Syracuse’s New Fire Chief
On the retirement, by reason of his having reached the age limit, of Chief Thomas F. Ryan, the veteran head of the Syracuse, N. Y., fire department, as told in the last issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, District Chief Charles S. Coombs was appointed as his successor by the mayor and commissioner of public safety of the city. Chief Coombs is the seventh in succession as head of the Syracuse fire department, since its organization as a paid unit. The list of chiefs includes Ira Wood. 187781 ; Philip Eckel, 188186; Henry Reilly, 188695; Nicholas Eckel, 1895-97; John P. Quigley, 1897-1914 and Thomas F. Ryan. 1914-21.
Chief Coombs has served the department for thirty-four years, or since he was twentythree. Prior to his appointment as chief he was the ranking district chief, and has been second in command to Chief Ryan for many years. His record of service is, appointed May 30, 1887; promoted to captain, January 11, 1894; second assistant chief, May 4, 1898; first assistant chief, June 1, 1914, and chief, August 8, 1921. The new chief’s record in the department is without a blemish, and in experience, executive ability and fire-fighting knowledge he is rated among the best.
The appointment of Chief Coombs necessitates the following promotions: District chiefs, Captain Milton H.
Harger, Engine Company No. 6. Captain Henry R. Yeomans, Hook and Ladder Company No. 5. Captain Daniel M. Shea, Engine Company No. 5. Captains, Lieutenant Edward F. Winter, Engine Company No. 8. Lieutenant Michael Quigley, Engine Company No. 10. Lieutenant George C. Winter, Engine Company No. 9. Lieutenants, Fireman Hugh V. Dillon, Combination Company No. 3. Ladderman William G. Connelly, Hook and Ladder Company No. 3. Engineer Thomas J. Savage, detailed at headquarters. All of the appointments were made in accordance with civil service ratings, from eligible lists certified by the municipal commission.
The creation of a new district, the fifth, necessitated the appointment of two district chiefs, one to handle each platoon, bringing the list of district chiefs up to 10. The retirement of Chief Ryan and the promotion of Chief Coombs created the third vacancy. The three new district chiefs are all men of long experience in fire-fighting. Chief Harger was appointed on December 20, 1904, was made lieutenant on May 27, 1914, and captain on November 1, 1916.
Chief Yeomans was one of the “original eighty-niners,” who were the last batch of firemen added to the department by Hamilton White, the father of the Syracuse fire department. He appointed them in January 1889, and died in the following March. Chief Yeomans was made lieutenant on July 7, 1904 and was promoted to rank of captain on September 1, 1915.
Chief Shea, also an “original eighty-niner,” was appointed with Chief Yeomans, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on March 4, 1912. He became a captain on April 7, 1915.
The fire commissioner of the Huntington, L. I., N. Y., fire district at a meeting on July 25 voted to place a proposition to purchase a new $12,000 pumping engine for the Protection Engine Company at the regular fire department election on August 23. Several members of the department were ordered dropped from the rolls on account of the nonpayment of their fines.