Fire Chief Michael T. Reese passed away unexpectedly on August 23, 2018, after returning home from a fire call just hours before. Born on May 4, 1965, he resided in Willow Street, Pennsylvania, with his wife of 28 years, Susan, and their two dogs. He is also survived by his brother, David C. Reese; nieces, Ashley, Samantha, and Haley; and nephews, Kyle and Hunter.
As a life member of the Willow Street Fire Company, he held many roles during his tenure and proudly served as the fire chief from 2010 until the time of his passing. Receiving the department’s Fireman of the Year Award in both 1998 and 2016, Mike led by example, participating in training and safety drills, maintaining equipment, managing the needs of the department, and anticipating the needs of the community.
Beginning his fire service career at Bausman Fire Company, Mike spent 39 years actively participating in both fire and emergency medical services. In later years he joined Lampeter Fire Company, where he became a life member, and was also a member of the Lancaster County Firemen’s Association.
During his career in emergency medical services, Mike was employed as an assistant supervisor for Lancaster Countywide Communications for 17 years as an emergency dispatcher. Many fire and police departments held Mike in the highest regard for his professionalism and expertise as a dispatcher. In 2011, he was honored as the Fire Dispatcher of the Year. Prior to working as a dispatcher, he was employed as an EMT in the emergency department at Lancaster General Hospital and by the West End Ambulance Association. He also volunteered with Willow Street Fire Company Ambulance and the East Lampeter Township Ambulance Association.
Mike was a dedicated community servant and took great pride in his role as fire chief. Respected not only as a leader, but also as a mentor to aspiring firefighters, EMTs, and emergency dispatchers throughout Lancaster County. His positive influence touched many lives on a daily basis.
An avid sports fan, Mike enjoyed watching baseball and was a lifetime fan of the Philadelphia Phillies. He also enjoyed watching college football and attending Penn State football games. During his free time, he enjoyed spending time with the family dogs and supporting local animal rescue organizations.
Mike had a very soft heart for any animal, including rescuing many dogs and cats from burning buildings, ducklings from storm drains, or baby rabbits from window wells. He often worked with local veterinarians to coordinate emergency medical care on scene for any animal in need.
Mike will be forever loved, missed, and fondly remembered by his entire family, his friends, coworkers,
and his brothers and sisters in the fire service.