Meeting of New York State Fire Chiefs

Meeting of New York State Fire Chiefs


The annual meeting of the New York State Firemen’s association was opened at Utica on June 16. The weather was ideal and the attendance large—about fifty of the seventy members answering to their names. The headquarters are at Bagg’s hotel. The sessions were held in the chamber of the common council.

When the association was called to order by President R. A. Maxson, of Gloversville, II. R. Yates, of Schenectady, being in his place as secretary. The convention was opened with prayer by the Rev. Robert Brcnnecker. The mayor’s address centred on the arduous nature of the fireman’s life and urged the chiefs to lay aside their cares and enjoy themselves, at the same time extending a most cordial welcome.

In his reply Chief John Kspey, of Elmira, said that, in looking over the list of the citizens selected to entertain the chiefs, he found three that held important positions, and in his estimation the people of Utica should be morally perfect, as they find public safety in hurch: every member of its Chamber of C onimerce ought to be a warm one, while they have Cole to fire them with enthusiasm; and none of its citizens should be without bread, while there is a Baker at the head of the common council.” He objected to the term “pent-up Utica.” so far at least as it had reference to generosity, for, if some were to turn on the supply from the reservoir of human kindness, no city in the State would exceed its flow of hospitality.” The members of the association, he added, envied Utica, “because of its proximity to the Barge canal, wlihh will make an almost unbroken waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to the northern boundary of the United States, thence across to the Empire State, down the historic Hudson to the metropolis. A feeling of pride should pervade Utica in anticipating the importance of l tica as a central shipping point on this great a venue of commerce.” Passing from that topic, C hief Espey enlarged feelingly upon the subject of the tire department, which, as the “most vital” of the municipal departments, “should be uppermost in the thoughts of the citizens of Utica.” It is the most vital, “for on it depends the protection of life and property. It should be provided with sufficient funds for maintenance, should be well manned and thoroughly equiped with every appliance in the firefighting line. Its chief officer should be a man of good judgment, tactful, a strict disciplinarian and a fearless, enthusiastic commander, well acquainted with the faults and foibles of his men, inflexible in his stand for the right and equally unswerving in his condemnation of the wrong, lie should lie consulted by the commissioner or commissioners prior to the appointment of every new member of his department and conferred with before a transfer is made, for he knows, or should know the adaptability of every man under him. He should not he subjected to the unpleasant task of reforming a man who has been addicted to the use of intoxicants, to make a worker out of a drone, or a gentleman out of a profligate, and, above all, he should not be compelled to accept one who has been rewarded for political activity. There is an old adage, which, being transposed by the substitution of one word, will fit well here, it has been said that “Poets are born, not made,” which, being modified, reads, “Firemen are born, not made.” (Applause,)


Senator Davenport expressed nis admiration for all groups of strong men—Gloucester fisherman, the farmer, the fireman and the like— characterising the firemen as the “minute men of the piping times of peace.”

The president of the Chamber of Commerce. A. 11. Frisbie, followed, lie spoke on the subject of construction, the necessity for a knowledge of construction among fire chiefs and their duty in having construction laws enacted.

Record and communications followed; then the reading of papers.

Topic No. 1—“Fire alarm for sehoolhouses, and why sehoolhouses should he connected t to the city tire alarm,” was spoken on by F. H. Messenger, of the Game well hire Alarm Tele graph company.

There was then a very interesting discussion on school protection—Chief Morrison, of Water town supplementing Mr. Messenger’s paper on the subject, and G. S. Hook, the deputy commissioner of public works of Schenectady, adverting to combination lire drill and fire alarm in use there in that city, where six out of the twentyone schools are now thus equiped—the rest to follow soon.

Topic No. 2 succeeded—“hirst aid to injured; the advantage of the Red Cross to fire department–.” by l)r. Clias. Duryee. health officer, Schenectady.

A discussion followed, joined in bv Chiefs Espey, Little, and Yates followed. Chief Espey spoke of an experience at a garage fire, where an explosion blew him 30 or 40 ft. Taking that as his cue. he impressed upon his audience the value of the emergency kit and unguentine for burns. Chief Little said that in Rochester every hospital covers a section of the city, and there is hospital attendance at every fire. Chief Yates said that a knowledge of first aid should be in sisted on in every department—a kit is carried in liis machine and in his deputy’s wagon. He himself, his assistant, and 10 captains all wear the National Red Cross on their arms. Membership in the association is only a year, with benefits, and assistance is rendered under their supervision.

The meeting then adjourned. A few moments were spent on the roof of Fraser’s department store, where a magnificent view of he surrounding country was obtained, and then Chief Sulli van conducted the party to headquarters, where an excellent drill, concluding with a 10-second hitch, was executed. The features were scaling a 4-story building to the roof, one man, operating a scaling ladder. Very quick time was made in carrying a hose up the fire escape: Lieut. Miller’s jump from the second story was also very cleverly executed. A banquet at 8 o’clock p. m. wound up the first day’s proceedings.

Second Day.

The first business of the second day was the reading of the report of Secretary-Treasurer H. R. Yates. A paper followed on Topic No. 3— “How cities and villages should he equiped, and what things are recommended to the chiefs for the betterment of everybody and everything,” by VVm. H. Johnson, general inspector of the National Board of Underwriters. The writer of the paper laid stress on the need of a third-class steam rtr gasoline engine in small towns for reserve purposes. He also enlarged upon the danger of wooden roofing, citing the Chelsea disaster, Spray-nozzles as life-savers for firemen in smoke-filled cellars was advocated.

In the discussion which followed Chief Mack. Glens Falls, said Mr. Johnson had covered lie ground thoroughly and gave the equipment of his city of 16,000 people, with a gravity system and a minimum flow of 2,500,000 gal. daily. There are 3 cisterns of the respective capacity of 200,000,000, 80.000.000 and 150,000,000 gal. The reservoirs are 4½ miles from the town; 2 principal mains are laid; 335 hydrants, with 80-11). pressure are set. There are 35 fire alarm boxes, 20 call men and 14 permanent, 7 horses, an aerial truck, a combination hose and ladder, a Deluge set, cellar-pipe, shut-offs, etc., combination chemical, hose wagon and a steamer. He is trying to have restrictive building laws enacted. Chief Yates spoke of two rigs used by him, consisting of large Monitor pipes on two wheels, with 3-in. and 2 in. outlets, and a revolving nozzle, easily procured, when needed, as it could be hitched on to any apparatus and takes up little room. On opening a valve, it sends a 75-ft. spray out of the water cylinder covering the operator. Chief Geo. Sherwood spoke on volunteer departments, laying stress on the selection of a chief. They must get a good confidence-inspiring man: then the equipment will come. The men must be picked, as they fight for their homes and not for a business. They should have a Seagrave truck, hose wagon, 3,100 ft. hose, 4 reels, 1 station and 4 substations. The volunteer companies should also attend conventions. Chief O’Conner, of the General Electric company, has a mile of buildings to cover and 110 men in six companies, 46 boxes and buildings spr-nklered.

HENRY R. YATES. Secretary-Treasurer.

T pic 4 was read by Chief Sherwood, of Lowvillc. Chief folm P. Quigley being unable to attend on account of the annual inspection at Syracuse. The subject of the topic was, “What arrange ments should he made and what is the general custom in giving aid. when called on by neighboring cities?” In the discussion. Chief Espe Yates. Shadwick, Saratoga, and Sullivan voiced the opinion that the chief should be authorised to send aid at his discretion, without spending time in getting permission front mayor or commissioner, and that their common custom should he to take this responsibility, merely notifying a commissioner by telephone of their action.

The report of the secretary-treasurer showed a balance of $238.43.

The committee on credentials consisted of Chiefs Espey, Elmira: Hanlin, Seneca Falls, and Shadwick, Saratoga.

Under new business the president appointed an exhibit committee, consisting of Chiefs Mack. Cody and Bostwick.


The officers elected to serve during the ensuing year were as follows :

President—George Sherwood. Lowville.

Yicepresident—D. J. Sullivan, Ithaca.

Secretary-Treasurer—Henry R. Yates, Schenectady (who has filled the office for the past five years).

Directors—John Mack, Glens Falls; Thomas O’Connor, of the General Electric company’s fire department. Schenectady.

The place for holding the convention, a year hence, was left for the directors to decide. Chief Sherwood, of Lowvillc, moved that sufficient official buttons be procured to be sent on application; Secretary Yates spoke of difficulty of getting replies, when buttons were sent—or, indeed, to any of his communications, and urged on the members to assist him better.

The following resolution was passed by the committee on Resolutions—John H. Espey, M. E. Hamlin and E. J. Shadwick:

Resolved, That we, the committee on Resolutions, would most respectfully report to the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs that the entertainment furnished by the committee on Arrangements, the committee on Reception, the commissioner of Public safety, the committee on Entertainment and by Chief D. T. Sullivan, his assistants, and the members of the Utica fire department, have been greatly enjoyed by each and every one of us. The convention has been a success in every particular, and it is the voice of the association of chiefs, as well as the invited guests, to extend to the several committees, and to the mayor and officers of the city of Utica, our most sincere thanks for the hospitality and kind treatment tendered us, while in your beautiful city.”

A resolution of thanks to F. W. Shepperd, of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, for the extremely accurate report of the proceedings of last year’s convention and his courtesy in connection therewith.

This concluded the work of the convention, which adjourned sine die to meet when and where the president and directors shall determine.


The following list is that of the exhibitors and their exhibits:

The New York Coupling and Supply company, 59 Ann street, Manhattan, New York, represented by J. J. Finerty, manager.—The exhibit consisted of the wellknown Finerty specialties, expanders, relief-valves, Finerty nozzles, Swift nozzles, adjustable hydrant-wrenches, the Finerty automatic power and shop expanders, etc. The goods were handsomely finished, and showed both high art and skill in manufacture.

The Cornelius Callahan company, 127 Purchase street, Boston, and 59 Ann street, Manhattan, New York, represented by J. J. Finerty, of New York and H. A. Rafter, of Boston.—The exhibit consisted of the wellknown Callahan specialties, including all sizes of the familiar brands of Adriatic and volunteer fire hose, the Callahan combination nozzles, Finerty’s new Callahan noz zle, chemical nozzles, relief-valves, all sizes of automatic expanders, adjustable hydrant wrenches, etc. The goods manufactured by this company are wellknown in the United States, on account of their standard of excellence.


The convention was in every way a success, and both the visiting fire chiefs and the citizens of Utica mutually appreciated each other.

The papers read, which shall appear in dm course in these columns, reached a high standard and were conspicuous for their originality and general interest. The discussions, also displayed similar qualities.

President Maxson showed an inborn talent for the work he had to do in the chair.

The entertainment of the visitors was wisely kept in the background. It was firstclass in character, and there was just enough of it to fill up the few vacant hours.

The exhibition drills, pompier ond others, of course, struck home. They showed a very high degree of efficiency. The exhibition play-out was given in Buggs’ square.

Four pieces responded on the first alarm and two on the second. In all there were on the ground 2 hose wagons, products of local manufacture ; 2 Hayes trucks, a steamer and a chemical engine—a rebuilt machine. The feature was a stream from a Glazier pipe connected with a Metropolitan engine. An effective stream was thrown from the corner of Main street to the railway tracks.

An automobile ride concluded the convention.



Bower, Louis, chief, Ilion, N. Y.

Briggs, L., chief, Rome, N. Y.

Byron P., chief, Troy, N. Y.

Cady, Warren R., chief Am. Loco. Co., Schenectady, N. Y.

Cooney, E. J., chief, Little Falls, N. Y.

Crandall, Chas. 11., chief, Herkimer, N. Y. Ernenvein, Frank, chief, Oneida, N. Y.

Espey, John H., Elmira, N. Y.

Groves, Frederick S., supt. fire patrol, New York city.

Hanlin, M. E., chief, Seneca Falls, N. Y.

Hogg, Chas. N., chief, Binghamton, N. Y.

Irving, Jay, chief, Johnstown, N. Y.

Little, Chas., chief, Rochester, N. Y.

Mack, John, chief, Glens Falls, N. Y.

Maxson, R. A., chief, Gloversville, N. Y. Monroe, F. H., chief, Oneonta, N. Y.

O’Connor, Thos. (chief G. E. company), Scheme tady, N. Y.

Purcell, Richard, chief, Richfield Springs, N. Y. Ross, James, New Rochelle, N. Y.

Shadwick, L. J., chief, Saratoga, N. Y. Sherwood, George, chief, Lowville, N. Y.

Spitzer, Albin, chief, Scotia, N. Y.

Stilt, John A., Ilion, N. Y.

Sullivan, D. J., chief, Utica, N. Y.

Yates, Henry R., chief, Schenectady, N. Y.


Brown, A. R., New York, N. Y., S. F. Haywood company, Manhattan, New York.

Burke, M. J., Syracuse, Eureka Fire Hose company.

Campbell. J. A., Elmira, Fabric Fire Hose company.

Chadsey, A. L., Schenectady, former assistant chief.

Cart, W. H., Utica, Childs Extinguisher company. Hook, G. S., Schenectady, dept. com. public works.

Lewis, R. P. M., New York city, FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.

McKay, John A., New York city, Seagrave company.

Meader, L. E., Oneida, former chief.

Richardson, C. N., Providence, R. I, Combination Ladder company.

No posts to display