Volunteer Salvage Corps

Volunteer Salvage Corps

Nyack, New York, is one of the few villages which can boast of a volunteer salvage corps. The Nyack Fire Patrol was organized in 1915 and incorporated the following year. The objects of the fire patrol are to provide such police protection as is found necessary at fires, as well as to perform the usual salvage operations. The guiding hand behind this company was Capt. Albert Johnston, of Patrol No. 1. New York. Capt. Johnston is considered one of the foremost authorities on fire salvage and served in an advisory capacity in the organization of this company.

Through the courtesies extended by the New York Fire Patrol officers several members of the Nyack Fire Patrol were permitted to obtain first hand information of actual salvage operation, and the company was guided in its development by the New York organization and from time to time was assisted by this body in procuring suitable equipment for the work.

The equipment of the company consists of a Larrahee 1 1/2-ton truck upon which the following are carried: Thirty-five regulation New York Underwriters’ type oiled duck covers; shovels, brooms, personal equipment for a crew of ten men, search lights and extinguishers.

The membership of the company is 35 of which ten are active members and the others social. The difference in these classifications is that the active group are expected to work at fires performing physical duties, whereas the social grade iopen only to local business men who join merely to assist the company financially. These latter men have no duties although they enjoy all of the privileges in the meetings.

The revenue for the support of this company is derived chiefly from parking of automobiles at a vantage point near a local theatre. This privilege, in three years, paid for the apparatus, equipment and one story frame quarters. The members who work in the auto park arc relieved of the necessity of paying dues. No fines are imposed. So far as known this salvage company is the only organization of its type in the Hudson Valley.

The company is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the Firemen’s Association ol the State of New York. Hudson Valley and Southern New York Firemen’s Association, and is also an applicant for membership in the officers’ association. Fire Patrols and Salvage Corps of the United States and Canada.

Denied Recognition as “Firemen.”

A most remarkable situation has arisen at Nyack in connection with the Fire Patrol’s effort to secure recognition as a “volunteer fire company,” and secure advantages extended to recognized volunteer firemen.

Apparently the officers of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York are either unacquainted with the functions of the members of the salvage corps or they are not familiar with the duties of firemen.

The Chairman of the Law Committee in writing to a representative of the Nyack Fire Patrol expresses the views of the association in a rather interesting manner, as follows: “I do not think you are volunteer firemen.

“Your members could not be exempt volunteer firemen, and not being entitled to the right privileges of an exempt volunteer fireman, you would not be volunteer firemen.”

And then on top of this the same representative of the Law Committee of the state association has written to the Nyack Fire Patrol: “I note that you are a ‘Fire Patrol,’ this in my opinion is not a volunteer fire company unless you are recognized as a volunteer fire company by your authorities and actually participate in saving life and property from fire.”

The Law Committee is evidently familiar with law books but certainly has a very limited knowledge of fire fighting duties when they interpret the duties of a fire patrol other than saving life and property at a fire.

It is expected that as soon as the members of the Law Committee are fully educated in the duties of fife patrols they will see the justice of the claims of the Nyack Fire Patrol and grant them the privilege of exemption to jury duty.

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