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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 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.”