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FD Gives Its Ladies the Heave-Ho

Ladies Auxiliary Evicted From Firehouse

THERE ARE PROBABLY A LOT of cold and late dinners being served in Croydon, New Hampshire, this month after the town's volunteer fire department evicted the Ladies Auxiliary from the firehouse.


The court-issued eviction notice gives the gals until September 15 to vacate their office and leave the Bingo hall.  After a month's hiatus to move all their stuff, the Ladies will reopen their weekly Bingo game in the Newport Moose Lodge on October 3.  How this acrimony arose that lead to this ultimate indignity is not quite clear to the bemused citizens.

The Valley News is reporting:

(Auxiliary member Sandy) Beard is one of the few people willing to speak at length about the acrimony at the fire station. She places the blame on Fire Chief Steve Rizza .

Beard said Rizza and other members want full control over the auxiliary, and because they can’t get it, they kicked the women out of the fire station.

Contacted last week, Rizza declined to discuss what led to the eviction. "There are a lot of issues that led up to this type of situation," said Rizza. He referred a reporter to a letter he wrote responding to the auxiliary’s letter to newspapers that accused the department of refusing to meet with the group and evicting it without cause.

The Aug. 22 letter from Rizza to the Selectboard and public stated: "As Chief and President of the Croydon Fire Department, I want to respond simply by saying that the members of the Fire Department take the actions that are necessary to protect the safety of the citizens and property of Croydon. The Fire Department will continue, as ever, to be certain that such interests are secure."

The eviction notice, issued in June and effective Sept. 15, listed several reasons for the action, one of which claims the auxiliary "has failed to keep its promise to provide cooperation and support to the department." The notice also said the situation has resulted in the auxiliary becoming a "burden and obstruction to the Fire Department" in use of the premises.

Until recently the Ladies Auxiliary was the primary fund-raising source for the VFD, but since the FD received a $2.3 million bequest for its benefit, attitudes seem to have changed and during the past month "public letters" have been sailing back and forth between the two entities.

Read the full nitty-gritty in The Valley News HERE.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Jim

    Things must be different in Rizza’s department. From where I sit as a new member, still a probie, I consider the Auxiliary to be almost as important at a fire scene as my PPE. Especially on a pre-dawn fire when we’re all down on our food intake and it’s cold. Seeing them arrive and start setting up is a huge moral boost.

    • baabaabooey

      in my town we never see them (aux)….they raise the money for their own interests like trips and parties. asking for help after fires and stuff is like pulling teeth.

  • Safety Officer

    Far too many auxiliaries are run just for the benefit of the ladies themselves. We have a dept here locally that is trying to oust the ladies from their station. Personality conflicts, loss of sight of the mission and egos all play into this. These are NOT a ladies club….they are mission support clubs and if they ain’t supporting as part of the organization, then give’em the boot. Every volunteer fire department should copyright and trademark their official name to keep it from being used in other groups without permission. Any group like an auxiliary that you allow to use your depts name should do so with the understanding that you as a dept can revoke that permission at any time. We had a tshirt place selling tshirts with my dept logo on it..completely without permission or making any contribution to the dept. and nothing we could do about it cause it was not a trade mark logo.

    • Mick Mayers

      Actually, while you may not have a trademark infringement, you might want to have your department’s legal counsel check into that. I’d bet there are some means of having the t-shirt place stop selling anything with your department’s name on it without permission because it could possibly represent an “authority” having jurisdiction. If anything, the court of public opinion might also sway it, because of the possibility of someone impersonating a firefighter. Just a possibility. Good luck.

  • B.Morgan

    Well when I worked on a volunteer department there was no ladies auxiliary because men and women were firefighter/EMS/fundraisers/supporters and what ever else had to be done. They also shared elected and command positions. It was a good team. There are still some department that insist its a boys club and suppress active equal participation. During WWII a great Aunt of mine was part of the all women’s VFD in a small town because all the fit men were off to war in one way or another. I share geezer prediction about cold dinners etc. There are much better ways of dealing with problems then just booting them out.

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