Hamilton Fire Department warns against donation solicitations

HAMILTON - The Hamilton Fire Department was glad to accept a donation when approached by a business.

Now the department is asking residents to help report suspicious solicitations.

"I was called by a company and they said they had been approached by another business and given money with the stipulation they donate to the department," Hamilton Fire Investigator Tom Angst said.

That donation was to come in the form of 230 calendars the department planned to give out to children and groups in the Hamilton community, Angst said. All Angst had to do, according to his phone call with the company, was to sign a form and fax it in.

"We said, okay, we'll pass them out," Angst said.

That transaction occurred on Feb. 6. The calendars never arrived, but a call to the department did.

Angst said he received a call from someone in the community shortly thereafter who said a business solicited donations for a calendar over the phone.

"A guy called and said they asked for money," Angst said. "When I spoke with them they (the company in question) said they already had the money."

On Feb. 8 Angst faxed a request in writing that the company in question desist in making donation request in the department's name, since that was not the agreement originally made. Angst believed the calls stopped after that exchange.

"I heard this morning that someone called the chief's secretary, saying someone was soliciting funds," Angst said on Feb. 27.

The fire department is investigating to see if it is the same company making solicitations again.  Since the investigation is active, Angst said he wants to confirm the identity of the company or individuals involved in the most recent incident before releasing names.

The department is asking though that anyone who receives a phone solicitation for donations from individuals identifying themselves as the City of Hamilton Fire Department and its union "Local 20" to call him at 513-785-7510.

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