picture
On Monday, October 25th, members from Local 1803 visited the offices of Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks. Local 1803 raised money this year through the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness T-Shirts....
Friday, October 22nd, 2021
picture
Please consider purchasing 2021 Reading Fire Department Toy Drive apparel to help us get toys for local kids in need this Christmas. We appreciate you helping us in this great cause! Link posted below...
picture
Hired on February 1st of 1995, Judd Weber began his firefighting career on the C-Platoon where he was assigned as a jumper after graduating the fire academy. Firefighter Weber remained a jumper on C-s...
Friday, July 23rd, 2021
picture
Congratulations to the 2021 recruit class on their graduation of the fire academy. The recruit class has finished 6 months of strenuous training led by Lieutenant Batz and now will be assigned to stre...
News
City council balks at idea of Firehouse on Penn Street
Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

At the end of the November, City Administration announced a plan to purchase a vacant property in the 900 block of Penn Street and begin construction of 2 fire stations for Downtown and the Northeast. The south-side of 900 block of Penn Street had previously been involved in a 3 alarm fire back in February of 2007 (video). The buildings were razed, and the lot remained empty for years before being acquired by the Reading Redevelopment Authority. The area was in the news back in 2016 when a bicycle track was constructed for children to ride safely. After various legal and safety concerns began to rise, the track was cleared and the city began to consider alternative ideas for the property.

Early in 2017, city leaders met with fire department officials to review the current state of fire stations within the city. With a lack of maintenance over many years, the buildings were in various states of disrepair. A plan was formed to begin the process of closing some of the buildings and consolidating 3 stations into 1. The land in the 900 block has been eyed with the space and ability to respond into East Reading by way of Penn Street/Perkiomen Avenue. On December 18th, the City Council voted to purchase a property adjacent to a lot the city had purchased previously. Before voting on the purchase, council members began to second guess the placing a fire station on the Penn Street corridor. Several members of council agree the stations need to be replaced, but would rather see tax-generating businesses operating on the parcel.

Out in the Northeast, the fire station at 9th & Marion Streets has been in need of repairs for years. The building dates back to the horse-drawn era of the late 1800's. Although the station had been rehabbed several times in its 100 year life, the last major project was done in the 1980's.

A decade ago the Fire Department approached the City with a plan to purchase a vacant lot in the 1000 block of Penn Street. Business owners from Dan's restaurant and Sylvia Christy Antiques vocally opposed the construction, citing the constant activity and noise would drive customers from the area. Neither business still operates in the city.

Excerpt from City Council Minutes - 12.18.2017

Bill No. 117-2017 – authorizing the purchase of property located at 932a Penn Street for a fire station Introduced at the December 4 regular meeting. Councilor Marmarou moved, seconded by Councilor Slifko, to enact Bill No. 117-2017.

The managing director explained that the purchase of this property will enable the City to move forward with a new fire station in the 900 block of Penn Street, which will consolidate two (2) older stations that no longer meet the ISO regulations. He stated that after the acquisition is complete the City can move forward to do an RFP for a project manager.Councilor Daubert stated that he is struggling with this issue as he is unsure if the demolition of the property for a fire station is the best use of the property.

Council Reed agreed that a fire station is not the best use of this property that sits on the City’s main commercial corridor. She noted that while she understands the need for consolidation of the fire stations, this property should not come off the tax rolls.

Council President Waltman expressed the belief that Council approval will be required for other components such as the project manager, financing, etc.

Councilor Slifko questioned if the reuse for a fire station is written in stone Councilor Slifko expressed the belief that public meetings with affected residents should occur first. He moved to amend the ordinance to strike the words “for a fire station”.

Councilors Reed and Daubert stated that they would be more comfortable with this amendment.

The City Clerk reviewed the language in the ordinance and stated that the words “for a fire station” are not in the ordinance. The reference to the fire station is in the agenda memo and in the heading to describe the ordinance.

Councilor Slifko withdrew the motion to amend.

WFMZ 69 News Story (November 29th)

WFMZ 69 News Story (December 5th)

City council balks at idea of Firehouse on Penn Street
×picture
Saturday, January 13th, 2018
picture
Recruit Bradley Shanaman has recently completed all of the requirements for the Reading Fire Academy. He had been previously assigned to the A platoon.
Saturday, January 13th, 2018
picture
Congratulations to John Diehm on 36 years of combined service to the City of Reading. John first joined the Riverside Fire Company in June of 1981. He was officially hired by the department on June 30th of 1988.
Saturday, January 13th, 2018
picture
Congratulations to Firefighter Donald Sassaman for serving the citizens of Reading for years. The "SASS" started when he joined as a volunteer with the Liberty Fire Company Engine 5 in December of 1980.
Friday, January 12th, 2018
picture
Congratulations to Firefighter David Doerrman on more than 41 years of combined service to the City of Reading. Dave first joined the Neversink Fire Company Engine 3 in May of 1976. Dave would then be hired by the department on February 1st 1993.
Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
picture
The 2017 Seagrave 100' tractor-drawn ladder truck has been officially delivered to the Reading Fire Department. The apparatus will be assigned to Ladder 1 from the 3rd and Court Street house. In the coming weeks firefighters will be trained by factory representatives on the operations and featur...
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
picture
Congratulations to Firefighter Tim O'Brien on his retirement after more than 39 years of combined service to the City of Reading. O'Brien first served as a volunteer firefighter joining the Neversink Fire Company Engine 3 in Fall of 1978.
picture
After a very successful toy drive campaign the Reading Firefighters raised nearly $7000 to purchase toys for the Salvation Army in Reading. A charity t-shirt was designed and sold to raise money for the cause with several persons donating directly without the shirt.
picture
At the end of the November, City Administration announced a plan to purchase a vacant property in the 900 block of Penn Street and begin construction of 2 fire stations for Downtown and the Northeast. The south-side of 900 block of Penn Street had previously been involved in a 3 alarm fire back in F...
Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
picture
In an urban environment such as the City of Reading parking is always at a premium. Area's designated for fire hydrants are always an easy answer to the desperate person to be able to park near their home.
Friday, December 15th, 2017
picture
The following assignment is per Personnel Directive 2017-41Robert Schoellkopf - Medic 4 "B" platoon(effective 12.24)
picture
WFMZ reporter Maria Salazar reached out to the department in regards to emergency vehicles responding to calls for service. Maria and camera man Andrew Valentino recently took a ride with Deputy Chief Rehr and Ladder 3 of the "A" platoon to observe traffic situations firefighters routinely...
Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
picture
Former Reading Firefighters Mark Civitarese and Marty Daniels recently took the 1959 Mack/Maxim Ladder 1 for a ride after completing aerial ladder work at Fire Line Equipment in Lancaster. The apparatus is nearing completion with gold-leaf work to come next.
picture
Congratulations to Paramedic Josh Schmeck on his appointment to Fire Department Administrative Officer. Josh was hired for EMS on April 22nd 2009 and assigned to Medic 2 on the "A" platoon. In 2011, the department sent Schmeck to the Allentown Fire Academy to receive firefighter training....
Saturday, November 25th, 2017
picture
On Saturday November 25th the Fire & Police hockey team travelled to the PPL center in Allentown for their very first game against Allentown Fire & Police. The Allentown Badge's defense was no match for the Reading team.
picture
The 15th annual MDA Black and Blue Ball was held at Classic Harley Davidson on Friday November 19th. The Reading Fire Department was once again asked to auction a birthday party for charity. The winner of the birthday party auction receives a complete birthday party with a ride in a fire truck.
Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
picture
The following assignment is per Personnel Directive 2017-38Matthew Azrolan - Engine 1 driver "B" platooneffective immediately
Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
picture
Early Tuesday morning Tower 1 was parked in a "secure" heavy-duty truck center for service when it was the victim of theft. Individuals forced entry into the center and stole several pieces of equipment which included: power saws, ventilations fans, flood lights, and hand tools.
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
picture
The Reading Fire Department welcomes our newest member of the Fire Marshal's Office, canine "Gracie". Gracie is a 2-year-old yellow labrador who is being trained in explosives and accelerant detection.
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
picture
The following assignments are per Personnel Directive 2017-35Nathan MacLane - Engine 1 FF "B" platoon (November 2nd)Jordan Bankert - Medic 4 "C" platoon (December 4th)
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
picture
We want to welcome to Esmeralda Villasenor, who recently began working as the Fire Department Secretary on October 16th. Esmerelda started with the city in May of this year working in the Codes/Property Maintenance as a scheduling clerk.

© 2022 ReadingPaFire.com