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Preston firefighter disciplined for using firetruck to draw water for swimming pool

By Claire Bessette

Publication: theday.com

Published July 25. 2013 8:00PM   Updated July 26. 2013 1:14AM

Preston — A Preston City Fire Department volunteer firefighter has been disciplined and has agreed to pay restitution for using a firetruck to draw water from a Preston Plains Water Co. hydrant and filling a private pool on Overlook Drive.

First Selectman Robert Congdon said he received a letter of complaint from Preston Plains Water, a private company that serves subdivisions in the Preston Plains area, that a volunteer firefighter drew water from a hydrant three times to fill a tanker truck. An estimated 10,000 gallons of water was used to fill a private swimming pool. It was not the firefighter's pool.

A water company official met with Congdon and Preston Fire Chief Tom Casey to discuss the issue. Casey told Congdon the firefighter has received unspecified discipline and agreed to pay the $74.20 cost for the water. All firefighters will receive training on the department's policy that firetrucks are not to be used for private purposes.

Congdon said the town's two fire departments have a policy that no firetrucks are to be used to fill swimming pools. The practice — which used to be done for donations to the department — takes trucks out of service and risks damage to the trucks or the homeowner's driveway, he said.

"I think that's a prudent policy," Congdon said.

Casey declined to identify the firefighter and would not specify what disciplinary action was taken.

"He was disciplined internally," Casey said. "The matter has been taken care of. He knows he was wrong and won't ever do it again."

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