Chief Wesley N. Avery

Chief Wesley N. Avery

Probably no man has done more to bring about the present efficiency of the Worcester (Mass.) fire department than Wesley N. Avery, who was elected chief on December 20, 1911. His long career in the department has been marked with many thrilling incidents, as he is that type of leader that goes first and asks his men to follow him. Several times he has been close to death and is noted both for the fearlessness and the caution which must characterize the successful fire fighter. He has demonstrated in his work in the department marked qualities as an executive. instructor and organizer. He is a close student of the apparatus and methods used in modern fire departments, and has been instrumental in introducing new methods and apparatus that have made the Worcester department one of the most efficient in the United States. Mr. Avery was born in Cooper’s Mills, Me., September 7, 1861. He was educated in the schools of his native town and came to Worcester in 1881, where he was first employed in the wire mills and later by the Richardson Manufacturing Company. He was appointed a substitute on engine 3 December 16, 1887. He resigned in March, 1888. and reentered the service May 10. 1880, as a substitute on ladder 2. He was appointed a call man March 2. 1801. On March 10. 1801. he was made permanent driver for Chief F. L. Vaughan. September 21, 1801, he was transferred to hose 4, Waldo street, as driver. October 17. 1803, he was assigned as acting lieutenant of that company, and December 23 of the same year was appointed captain of the same company. He was elected assistant chief of the department by the city council on December 26, 1000. He was advanced to deputy chief on May 18, 1003. In the summer of 1006 he attended the New York Training School. He completed the course in this school with credit, and while in attendance there served as an active member of an engine company in the wholesale district of that city, an experience that was an education in itself. Returning to his duties here, he made a comprehensive report to Chief George S. Coleman of the course in the New York Training School. The suggestions incorporated in the concluding portion of this report led to the purchase of many new appliances and the formation of the Worcester Drill School. This school, of which Mr. Avery has been the chief instructor, is probably the most potent factor in the present high standard of excellence that prevails throughout the personnel of the department. The drill features of this school retain the essential features of the New York course. Of one of these, Mr. Avery, in a typical portion of his report, said: “I consider the scaling ladder drill as the most important part of training. It not only develops in the department a trained life-saving corps, but also gives the men practise in handling the equipment of the department in high and dangerous places and imbues men with a confidence and a lack of fear in perilous duty that can be obtained in no other way. The new chief was instrumental in founding the Worcester Permanent Firemen’s Relief Association and was secretary of the association.

AUXILIARY MOTOR, AT TAMPA, FLA. CHIEF W. M. MATTEWS BESIDE DRIVER.HOSE COMPANY NO. 2, OF AUSTIN, TEX., AND CHIEF WOODWARD IN HIS AUTOMOBILE.

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