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Ex-chief tells council to ‘stick it where the sun don’t shine’. Declines Bangor, PA’s title of chief emeritus.

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In Bangor, Pennsylvania (Northampton County), former fire chief Robert Owens has told The Express-Times’ Andrew George the Bangor Borough Council “can stick it where the sun don’t shine”. Chief Owens was reacting to council members voting to name Owens “chief emeritus”. Owens resigned as chief of the volunteer department on August 1 after he says the council questioned his ability and the ability of others to perform their duties. The former chief told reporter George they were meddling in the department’s affairs.

More from The Express-Times:

Owens previously said a council member instructed him not to seek another term as  fire chief  because of his age and declining health. Council president Catherine Allen said Monday that council asked  him to provide a medical release after a recent health complication, but  instead received his resignation.

Jon Holcombe, a former fire chief in Hamilton Township, N.J., who serves  as vice president of the Eastern Division of the International  Association of Fire Chiefs, which represents Pennsylvania, said that  while firefighting is generally “pretty intense,” it’s tough to mandate  retirement because workloads and personal tolerances are often  different.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • JustSayin”

    Class Act …. NOT.!!

    Granted, the Board was probably acting like knuckleheads.

    But ExChief .. You just made them look good.

  • ukfbbuff

    Chief Robert Owens, I’d have “Dug in my heels” and said “No Way”
    would I retire, especially after reading this article by Michael Kruger in the June 2012 edition of Fire Engineering;

  • Anonymous

    The council should have just let a doctor make the determination based on the results of a medical history and physical exam. In our department, we must pass a physical every year to keep our active duty status.

    If council were trying to “play doctor” themselves without using the same standard for everyone, then I agree that they were meddling.

  • Yeh Buddy

    It is a sticky situation when you have a looooong time official who some may feel is no longer the right person for the job for whatever reason. If Bangor doesn’t put wording into it’s job description limiting the # of years the position can be held, or qualifications reviews every 5 years etc etc than they are doomed to have history repeat itself.
    How do you kick to the side a guy who dedicated his life and thousands of personal hours to the FD without hurt feelings. Its a diplomatic nightmare. This was a no win situation for both sides.

    I don’t know this gentleman form Adam, but whatever the circumstances, his years of service, his dedication to the FD and his love for this FD must be acknowledged. Each one of us must put themselves in his place and ask if they would know when to step down on our own or not. This can have a devastating effect on that FD that can split it in half and can lead to loss of many members and loss of financial support from some of the community, as I’m sure the chief has many friends in the community.

    I hope all come out of this better and stronger.