Ed Gibson, III, is the Media Borough Fire Chief and comes from a long line of Media Borough firefighters. Ed’s father, brother, nephew, 2 cousins and his son are all on the force. Ed has been with the fire department going on 40 years. He is proud to call Media home and to serve the people of the borough.
The Media Borough Fire Company was founded in 1891 and was a volunteer fire company until about 25 years ago when the EMS (ambulance) began being staffed with paid personnel. Currently, there are 30 active volunteers on the force and 12 paid Emergency Medical Technicians. “All of the Media Fire Company personnel, both volunteer and paid are extremely dedicated and well trained”, states the fire chief. Over 50% are nationally certified in firefighting, a process that takes over 266 hours for the basic certification. All of the firefighters work other jobs in various fields like nursing, IT, sprinkler system design and maintenance, and truck driving.
The firehouse on South Jackson street currently houses 2 pumpers that are used to fight fires, an 85 foot snorkel that is used for search and rescue, laddering buildings and ventilation, one rescue truck that carries vehicle, rope and water rescue equipment and 2 ambulances. The Media Fire Company offers fire protection to the borough and mutual aid support to surrounding areas such as Nether Providence, Middletown and Upper Providence. EMS is provided to Media, and Upper Providence, along with portions of Nether Providence Township and Rose Valley Borough. Because most of the fire companies in the area are volunteer companies and due to a lack of available firefighters in the daytime , when a fire call comes in, the surrounding companies offer support for each other.
Media Fire Company handles about 400 fire calls a year and 2200 ambulance calls. Fire and ambulance calls are taken by a Delaware County 911 center located in Middletown and are sent via a computer dispatch system to the firefighters and EMT’s via a digital paging system. The annual budget for the Fire operations is $50,000 with help from the borough when apparatus is in need of replacement. The EMS/ General fund budget is $600,000. This pays monthly bills, salaries of the paid staff, paramedic coverage supplied by Riddle Hospital and is used to purchase EMS equipment including ambulances. Additional funds from the account have been earmarked for future needs such as turnout gear and self contained breathing apparatus replacement.
Keeping up with the demands of the job are increasingly difficult because the nature of fires has changed. Click here for an interesting video highlighting the dangers to residents and firefighters from the newer materials used to make furnishings. In the video you can see the difference in burn rate and smoke between a room furnished with older materials and a room with newer furnishings. It’s important for firefighters to keep up with current standards in training and equipment to avoid not only the hazards of the fire itself but the hazards of burning materials. Recent studies have shown an increase in cancer rates among firefighters caused when these newer materials burn.
As Media Borough Fire Chief, Ed Gibson III, has dedicated his life to the borough residents and takes everyone’s safety very seriously. He reminds us to maintain smoke detectors and fire alarm systems within our homes, keep fire exits clear and always have a plan in case of a fire or emergency. As a volunteer fire company, the Media Fire Company is always looking for new members and welcomes your donations. Click here to support our firefighters and Emergency Medical Services.
Many thanks to Ed for taking the time out of his day to provide the material for this article and many thanks to all of our dedicated fire fighters.