Veteran Bridgeport Fire Captain Dies
Captain Charles W. Holden, 21 years a member of the Bridgeport, Conn., fire department, passed away on December 6, after a fruitless attempt to fight off the ravages of kidney trouble. In commenting on the death of Captain Holden, the Bridgeport, Conn., Post said, editorially:
“How much does a city appreciate the character of the service rendered by its municipal employees, when such service is far above the ordinary? Is there a corresponding response on the part of the public? When a municipal employe fails in his duty he may be sure of scathing criticism. When he performs nobly and well, is there corresponding praise and recognition? These thoughts come to mind in connection with the death of Capt. Charles W. Holden, of the Bridgeport fire department. He died at an age, when most men consider themselves in the prime of life, and being a man of exemplary habits his ‘expectation of life,’ as the insurance men put it, was a long one. His friends have no doubt that the ailment which carried him off was induced entirely by the constant exposure, the irregular hours and the drenchings in icy weather which his duties required.
“The older Bridgeporters remember Capt. Holden first as the driver of the original ‘chemical’ the city’s first experiment in light, fast fire equipment, whose duty was to respond to alarms anywhere within the city limits. This apparatus performed so well, and checked so large a majority of all the fires without the aid of the heavier steamers, that it resulted in an entire reorganization of the department on modernized lines, and doubtless had a great deal to do with the present efficiency shown by Bridgeport in keeping down the fi-re losses.
“Through twenty-one years of active service Capt. Holden discharged his duties, frequently receiving praise, hut never a reprimand. Had he lived, he would have reached a high place in the department, for his abilities were recognized, and ultimately he would have been retired on a pension. But because he died ‘in the harness,’ his family is cut off from support and the city’s obligation to him is considered to have been discharged.”