Danbury Tenders Dinner to Fairfield Chiefs
The regular monthly meeting of the Fairfield County Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Plan, held at Danbury, Conn., on April 24, was a distinct departure from the usual procedure. Through the courtesy of Chief McNamara and the Danbury Paid and Volunteer Fire Department, a dinner was held at 7:30 p.m., with over 300 guests seated at the tables in the Ball Room of the Hotel Green. At the conclusion of the dinner, a short meeting of the Plan was held, with President Knickerbocker presiding. The welcoming addresses were made by the Mayor of Danbury and Chief McNamara. Seventeen new members were elected. The annual dinner, according to the report of the Banquet Committee, which was accepted, is to be held at the Barnum Hotel, Bridgeport, Conn., on the evening of May 22. The Nominating Committee reported the following ticket for election at the May meeting;
For President—Chief F. R. Gisborne. Old Greenwich.
For First Vice-President—Chief Sydney Stapely, Nichols.
For Second Vice-President-—Chief Horace Walker, Ridgefield.
For Third Vice-President-—Assistant Chief Bernard Scully, Westport,
For Treasurer—Chief George Brencher, Darien.
For Secretary—John Moehring, Stamford.
For New Board of Directors—Chief Daniel Knickerbocker. Springdale; Ex-Chief Peter Beckerle, Danbury; Chief Charles Volk. South Norwalk and Fire Commissioner Clifford Merwin, Shelton.
Old Members of Board—Chief Victor Veit, Stamford; Chief Allan Judson, Stratford; Chief James Thomas, New Canaan, and Ex-Chief W. P. Sherwood, Southport.
The Toastmaster at the dinner was Judge Martin Cunningham, Danbury. He called upon a number of prominent members of the Plan and visiting Chiefs and other officials from practically all of the New England States, New York and elsewhere, who each in turn were greeted with applause as they rose. Chief Selden Allen, Brookline, Mass., PastPresident of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, was then called upon as the sneaker of the evening. Chief Allen emphasized the necessity of civil service for the Fire Department, if efficiency is to be maintained and if the evil influence of politicians is to be kept from interfering with it. He spoke of the importance of training schools for firemen, and said that over 900 men in Massachusetts had qualified as fire fighters through such schools. In this connection he paid an eloquent tribute to Former Assistant Chief T. J. Dougherty, of New York City, and said that all that he knew he owed to the teachings of that veteran of the fire service. Years ago, he said, Chief Dougherty had realized the value of education, and the result had been the founding of the New York Fire College, the first of such schools for fire officers.
The matter of prime importance in fire fighting, Chief Allen said, was the saving of human life. He urged the necessity of good equipment for Fire Departments; without that, intensive training was of little use, but the two together worked for efficiency in the Fire Service.