Named as Federal Fire Marshal of the United States Fleet Corporation

Chief James McFall, who has been chief of the Roanoke, Va., fire department since 1894, has resigned that position to accept an important appointment as general federal fire marshal of the United States Fleet Corporation. As such it will be Chief McFall’s duty to organize and supervise the fire departments of something like one hundred and twenty shipyards, scattered throughout the United States. The appointment came to Mr. McFall as a surprise. Recently he was called to Washington by long distance telephone for a personal conference at which the nature of the task was outlined to him and his acceptance followed.

Chief McFall’s letter of resignation as head of the Roanoke fire department was as follows:

Roanoke, Va., February 21, 1918. Judge J. H. Stuart,

Chairman, Committee of Fire and Water, Council for the City of Roanoke, Roanoke, Va.

Dear Sir: Having been appointed general fire marshal of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, under which it becomes my immediate duty to organize fire departments of all shipyards now owned or being operated by the National Emergency Fleet Corporation numbering approximately 120, I hereby tender my resignation as chief of the city fire department to take effect with the close of business February 28.

The appointment came to me unexpectedly and without solicitation on my part, which accounts for my not being able to give you more time within which to fill the vacancy.

Permit me to take this occasion to express to you and my friends, both on your committee and the members of Council, my grateful appreciation for their many manifestations of confidence in me and their co-operation with me in my efforts in endeavoring to bring the city fire department to a high state of efficiency. With what success these efforts have been attended, I must leave you and the public to judge.

I am, of course, reluctant to give up a work in which I have taken considerable pride and to which for twenty-five years I have devoted my best years and my best service, but I feel that my duty to the country, especially under the present circumstances, as well as my selfinterest, demands that I give my best efforts to the above mentioned position, whose duties I have already given my word to assume.

With kind personal regards and sincere esteem, I am,

Yours most respectfully,

JAMES McFALL, Chief, Fire Department.

Chief James McFall was born in Bedford county in 1869, and on the day his resignation becomes effective he will have completed thirty years’ service as a member of the fire department of Roanoke. He came to Roanoke with his parents at the age of twelve and was educated in the schools of that city. As a young man he was employed in the Norfolk & Western general offices in the auditor’s department, and from 1897 to 1903 he served as city auditor. He was a charter member of the Junior Hose Fire Company, and was assistant chief of the fire department in 1892 and 1893. He was elected chief January 1st, 1894, and has been continuously re-elected ever since. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and has been secretary of that organization since 1905.

Chief James McFall.

Chief McFall will make his future home in Washington, D. C., and his office will be at 1319 F. street, N. W., in that city. He should be addressed at P. O. Box 1015.

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