Nichols out as West Manchester Twp. fire chief


West Manchester Township has parted ways with township fire chief Dave Nichols.

Township manager Kelly Kelch confirmed Nichols' tenure with the township ended Friday. He said he couldn't provide any information about what happened, or which side initiated the departure, because it's a personnel issue.

"I really can't discuss it," he said.

Township fire chief is a paid position — the only paid position among West Manchester Township fire fighters. As township chief, Nichols oversaw Lincolnway and Shiloh fire companies, which covered the township with all-volunteer fire crews.

Kelch said the township is updating the job description for the position and plans to hire a replacement when they find a suitable candidate.

A call to Nichols' home was not returned Monday afternoon. A blurb Nichols wrote for the township site remained online Monday afternoon.

"The most common answer as to why we want to be (fire fighters) is that we want to help others," he wrote. "I love this profession and always, even to this day, I get goose-bumps when I watch (fire fighters) saving lives and doing all they are called upon to do."

Lincolnway station chief Dave Markle declined comment on Monday afternoon, referring The York Dispatch back to the township administration. Shiloh station chief Bob Sells didn't return a message seeking comment.

Nichols: Wayne Harper, president of Lincolnway Fire Co., said he doesn't know what happened.

"It was something that went down between the township and Dave," said Harper, who runs the York County Center for Traffic Safety.

He said Kelch gave the departments a courtesy call on Friday to let them know about the change. The officials rounded everyone up and passed along the news the next day.

"We had a little meeting Saturday morning — we got together at the request at the township," he said.

"There were some shocked people, I'll tell you that," he said.

Harper said Nichols, who had been the township chief since about 2000, had his strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else.

"There's things that everybody does well and things they don't do well," he said.

He said Nichols had been good, among other things, at planning and budgeting.

For now, the township has appointed a West Manchester Township Police liaison between the stations and the township, Harper said.

"The fire companies will continue to do what they do until a new fire chief is appointed," Harper said.

— Reach Sean Cotter at