Firefighters Charged With Reporting False Calls

November 11, 2011 Updated Nov 11, 2011 at 6:36 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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November 11, 2011 Updated Nov 11, 2011 at 6:36 PM EDT

Barker, NY (WKBW) On October 14th, around three in the morning, Barker Volunteer Firefighters got a call to respond to a house fire on Quaker Road with people trapped inside. Firefighters rushed to the Barker fire hall, prepared to jump into action, only to discover that there was never a fire, let alone, people trapped.
According to the Niagara County Sheriff's department two Barker men, Travis McKenna and Andrew Steel, put out the false calls with a portable EMS radio they had purchased off of the internet. Allegedly, the pair was also able to program the radio to activate the emergency tones for the Fire Department. Following an investigation, McKenna and Steel, have each been charged with one count of falsely reporting an incident, an E class felony. The arrests have shocked, and disappointed other first responders in this small town, "It's bad enough when someone from outside is trying to fool around, sending people on these false calls but when it's somebody from within your own organization it's very troublesome for people.", says Chief Ross Annable of the Village of Barker Police Department.
McKenna and Steel have been suspended from the Fire Department and are scheduled to be in Town of Somerset court on December 1st.