Firefighter called in fake emergencies

Staff Reports

A Mansfield firefighter has been arrested for allegedly making a pair of fake emergency calls.

Joshua D. Forrest, 19, of Mansfield, was charged with two counts of first-degree false alarms to agencies of public safety and 12 counts of recklessly endangering another person. Forrest is accused of making two fake emergency calls, one in June and one in early October, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Mansfield.

According to troopers, the first call occurred June 7. The caller reported a biker had been injured in the Mill Cove area of Mill Creek, Tioga.

Numerous emergency responders, including helicopters, responded to the scene and conducted aerial and ground searches in the mountainous and heavily wooded area. The search ended after dark, and a state police helicopter searched again the next day. No injured biker was found.

The second false report occurred Oct. 2, troopers said. The caller reported a structure fire on Connelly Mountain Road in Sullivan Township.

Numerous fire departments responded to the call, but after a search of the area turned up no fire, firefighters determined the call was bogus. After the fake fire call, members of the Mansfield Hose Company investigated and determined the calls were made by the same caller, and they recognized the voice as one of their own firefighters.