Dick Sylvia has retired as editor of FIRE ENGINEERING magazine on the eve of his 69th birthday. But that doesn’t mean he is leaving the fire service. Dick will be involved in an outreach course from the National Fire Academy and will continue to serve on the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control.

Jerry Laughlin becomes the new editor. He was the associate editor for the past two years. An announcement of a new associate editor will be made next month.

Dick Sylvia came to the magazine with a long and varied career in the two fields most important to FIRE ENGINEERING: fire fighting and journalism.

In the fire fighting area, Dick served eight years as chief of the Noroton, Conn., Fire Department — and a total of 12 years as a chief officer. His first involvement was in the early 1950s. He is still an active rearstep volunteer fire fighter.

In the journalism area, Dick developed his communication skills as a reporter, photographer, editor, and finally was head of the night copy desk at New York’s World Telegram. He came to FIRE ENGINEERING in 1966.

The entire fire service has benefitted from Dick’s many contributions. And FIRE ENGINEERING won two prestigious Neal Editorial Awards with Dick’s participation. Certainly the most influential and long-term contribution Dick made was through his Volunteers Corner. His first was printed in 1964 and was followed by 221 monthly appearances — each one unique and endlessly useful. Volunteers Corner became the best read and most respected section in any fire magazine.

Dick’s many friends are invited to contact him at 24 Stanton Rd., Darien, Conn. 06820 or at (203) 655-9027.

Jerry Laughlin also has a combination of fire service and publishing background. A second-generation fire fighter, he began with the Birmingham, Ala., Fire Department and served as a temporary advisor to the National Fire Academy when it was part of the old National Fire Prevention and Control Administration. He was later a call fire fighter with the Norfolk, Mass., Fire Department.

Laughlin s publishing experience began when he was involved with the Birmingham Fire Fighters Association in producing a book to commemorate the department’s 100th anniversary. Later he became editor of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) manuals published at Oklahoma State University and editor of fire service publications at the National Fire Protection Association in Boston before coming to FIRE ENGINEERING.

The Volunteers Corner will now rotate among three new authors who know the volunteer fire service. Gene Carlson is managing editor of the IFSTA publications at Oklahoma State University. Joe Bachtler is a state fire instructor with the Maryland Fire and Rescue Services Institute. Bachtler and Carlson were formerly at the National Fire Academy. A third author will be selected to fill out the Volunteers Corner team.

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