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Township Fire Chief Earns 'Executive Fire Officer' Designation

The Lower Merion Fire Chief completed four years of coursework to earn the designation.

Lower Merion Fire Chief Chas McGarvey is congratulated by Township Manager Doug Cleland (center). From left are Commissioners Rick Churchill, Dan Bernheim, Scott Zelov and Board Vice President Paul McElhaney. (Photo courtesy of Lower Merion Township)
Lower Merion Fire Chief Chas McGarvey is congratulated by Township Manager Doug Cleland (center). From left are Commissioners Rick Churchill, Dan Bernheim, Scott Zelov and Board Vice President Paul McElhaney. (Photo courtesy of Lower Merion Township)
The following was provided to Patch by Lower Merion Township:

After four years of coursework, Lower Merion Township Chief Fire Officer and Fire Marshal Charles J. McGarvey, Sr., has been designated an “Executive Fire Officer” by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The intensive EFO program is designed to provide senior fire officers with a broad perspective on various facets of fire administration,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell, Jr. “This program provides the expertise they need to succeed in today’s challenging environment.”

The executive courses included team development, analysis of community risk reduction, analysis of fire service operations in emergency management, and leadership. All of the courses required written applied research projects.

Chief McGarvey was formally honored with the designation by Township Manager Douglas S. Cleland and the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners at the start of the monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

“The selection process is a challenging one, and Chief McGarvey was one of 210 out of a total applicant pool of 390 who were accepted to this program,” said Cleland. “He now holds one of just 35 certificates awarded to senior fire officials in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and one of just three in Montgomery County since the program began in 1985.”

Prior to his promotion to his current position in 2005, Chief McGarvey served as Deputy Fire Marshal for the Township. In 2009, he graduated from the Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Main Line” program, and was named the Township’s “Outstanding Senior Manager” in 2010. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, 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.

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.


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