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Firefighter injured in rollover sues drunk apparatus driver, dept.

Firefighter Stuart Mintz is seeking $150,000 in damages

By FireRescue1 Staff

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A volunteer firefighter injured in a drunk-driving accident while riding in an apparatus has recently filed a lawsuit against the driver and the department.

Volunteer Firefighter Stuart Mintz of the North Bangor Fire Co. has sued the fire company and Upper Mount Bethel Township, alleging that fire company officials did nothing to discourage a custom of drinking and operating firefighting equipment.

In part of Firefighter Mintz's lawsuit, he claims that he suffered severe and permanent injuries in the 2010 crash, according to the Morning Call.

He was in a North Bangor Fire Co. truck with Assistant Chief Zachary Romano, who was 20 at the time, while riding back from a parade.

Chief Romano, who is also being sued by Firefighter Mintz, was at the wheel when the tanker truck rolled over. His blood alcohol level was 0.16, eight times the limit for drivers under 21.

Chief Romano's charges never went above a misdemeanor, the paper reports, and now that he is 23, may qualify for a legal program that would allow his record to be expunged.

Firefighter Mintz alleges that the township failed to adopt policies that could have prevented the wreck.

He is now asking for more than $150,000 in damages, including lost wages and medical costs.

He reportedly suffered fractured vertebrae, a concussion and torn rotator cuff in the crash.

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Brandin Carey Brandin Carey Wednesday, December 05, 2012 4:25:38 PM a 20 year old Chief?
Fred Welker Fred Welker Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:23:05 PM Sounds like someone didn't have enough back bone to say hey chief give up the keys . And someone else was stupid enough to drink while at a department function. And a third idiot (s) set a kid in a position where there really needs to be a responsible adult. Sad all around.
Thomas T. Warshaw III Thomas T. Warshaw III Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:51:02 PM I was wondering the same thing.
Russ Gregston Russ Gregston Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:54:23 PM Well there you go! And to think I was called a hard ass for running off our Safety Officer for driving apparatus drunk on several occasions with the Chiefs knowledge.
Corbin Doades Corbin Doades Wednesday, December 05, 2012 6:30:50 PM How do you become assistant chief at 20 anyways? that's only two years of fire service in some states. I would want a chief or assistant chief to have alteast 10 years or so.
Greg Jeppson Greg Jeppson Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:03:40 AM really Drinking and Driving, especially a Fire Truck? I thought that was against the law, WOW.
Everett Marshall Everett Marshall Thursday, December 06, 2012 4:52:04 AM Twenty years old and chief? most of us needed and wanted 20 years experience to be a chief, goes to show maybe the election of chief really is a popularity contest.
Brian Mackie Brian Mackie Thursday, December 06, 2012 6:20:04 AM Sadly, this is happening in way too many places. Too much drinking and driving, too many ELECTED officers who know NOTHING..yet are tasked to be responsible for the lives of the firefighters? get with the fking program!
Pam Idle Pam Idle Thursday, December 06, 2012 7:51:10 AM Why was there a 20 yr old Chief?
Jack Mobley Jack Mobley Thursday, December 06, 2012 8:25:43 AM I have more time on the toilet than he has even been alive much less a chief.
Chris Gaynor Chris Gaynor Thursday, December 06, 2012 9:09:40 AM Drunk driving a Tanker. Sounds like a good choice to me. And they gave him a white hat? The question is, was he a 20 year old Chief, or a 20 year old line officer when this happened. Either way, its insane, but to give him a white hat after making this terrible decision would be an even worse situation.
Ron Anderson Ron Anderson Thursday, December 06, 2012 9:21:41 AM 150,000.00 BULL ought to have been for all their trucks and equip. and some of the town also.
Chris Jung Chris Jung Thursday, December 06, 2012 1:40:53 PM Unfortunately, Alot of smaller departments get stuck with low-milage, low experience command, because they just don't have anyone else.. or massive older member turnover. But I suspect there is alot more wrong with the company than just that.. **Newsquote** Three Upper Mount Bethel Township men who will be charged in connection with a fight on Monday night outside the North Bangor Fire Co. building were arguing over a suspected drunken driving crash involving one of their firetrucks, Pennsylvania State police at Belfast say. **End Quote) One of the guys charged with assault has same last name as mr. 20 year old chief. And the comments from members on the article I read were downright vicious.. I would look at reprimanding most of them.. airing dirt and text-fighting in a newspaper Blog...
Bill Mason Bill Mason Thursday, December 06, 2012 8:06:10 PM 20 years old and a Asst. Chief not Chief but I agree still not enough time in service for responsibility of position and clearly should be nowhere near a emergency vehicle let alone operating one at eight times the legal limit no matter how old or what position they have if you have been consuming alcohol in any quantity.

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