Promotions at Toronto, Ont.
Chief John Thompson of Toronto, Ont., on June 17, made the following promotions:
The new men to wear “white hats” are Captain Alex. Gunn, of Truck No. 1, who will replace District Chief Charles Smedley, resigned, and Captain George Sinclair, of Hose No. 4. who will replace District Chief William Villiers, resigned. Both the new district chiefs have had long experience in the downtown districts, and are known as excellent fire fighters. The new captains are: Lieutenants Thos. J. Wallace, Frank Milligan. John See, of aerial 1, and Thomas Tate, of hose 5. The new lieutenants are: Alfred Bezley, Cecil Stewart, Ed. Robinson, and J. G. Whal den. District Chief Alex. Gunn is not only a practical fireman, but has a wide experience in departmental matters. In July, 1888, he became a driver at No. 9 Station. At that time the horses and drivers were supplied to the department by contract, but Mr. Gunn began the agitation which ended in the city taking over the horses and men in 1892. After acting as tillerman of the aerial truck, in December, 1895, he became captain of the truck, and no man in Canada can handle an eighty-five-foot ladder better, the company having equalled the wold’s records for quick raising, and he has demonstrated aerial trucks in other cities. For twenty years he was practically an assistant in the fire alarm telegraph branch, and he has also had much to do with the horses. In two years he purchased $30,000 worth of horses. He is active in the matter of fire prevention, and is known as a good disciplinarian. George Sinlair joined the department April 20. 1895, and served with Hose 7, until Jan. 1, 1910. when he became captain of Hose 4. He is a young man, but his record as an officer is of the very best, and he is popular in all ranks. The Board of Control has taken a more than usual interest in these promotions, in view of Chief Thompson’s recent report concerning department reorganization, and there is no doubt that his promotions will be endorsed. It is being recognized there that the time for engaging in the management of heads of departments is passed, especially when the ability of men concerned cannot be questioned. Regret in the department at the passing of “Charlie” Smedley and “Bill” Villiers, the latter the oldest man in the department. with an active service of half a century, and a reputation, even in these latter days, of being able to stand as much or more smoke punishment than any of them Mr. Smedley has had two-score years of it. Once, in a fire on Victoria street, he was so badly injured and burned that his life was despaired of. Both of them began their career as boys running with the volunteers. Their passing leaves but few of the old volunteers now in the service.