Every year on this day I will be making the same post, a tribute to my good friend and mentor Jackson “Fireman Jack” Gerhart. Jack was born into a fire service family his father a Chambersburg volunteer and former Union President at the Carlisle Army War College Fire Department. Jackson started his career at the Junior Hook and Ladder in Chambersburg and went on to become a paid fireman in Chambersburg for a couple of years before hiring on in the Washington D.C. Fire Department. In Washington Jackson spent most of his career driving 17 Engine. He was very active in his union serving as secretary for 17 years (a record for the union). If I were to post all of Jackson’s accomplishment or good traits this post would take many pages. I encourage you to make comments on what Jackson did to help you.
Three years ago this day Jack died from injuries he received at the scene of a house fire in Chambersburg on November 20, 2004. Jack left behind his wife Patsy and daughter Susan, he was preceded in death by a son, Jeff. Jackson also left behind many adopted brothers and sons in the fire service. He was a mentor and father figure to many, helping them get a job as a firefighter, getting them toys or equipment for an antique fire engine or supplying photos and knowledge for anything fire service related.
Jack left a void in many peoples hearts when he passed away. I know I think about him often, as with the passing of my grandfather many things I used to do are not as much fun anymore. I hope you are teaching another class of pump operators in heaven Jack. For additional information and more photos visit my other site at http://shippensburgfiredepartment.blogspot.com/ I would like to point out that I took none of theses photographs.
The photograph below of Jackson in the green sweat shirt was the last one taken of him. It was DC's first muster and a event that made Jack very happy. He loved the sweat shirt to and wore it often in his last month.