SONS OF THREE DEPUTY CHIEFS ON N. Y. F. D. ELIGIBLE LIST
List Promulgated July 6— Who the Three Men Are— Old “Forty-niner” List Expires
THE New York Fire Department has a new list of eligibles for the position of city fireman. Ordinarily this would not be an unusual thing, were it not for the fact that the sons of three deputy chiefs of department are in honored positions on the new list and in all probability will accept appointment. They are:
No. 9—Patrick A. Maher
No. 69—Francis M. Heffernan
No. 362—John J. Davin
The list was promulgated July 6 and contains 1,659 names, although 4,708 candidates were notified to appear for the examination which was held July 28, 1925, with an age limit of 29 years maximum at the time of filing applications.
Mr. Maher is the son of Deputy Chief Patrick Maher and he has two brothers in the department. Edward is a fireman, detailed as one of the chauffeurs to Fire Commissioner John J. Dorman. He was formerly a mechanic in the fire department repair shops. Another brother, George D. Maher, is attached to Engine Co. 245, having but recently been transferred to the fire department from the police department in which lie served seven years. Their father, the deputy chief, is one of the trustees of fire Fire Square Club. He is in charge of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Districts in Brooklyn, and is one of the department’s veteran smoke-eaters.
Mr. Heffernan is a son of Deputy Chief James W. Heffernan of the First Division, the inventor of the Heffernan Distributor Nozzle and the Heffernan Shut-Off Valve to facilitate single pumping units to stretch and return to a hydrant without interruption to the hydrant stream. Another son is Lieut. William J. Heffernan of Engine Co. No. 1. The prospective fireman is now a city policeman and was assigned to police duty on the very day the list for fireman was published by the Civil Service Commission. He served in the U. S. Navy before, during and after the World War and made seventeen trans-atlantic trips.
Mr. Davin is the son of Deputy Chief John Davin, the senior chief officer in charge of the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. He is head of the Davin Specialty Company, printers and stationers and is about twenty-four years of age. He took the examination without his father’s knowledge and did not disclose the fact until after the test had been held. Although successful for a young man in the commercial field, he is known to entertain a warm affection for the.service in which his father has a splendid record. He would like to follow his dad’s footsteps.
On July 5 at midnight, there expired what was left of an eligible list for firemen, which list had become humorously known in fire circles as “the forty-niners,” a satire on the men of the gold-rush days in 1849, for the reason that some of those on the list and appointed to the department were 40, 41 and 42 years of age—and here is the reason:
It was a war time list, i. e., the applications were open to men between the ages of 21 and 55. During and immediately after the war firemen were scarce, since other fields of endeavor held out to candidates much more lucrative salaries and in order to get a requisite number of applicants, the entrance age was extended to 55 years.
The applications closed February 25, 1921, with 5,564 ambitious ones on the books ready and willing to become firemen. The examination was held in April, 1921, by the Municipal Civil Service Commission. The list was announced July 5, 1925, with 2,222 names on it, and with a prospective life of four years, so that many men who were 55 years of age at the time of filing in February, 1921, were more than six years older, or 41 and approaching 42 years at the time the list “died” in July, 1927.
Many were called, but few were chosen for appointment for physical reasons. Some of those who did manage to get by the Medical Board, resigned soon after their appointment— the job was too strenuous for men starting in at an average age of 40 years. At the time the list expired early in July, about 60 were left on the list and could not be reached, as the quota for firemen was filled and kept filled right up to the last legal minute for making appointments from that particular list.
At the rate of replacements in the fire service, the new list of 1,659 candidates will be used up within three years. Quite a number on it were appointed from the previous list, but played doubly safe by taking a second examination before they were reached on the first examination. Then again, retirements are more numerous than ever before, which means an almost continuous turn-over of the personnel of 6,500 men.