Fire Chief Under Fire for Using Fire Engine as a Prom Limousine


While most high school students roll up to their senior prom in a nice car or, even better, a chauffeured limousine, Dustin Sanner made his grand entrance at the Yough High School prom in a fire engine.

Now his father, Craig Sanner, the fire department chief in West Newton, Penn., is facing heat for allowing Dustin and his date to borrow the city-owned truck for a night of fun.

Dustin's prom took place in April but the controversy came to a head this week when West Newton's Borough Council unanimously approved a resolution expressing "displeasure" with Chief Sanner's decision.

"If true, we feel this is an inappropriate use of public monies," the resolution stated , according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Councilman Adam Paterline brought the issue before the council in the suburb of Pittsburgh after seeing a photo of Dustin, in a tux, and his date, in a purple, one-shoulder gown, standing in front of the fire engine, printed in a local newspaper.

Paterline contended the decision represented a public safety issue, saying the truck was essentially out of service for local residents while Chief Sanner escorted the couple to prom, and an insurance issue for the city if an accident were to happen.

"We commend our firefighters, but it was a poor decision," Paterline, who could not be reached today by, told local ABC affiliate WTAE. "You can't do that in today's litigious society."

The council's resolution, sent to the fire department, will not result in disciplinary action for Sanner, who defended his decision to local reporters after the council meeting.

Sanner said the fire truck was never "out of service" while he escorted his son to the prom and that his wife was driving behind the truck so that it could be immediately deployed in an emergency, according to the Tribune-Review.

Sanner also said his son, Dustin, had been a member of the volunteer fire department for years, and that the fire engine did not stay at the prom but was returned to West Newtown immediately.

Calls placed by today to Sanner, the West Newton Fire Department and the Borough Council were not returned.

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