Pennsylvania Fire Company Suspended for Use of Racial Slurs, Bullying, and Harassment

Illustration for article titled Pennsylvania Fire Company Suspended for Use of Racial Slurs, Bullying, and Harassment
Photo: iStock

A Swatara Township, Pa. fire company is suspended because members were using racial slurs.

The Lawnton Fire Company was taken out of service on May 31, according to the Director of Fire Services, Mike Ibberson. The company is prohibited from responding to calls or participating in any EMS operations in the township, until further notice, PennLive reports.

Bullying was the main reason for the suspension but Ibberson said there were other issues with the fire company such as lack of trained staff and failure to respond to calls.


Penn Live adds:

There also were multiple personnel issues, such as a member of the company resigning in November 2017 after using racial slurs against another member, and the vice president resigning at the request of the deputy fire chief after the vice president and a trustee asked the current fire chief to resign in light of the “current state of affairs” with the company.

Also, there are only about 10 active members currently in the company.

Township commissioners gave Ibberson permission to suspend the company.

“The things that were taking place, from what I’m told — that’s not tolerable,” Township Manager Jim Fosselman said.


A victim who was allegedly subject to harassment took on an opportunity to volunteer with another township because he couldn’t stand the circumstances, according to Penn Live.

An investigation is now underway and is expected to be completed soon. Until then, calls in the Lawnton area will be covered by the Rutherford and Swatara stations, and Paxtang as well, Fosselman said.

Montana Couser is a recent Howard University grad and Philly native.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


First responders, so proudly they hail.

Who knew? We do.