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
Firefighter Donald Sassaman
Saturday, January 13th, 2018

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. Don was eventually hired on June 25th 1990, and was assigned to the D platoon after completing training. A few years later in January of 1992, FF Sassaman was assigned to Engine 2 on the A platoon. In August of 1994, "SASS" took a position as the firefighter on Engine 3 with the D platoon. 4 years would pass before he moved to the driver's seat on the "C" in 1998. For the next 20 years Donny drove Engine 3 on the C platoon. The SASS was most famously known for his ability to bust everyone's "balls" including officers. You would not escape a comment or two from the SAS after visiting Engine 3 & Ladder 1's quarters.

In his retirement, Donny plans to play golf.....lots of golf. He is also exploring the possibility of becoming an umpire. He wants everyone to remember one thing. "If you ever run into a problem, tell em' you're with the ####### SASS"

Donny stopped by the station after retiring to give me a few words to pass along. Here is what he had to say:


Question #1 - Apparatus/Tools/Equipment

Was there anything Apparatus/Tools/Equipment-wise during your career that you felt had a special need, operated quirky, or you felt was a potential problem.



I really disliked the smaller Kovatch rigs we operated in the 90's as Engine's 2 & 12. Later on they were placed in reserve status and they were just as lousy to work on.

Question #2 - Calls/Incidents/Experiences/Problem Buildings

Tell us about any calls, incidents, or experiences that offer a lesson learned for other firefighters (especially new ones). I'm sure you could think of many things in your career, but just pick out one or two things that come to mind as being most important



I believe we spend too much time working in vacant buildings when they are so well-involved. I can remember several times when I was operating inside when I thought we should not have been there. I caution newer fighters to keep their eyes open and not get themselves hurt or killed for a vacant structure.

Question #3 - Department History

Can you name something from the department that you feel we have lost over the years that might be good to bring back or recall? (procedure, policy, event, ceremony, etc)

I would like to see the Local put on a formal banquet again. I was fortunate enough to attend a few before we stopped, they were great times. Bring back the DROP program for our younger guys!

Question #4 - Your Wisdom

Can you write one thing that you feel would be helpful to pass on to new firefighter that could help them stay healthy & safe throughout their career?



Stop eating at the firehouse! Seriously though, watch what you eat. Stay active and workout, I used to workout and I gradually got out of it and I paid for it. Go every year for an annual physical. I always thought the Fire Department should be providing us with physicals so we could monitor our health. I found cancer during a routine exam several years ago which probably saved my life. Although I beat the cancer, I still had to fight the city to get my treatments covered.
Firefighter Donald Sassaman
Photo by Nik Knauer
×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