Becks Run Fire Department Decertified

Action at Tuesday night's borough meeting could mark the end for Becks Run.

While its chief and deputy chief await a formal Allegheny County arraignment for embezzlement charges, the Becks Run Volunteer Fire Department was officially decertified by the Baldwin Borough Council on Tuesday night.

The council voted, 6-0, to approve the decertification, which terminates all authority previously granted to the department to perform duties associated with a volunteer fire department and revokes its official status as a volunteer fire department serving the borough. (Councilman Ed Moeller was absent for the vote but arrived later at Tuesday's meeting.)

In light of the embezzlement charges, brought because Chief Leonard "Len" Novak and Deputy Chief Stephen Bonetti , Becks Run Fire had been inactive for some time, but Tuesday's action may permanently end its existence.

Due to that inactivity, Becks Run's fire calls have been answered for several months by its neighbor in north Baldwin—Baldwin Independent Fire Company No. 1—and that practice will continue for the foreseeable future.

Becks Run Fire will now face court action to determine the disposition of its assets and debts, Baldwin Borough solicitor Stanley B. Lederman said on Tuesday.

Some of Becks Run's assets could end up at fellow Baldwin fire companies, of which are three—Baldwin Independent, Option Independent Fire Company and South Baldwin Volunteer Fire Company.

Click here for more Baldwin Borough news.

And check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Wednesday for more odds and ends from Tuesday night's council meeting.


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NB resident December 12, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Its about time, they have not been able to get volunteers for a long time. And why did it take so long for anyone to figure out that Lenny was stealing the man hasn't work for like 10 years, Since Baldwin number #1 is taking over their coverage, they should get all their equipment. At least this is a step in the right direction.
cc December 12, 2012 at 01:25 PM
NB I agree with you, but they will probably end up splitting all the equipment with the remaining 3 fire stations in Baldwin.
Rigatoni December 12, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Not knowing what Beck's Run financial situation is, I would settle their debt first by selling the trucks and equipment. Then I would give the remaining equipment to the department that needs it the most. Baldwin does not need 7 engines for a borough that size. 3 engines, a quint, a few pick-up trucks and a reserve engine is all baldwin needs! Maybe council should be looking at a forced merger between the departments. Bethel operates one dept with three stations!
bd December 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Having seen what happens when other communities de-certify VFDs, all of your suggestions for distributing assets and paying debts are wonderful. However, de-certification means that this Borough will turn over all decisions to the Courts. A judge will make all of the decisions on distributing assets, selling the building, or what ever is required. Rigatoni - the fire departments in Baldwin Borough are VOLUNTEER VFDs and the borough does not control them. So, simply put, a borough council could not FORCE a merger.
old man December 12, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I have a couple of questions. (1) NB resident what business is it of yours how long it has been since Lenny had a job. That is no concern of your's. And also if they have not been able to get volunteer's why didn't you join Beck's Run fire dept., obviously you are quick to talk but slow to react. (2) And Rigatoni, where do you come off saying how many station's or truck's Baldwin Boro need's. Unless you are an expert on the fire service, you are hardly qualified to give your opinion.
Rigatoni December 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Jerome - Look at my previous posts. I have already stated that I was a career FF for the City of Columbus (Ohio). I think that is a pretty good start to give an opinion on the fire service. Look at the South Hills. It is filled with duplicate services because people love their little kingdoms!
Rigatoni December 12, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Decertification does not mean a court makes the decisions. Decertification means that the fire department is not recognized by the municipality to respond to calls. The courts will be involved in the decision because of the fraud that took place. Presston in Stowe Twp was decertified and their assets stayed with the fire co and they eventually merged with McKees Rocks. That is the type of forced merger I was referring to. Either merge or we no longer recognize you as a company that provides fire protection services to the borough. You get no money, no relief money and you are no longer covered under the borough's workers comp policy.
bd December 12, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Rigatoni - You are wrong. The courts will make the decision on the distribution of assets in this case. The Stowe Twp merger took place because the VFDs agreed to merge. VFDs in Baldwin Borough will never come to an agreement on the distribution of assets so a court will end up making that decision. You can take it to the bank.
old man December 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Rigatoni, I guess that does entitle you to give an opinion. I have also been a volunteer in this area since 1972. And yes there is duplication of service, but each municipality has always had their own fire depts. and I don't see that changing. Merging fire depts together would be involving government and you know how things go when you get government involved.
Watcher December 13, 2012 at 12:37 AM
The trouble is that is what is needed. The government to step in and straighten out the mess that is the volunteer fire system.Before tax money is given, training standards set, money accountibility, and criminal background checks given.
dogluver December 13, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Just wanted to say that Lenny hasn't worked in at least 20 years.......... Get it right.....How can someone on disability, collecting SSI, be the chief ff for a volunteer co. If you're totally disabled you shouldn't be doing anything. More deception? If Len reads this - I just wanted to say - Thanks for taking away a volunteer fire co that been around forever. This has to be the greatest achievement you've ever done.....Hope you're proud. What an embarrassment to this community! Am I not happy about this??????............YES!!!!
cc December 13, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Rigatoni, each Township, Borough has their own Fire Departments in place except Baldwin Township when they merged with Castle Shannon because they couldn't get enough volunteers to run their own fire station. It isn't that people love their little Kingdoms as you put it, it is because each township or borough, people set this up. They also all work together.
cc December 13, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Surprised that someone didn't turn him for being on SSI and being able to put out fires. This is why our SS is a mess, people collecting because they can't work at even a sit down job, but yet they can run into a fire or rescue someone from a car accident.
NB resident December 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Hey Jerome, I was a volunteer at Beck Run then I realized it was run by a bunch of clowns so I quit. Second I have never seen Lenny go to work, yet he has a home and a personal truck (when he was not driving the squad as his personal vehicle). You should shut your mouth before you go running it before you know facts about the department. Becks Run VFD has been a joke for years and its about time they are getting shut down, no reason why the borough should continue to fund that department so they can attend parades. #1 has been answering their calls for years anyway.
NB resident December 17, 2012 at 05:18 AM
cc lets be clear lenny never ran into a fire, his lazy ass just drove to the scene and stood outside.
Robert Edward Healy, III December 19, 2012 at 07:20 AM
Becks Run Fire Update: http://patch.com/A-01sY.
Baldwin concerned December 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM


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