CHESTER J. GEDRICH was born on April 16, 1922. He was issued a Social Security Card in Pennsylvania prior to 1951, apparently moving to Camden in the late 1930s or the 1940s. He was one of a group of men appointed to the Camden Fire Department at the end of 1950. He was promoted to captain in 1962 and spent the latter part of his career with Ladder Company 3 in East Camden.

The 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory shows him living at 1226 Morton Street. He was still at that address as late as the fall of 1970, but is not listed there in 1977, apparently moving out of Camden once residency requirements were lifted for the city's uniformed fire fighters.

Captain Gedrich retired from the Camden Fire department after 30 years of service on February 1, 1981. He was living in Poulsbo, Washington in 1990, but by 2000 had returned to the East Coast. Telephone Directories show him residing in Trenton, New Jersey in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

According to Social Security records, Chester Gedrich last residence was in Trenton, New Jersey. He passed away on February 21, 2009.

Camden Courier-Post - December 9, 1949
Joseph T. Hackett - Owen Gale
August L. Johnson - Harry Sterling
Albert A. Stinger - Jesthroe Hunt
Harold H. Pike - Roy R. Moffa
Allen F. Hess - Franklin Whylings
William L. Gosnell - David W. Humphries
William G. WInstanley - Joshua Robinson
Henry S. Keubler - Adolph S. Zubrzycki
Ralph H. Palmer - Alexander P. Matis
Earl G. Robinson - Anthony J. DiMaggio
Earl A, Smith Sr. - Philip J. MacDonald
Robert P. Olesiewicz - Eugene E. Demers
Chester J. Gedrich - John F. Chudzinski
Samuel D. Siniscalki - Santo Dimaggio
Ludwig Polniak - George P. Baxter
Ralph F. Schaeffer - Joseph J. McTaggart
Louis J. Monahan - John DiMaggio 
William N. Stone - Casper J. Martelli - H. Raymond Dixon

Camden Courier-Post * August 19, 1957

Firemen Here Get Advanced First Aid Course

More than 40 members of the Camden Fire Department have completed the Red Cross course in advanced first aid according to announcement today by Howard F. Keller, Collingswood, chairman of the Camden County Chapter's first aid committee. 

Instruction sessions were under the direction of Fire Chief William V. Pfefferle, Drillmaster Anthony Dzinski, a member of the local chapter first aid group, assisted by Nicholas E. George, were instructors. Dzinski is a member of the Red Cross faculty at the National Aquatic School held in this area each year for instruction in advance safety techniques. Dick Harris, director of Red Cross safety services, supervised.

All members of the graduating class are personnel of several units housed at fire department headquarters here. These include the Headquarters Company, Engine Company 2, Rescue Squad 1 and Truck Company 1. These groups include: 

Rescue Squad: Captains Arthur Batten, Philip A. Stinger and Albert Weller; Edward Brendlinger, Harrison MacNeir, Robert Olesiewicz and James W. Smith.

Headquarters Company: Raymond Banford, John K. Voll and John W. Yates.

Truck Company 1: Captains Daniel Jiannetto, Robert E. Dukes and Otto V. Kaiser; William Watkin, Chester Gedrich, George Baxter, John Mogck, George C. Hennessy, Charles Devlin, Ambrose W. Faust, Joseph McTaggart, Howard R. Taggart, William G. Winstanley and Elmer Johnson Jr.

Engine Company 2: Captains James R. Asher, Thomas Winstanley; Carl Wirtz, James McGrory, Edwin V. Decker, James Stewart, Francis X. McTaggart, Anthony T. Orme, Mario D. Fattore, James O. Jones, Francis P. Stibi, William Hopkins, Robert E. Briggs, John Giuliano, Casper Martelli, Harold H. Pike, John J. Vane, William Stibi, John DiMaggio and Harry Kleinfelder.

In front of Fire Headquarters
North 5th and Arch Streets, 1958
Firemen Raymond Banford, James McGrory,
James Stewart, Chester Gedrich

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Courier-Post
June 20, 1962

Chester Gedrich
Morton Street
Harrison MacNeir
Rescue Company 1
Donna Bender
Ladder Company 1
Engine Company 2
Edward R. MacDowell

Camden Courier-Post * August 21, 1968

Boy, Girl Saved in City Fire

Two children were revived by artificial resuscitation last night after being rescued from flames which damaged a bedroom of their home.

The boy and girl, two-year-old Kenneth and eight-month-old Tracy, are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Bagby of 2108 Van Buren Street, Camden.

They were rescued after fire broke out in a second floor bedroom of the home at 11:19 PM. They were asleep in the room at the time.

Fought Flames

The girl was rescued by James Robinson, acting captain of Engine Company Three. Robinson went through the building until he reached the bedroom.

According to Battalion Chief Thomas McCabe, Robinson fought his way through the flames and heat in the room to reach the child. The girl was not breathing when rescued, McCabe said, but. Robinson performed the artificial resuscitation.

The boy was rescued by Captain Chester Gedrich of Engine Company 10, who climbed a ladder to reach the bedroom. The youth was handed down the ladder and revived by fireman Joseph Lesniewski of Engine Company 10.

Taken to Hospital

The children were taken to West Jersey Hospital Northern Division, Camden, where they were examined and released.

Two other Bagby girls, five-year-old Dawn and six-year-old Kim, were next. door, at 2106 Van Buren Street, with their mother when the fire broke out.

Chief McCabe said he did not know the whereabouts of the father at the time of the fire.

Camden Courier-Post * March 27, 1969

Eight Cited For Service Above Duty

Two Camden Fire Department Engine Companies were awarded unit citations and eight firemen attached to the companies were each given merit citations yesterday for service above and beyond the call of duty.

Camden Fire Chief Edward V. Michalak awarded the citations to representatives of Engine Companies 3 and 10 in ceremonies held in the department's headquarters at Third and Arch Streets.

Chief Michalak said the eight firemen under adverse conditions and without regard to personal safety, boldly rescued two children from a burning second story bedroom last August 20.

According to Michalak, Captain Chester Gedrich, 47, entered the home located at 2108 Van Buren Street, by ladder and rescued 8 month old Tracy Bagby, passing her to Joseph J. Lesniewski, 40, who took her to the street and gave her artificial respiration.

Meanwhile, Michalak said, acting Captain James Robinson, 31, entered the flaming building, went up the stairway and rescued, Tracy's, 7-year-old brother Kenneth.

Assisting in the rescue were firemen Clair H. Graham, 58, Harold Johnson Jr., Ronald Gorski, 30, George Kurtyan, 24, and Robert W. Frett also 24.

November 18, 1974

Captain Chester Gedrich
Firefighter Henry Keating
on ladder

March 11, 2009

It is with deep regret to announce the passing of retired Captain Chester Gedrich. He passed sometime last week. Captain Gedrich was born in 1922, appointed to the fire department in 1950, promoted to captain in 1962 and retired in 1981. I remember him as the Captain of Ladder 3, Group 1.

Greg Murphy
Camden Fire Department