Township suspended the fire department pending an investigation into a complaint of racial slurs and bullying.

“We realized how serious the allegations were and that’s when the decision was made very quickly to take them out of service so we could do a full investigation to make sure that nobody else would receive the type of treatment that was happening,” said Mike Ibberson, Director of Fire and Emergency Management.

Ibberson said the incidents occurred in the winter, but the complaint was made in May. A committee made up of residents is investigating the incident.

“To have an incident like this, it’s not good for them, it’s not good for us. It’s certainly will not be tolerated,” township commissioner Tom Connolly said.

In the meantime, other fire companies in Swatara Township will cover for Lawnton. 

“So far there have been a lot of lessons that have been learned and we’re going to all come down to the table and we’re going to try to ensure that this does not happen ever again within this township,” said Ibberson.

Township officials say the investigation will be complete soon. They will decide what to do with the Lawnton Fire Company after that.

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