Do volunteer firefighters get off easy?

SECAUCUS AND BEYOND — Are volunteer firefighters treated with kid gloves when they commit wrongdoing? For some of our prior stories on the issue, click
or HERE.
A story in the Record on Sunday looked at the aftermath of various incidents, including the gay harassment case in Secaucus. The story noted:

A Ridgefield volunteer firefighter got so drunk while dressed as Santa Claus for a Christmas Eve 2009 community event that he was taken back to the firehouse, which he trashed in a rage. In Secaucus, three volunteers allegedly led the harassment of a gay couple that lived beside the firehouse. … the Town Council has authorized a legal review of the incident that could result in them rejoining the force. The Ridgefield firefighter, Brian Kettler, faced a suspension and sanctions, but at least one councilman argued that he would have been kicked off the force altogether if it wasn’t for his political connections. The separate events have prompted critics to question if towns can make punishments of volunteer firefighters stick, especially when council members are often firefighters, too.

As noted in our story in the Secaucus Reporter this past weekend, Secaucus will have a meeting this week to discuss pending litigation related to the gay harassment incident. For the Reporter’s past coverage of the incident, see links below or use the search field at

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