Persons in the News
J. P. Warwick Chief at Knoxville
James P. Warwick has been appointed Chief of the Knoxville, Tenn., Fire Department, succeeding the late Chief Calvin M. Johnson.
Chief Warwick was born in 1898, and is a veteran of 27 years in the Knoxville department.
He was appointed a member of the department February 16, 1928was promoted to captain, September 15, 1936; to assistant chief July 1, 1944, and to Chief August 11, 1954.
One of the Chief’s sons, Paul Warwick, is following in his father’s footsteps, and is a member of Engine Comoanv No. 2 of the Knoxville Fire. Deoartment.
Fire Chief Suddarth Honored
For the first time in its 38-year history, Chickasha, Okla., Kiwanis Club has named an honorary member. He’s Fire Chief Luther “Bill”’ Suddarth.
The appointment was made for a period of a year in recognition of outstanding service to the community by a public servant. The work of Chief Suddarth in the city fire department, coupled with his service to local residents “beyond the call of duty” was cited in the announcement.
His life has been spent in public service, beginning as a substitute fireman in 1927. He became a regular “smokeeater” in October, 1929. The appointment as chief came in March, 1951, after several years of service as assistant chief.
Since being appointed head of the fire department, Chief Suddarth has installed a continuing “in-service” training program to assure that all personnel will be. thoroughly familiar with all phases of fire fighting and first aid.
In addition to the regular duties of the department, Chief Suddarth has formed a full-time first aid service which is available to all residents in emergencies.
Many lives have been saved as a .result of the rapid action of first aid crewmen.
Another outstanding service to the community — for which the Kiwanis honor was awarded—actually began many years ago.
It started with an intense love of boats and water. “Bill” grew up with boats along the Tennessee River and for a few years did nothing but work with them. After he joined the fire department, he built a boat which has served well in rescue operations.
In May, 1945, the Washita River rumbled out of banks. Thirteen people were marooned on an island near Public Service Co. dam southeast of town. Chief Suddarth and his boat were called in. All 13 were safely removed, including some who were ill.
Two years later, in May, 1947, a bus carrying 27 persons was stranded on U.S. 81 at the Little Washita bridge south of Chickasha. Again, he and his boat were hastily called.
Earlier, in 1941, the Canadian River reached flood stage near Minco and six men were marooned on a small island in the middle of a bottomland farm. Suddarth, Fire Chief Frank Dews and Paul Rider, another fireman, answered the emergency calls. The rescue was completed in pitch blackness over the rain-swept, swirling river water.
Minco businessmen officially expressed appreciation to the local fireman.
On May 19 and May 20, 1949, when the Washita again surged free, the Suddarth boat again became a rescue craft, saving two stranded farm families and two soldiers who had attempted to cross an inundated bridge.
And there was that time in 1951, when two men clinging to the top of a watercovered cattle truck looked up to see the Suddarth boat chugging toward them. This again was on U.S. 81 near the Little Washita bridge.
Three days later, a man who had been clinging to the bridge for five hours was pulled from the water in the same spot.
These are some of the reasons why the Kivvanians named Chief Suddarth as their honorary member for outstanding service.
J. T. Dineen, Chief at Lawrence
John T. Dineen was recently appointed Chief of the Lawrence, Mass., Fire Department. He replaced former Chief E. A. Retelle, who retired earlier in the year.
The new chief was born in Lawrence on February 3, 1896. He was appointed a permanent firematl on September 20, 1922, and his original assignment then was Ladder 2, now out of existence. He was promoted to lieutenant on February 11, 1940, and assigned to Engine 9. On November 12, 1944, he was promoted to captain and assigned to Engine 2 and he was elevated to deputy fire chief on July 27, 1947. He has performed fire inspection and drillmaster duties in the department and has also been assigned to Ladder 1 and 5. On July 31, 1947, he received a commendation for a rescue he effected while a captain.
During 1953, he served as acting fire chief for several monthly periods in line with a rotation system installed then by former Alderman William J. Casey.
W. G. Labes Appointed Fire Instructor
Willis G. Labes has been appointed associate professor of fire protection and safety engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, it was announced by President John T. Rettaliata.
Labes had been an assistant professor in the fire protection and safety engineering department on a part-time basis since 1946.
A 1938 graduate of Illinois Tech, Labes was a member of the engineering department of the Factory Insurance Association prior to joining the IIT faculty. He served two years in the U.S. Navy during World War II with the rank of lieutenant junior grade.
Labes became affiliated with Armour Research Foundation of Illinois Tech in 1952 as a research engineer.
R. C. Dennett Honored
Robert C. Dennett, engineering consultant of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, was honored October 1 at a dinner in the Hotel Commodore, New York City, marking his retirement after 50 years of continuous service.
Only once before has a golden anniversary been achieved by a staff member of the National Board. The member, Wilbur E. Mallalieu, general manager, retired on December 31, 1950.
Mr. Dennett, who joined the National Board on October 1, 1904, soon after graduation from Cornell University, was a field engineer 15 years, office engineer 25 years, and assistant chief engineer 10 years.
Early in his career he surveyed the water supply systems of 150 major cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco. Los Angeles, and Seattle.
During World War I and II he was a dollar-a-year man on loan to the Government, first as head of the fire protection section of the Emergency Fleet Corp. which had taken over the operation of 250 shipyards and outfitting plants during World War I, and later, in World War II, as advisory engineer in charge of fire protection for the Navy’s Bureau of Yards and Docks.
Westchester County Volunteers Elect Reader as New Head
The 157 fire companies of Westchester County, N. Y., forming the Westchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, re-elected Louis M. Reader of Dobbs Ferry for a second term as head of the organization. The elections were held at the first annual meeting of the organization in Verplanck, Sept. 3-4.
Other officers are: Jack Cattell, Hastings-on-Hudson, first vice-president; William A. Magee, Briarcliffe Manor, second vice-president; Edward N. Coogati, Pelham, recording secretary; Arthur D. Thomas, Rye, financial secretary; Charles Jahne, Pleasantville, treasurer; Cornelius Falch, Rye, sergeant-atarms.
The convention was climaxed by a parade on the 5th, participated in by 21 Westchester County and one Putnam County fire departments, 1,800 men and 28 pieces of fire apparatus in the line. Twenty-one bands furnished music over the two mile route in Verplanck, whose own volunteer department celebrated its Silver Jubilee and was also host to the visitors.
New N.B.F.U. Film
On September 30, about 100 representatives of the press, radio and television saw a preview of a new sound-film, “Before They Happen,” produced by the National Board of Fire Underwriters. The showing, timed to tie in with the 35th annual observance of Fire Prevention Week which began October 3, was sponsored jointly by the National Board and the New York Board of Fire Underwriters. It was shown in RCA’s Johnny Victor Theatre in New York City.
While the film deals with the activities of a typical fire department inspection bureau—that of Hartford, Conn.— and depicts a day’s work there in the life of Fire Marshal George Kennedy, its chief, it emphasizes the fact that a fireman’s devotion to duty often saves lives and often, too, prevents disasters from happening.
“Before They Happen” had its inspiration in a previous National Board fire prevention film, “Crimes of Carelessness,” and was developed as a result of numerous requests by fire chiefs for a film that would effectively relate the work of fire department fire prevention activities to the fire safety of the homeowner.
The National Board is now featuring “Before They Happen” as a successor film to “Crimes of Carelessness” in its film library. The library contains 26 other films all available for free public use on request to the Bureau of Communication Research, Inc., 13 East 37th St., New York 16, N. Y. For a listing of the films, write to the public relations department of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, 85 John St., “New York 38, N. Y.