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.
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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