50th Anniversary of Vi oreester Fire Patrol
The 50th anniversary of the Worcester, Mass., Fire Patrol was celebrated on December 1 with a banquet in the Hotel Bancroft. There were 150 guests present including representatives of the Worcester Fire Department. National Board of Fire Underwriters, and the Box 4 Associates.
Among those at the head table were Mayor Michael J. O’Hara, Chief Charles L. McCarthy, of the Worcester Fire Department; President Roland S. G. Frodigh, of the board of aldermen; President Victor E. Hillman, of the common council; John Ashmead, of the National Board of Fire Underwriters; Otis C. White, president of the Box 4 Associates; Daniel Brosnihan, president of the fire department officers’ club; Michael O’Mailey, president of the fire department privates’ club; and John Yatter, the only surviving member of the original fire patrol company. Edmund L. Sanders, president of the Worcester Protective Association, acted as toastmaster.
Superintendent William H. Guertin, of the fire patrol, was the especial guest of honor. Others present were Alderman Charles W. Johnson, chairman of the city council committee on fire prevention; Addison W. Towne, secretary of the Past and Present Members’ Association of the Worcester Fire Patrol; City Clerk William H. Pratt, a former call man of the patrol force; Dr. George H. Hill, fire department surgeon; Morey F. Orrell, superintendent of fire alarm telegraph; and Supt. Henry Thompson, of the Boston Protective Department.
The committee in charge of the arrangements was composed of President E. L. Sanders, chairman; H. Ward Bates, William P. McPherson, Supt. Guertin, and William H. Lewis.
Speaker after speaker praised the work of the patrol and told of its co-operation with the fire department in keeping down losses.
John Yatter told of the first run of the fire patrol on the night of December 1, 1875, through a blinding snow storm to a fire in a six tenement house in the “island district of the city. At that time the wagon was drawn by a pair of horses. He told incidents of the patrol and recalled with affection the horses, “Texas Jack” and “Buffalo Bill.”
Chief Charles L. McCarthy said:
“The work of the patrol has been more beneficial than the public realizes or ever will realize. There has always been the utmost co-operation between the patrol and the fire department. Why? Because the fire department knows the excellent work the patrol docs and knows that it is an organization to be treated with the utmost respect. A few years ago when a movement was under way to abolish the patrol I fought the suggestion along with hundreds of business men of the city. The reason was that I was in a position to know the value of the work accomplished by these patrol men”
President Otis C. White, of the Box 4 Associates, said:
“The city is coming to realize more and more every day the importance of the fire patrol. No unit in the city’s protective force renders more service than the fire department and the fire insurance patrol is an active and appreciated branch of that service.”
The evening concluded with entertainment by singers and dancers and several novelty acts.