THREE VETERAN FIRE FIGHTERS
New York, N. Y.—The Tenth Division of the 1’ire Department, which includes the downtown section of the borough, has three fire fighters who served forty years or more continuously as uniformed members of the force.
The latest to join the ranks is Battalion Chief John J. Dooley of the Thirty-third Battalion, who completed forty years “of service last Saturday. The others are Deputy Chief Frederick W. Gooderson, commander of the division, and Capt. John Fitzgerald, head of Hook and Ladder 103, on Concord street, who for 25 years was acting battalion chief of the Thirtyfirst Battalion.
Chief Gooderson leads the way in showing how well a firemen can preserve his health and still be active when all the men who were appointed with him have passed out of the Fire Department. The popular division commander chalked up his forty-second year on Oct. 13. He has two years on his nearest rival.
The veteran who is closest to Chief Gooderson is Capt. Fitzgerald. On Jan. 1 last Capt. Fitzgerald rounded out his fortieth year, and the occasion gave the firemen of the downtown section an opportunity to show what they thought of him. Now Chief Dooley joins the forty-year men, and persons familiar with the genial chief could not believe that he wore the uniform for such a long period.
But the firemen in the companies which comprise the Thirty-first Battalion were all aware of his long service, and they planned a surprise for him. It worked out so well that Chief Dooley received the biggest jolt he ever received since he became a firefighter.
Chief Dooley makes his headquarters in Engine Company 226, on State street, where Capt. Rasmussen is the head. Saturday night the smoke-eaters sprang their surprise on the popular chief, and he felt sheepish when he discovered that the boys “put one over on him.”
He was handed a gold watch fob, with the numerals “40” set in diamonds, before he could recover. Then Chief Gooderson made a speech lauding Chief Dooley, while the gathering of officers and firemen applauded.
The latest forty-year man is one of the best-known officers in the Fire Department, and has made a great record during his two-score years as a fireman. He received the best wishes of the firemen, not only of his battalion but of the Tenth Division and the other three divisions which comprise Brooklyn.