NEW FIRE DEPARTMENT
East Chelmsford, Mass.—Hast Chelmsford is going to have a brand new fire department all its own, with a real set of fire-fighting apparatus, a crackling good siren of the wake-up kind, district fire numbers and everything, if the plans now being rapidly pushed to completion carry through. You have to join the fire department now out in the east part of old Chelmsford or you have no real social standing. Everybody is asking, “Who will join next?” so enthusiastic are the men who are plugging for the success of the new East Chelmsford fire department. The aim of the citizens leading the movement is noteworthy.
First, they want to promote a spirit of good fellowship and have a lot of interesting social events during the winter months.
Second, they want to place East Chelmsford on the map as one of the most delightful little villages in which to live, whether you work there or in Lowell. As a matter of fact, a lot of people working in this city, commute right home every night. You see, Gorham street runs right out to East Chelmsford.
Third, they want to make the insurance companies lower the rates in the town. They believe a fire company would actually save money.
With eight regular members of the new department, all in good standing, and a long list of volunteer firemen, good fighters and ready for the bell, East Chelmsford folks need no longer worry about how to get out of their homes at midnight or any other time, when fire starts. The new firemen will be right on the job, with chemicals, ladders and a fire net, if necessary, and there won’t be any conflagrations if the alarm comes in with any kind of speed.
We understand that Henry G. Quinn, well known Gorham street coal dealer, is the energetic leader of the new fire forces. His appointment as chief has been cordially received, and the opinion seems to be unanimous that with Mr. Quinn leading the fire-fighting forces, there will be no more worn-out apparatus, no faulty alarms and no amateurs on the important job. That is why folks living in the east part of the town are sleeping soundly every night.
To go down the list of firemen or volunteer firemen, now listed on the company’s rolls, would be to name nearly everybody of real prominence in East Chelmsford. For instance, there is John T. Kelly of the Bay State car barns. He’s on night duty there, and a handy man for night fires; then near the top of the roll comes the name of Henry Devine, state policeman; Charles Finnick, farmer; John Dix, well known truckman; Rogers Foster, machinist; Francis Gorman, musician; John Shinkinn, “Doc” French, Vincent McCann, the carpenter; Earl Christenson, William Meagher, expert chauffeur; James Buckley, Brother McCann, Ed Buckley, plumber, and last but not least, John T. Cassidy, janitor.
The old hand chemical apparatus holding 50 gallons will be in the discard when the new big tank is mounted on a Ford chassis. That will fight most any fire if the firemen get around anywhere on time.
They have started a collection paper right away for the new siren whistle and alarm. The new home of the fire company is right on Gorham street.
Want to know how to get there? Well, just hit Gorham street in Lowell and keep right on down that street until you come to the firehouse, for Gorham runs straight to East Chelmsford and right through the town besides and hence to Boston.
The plan one time was to use the old school on the Carlisle road, but that was quickly abandoned when a fine little building was found unused right in the centre of the town. Considerable paint has been used, and some cement platforms and door sills made under instructions of Chief Quinn, with a good entrance wide enough to make an exit from the building. One side of the building had to be taken out to make the door wide enough for the chemical.
Columbus day the “painters” got busy and made the new headquarters all it should be. Some brought paint, some brushes, and all put in a lot of work.
Harry Gonzales, Lowell sportsman, is a warm supporter of the new fire company, although he isn’t a member, He has been doing all he can to promote the interests of the lads who want to secure more adequate fire protection for their East Chelmsford homes.
The “fire commission” in charge of the new arrangements includes Henry Devine, Charles Finnick and A. Samuel Gustafson. They, of course, saw that Brother Quinn got the big red hat as chief, and the choice is a most popular one. At present there are eight active members, not counting, of course, the volunteers always present when the firebells sound. The active members may be increased later.
Probably an account of the activities of the new department would not be complete if we failed to mention the fine work put in (with money, too!) by such loyal citizens and faithful supporters of the fire department as George L. Huntoon, Arthur Suttle, Charles Judge, Herbert Suttle, “Dud” Corliss, Mr. Pateneau, Henry Shedd, Charles Devine and the McNulty brothers. Mr. Huntoon has given plenty of money and time, and the others, too, in helping the committee get the department headquarters into some kind of shape for future activities in the fire protection line as well as social work.
Of course the big thing wanted by East Chelmsford folks is a lower insurance rate. They say they will get it if they can present facts in fire protection figures to the big men who control the placing of insurance in country districts.
Incidentally it might be mentioned, that Chief Henry Quinn is no imitation fire fighter. Do Lowell folks know that when Mr. Quinn was at Camp Devens he was a member of the fire-fighting force there, and a better fireman never worked to prevent that big camp from being swept by fires that started frequently and threatened to engulf the great building area? Chief Quinn’s work at Devens will long be. remembered.