How Chief, with the Barking of His Men, Has Brought His Department Up to the Top-Notch of Efficiency—The Chief’s Career

ONE of the smaller Oklahoma fire departments that is up-to-the-minute in matters of fire-fighting and fire prevention is that of the city of Cushing. This department was completely reorganized by its present chief, Alvin Gelbhar, who has brought it up to a high state of efficiency. It consists of three paid men, twenty part paid and call men and twenty volunteers, making a total of forty-three well trained and drilled members.

Alvin Gelbhar came to Cushing in 1902. For a number of years he was foreman of the Cushing Creamery and Ice Cream Factory. In 1910 the Cushing volunteer fire department was organized and Mr. Gelbhar was a charter member. John Hopkins was elected chief and Dr. M. B. Furrow, as captain. During the oil boom in 1913, Dr. Furrow, then captain, was elected mayor and John Hopkins was put on the council. Upon resignation they recommended

Chief Alvin Gelbhar, Cushing, Okla.

Alvin Gelbhar as chief which position he held until October, 1919, at which time he accepted a position as fire marshal of Brownwood, Texas, and was affiliated with the fire department of that place until April, 1923, when he returned to Cushing and again accepted the position as chief of the fire department.

Chief Gelbhar is a firm believer in the policy of “Every Week Fire Prevention Week.” He has enforced fire drills in the schools of Cushing and has instituted a careful system of inspection in connection with these institutions.

From 1916 to 1919 Chief Gelbhar served as vice-president of the Oklahoma State Firemen’s Association, and in September, 1924, when the Fire Chiefs’ Club in Oklahoma was organized, he was elected as its secretary and treasurer.

Chief Gelbhar has the hearty cooperation of the members of his fire department, and it is largely through this fact that he has been enabled to maintain the high standard of his firefighting forces.

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