Submitted by his daughter
Jackson H. Gerhart‚ 65‚ died December 5th‚ 2004‚ the result of a severe head injury taken place while volunteering with the Chambersburg Junior Hose and Truck Company‚ at a house fire.
Jack retired from the Washington D.C. Fire Department in 1994 after 32 years of service as a firefighter technician‚ assigned to Engine Company No.17. He received the Department’s highest award‚ the Bronze Bar of Valor‚ twice‚ two Silver Medals from the Mayor’s Meritorious Award Committee‚ in addition to numerous commendations and letters of appreciation. He also served on the Executive Board of the Fire Fighters Association of the District of Columbia‚ International Association of Fire Fighters‚ and as Secretary‚ for 17 years‚ at Local #36.
Jack had a reputation for being one of the finest wagon drivers in the history of D.C. Fire Department. His knowledge of the district‚ his ability to handle the piece‚ and his administrative skills running Engine 17 were legendary.
Prior to the D.C.F.D.‚ Jackson was a paid fire apparatus driver for the Borough of Chambersburg and began his career as a member of the Junior Hose and Truck Company No. 2. He was given life time memberships in the Fire Fighters Association of the District of Columbia; the Fayetteville; Pleasant Hall; Metal Township; West End Fire and Rescue and New Franklin Fire Companies. After his retirement‚ Jackson was an active member of West End Fire and Rescue Company‚ Shippensburg for seven years and the Cumberland Valley Hose Company Shippensburg.
His hobbies included fire apparatus‚ photography‚ and toy collecting. He contributed articles‚ pictures and assisted in the publishing of many fire department books and publications‚ as well as articles in the Toy and Truck Magazine.
During the 70’s‚ while living in Silver Spring‚ MD‚ he was a director for the Glen Briar Condominium Association‚ serving the community as Treasurer and Vice President. Later in his retirement‚ he became an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Chambersburg‚ serving as trustee‚ usher and various missions‚ and also a volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels in Shippensburg.
Jackson was a ‘local’ fire fighter historian‚ avid collector and dedicated protector. He knew many people all over the United States‚ reaching out as far as Alaska. His attention to detail‚ willingness to help others and true love for what he did‚ helped distinguish him as well as inspire others. Jack is certainly missed and deeply loved and we are grateful to pay tribute to him and others like him. He was the rock of our family‚ and since his passing we have had to come to terms with allowing others to help us. We are thankful for their care and attention‚ and we cherish all the wonderful memories.