Death Announcement: Chief John S. Hollinger, Vigilant Hose Co.
The Vigilant Hose Company and citizens of Emmitsburg are mourning the passing of valued member and lifelong resident John S. Hollinger. John passed peacefully, at his home, early this morning following complications from an illness. He was born on September 17, 1930 to the late John A. Hollinger and Pauline Havener Hollinger. John was the husband of the late Mary Theresa Hollinger. Together they had six sons and one daughter.
Mr. Hollinger has been a Vigilant Hose Company member since February 1946 and with the exception of the time served in the military during the Korean conflict has not had a break in being an active member. At the age of 15, John began volunteering in the fire & rescue service. Within 18 months, John was selected for the position of assistant hose director. At the age of 17, John began driving fire apparatus to incidents and remained a certified driver/fire fighter for well over 50 years. During his 73 years of volunteering, John held multiple leadership positions, was a county & state delegate on multiple occasions, and was chair to numerous committees for the corporation. Positions held were Assistant Hose Director, Delegate, 2nd Asst. Chief, 1st Asst. Chief, Chief, Vice President, President, and Board of Directors.
While serving as Chief in 1958, he was instrumental in establishing the Emmitsburg “fire call only”telephone line #7-4141. In 1960, Chief Hollinger helped assemble the Boy Scout Explorers program at Vigilant Hose Company. This program was started to foster an early learning environment in fire suppression for the youth of the area. The Explorers program is still in operation at VHC.
On the administrative side, John was active in various committees within the corporation. Most notably, he had served on every new apparatus planning committee since he joined VHC. He participated in all aspects of fundraising. John responded to the station, for calls for service, to assistwith coordination of responding apparatus and personnel. He was cordial with incoming transferring units and assisted them with parking apparatus in the VHC station and making the mutual aid personnel feel comfortable by providing them with food & drink. He also owned the Ford dealership in Emmitsburg. Being a businessman, John brought a wealth of knowledge in business and financial planning. With his sound advice, the Vigilant Hose Company will remain a stable volunteer corporation serving the citizens of Emmitsburg with any fire & rescue needs.
With John’s passing, there will be a void at Vigilant Hose as he was a daily coffee club member. In the mornings, he could be found in the kitchen reading the newspapers and sipping coffee. He would leave the station at lunchtime to acquire lunch at the Ott House. He will be dearly missed by VHC members, auxiliary members, and DFRS career staff.