Pa. fire chief terminated for taking aerial ladder to funeral

The chief was denied permission to take the ladder truck, but did so regardless

By FireRescue1 Staff

SLATINGTON, Pa. — A volunteer fire chief was terminated Monday after he took a ladder truck to a funeral despite being denied permission to do so. 

Slatington Fire Chief Keith Weaver took a ladder truck to a Sept. 24 funeral for Lt. Matthew Kuhns. Another department had requested the ladder truck be used to carry the American flag over the archway of church, but Weaver was denied permission, reported the Times News

“It’s about taking a fire truck out of town. You just don’t do that stuff,” Councilman Jon Rinker said. “I told him you can take your men and go. It was about the truck not taking off.”

Weaver served as the town’s fire chief for 13 years, and while the vote to terminate him was nearly unanimous, some firefighters disagreed with the decision. 

“He’s [Weaver] done a lot. He has always been here,” firefighter Jeffrey Hausman said. “My theory is it’s not fair, but the council did what they had to do. You’ve got to follow orders.”

The board voted to appoint Deputy Chief Jason Nicholas, an 11-year veteran, as acting fire chief. 

“I’m shocked. It’s going to be a lot to process,” Nicholas said. “We have to keep the department moving forward.”

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