4 firefighters charged with submitting false reports to 911
LOGAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WJAC) - Four volunteer firefighters are facing charges after police say they called to report fake emergencies.
Logan Township police said Dustin Beckwith, Aric Beckwith, Daniel Johnson, and Edward Perino are charged with calling 911 to report false fires for the thrill of riding in a fire truck.
"I am pretty much disgusted by this. I respond personally to one of those calls on March 28th for a dwelling fire. My job is to save people so that's my first response," said Matt Massaro, a Logan Township police officer.
All four have been suspended for six months, with no membership privileges, pending the outcome of the investigation.
They were probationary members with fewer than 90 days of experience at Logan Township United Fire Department's Kittanning Trail Station.
Police said on January 10, Dustin used Johnson's phone to call 911 and report wires on fire on Veteran's Memorial Highway and Boxcar Lane. Six first responders showed up.
Police said on January 16, Dustin used Johnson's phone to call 911 and report sparks from a chimney on Poland Ave. Twenty first responders responded, including Beckwith.
Another false report on January 23 coming from Beckwith that cars slid off the road, according to police.
On March 4, police said Dustin used Johnson's phone to report a mud slide. three first responders including, Beckith responded.
"It's very disappointing. I'm very sad to be here today, to even have to announce these arrests," said Chief Tim Mercer, Logan Township police.
Finally, on March 15, all four men were leaving firefighter training and convinced Aric to call 911 to report a bank was on fire. Almost 60 first responders showed up to fight a fire that wasn't there.
Police said Beckwith and Johnson were involved in all 5 calls. The remaining men joined in one false call with Beckwith and Johnson, the March 15 call.
Oolice believe they are responsible for just these five calls, not anymore. But officials said not even one false report will be tolerated.
"I will tell you this alleged behavior by each of these individuals is not consistent with retention as a member in the Logan Township United Fire Department," said Jeff Blake, board member of the LTUFD.
The four men have been suspended.