Volunteer Fire Company Files Appeal Following Forced Merger

Mark Novack
Attorney ,

A volunteer fire company in Stamford is challenging on constitutional grounds a municipal charter change that consolidates all five of the city's volunteer fire departments into one consolidated Stamford Fire Department.

Long Ridge Fire Co. has been a private, not-for-profit volunteer fire company in Stamford since 1928. The company owns two fire stations and various equipment it uses to provide firefighting and emergency services within a fire service district that has been recognized in the Stamford Charter since 1977.

In its appeal, Long Ridge's lawyer, of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, argues that the trial court erred in siding with the city.

"There is no basis in law for the city to make [Long Ridge Fire Co.] part of the city fire department any more than it has the authority to unilaterally declare a private company a municipal agency," he wrote in his appellate brief. "The underlying premise behind the charter amendments-the forced merger of LRFC into a successor, city-owned, city-controlled, city-directed, city-operated and city-disciplined fire department-is illegal."

Click here to read the full article by Christian Nolan, Published in the Connecticut Law Tribune on March 6, 2015