NEWS OF THE FIRE ENGINEERS.
(Special reports to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.)
ROCHESTER, N. Y.
Chief Engineer Charles Little, who has just been appointed the successor of former Chief Malcolm, of the fire department of Rochester, N. Y., is a man in the prime of life, being forty-eight years of age. His residence is at 62 Wilde street, the house being that in which he was born.
Chief Little is a veteran fireman, having joined the department on July 15, 1873, as a minute man of the part paid part volunteer fire department of the day. He was at first attached to truck No. 1, but was afterwards appointed as hosemati of hose No. 3, and subsequently was attached to hose No. 5. In 1886 he was made captain of hose No. 3. which position he held up to April 19, 1894, when he became battalion chief, being made chief of the department on the resignation of Chief Malcolm on April 1.
Chief Little is a man thoroughly respected by his fellow citizens, amongst whom he has grown up since his birth, and equally respected by the officers and men of the fire department with which he has been connected for thirty years. He is well known as a brave and fearless firefighter, and has shown himself a good disciplinarian, a man of no political, racial, or religious bias so far as regards the administration of the department, and, judging from his past record, he is. besides, a man of intelligence and progressiveness, one of whom it may be safely predicated that he will make a worthy successor to Chief Malcolm.
BAY CITY, MICH
On April 14. Thomas K. Harding celebrated his twentieth anniversary as chief of the fire departnient of Bay City, Mich., and his thirty-sixth as a member of that department. In point of service he is the oldest chief in the State, and one of the oldest firemen in that of continuous service. In 1869, when the present city was only a village, he founded its volunteer firefighting force, and served right up through the ranks until he arrived at his present position as head of the paid department. It must be remembered that the responsibilities connected with such an office, always great, are considerably added to in his case, owing to the important lumber interests, for which Bay City is so conspicuous. Through his successful handling of the fires connected with that industry. Chief Harding has obtained a national reputation, and has constantly been called upon to render personal assistance to other towns and villages in which threatening lumber fires have broken out. His fellow citizens and brother chiefs in, and out of the State can likewise bear witness to the fidelity and skill with which he has discharged his onerous duties at Bay City. Ever since his appointment as chief he has proved himself the embodiment of progressiveness, and has left no stone unturned to make (as he has succeeded in making) his department, considering the size of Bay City, one of the finest in the United States. His efforts (writes a correspondent) “have always been directed to the upbuilding of the department, and his work shows in the condition of the horses and apparatus, the finely appointed houses and the high standard of efficiency attained by the members of the several companies.” As a constant attendant at the conventions of the International Association of Fire Engineers, Chief Harding is well known to its members, and recognised by them as an authority’ on matters connected with fire service. To his credit he it said that during his twenty years’ ser vice he has missed but three of its conventions, and has twice been elected one of its vicepresidents.
During 1902 the fire department of Owosso, Mich., answered thirty-five calls, of which thirty were fires, one was caused by tampering with a box, and four were false alarms, caused by crossed wires. Amount paid for services of fourteen firemen, $081, average per man about $70. The average run to fires was made in five and one-quarter minutes, nearly every fire being far from the station. The total cost of the department for the year, including 1,000 feet of hose, a new team, hav. grain, salaries, new alarm line and repairs, was $4,039.
TROY, N. Y.
A correspondent at Troy, N. Y., has sent in the following interesting information about Chief Byron, of that city:
“On Tuesday. April 21. Chief Engineer Patrick Byron, of the Troy. N. Y„ fire department, observed his fifty-eighth birthday anniversary, and was the recipient of hearty and sincere congratulations from a host of friends, whose number increases each year, as his years of faithful service roll so smoothly and happily by. Chief Byron has a record as a fireman equaled by few, and. as we Troians believe, excelled by none. Official records show that he was confirmed as a member of Hope steamer company on December 15. 1859. He has been a fireman, true utd faithful, ever since, and the people of Troy in general, and those who are under his direct command in particular, trust he will remain the head of this important branch of the municipal government for many years to come. Chief Byron continued a member of the Hope company up to February 26. 1877, when he was transferred at his own request, to the J. C. Osgood steamer company. His name is still on the roll of that company, and is pointed to with pride by his fellow members. His keen judgment, thorough work, strict honesty, and fearlessness soon brought him to the front, and on February 14, 1880, he was given a valentine in the form of a unanimous appointment as second assistant engineer of the Troy fire department. He was destined, however, to go still higher, and is the worthy successor of the late J. Lansing Lane, to whose position as chief engineer he was chosen in May 1891. His selection at that time was made the cause of a general celebration by the members of the volunteer companies—a well deserved tribute paid to a deserving, yet modest official. He enjoys not only the confidence of the employes and volunteer members, but also that of the public in general, and particularly that of the merchants and business men who have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested here. To them his judgment is as that of a modern Solomon, and their faith is never shaken. Chief Byron is socially a prominent man, being connected with many organisations, and has held various offices. He is a member of the International Association of Chief Engineers, and has attended several conventions, where he has met, and made the friendship of the prominent firefighters of the country. Nor is it only here that he is known. His name and personality are equally familiar abroad. When on a visit to his native country, Ireland, several years ago, he was the guest of Chief Purcell, of the Dublin fire department, for several days, and had the pleasure of reciprocating when the latter paid a visit to this country a little over a year ago. Chief Byron is a man of highly moral principles: he enjoys the best of health, due to his correct habits and mode of living: and has thousands of friends who join in good wishes. During a continuous service of close upon forty years he has become well known to firemen all over the United States, and, as has been already said, bears an unblemished record.
“F. L. W.”
Chief Edwin L. Vaughn, of the fire department of Worcester, Mass., has determined to resign his position after a long and meritorious service of thirty years. His resignation will he a source of regret to the entire community, who respected him not only for his stern devotion to duty, his fixed purpose (acted upon to the last) of not suffering politics, race, or religion enter into his administration of the department, but alsp for his excellent qualities as a private citizen. In August 18, 1870, Chief Vaughn entered the service as a call man (there were no permanent men in those days), on hose five, which was then stationed on Myrtle street. In the April succeeding, he was transferred to engine No. 1. where his excellence as a firefighter first became conspicuous. In December. 1870. lie left the department for two years, but in 1881 returned to it as fourth assistant engineer, and after holding that position for five years was elected deputy chief under Chief S. E. Combs, succeeding the latter on his death in. 1891, Since that time he has elevated the department to the front rank, and leaves it in the highest state of discipline and efficiency.