Firefighter with disability requesting handicapped parking being questioned by North York borough

NORTH YORK, YORK COUNTY. Pa. -- A York County firefighter with a disability says he is being discriminated against by North York Borough council members after applying for a handicapped parking spot.

28-year-old Christopher Wilhelm  says he put in an application to get a parking spot in front of his on on North Duke Street a month ago. 

In a council meeting on Tuesday, Wilhelm says the borough questioned his disability and duties at the firehouse and told him his application was put on hold.

“They said well are you willing to give up your volunteer firefighting career for a parking spot?" said Christopher Wilhelm, volunteer firefighter at North York Borough Fire Department. 

Along with a required doctors note confirming a disability, which is noted in the application, Wilhelm says the borough is now also requesting a list of Wilhelm’s firefighter duties.

“Whether it’s a question or a threat it’s being held above me to make me feel a certain way," said Wilhelm.“I just think it was downright rude, hurtful and unnecessary," he added.

Wilhelm was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, ultimately giving him no choice but to get his leg amputated from the knee down.

“Some days I can walk three blocks, other days I can’t," said Wilhelm. “There are times I have to park halfway down Duke Street," he added.

While Wilhelm says he can do most things others are able to do, he says sometimes he has pain.

FOX43 went to North York Borough to get some answers and they declined to go on camera.

However, they later provided the following statement:

"This matter is under review by the borough council, any comments must be addressed at the public meeting. borough employees and council members are unable to respond on behalf of council individually, must be addressed at public meeting."

“Doing what he does, he is putting his life at risk and even with a handicap, I mean, more power to him for doing what he does every day and I think the borough should honor that," said one neighbor. 

North York Borough officials say the application will be reviewed once again at the next council meeting scheduled for April 9. 

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