New Jersey State Relief Fund Fight
The fight being waged between the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association and several independent associations for control of the relief funds collected by premiums from the insurance companies, is becoming more acute every day. To bring the contest to an issue the State association is preparing a measure to be presented at the next legislature, which will have for its purpose the end of the independents so far as their control of the relief funds goes. A communication bearing the signature Of President Bird W. Spencer and William Exall, secretary, is being circulated throughout the State setting forth the reasons for the fight. According to the communication the State association is made up of 265 firemen’s relief associations, representing paid, volunteer and exempt firemen, and it has been in existence 35 years, collecting during that time $1,500,000, most of which has been paid to indigent firemen. This money was collected on the premiums of the insurance companies. It goes on to state that several years ago when paid fire departments were established a question arose as to the future application of the fund in such cities. The matter was settled amicably by an act of the legislature. A few years ago the associations in Jersey City, Hoboken, Trenton and Passaic pulled away from the State association and took charge of their own funds. In every case where this was tried it proved disastrous, according to the circular. The moneys were squandered in many ways and the old volunteers needing help were unable to get it. Jersey City association took away $18,000, and according to the circular this money is all gone and the needy firemen of that city are without funds. It is to prevent such conditions from spreading that the State association will work for the repeal of the old law, which has worked such an injustice to the old volunteers.
Troy, N. Y., firemen have asked that some action be taken in regard to the neglected condition of the monument in old Mount Ida cemetery to the late Joseph T. Taylor, who was the first fire chief of the city. He died September 9, 1851, and the fire department placed a monument to his memory.