Charles McGarvey

Lower Merion Fire Department

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Lower Merion Fire Department


In May 2005, Charles “Chas” John McGarvey, Sr. was appointed Chief Fire Officer for the Township. A 25-year volunteer firefighter and former Chief of the Bryn Mawr Fire Company, Chief McGarvey is well-qualified to provide leadership and oversight of the seven volunteer fire companies that provide fire suppression services for the Township. Meeting regularly with Fire Company Chiefs and Presidents to establish goals and objectives for the Fire Department, Chief McGarvey’s team establishes operating policies and procedures and coordinates implementation by the volunteer companies. As the Township’s Fire Marshal, Chief McGarvey supervises fire prevention operations, manages the fire alarm and fire drill programs and supervises the investigation of all fires.
Prior to being promoted to the position of Chief Fire Officer/ Fire Marshal, Chief McGarvey served as Deputy Fire Marshal for the Township. Chief McGarvey was the Township’s representative to the Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Main Line (LML) program where he graduated in 2009 and was named the Township’s “Outstanding Senior Manager” in 2010. Prior to becoming employed with the Township, he served as Assistant Vice President of Operations/Director of Public Safety for Rosemont College. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran he served honorably at the U.S. Embassies in Warsaw, Poland and Helsinki, Finland.
Chief McGarvey holds a Master of Science Degree in Public Safety from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Rosemont College. The Township sponsored his participation in the prestigious Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy from which he graduated in 2013. In addition, he holds the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFO) from the Commission on Professional Credentialing at the Center for Public Safety Excellence and the MIFireE designation from the Institution of Fire Engineers, United States of America Branch.