Chief Tom Collins Honored by 400
The “400” of the Connecticut fire service, together with prominent civic and state authorities over 400 in number, tendered New Haven’s new fire chief, Thomas Collins a testimonial banquet, Monday, April 19th.
The affair was held at the Fire Department’s Training Ground Auditorium, and Mrs. Collins helped share the honors.
Chief Collins, who recently succeeded widely-known Chief Paul P. Heinz as head of the Fire Department, was presented a gift by Bernard Farrell, treasurer of the general committee, of which Battalion Chief Andrew Flanagan was the general chairman.
Principal speaker was Chief Roi Woolley, Assistant Editor Fire Engineering, who praised the unstinting work of Chief Collins in helping make the Department’s training ground a model for the nation’s fire service. Others who lauded the new chief included Chief Paul Heinz (ret.), the city’s new Mayor, Richard C. Lee; former mayor, Wm. C. Celentano; state finance commissioner, Frank Lynch; fire board president, Frank J. Dahill; Earl Ellis, president of the Annex Fire Department, and the Rev. Charles Hewitt, pastor of St. Bernadette’s Church.
Chief Collins became a sub-fireman March 11, 1919, and was made permanent fireman Nov. 5th of that year. He was appointed lieutenant April 1, 1925; junior captain, Jan. 1, 1928; senior captain, July 1 of that year; battalion chief, August 18 1943; 3rd deputy chief, Dec. 26, 1945; 2d deputy chief one year later, and 1st deputy chief No. 2, 1949, and assistant chief on Jan. 7, 1953. He was promoted to chief Dec. 12th, 1953.
Chief Collins served in World War I. He and Mrs. Collins have a son Robert, presently a lieutenant in the Marine Corps.