George Towle, Ex-Chief of Larchmont, Dead

George Towle, Ex-Chief of Larchmont, Dead

George Sibell Towle, for over 30 years Chief of the Larchmont Fire Department, and known as the “Father” of the “Fire Chief’s Emergency Plan” of Westchester County, New York, died suddenly February 24, at his home in Larchmont.

He was 67 years of age and had been in poor health for some months. Owing to his failing health, he resigned as Chief of the Larchmont department last year and was made salaried Consultant Fire Prevention Engineer of the Village. Chief Towle was seated at the supper table when he suffered the fatal attack, His family sent in a call for oxygen breathing apparatus in the hope that he might be revived. Appropriately enough the siren was sounding his special call, and the apparatus was responding, when he died.

The Late George S. Towle

Chief Towle was a native of New York City and came to Larchmont to live at the age of three. A year after the formation of the Larchmont Hose Company, the first fire-fighting unit in the village, he joined and was elected Chief the following year. He served as Chief at different times from 1903 to 1911 and from 1911 to 1935 headed the department continuously.

For 30 years he was an officer in the old Seventh Regiment, now the 107th Infantry, New York City. He led Company M of that regiment to the Mexican Border in 1916. Soon after this he retired with the rank of brevet major.

When George Towle first became Fire Chief, Larchmont’s apparatus was all hand drawn. He saw the organization grow from its crude beginning to the present force of over 125 active firemen, with six pieces of motorized apparatus.

In September, 1928, in cooperation with the Lion’s Club of Larchmont. he founded the “Fire Chief’s Emergency Plan.” often mentioned in these columns and which now has a membership of over 200 fire officers. This “Plan” was developed to insure efficient cooperation between Westchester County communities in the event of an emergency —chiefly that of conflagration. Similar plans have been inaugurated in Fairfield County, Conn., and elsewhere.

Upon his retirement as active Chief, the Board of Trustees and the hire Department of Larchmont paid him appropriate honors. Upon his death resolutions of regret were passed by the Village, as well as by the Fire Department of Larchmont and other organizations throughout the County.

Special Masonic services were held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Larchmont, following the regular church services which were conducted by Rev. Francis J. H. Coffin, with Rev. Dr. Robert M. Russell as chaplain of the American Legion assisting. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, New York.

Representatives of the various organizations to which Chief Towle belonged and his fellow Chiefs served as honorary pall bearers. The casket was borne by members of each volunteer fire company of the village.

Chief Towle is survived by his widow, Mrs. Florence (Hubbard) Towle, and by four sons and two daughters. Two of his sons, John Alden and Charles Sibell, are active members of Larchmont Engine Company No. 2, Charles Towle being First Lieutenant.

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