Ex-Reading Fire Chief Says Hostile Environment Sparked Resignation

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Former city Fire Chief David W. Hollinger resigned because of what he called a hostile work environment and a pattern of “intimidation, stalking behavior, harassment and threats” from the firefighters union and his own first deputies, according to his resignation letter.

“I now regard this position untenable and must consider the health and safety of my family and resign my position,” Hollinger said in the letter delivered Monday to Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer.  A copy was obtained by the Reading Eagle.

Reached Thursday afternoon, Hollinger said he has hired an attorney.

“A fire chief, like a police chief, takes a hit, but it should never spill over to one’s family,” Hollinger said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=492902

Reading Gets $4 Million Grant To Add 30 Firefighters

The city won a $4 million federal grant on Thursday to hire 30 new firefighters over the next two years, replenishing a force that was shrunk by budget cuts the past several years.

Although Fire Chief David W. Hollinger and other city officials were elated at the news, they said they’re still working out the details of how the grant will be used, when the new recruits could be hired, and what happens when the grant runs out in two years.

The announcement came in separate statements by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr., who had written the Department of Homeland Security supporting the city’s application for the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=438352