THE HONOR MEDAL.
CHIEF NEVINS OF BROOKLYN THE WINNER.
PRESENTATION OF THE “FIRE AND WATER” LONG SERVICE TESTIMONIAL.
To Chief Engineer Thomas F. Nevins of Brooklyn, N. Y., belongs the distinction of having served for twenty-one consecutive years as chief engineer of a fully paid fire department, and the Honor Medal offered by FIRE AND WATER to the chief now in service having the record for the longest continuous service in a paid fire department, has been presented to that well-known Brooklyn official.
There are two or more chiefs now in service, as will be seen by reference to the annexed table, whose appointments antedate, it is true, that of Chief Nevins, but their appointments were not at the time paid ones, while Brooklyn’s chief was placed in his present position upon the organization of the paid service in that city in 1870, and has held it uninterruptedly ever since.
Of Chief Nevins, whose portrait in our supplement this week will be recognized by firemen in all parts of the country, it may be said briefly that he is recognized as one of the most experienced and able fire fighters and department commanders in the service. His training was obtained while a member of the old volunteer fire department of Brooklyn, in which he gained so high a reputation for skill and good judgment in the handling of fires and the management of men, that upon the disbandment of the volunteers and the formation of the paid department in 1870 he was, as before noted, selected as its executive head.
The history of this branch of the public service of Brooklyn under Chief Nevins’ management has been one of constant improvement, and it now ranks, as is well known, as one of the most efficient in the country. While a strict disciplinarian, Chief Nevins is well liked among his subordinates and associates. In social life he is highly regarded ; through his connection with various business enterprises in Brooklyn he has been enabled to accumulate a comfortable property, and he is also a prominent factor in the politics of the city.
The medal, the exact size of which is shown in the illustrations, is octagon shaped, *of fourteen carat gold and weighs sixty pennyweights. It is two inches in diameter and the length of the whole decoration from top of bar is three and one half inches. The medal hangs from the bar fjy two gold link chains and a central red ribbon. The work is most artistically executed. Upon the obverse is the inscription “ FIRE AND WATER honor medal for longest continuous service as chief engineer of a full paid fire department,” in raised blue and red enameled letters upon a frosted ground ; upon the reverse : “ Prevented to Thomas F. Nevins, Brooklyn, N. Y., July 1891.” On the cross bar are the figures 1870-1891, indicating the length of the chief’s service.
The medal was presented to Chief Nevins on Friday of last week with the accompanying letter :
NEW YORK, July 31, 1891.
Thomas T. Nevins, Esq., Chief of Fire Department, Bfooklyn, N. Y.
In accordance with an offer made by the publishers of FIRE AND WATER to present a medal to the chief of a full paid fire department who has been longest in service as such, I take great pleasure in handing you, on behalf of the publishers, the medal herewith. There were a number of contestants for this prize, but the records of the services of all showed you to have been in charge as chief officer of a full paid department for a longer period of years, consecutively, than any others. Your career has been characterized by marked success in affording protection to the lives and property of the citizens of Brooklyn, frequently under the most discouraging circumstances, until it has come to be recognized that Brooklyn to-day has a fire department second to none in point of past services rendered and present efficiency. I take the opportunity to wish you many years of success and prosperity, both officially and personally. CLIFFORD THOMSON.
Chief Nevins’ reply was as follows :
HEADQUARTERS BROOKLYN FIRE DEPT., ) JAY ST., NEAR WILLOUGHBY. V BROOKLYN, N. Y., August 4, 1891. j
Clifford Thomson, Esq.,
Editor of FIRE AND WATER.
It is with feelings of the most heartfelt pleasure that I receive the medal presented by the publishers of FIRE AND WATER, and sincerely return my thanks for the magnificent token and the very flattering and kindly words with which it was accompanied. I assure you it will be always prized with great affection; and I trust that the Brooklyn Fire Department, of which I have had the honor of being so long the chief, will continue to merit the high measure of praise which you have so kindly accorded to it. THOMAS F. NRVINS,
Chief Engineer Brooklyn Fire Department.