The two main missions of fire service personnel in Nether Providence Township are Suppression and Prevention.
Operating under the Suppression mission are the township’s two all-volunteer fire companies – South Media Fire Co. No. 1 (founded in 1922) and Garden City Fire Co. No. 1 (founded in 1944). Nearly 100 men and women from all walks of life participate in these two active companies. Together, the two fire companies are often referred to as the Nether Township Fire Department.
Garden City Fire Company currently is led by Chief Joseph Lombardo, while Ed Kline serves as chief of South Media Fire Company. Roughly half of the township is covered by each company's respective fire district.
Both companies have engines (pumpers), utility vehicles, and command vehicles. Garden City operates the township's ladder truck, while South Media has a heavy rescue truck used in motor vehicle accidents.
One member of the township's Board of Commissioners serves as Fire Commissioner and is the liaison between the volunteers and the township government. Nether Providence Township contributes tax dollars to support the two companies. An annual fund drive also provides revenues, with monies raised shared by the two companies. Both companies also make use of various state and federal grants.
Garden City and South Media also share revenue from Rose Valley Borough as both fire companies provide fire service to that community.
The Fire Marshal’s Office is the arm of the fire service charged with fire prevention as well as education, inspections and investigations. The office also is headquarters for the township's Emergency Management Agency.
Jim Ortoleva is the current fire marshal, a position he has held for many years. He has two deputies who assist him in investigations and inspections and an assistant who works on grants and fire prevention.
Thanks to two recent federal grants, the township's award-winning fire prevention and education program has been greatly enhanced. "Hazard House," a table top model, is being used to teach children and adults about good fire safety practices. A Sparky the Fire Dog suit also has been purchased for use with children’s groups. Video materials and smoke detectors also are available to the public.
The township has a small contingent of fire police officers who assist in traffic control as well as other duties at the scene of an emergency.
In accordance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state’s arm PEMA, Nether Providence Township has an emergency operations plan, and individuals from the township’s departments and emergency services are ready to provide support in the event of a township-wide emergency.