SIDNEY — Sidney Fire and Emergency Services Chief Chad Hollinger finds himself thankful for his year of service in Sidney this Thanksgiving.

“It has been one year since I was blessed with the opportunity to lead the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. Over the last year the department has made great strides forward despite many challenges. During this season of giving thanks, we have much to be thankful for,” Hollinger said.

Hollinger’s career has taken many turns down many paths to lead him to Sidney, starting as a rookie at a volunteer fire department in Darke County and leading up to his current position as fire chief for the city of Sidney. He credits much of his success to the people around him since the beginning who have coached, mentored, encouraged, and supported his efforts.

“The holiday season, at times, seems to be overly commercialized with emphasis on shopping and buying, but I would contend that it is the people around us that makes this wonderful season so amazing. This reason — the people — is exactly why I chose a life of public service,” Hollinger said.

For Hollinger, the personnel at Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services have a comportment that causes them to derive fulfillment from serving the community. The department has a long history of service. Since 1857, the department has placed the protection of and service to the community by preventing the loss of life and property as its sole focus and mission. This history is what brought Hollinger to Sidney from Darke County. In his eyes, service is the foundation of why he and many others in the department do what they do.

“There are many great departments around our region, but I propose that very few have a so richly preserved history as ours. This history has been passed down, documented, and shared both formally and informally within and without the department,” Hollinger said. “We are truly blessed that community partners like the Shelby County Historical Society and others invest time and funding to keep us connected with our past. I am thankful that our predecessors and community have worked to preserve this heritage of ours.”

In addition to having a service-oriented department, Hollinger has found a deep appreciation for the people he works with and interacts with day-to-day, be it a uniformed public servant or a civilian.

“The people who put on the uniform and selflessly sacrifice to the betterment of our community are an inspiration. The people who support and encourage are a blessing. The people who comfort and console are a refuge. All of these people, our community, uniformed and civilian; are necessary for us to continue. If you have ever, in any way, large or small; made sacrifices for, supported, encouraged, comforted, or consoled the people of our community; I am thankful for you! I am thankful that people like you are a part of our community,” Hollinger said.

Above all else, Hollinger hopes he has conveyed the admiration and gratitude that he has for the people of Sidney and Shelby County, who work to make the community better and brighter.

“For without you and your caring spirit, your desire to give of yourself; this season of giving thanks and hope for a better tomorrow would not shine as radiantly. With a heart full of thanks, I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving,” Hollinger said.

By Blythe Alspaugh

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The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Sidney Fire and Emergency Services Department, 222 W. Poplar St., Sidney.