Amityville sets policy on fire vehicles

Amityville Village Hall Amityville Village Hall Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

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After Amityville volunteer firefighters twice used department vehicles at family weddings without notifying the village board, trustees said this week that non-fire use of department vehicles will require the board's prior approval.

On Sept. 15, trustees said, firefighters drove the hook and ladder truck to Centerport for the wedding of Chief Charles Scudlo's daughter.

The other incident involved a 25-passenger village bus driven to a firefighter's son's wedding, also on Long Island, trustees said. It was not immediately clear when or where this was.

Fire trucks are sometimes used to hang flags at memorial services or for firefighters' funerals and weddings.

Fire protection for the village while the hook and ladder was out of the village was provided by neighboring departments under mutual-aid agreements, said trustee Dennis Siry. On both occasions, the vehicles were driven by qualified personnel, he said.

"No blame is being put on anyone," said Deputy Mayor Peter Casserly. "These guys put 10, 20, 30 hours a week into the department, and we try to give something back to them. But we do at some point have to draw the line at what we do with village assets."

There was no previous policy, trustees said. The new policy, which Casserly wrote, limits use of the chiefs' vehicles to Long Island and use of department equipment to firefighting, he said. Requests for exceptions must be written and put to a village board vote.

The hook and ladder truck is worth about $1 million, trustees said. It was not clear who paid for gas to and from Centerport, about 40 miles round trip.

Scudlo could not be reached for comment.

Mayor Peter Imbert said he had no problem with the use of department vehicles, which he described as "a perk for the time and commitment you make to the community . . . the only indiscretion was they didn't get prior approval."

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