Bradford Celebrates Golden Anniversary
The Bradford, Pa., Fire Department this year celebrates its 50th year as a paid unit. It was in April, 1903, that the volunteers gave way to the paid men. The department was first organized in 1871.
In 1903 the department still had horsedrawn apparatus. Motorized units gradually took their place and today the city boasts a modern well equipped and trained department. There are four pumpers; a 75-foot aerial ladder; emergency ambulance, and chief’s car, the department being manned by a chief, assistant chief, two captains and 27 men.
The anniversary marks the retirement, also, of Chief Edward B. Larkin after 40 years of service, 25 years of which he headed the organization. He is succeeded by Edward T. Brophy, an 18-year member of the department.
Chief Larkin started with the department in 1903 and served continuously until 1913, when he retired with rank of assistant chief. However, the nostalgia of fire fighting got him and he returned to the force in 1923 as a “rookie.” Less than five years later he was made chief. He estimates that in his active career he responded to more than 14,000 alarms.