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Pennsylvania Acting State Fire Commissioner

Charles J. McGarvey, Sr.

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In March 2022, Charles J. McGarvey, Sr. was appointed by Governor Wolf to be the Pennsylvania Acting State Fire Commissioner. Prior to being appointed to this position, Commissioner McGarvey served as the Chief Fire Officer/Fire Marshal for Lower Merion Township. Commissioner McGarvey began his career as a volunteer firefighter with the Bryn Mawr Fire Company in 1978 and during his 26-year tenure rose through the ranks to Chief of the Bryn Mawr Fire Company.

He retired from active firefighting as the Chief Fire Officer/Fire Marshal for Lower Merion Township, a large combination fire department. Prior to becoming employed with Lower Merion Township, he served as the 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.

Commissioner McGarvey holds a Master of Science Degree in Public Safety from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Science Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Management from Rosemont College.  Commissioner McGarvey was also recognized for his community service and awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree in May of 2016 from Rosemont College.  In 2013, he graduated from the prestigious Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. 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. 

Commissioner McGarvey also served on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Senate Resolution 6 Commission as the Government Support Subcommittee Chair, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, EFO Section Board of Directors and the Main Line Chamber Foundation Board of Directors.

Commissioner McGarvey enjoys spending time with his two children, Izzy and Jack, and watching them play sports. He also enjoys refereeing lacrosse and biking.