CCFD To Move Forward With Receivership Plans

Central Coventry firefighters have unanimously voted to continue serving their district without pay for the time being.


After a 1.5 hour-long union meeting on Tuesday evening, Central Coventry Fire District officials and staff members voted to continue providing fire and EMS services to Central Coventry residents, despite not receiving pay to do so.

"I have several members who are already two months past due on their mortgages, I have several others who are a month or so behind on other bills," said Captain and union president Dave Gorman. "While no one likes the idea of working and not getting paid for it, as of right now we will continue to provide service to the community like we've always done."

When asked how or if this decision will be affected by the Fair Labor Standards Act that may forbid members to volunteer where they are employed, Gorman explained that the district will simply continue serving its residents unless something impedes the decision.

"Our thought process is not to really worry about that at this point unless someone files a charge against it," he said.

Based on the union's decision to continue working, Chief Andrew Baynes will begin moving forward with the plan to file for receivership as early as Wednesday afternoon. 

"We've always treated the residents with professionalism, courtesy, respect and dignity," continued Gorman. "Although it mentally tears on you as a provider to not get paid for your job, I have the utmost confidence in the guys that I work with that we will provide the same level of care as we always do. It's in our blood to provide this job. We're a different breed."

An additional roadblock that the district has run into involves its source of diesel fuel for the fire apparatus. Up until now, the district has purchased its fuel from the Town of Coventry and generally has to refuel the firetrucks on a daily basis. Based on a decision made by Town Manager Tom Hoover, Police Chief Bryan Volpe, Town Solicitor Fred Tobin and Town Council President Gary Cote, the Town will not allow the fire district to use the municipal fuel source during this transitional period.

"At this point, they've already taken a vote to file for receivership and to give them fuel credit as this point, the Town of Coventry would be listed as an unsecured creditor and the taxpayers would be put on the hook for that bill," explained Cote. "Once they file for receivership, the Town would be considered a secured creditor and we will be willing to work with them. We just can't take the chance of not being reimbursed for the fuel that they use."

Cote went on to say that he has spoken with Anthony Fire Chief Paul Labbadia and Hopkins Hill Fire Chief Frank Brown about covering any calls that Central Coventry cannot handle in the coming weeks.

"Both Chiefs Brown and Labbadia have agreed to cover calls in the Central Coventry Fire District as needed," he said. "The health and safety of the residents will not suffer."

Check back with Coventry Patch for more information as it becomes available.

dohn joe January 02, 2013 at 03:13 PM
@ eye in the sky. If i knew i was getting a hefty pension if i stayed then yes i would wait and work for free. Why walk away from a pension that was golden. If you ask me, alot of these out of work people in this state would be more than happy to work it..... as long as they get a piece of that pension.
RS January 03, 2013 at 05:07 AM
A pension they PAY for. You make it seem like it's a gift. I assume you just moved to this state last year. The cops and firefighters have been getting pensions for decades but obviously an authority like you had no clue up till now. Where were you Dohn back in the 90s when the unions were sueing the municipalities for not investing their contributions? Maybe you should have payed attention earlier
eye in the sky January 03, 2013 at 04:36 PM
You are full of sh@t ! You sound like a person who has never done anything for anybody but themselves!!
dohn joe January 03, 2013 at 07:58 PM
you must be very educated people rs and eye for trying so hard to talk me down with your childish answers. You dont know a thing about me nor will you ever, simply because i choose to stay away from fantasy chasers like you both. Now the both of you sound like your working for the cause but in reality are just trying to sound smart. it seems that if they didnt stay and work for so-called free, then they would lose that nice pension that they have coming. regardlessof how hard their jobs are, if its good enough pension for them, then it should be statewide for everyone. they chose to take on those jobs and knew it was life threatening and still chose to do it. So dont tell me this bullshit about how hard they work and how dangerous it is. I do know that they will get their pay plus more. there is no denying that fact at all. This is all im going to say, so enjoy your new year and smile.
RS January 03, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Dohn, yes, they took the job but the rules got changed after they were there. Who in their right mind would walk away from a career because of a budget problem. No one ever assumed they wouldn't be paid their back wages. You seem very hung up on pensions. I assume that you are either a politician or a Firefighter wannabe that couldn't hack it. CCFD will straighten out their affairs and the taxpayers will either like it or hate it. Maybe we should let the people that were elected and the person overseeing teh finances worry about that with people like you trying to wind up everyone.


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