Unsurpassed in courage, dedication and caring, nearly 200 volunteer firefighters serve in the Township's four fire companies -- Cheltenham, Elkins Park, Glenside and La Mott. These extraordinary individuals risk their lives to protect the lives and property of their neighbors.
Every volunteer spends hundreds of hours each year practicing firefighting techniques and training with sophisticated equipment. In addition, they maintain a 24-hour a day readiness to respond to emergency calls, often sacrificing work, sleep, or family events.
Firefighters also strive to prevent fires from happening through education programs. Specially trained firefighters visit local schools to teach youngsters how to avoid fire dangers. The Fire Expo, held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week each October, offers impressive apparatus demonstrations as well as expert advice on using smoke detectors properly and devising a personal home fire escape plan.
Remember: Smoke detectors save lives [fact sheet].
The entire community owes a tremendous debt of gratitude and respect to Cheltenham's volunteer firefighters. For information on joining their proud ranks, contact the Fire Marshal or the company closest to you:
Ogontz Fire Company Decertified on December 16, 2020
Glenside: 210 W. Glenside Ave; 215-884-0326
La Mott: 7600 Penrose Ave; 215-635-0996
Elkins Park: 7818 Montgomery Ave; 215-635-0737
Cheltenham: 413 Ryers Ave; 215-379-2803
Ogontz Fire Company, Station 5, was decertified by the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners on December 16, 2020, effective immediately. Fire and emergency responses will be covered by Glenside, La Mott, Elkins Park and the Cheltenham Hook and Ladder Company. For more information, visit News Story. A presentation was made at the Board's meeting outlining the reasons for the decertification (view meeting video; presentation starts at 1:07:00).
DCED Analysis of Cheltenham Township's Fire Companies
In November 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development released a Study of Cheltenham Township's Fire Companies.
This analysis determined that there are several in depth issues that need to be addressed:
- Daytime staffing
- Recruitment and retention of members
- Lack of depth of leadership, administratively and operationally
- Lack of a formal Fire Services Agreement between the Township and the Fire Companies establishing responsibilities for each party
- Lack of strategic planning in all areas
- Duplication of common fire protection services and equipment
Major recommendations from the Analysis include:
- Hire a Municipal Fire Chief to administer and oversee the day-to-day operations of the Cheltenham Township Fire Department.
- Develop a cooperative arrangement between La Mott, Elkins Park and Ogontz stations with the goal of them operating as a single entity providing fire protection to the center are of Cheltenham.
- Renovate La Mott Fire Station with all contemporary amenities of a modern fire station.
- Consider investing in the Cheltenham Township Fire Department via a Fire Protection Millage as permitted by the Pennsylvania Fire Class Township Code.
- Require coordinated recording and collating of all data of the various operational, response time, mutual aid, staffing and training components and manage data collected through an Emergency Reporting Program.