Pennsylvania’s First Fire Commissioner was 84 Harrisburg – Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann today announced the death of the state’s first Fire Commissioner Charles “Chet” Henry, of Lemoyne, Cumberland County. Henry died June 25 at age 84. He was appointed State Fire Commissioner by Governor Milton J. Shapp in 1977 and served in that capacity through 1989. Prior to that appointment, he served as fire chief in the City of Harrisburg. “Chet was a dedicated public servant who spent much of his life serving others, in both the military and the fire service,” Mann said. “The firefighting community in Pennsylvania is stronger today thanks to his contributions. Firefighters across the state feel his loss.” Mann said much of the organization and responsibility of today’s Office of the State Fire Commissioner, or OSFC, is the result of Henry’s leadership and vision. Governor Dick Thornburgh supported Henry’s ideas and moved operational responsibility for the State Fire Academy and oversight of the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program to OSFC. In addition, Henry’s passion for fire prevention and safety changed the culture of homeowners and businesses across the state and gained him admiration and respect nationwide. Henry is survived by his wife, Sandra, and numerous siblings, nieces and nephews.
Media contact: Maria A. Finn: 717-651-2009