Michael Maguire has been involved with the Radnor Fire Company for 17 of his 33 years. He is vice chair of the company’s Ambulance division and in April he was elected to a two-year term as fire chief.
The unpaid position includes being responsible for all calls, budgets and morale of the company, Maguire told Radnor Patch. He also deals with loads of paperwork, community requests and making sure volunteer firefighters show up for calls.
The Wayne native, who attended and , hopes to get more volunteers and bring back the old atmosphere and tradition of families getting involved.
Families like his are rare. His mom Ginny is in the ambulance division, and his dad Joe is deputy fire chief. His brother Ryan is fire captain. In fact, Maguire is third generation on both sides of his family, he said. He is looking for more volunteers who “understand missing dinners and holidays.”
“My parents left it up to us, but I always had a huge love for it,” Maguire said of fire fighting.
Maguire’s helm at chief started out as “trial by fire.” Two days after he started . Although Maguire assisted Bryn Mawr in fighting the fire, being chief and not being inside fighting is hard, he said. Coordinating, calling for backup, making sure everyone is safe — that’s the challenging stuff.
He also oversaw the in May.
Maguire is looking for volunteers for firefighting, the ambulance division and for any special services including Internet Technology, bill paying and fundraising.
Radnor’s volunteer fire company, which has five trucks, is supplemented by a paid administration director and some fire fighters, EMTs and medics. But a fully tax-based company would cost millions every year, he said. Maguire said that many people don’t realize that the company is not fully funded by local taxes. Radnor Township gives the company money for new apparatus.
Money from the fire company’s fund drive pays for operating expenses including bills and health benefits. Paid employees’ salaries come from billing from the ambulance division, which has three trucks, and state and federal government fund certain communication items.
Some people who meet Maguire are a little taken back by the fire chief’s age. While he doesn’t know if he is the youngest chief in Radnor history, he definitely is the youngest in recent history.
“Fires are natural disasters. You can lose everything,” he said. Is he afraid of fire?, Radnor Patch asked. “Absolutely. But you need to be a little crazy to fight it.”