A Lehigh Valley Fire Department assistant chief stole gas, police said

A Wind Gap assistant fire chief is under investigation for using a fire department fuel card to pump more than $800 worth of gasoline into a personal vehicle, police said Wednesday.

The fate of Logan Kocher at the Wind Gap Volunteer Fire Company could be decided by the borough council at its Sept. 6 meeting, said George Hinton, council president. The fuel cards are in the fire company’s name, but Wind Gap pays the fuel bill, district manager Louise Firestone said.

Slate Belt Regional Police Chief Jonathan Hoadley said the investigation revealed the theft of $815 worth of regular fuel between May and August, which was discovered by district officials. Fire trucks typically run on diesel, he said.

Hoadley, who declined to name Kocher because the investigation is ongoing, said the council will have to vote on whether to order police to charge Kocher with theft and fraudulent use of the access device or allow the firefighter to resign and reimburse the district.

Kocher told investigators he used the card to fill up with fuel at a Slate Belt pump facility while he was receiving firefighting training in Bethlehem, Hoadley said. But the chief said there were “other issues” he declined to elaborate on in relation to the investigation.

The council listed the problem of theft and misuse of the gas card at the new business gas station in its minutes for August 16. Hinton said there has been little discussion of the issue. The council voted 7-0 to have the police investigate.

Kocher could not be reached for comment. Kohera says the page on social networks he lives in Penn Argyle and formerly worked for the North Bangor Fire Company in Upper Mount Bethel Township.

The first call

Every day

Top local stories delivered weekday mornings

Fire Chief Kyle Reinert acknowledged the investigation but declined to comment.

Hoadley said anytime an incident involves volunteers, such as firefighters, it’s difficult.

“They crave volunteers,” he said. “You hate it when something like that happens. It should never affect the whole body, but it gives them a black eye, so to speak.’

Hinton, who is also the fire company’s treasurer, declined to comment further on the investigation. The fire department held a regular meeting Monday, but he would not say what was discussed regarding Kocher or the investigation until the department’s minutes are approved.

Wind Gap’s website says the fire department, which is more than 100 years old, has more than 30 volunteers. Hinton said members raise almost all of their own money for everything from fire equipment to fire engines.

Contact Morning Call reporter Anthony Salamone at

Back to top button