Garden City Fire Company Recruitment Campaign Secures 13 New Volunteers in One Year

Dave Eddins with his daughter at the Garden City Fire Company.

Garden City Fire Company is celebrating a milestone achievement one year after launching its Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funded recruitment campaign to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters– the addition of 13 new volunteers. 

“We are extremely pleased with the campaign’s success within the first year. We respond to more than 500 calls a year. Getting the word out in the community has enabled us to expand our team of first responders and share the rewarding experience of saving lives and protecting property,” said Fire Chief Pat O’Rourke.

Among the 13 volunteers gained were Ryan Laliberte and Dave Eddins. Laliberte, an occupational therapist, learned about the fire company after he relocated to Wallingford, Pa., from Philadelphia. 

“I learned about the fire company because they were doing a big recruitment push. It was remarkable to me to know that there is a very well-oiled machine that runs behind the scenes in a volunteer capacity,” said Laliberte. “You gain such a strong sense of pride by joining. Volunteering is definitely an exciting thing to put your time towards.”

Eddins has been a resident in Wallingford for the last six years, and after noticing the fire company’s lawn signs prominently displayed across town, he decided to give it a try.

“I joined not only to challenge myself, but to give back to the community that I live in. Everybody in the fire company is really tight knit and close; it is like a second family,” said Eddins. “I have been volunteering for eight months and have learned things as a volunteer that I can teach my kids in case there is an accident in our own home. I feel more comfortable about keeping my family safe after becoming a volunteer.”

Despite the additions to its membership base, Chief O’Rourke stresses that the need for volunteers is ongoing. “In addition to serving the citizens of Nether Providence Township and Rose Valley Borough, we often provide mutual aid to our neighboring fire companies. Therefore, we continue to need volunteers.” 

New volunteer Ryan Laliberte participating in one of Garden City’s weekly training drills.

How to Join Garden City Fire Company 

No prior experience is necessary to join, and training and gear are provided for free. The following roles are available to those ages 18 and older:

Active Member Firefighter– Train to fight fires, participate in building and vehicle rescues, and respond to medical emergencies. 

Active Member Administrative– Assist at community and recruitment events, help with fundraising, bookkeeping and more.

About the Federally-Funded Recruitment Campaign
Since the January launch of, the recruitment campaign has utilized targeted residential mailings, social media activity, public relations, digital advertising and community events to reach prospective volunteers. The entire program is funded by a four-year Staffing for Adequate Safety Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from FEMA. The recruitment campaign comes at no cost to local taxpayers. The Communication Solutions Group, a Jenkintown-based public relations firm specializing in fire company recruitment, has managed the campaign since its inception.