Chief Yates Completes Twenty Years’ Service
Chief Henry R. Yates, of the fire department of Schenectady, N. Y., on December 31, 1919. rounded out a service of twenty-years as head of fire service in that city. On that evening the chief was given a suprprise party by the permanent members of the department. He was invited to “come down for a few moments just to help the old year out,” and found the entire department in dress uniform, the room filled with guests and a well laden dinner table. The toastmaster was John G. Kelley, and after addresses were made by several of the guests, the chief was presented with a certified check for $810. an appreciation by the merchants and business men of the city. The men of the department also presented $500 in the form of twentyfive $20 gold pieces, enclosed in a silk-lined case to “Our Chief.” Finally Chief Yates was ushered into a side room where he found the side wall covered with dozens of letters from representatives of every business, industry and profession in the city, all testifying to the ability and service he has rendered to Schenectady as its chief. The toastmaster also presented the members of the original fire department who are still on active duty. Chief Yates. Deputy Chief Derra, Captain Maurice Baum, Fireman Jerome O’Leary, and Fireman E. McCormick with fountain pens as a token of the esteem in which they are held by their associates in the department. The pens were mounted with gold bands bearing the insignia of the department and the dates 19001920. The committee in charge of the celebration consisted of John G. Kelley, chairman; Capt. Sanford E. Alberts, Lieutenant Elliott G. Van Dermoor, Lieutenant Abram Anthony and Fireman Charles E. Thomas. The reception and house committee consisted of Lieutenant John Bauer. Lieutenant John Steiner. Lieutenant Charles Schumacher. Engineer Richard Hilderbrandt, William Swanker. Sanford Mitchell, Jacob Blaser and James Higgins.
The annual report of the department, which has recentlycome to hand, comprehensively covers this twenty-year period, and is an unusually complete and carefullycompiled document The fiscal year of the city ends November 30, and Chief Yates has arranged a table of comparisons extending over the period of twenty years during which the fire department has been operated as at present, showing the property valuation, the population the number of fires, the yearly losses and the per capita losses. The greatest loss per capita was in 1905, when it amounted to $2.52, the population being 58,387, the assessed valuation $26,110,094 and the number of fires 163, with a total loss of $147,558.10. The lowest per capita loss was in the year just ended, with only .65, for a population estimated at 106,000. There were 316 fires during the year in property having an assessed valuation of $66,492,542 on which the losses were only $69,596.37. In 1900, the year when the department which had been volunteer was organized on a paid basis, there was a population of 31,682 and a valuation of $12,503,960. There were 105 fires with losses amounting to $26,130.12. The table compiled by Chief Yates shows the steadily increasing efficiency of the department, especially during the past decade, in which the city has been growing with great rapidity. The report of the fire prevention bureau of the department, of which Captain Sanford E. Alberts is head, is included in Chief Yates’s report and proves that the work is done in no perfunctory spirit. There were 58,442 inspections in the year and 3,673 re-inspections where violations of ordinances were found. After serving notices on fortytwo who proved tardy in obeying the inspectors, it was necessary in only four cases to take the offenders into court.
The Maxim Motor Company recently suffered some damage and inconvenience from a fire in its plant at Middleboro, Mass.