CHIEF JOHN THOMPSON OF TORONTO.
With the resignation of Chief John Thompson of the Toronto, Canada, fire department, following closely upon the retirement of District Chief Frank Smith, Toronto’s deparment loses two able and experienced fire fighters who had each served the department about forty years. Chief Thompson, who entered the department as a branchman in 1876, became a foreman after one year’s service and was promoted to district chief in 1887. When Chief Ardagh died Thompson became deputy chief and he became head of the department when Chief Graham retired in 1889. He has put in fifteen years as chief and during his incumbency the department has not only doubled in men and equipment but the character of the equipment has, due to the chief’s progressiveness, been greatly enhanced. The recent improvements in the Toronto department present a cogent illustration of the value the conventions of the International Association of Fire Engineers can be to a chief endowed with a progressive spirit such as Thompson’s for he obtained his ideas for equipping his city with two aerial trucks while he was attending an association convention in New York. The self-raising aerial trucks purchased for Toronto on the chief’s recommendation are stated to have been the first introduced in Canada. Also on his recommendation over $50,000 worth of motor apparatus was ordered last year. Chief Thompson who was president of the association in 1910, has taken a keen and prominent interest in the association and in all that pertains to fire extinguishment and the best interests of the fire department. Under his administration as chief a notable improvement was brought about in the type of fire stations in Toronto. In bravery he was a representative fire chief and he has had narrow escapes from death while in command at fires and has met with severe injuries. In leaving the department he and his colleagues in the association have the satisfaction of knowing that because of his personal efforts a substantial advance has been made with the department. District Chief Smith s connection with the department dated from 1875 and he is credited with introducing two notable conveniences in fire fighting which are utilized in other cities besides Toronto. He devised a method of raising a ladder in twenty and even fifteen seconds and making it easier to handle ladders in front of buildings fronted by rows of wires and he also devised a wooden clamp to apply to a line of hose to shut off the water and permit of changing a broken length of hose or changing nozzles instead of shutting off the water at the hydrant.