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Career firefighter in Berks and Montgomery counties dies of COVID-19

A professional firefighter who spent the bulk of his 24-year career with the Reading Fire Department before a brief stint as Pottstown fire chief has died of complications related to COVID-19.

Michael Lessar Jr., age unavailable, died Monday in Pottstown Hospital, according to a press release from Royersford Fire Department, where he had been employed as a paramedic/firefighter since 2018. The fire department transported his body in a procession Tuesday afternoon from the hospital to Sanders Funeral Home and Cremation Service Inc. in northeast Reading.

Lessar began his career with the Reading Fire Department in 1997. He retired as a deputy fire chief in May

COURTESY OF ROYERSFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT

Michael Lessar Jr. joined the Royerstord Fire Department in 2018 as a part-time paramedic before transition to full-time paramedic/firefighter.

2017 when he was appointed by Pottstown Borough Council to replace Richard Lengel, who retired after 58 years as borough fire chief.

Lessar left a city department that employs all of its firefighters for a department that still relies on volunteers to respond to fires and other emergencies.

He abruptly resigned in June 2018 after slightly more than a year on the job in Pottstown. Borough officials did not disclose the reasons for his resignation.

A month before stepping down, Lessar proposed a volunteer incentive program and changes to local fire ordinances — both of which were unanimously adopted by borough council.

Lessar, who resided in Pike Township in eastern Berks, joined the Royersford department in 2018 as part-time emergency medical service provider before transitioning to one of the first full-time positions in the department’s history.

His contributions to Royersford Fire Department and the Spring-Ford community
included being a clinically sound practitioner and being the catalyst for many improvements within the emergency services division to increase efficiency during patient care, according to the news release, which asked members of the public to keep Lessar’s family and friends in their thoughts and prayers.


Source: Berkshire mont

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