Posts Tagged Evanston Fire Department Chief James Geishecker

Evanston Fire Department history Part 64

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department



A 27-year veteran of the Evanston Fire Department and one of only four men hired by the EFD during the height of the Great Depression 1932-39, 49-year old Assistant Chief Lester Breitzman was appointed chief fire marshal on February 10, 1964, following the retirement of Chief James Geishecker. While Chief Henry Dorband’s primary interest was operations and modernization and Chief James Geishecker’s passion was training, Chief Breitzman’s main emphasis was fire prevention.

Capt. Harry Schaeffer Jr was promoted to assistant chief and replaced Chief Breitzman as commander of the Fire Prevention Bureau, and firemen George Strom, Sanders “Sam” Hicks, Len Driskell, Joe Thill and Len Conrad were promoted to captain and assigned as company officers, replacing the five EFD officers who retired after the American Hospital Supply Corporation fire. A future chief of the Evanston Fire Department, Capt. Hicks was the EFD’s first African-American captain.

New firemen hired in the aftermath of the AHSC fire were Michael Lass, Robert Becker, John “Skip” Hrejsa, Roger Pettinger, Tom Fisherkeller, Tony Howson, John Kloiber, Jim Marti, and Jim McIntyre. Michael Lass would later serve as president of IAFF Local 742, and during the early 1970’s, Local 742 grew increasingly militant under Lass’s dynamic leadership. He was promoted to captain in December 1970 with a promising future as an officer in the fire service, but his real talent was union operative. Lass resigned from the EFD in 1971 less than a year after he was promoted to captain, to take a full-time job as IAFF Illinois field representative.

Squad 22 (ex-T1 1924 Seagrave tractor high-pressure turret / hose truck with pumper body salvaged from ex-E4 1917 / 1930 Seagrave Suburbanite pumper in 1953) was taken out of service following the American Hospital Supply Corporation fire, and was dismantled and scrapped in 1964. The 1,750 feet of three-inch “fireboat  hose” carried aboard the high-pressure wagon was redistributed to the five front-line pumpers, with 500 feet going to Engine 21. While Squad 21 was equipped with two portable turret monitors that could be set-up at a fire, the EFD no longer had a mounted high pressure deluge nozzle in service once Squad 22 was removed from the fleet.

In 1964, the Evanston Fire Department took possession of a U.S. government surplus WWII-era GMC 6 x 6 DUKW amphibious vehicle from the U. S. Office of Civil Defense. Painted yellow and with a radio call-sign of ”F-7,” the DUKW was housed at Fire Station # 1, and responded on what was known as a “duck call” – an emergency or other less-urgent request for assistance on Lake Michigan — during boating season 1964-74. The DUKW was equipped with a heavy duty winch used for towing disabled boats, life jackets and life preservers, an inhalator, two stokes baskets, hundreds of feet of rope, grappling hooks, body bags, fire extinguishers, axes, and other useful firefighting and rescue gear. It was manned by Squad 21 when needed.

Two major fires occurred in April 1965, the first being an explosion and fire at the Kozlow Brothers Radiator Repair Service garage at 125 Chicago Avenue, and the second one just a few days later at the Dickson Weatherproof Nail Company plant at 1900 Greenwood Street. The two fires were not related.

Three workers were injured by the explosion at the Kozlow garage, and were transported to St. Francis Hospital and Evanston Hospital via Evanston police ambulances. Engine 22, Truck 22, Engine 24, Squad 21, and F-2 were on the scene within five minutes, and the fight went defensive right from the get-go. Engine 22 took the hydrant across the street and led out two 2-1/2 inch lines manned by personnel from Engine 22 and Squad 21, and Engine 24 backed-up Chicago Avenue from Howard Street and dropped a load of 2-1/2 inch hose as well as three-inch hose line, before grabbing the hydrant at the northwest corner of Howard & Chicago and supplying water for Truck 22’s elevated master stream, plus another 2-1/2 inch hand line.

F-2 immediately ordered a second alarm upon arrival, with Engine Co. 21 assigned to take the hydrant on the west side of Chicago Avenue north of the gas station, and lead-out two three-inch lines to supply water for Squad 21’s monitor operating on the north side of the fire. Engine 23 and Truck 21 were assigned to cover exposures to the east, behind the stores and apartments located on the north side of Howard Street west of the Howard CTA station. Engine 25 changed quarters to Station # 1, and one off-duty platoon was called-in to man the reserve engines and the reserve truck.

Companies from the Chicago Fire Department’s 27th Battalion had responded on a still alarm for a report of an explosion at Howard & Clark and arrived at the same time as companies from EFD Station # 2, and although they did not go to work, the chief, an engine company, and a truck company from the CFD kept an eye on the eastern exposures (including the Howard Street CTA station) until the arrival of Engine 23 and Truck 21. The EFD successfully surrounded and drowned the ruins without any extension to nearby structures. The loss from the explosion and fire was estimated at $93,000.

The Dickson Weatherproof Nail Company was located at the southwest corner of Greenwood & Dodge, on the east side of the C&NW RR Mayfair Division freight tracks. Engine 24 was first on scene and reported smoke showing. Companies from Station # 1 arrived about 30 seconds later, with Engine 24 and Engine 21 leading out and taking hydrants, while Truck 21 laddered the roof and Squad 21 began salvage work.

With the American Hospital Supply Corporation conflagration still a fresh memory, F-2 ordered a second alarm, bringing Engine 22, Truck 22, and Engine 25 to the scene. The two truck companies ventilated the roof and then performed salvage work with Squad 21, while the four engine companies attacked the seat of the blaze. Engine 23 transferred (changed quarters) to Station # 1, and one off-duty platoon was called-in to man the reserve engines and the reserve truck. Loss from the fire was estimated at $100,000.

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 63

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department



Assistant Chief Michael Garrity retired in 1962 at the age of 70 after 44 years of service with the Evanston Fire Department. Chief Garrity joined the EFD in 1918 after emigrating from Ireland, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1927, to captain in 1934, and to assistant chief in 1951. Along with Henry Dorband and Jim Geishecker, Chief Garrity helped guide the EFD through the 1950’s, after the retirements of long-time platoon commanders Tom McEnery and Carl Windelborn, and the deaths of Chief Albert Hofstetter and Assistant Chief J. E. Mersch. His Irish brogue was a signature voice on the EFD’s radio channel.

Capt Herb Claussen (35 years of service) and Capt, Roy Decker (20 years of service) also retired in 1962, Capt. George Beattie (a future chief) was promoted to assistant chief and replaced Michael Garrity as a platoon commander, and firemen Ed Majkowski, Richard Zrazik, and Robert Schumer were promoted to captain. New firemen hired in 1962 were Tom Linkowski, Raymond James, David Johnson, and James Mersch Jr. Both Linkowski and Mersch would eventually retire as division chiefs.

A fire gutted second and third floor apartments above the Maple Market grocery store at 1936 Maple Avenue in June 1963, resulting in $70,000 damage. The fire started on a rear porch and communicated to apartments on the second and third floors. The grocery store sustained extensive water damage, but Evanston firefighters were able to check the fire before it could communicate to residences to the west and businesses to the north. Several firefighters were overcome by heat while battling this blaze.

Capt. William Windelborn retired in April 1963, Fire Equipment Mechanic “Marvelous Marv” Hofstetter retired in July, and Fireman Ed Downey retired in August. The trio were among several men in their 30’s who were hired during WWII to replace younger members of the EFD serving in the military, and despite getting a late start, they each had a solid 20-year career as a firefighter. Fireman LeRoy Dullin was promoted to captain and replaced Capt. Windelborn as a company officer, and Fireman Ernie Bongratz replaced Marvin Hofstetter as a fire equipment mechanic. New firemen hired were James Drohan, John Bjorvik, Victor LaPorte, and Leo Ranachowski.

At about 5:00 PM on the afternoon of October 7, 1963, the Evanston Fire Department received a report of a fire at the American Hospital Supply Corporation plant at 2020 Ridge Avenue. Engine Co. 23, Engine Co. 21, Truck Co. 21, and Squad 21 responded, and what was initially a small fire on the loading dock spread quickly to the interior of the warehouse. F-2 immediately called for a second alarm, and Engine Co. 25 and Engine Co. 22 responded, with Engine Co. 24 and Truck Co. 22 transferring (changing quarters) to Station #1. Chief Geishecker (F-1) arrived and ordered a full “Code 10” (a call-back of all off-duty firefighters).

Engine 23 and Squad 21 pulled up to the loading dock and attacked the fire with two 1-1/2 inch pre-connects off Engine 23, while Engine 21 and Truck 21 parked on Ridge Avenue and entered the structure through a door on the east side pf the building, with Engine 21’s crew pulling a hand line through the door. Engine 25 and Engine 22 arrived within five minutes, with Engine 25 dropping two loads of 2-1/2-inch hose westbound down Leon Place, before grabbing the hydrant on the north side of the street across from the loading dock. Engine 25 then supplied Engine 23 with one of the 2-1/2-inch lines, and manned the other one.

Engine 22 backed-down Ridge Avenue from Foster Street, and laid two 2-1/2 inch lines, before taking the hydrant at the corner of Ridge and Foster. One of Engine 22’s 2-1/2 inch lines supplied water for Engine 21, and the other was manned as a hand-line by Engine 22’s crew. Truck 21’s aerial ladder was extended to the roof and the company initiated vertical ventilation to release the heat and smoke that had migrated to the second floor. Cross-trained Evanston police officers assisted on the fireground. While firefighters attacked the blaze, employees of the company carried out boxes and file cabinets full of valuable documents, placing them in the AHSC parking lot at Ridge & Leon, under police guard.

Chief Geishecker requested mutual aid from Wilmette and Skokie – the first time a fire department other than Chicago’s was requested to assist the EFD since 1906 — to provide coverage at Station # 1, which would allow Engine 24 and Truck 22 to respond to the fire. Other than the men assigned to liaison with the Skokie and Wilmette units at Station # 1, just about the entire EFD — including several men who were on vacation — were summoned to fight the conflagration.

Reserve Truck 23 (1937 Seagrave 65-foot aerial ladder truck) was manned by off-duty personnel at Station # 3 and was ordered to the fire, to provide truck tools and salvage covers for the dozens of off-duty firemen arriving on scene. Reserve Engine 27 (1937 Seagrave pumper – ex-E23) was manned at Station # 3 and responded to the fire, Engine 28 (1937 Seagrave pumper – ex-E24) was staffed by off-duty personnel from Station # 4, off-duty men arriving at Station # 5 manned Engine 26 (1927 Seagrave pumper – ex-E2), and some of the off-duty men arriving at Station # 1 responded to the fire aboard Squad 22 (1924 Seagrave high-pressure / hose truck – ex-T1 tractor). Off-duty men arriving at fire stations after the reserve rigs departed were transported to the fire via CD pick-up truck or FPB station-wagon (F-3).

The EFD took a beating battling the fire on the first floor, but the employees finally finished removing company documents, and firefighters thought they  might have it knocked-down. However, as firemen began to overhaul and do some salvage work, the fire unexpectedly re-appeared on the second floor, eventually charging the entire building with heavy smoke. With a concern that hazardous chemicals stored in the plant might explode, Chief Geishecker ordered firefighters out of the building. 

As the fight went defensive, Engine 24 backed-down Ridge Avenue from the south, leading-out lines used to supply Truck 21’s elevated master stream now set-up on the east side, before grabbing the hydrant at Ridge & Garnett. Truck 22 extended its aerial ladder on the west side to further ventilate the roof before deploying an elevated master stream from that location, as hand lines used when operating inside the plant were replaced with larger diameter hose lines and Squad 21’s portable monitors on the exterior.  

As the situation deteriorated, a firefighter was ordered to move Squad 22 to a position on the west side of the plant, where the rig’s powerful deluge turret would be set-up at the loading dock. The high pressure wagon’s three-inch “fireboat hose” would be connected to Engine 27, which was being set-up to pump from the hydrant at Ridge & Simpson. Leon Place was an old brick street at that time, and as Squad 22 came rumblin’ and backfirin’ down the hill from Ridge Avenue, it appeared that the brakes may have gone out, because the driver couldn’t stop the rig before it ran over a charged hose line, causing it to burst and sending a geyser 30 feet into the air.

A chief came running up to the man who was driving the rig and started yelling at him, which made it even more of a clown show for the hundreds of spectators standing nearby. It was like watching a Laurel & Hardy movie. By the time another supply-line could be led-out and connected, the fire had gained more headway, and the plant was lost. The high-pressure wagon was parked off to the side for the balance of the fire, and was later towed back to Station # 1. The $1.9 million in damage would stand for more than twenty years as the highest property loss from a fire in Evanston’s history. 

Several firemen sustained career-ending injuries while battling the blaze. Chief Jim Geishecker suffered a disabling stroke, went on extended medical leave, and then officially retired when he turned 70 in February 1964, after 43 years of service with the EFD. Capt. George Jasper (27 years of service), Capt. Hjalmar Okerwall (21 years of service), and Fireman Arnold Windle (20 years of service) retired immediately after the fire. Capt. Ronald Ford (38 years of service) retired a few months later, and Capt. Harold Dorband and Fireman John Steinbuck were unable to return to active duty and took disability pensions in 1964.

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 62

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department



In 1962, news broke that a high-rise office building to be called “State Bank Plaza” was to be constructed in downtown Evanston. In response to the news, Chief Geishecker requested the city purchase a 100-foot aerial ladder truck for Station # 1, with the 1951 Pirsch TDA at Station # 1 to be moved to Station # 3, where it would replace the 25-year old 1937 Seagrave 65-foot ladder truck that was considered no longer fit for front-line service.

Truck Co. 23 was averaging only about two runs per week, so the city manager did not concur with Chief Geishecker’s recommendation, and thus the city council did not appropriate funds for a new TDA. Chief Geishecker then had a choice. He could transfer Truck Co. 21’s manpower to Squad 21 and move its 1951 Pirsch 85-foot TDA to Station #3 to run as Truck 23, or he could take Truck 23 out of front-line service and transfer its manpower to Squad 21.

Transferring Truck Co. 21’s manpower to Squad 21 and moving its 1951 Pirsch TDA to Station # 3 would have kept Truck Co. 23 in service, maintained the same shift staffing at Station # 1, and kept a truck company within 2-1/2 miles of all insured structures in the city, but it also would have meant no aerial ladder truck located within the downtown “high value district.” Downtown is where Evanston’s primary tax base was located in 1962, and where substantial fire insurance premiums were being paid. Businesses were already beginning to flee downtown Evanston and head to Old Orchard in Skokie, so keeping the remaining merchants happy was a priority of the city manager and city council.

Even having two truck companies (Truck 22 and Truck 23) within 1-1/4 miles of Fountain Square was not considered sufficient ladder company coverage for the downtown “high-value district” by the NBFU standards of the day. In fact, in its 1959 report following an inspection of the EFD, the NBFU had recommended adding an additional engine company at Station # 1 to replace Engine Co. 25 (relocated to the new Station # 5 in 1955). Placing Squad 21 back into service as a company at Station # 1 would add three additional men to Station # 1 each shift, as well as increasing by three the number of firefighters responding to all general alarms (fire calls), since the squad would respond to all fire calls city-wide.

Therefore, Chief Geishecker ordered Truck 23 to be taken out of front-line service effective January 1, 1963, with the truck’s manpower to be transferred to Squad 21 at Station # 1. Truck 23 (the 1937 Seagrave 65-foot aerial truck) became the EFD’s reserve truck at this time. The only negative with this move was that the closest truck company to Willard School and the Presbyterian Retirement Home in northwest Evanston would now be three miles away, and nearly four miles from the “High Ridge” area in the far northwest corner of the city.

Squad 21 had previously been in front-line service from April 1, 1955 to April 1, 1957, during which time it was the busiest company in the EFD. It had been taken out of front-line service in 1957 only because of shift staffing cuts stemming from implementation of the three-platoon schedule, and because staffing a third truck company was considered to be a higher priority at that time. Therefore, Squad 21 was kept in ready-reserve 1957-62, with very few runs each year. It was manned by Engine Co. 21 for inhalator calls (about 100 per year) up until inhalators were placed aboard all five front-line engines in 1959, and if needed, it could be driven to a fire by the fire equipment mechanic.  

Other than significantly increasing truck company response times to northwest Evanston, replacing Truck Co. 23 \with Squad 21 worked out very well for the EFD. After it was placed back into front-line service, Squad 21 once again became the EFD’s busiest company. Besides responding to all fire calls city-wide as a rescue & manpower company, the squad also responded to inhalator calls, minor fires, and miscellaneous details in Station # 1’s district, which kept Engine 21 available for structure fires.

While it was equipped with a 1000-GPM pump and a 100-gallon water tank, Squad 21 did not have a hose bed and so it did not carry a standard hose load. The squad did carry two 50-foot lengths of 1-1/2 inch hose (“donuts”) in one of its compartments, which could be rolled-out and connected to a side discharge port, but it was usually just faster and easier to lead-out the booster line (“red line”) if the squad was dispatched to a gas wash, vehicle fire, or trash fire, or if it arrived at a working structure fire prior to an engine company.

While Squad 21 carried just the two 50-foot lengths of 1-1/2 inch hose, Engine 21 carried 300 feet, and Engine 22 and Engine 25 each carried 250-feet. Engine 23 and Engine 24 (the two 1958 Seagrave pumpers) each carried 650-feet of 1-1/2 inch line, including two separate leads pre-connected to rear discharge ports. Engine 21 carried 1,800 feet of 2-1/2 inch line and the other four front-line engines each carried 1,500 feet. Because it was the first-due engine to the downtown “high-value district,” Engine 21 carried 1-1/2 inch and 2-1/2 inch “hotel loads.”

Engine 21, Engine 22, and Engine 25 had a lead of soft-sleeve suction hose in a tray on the right-rear step that was pre-connected to a rear intake port, and Engine 23 and Engine 24 had a lead of soft-sleeve suction hose on the front bumper that was pre-connected to a front intake port. A couple of additional leads of soft-sleeve suction hose were carried aboard each engine, but those leads were not pre-connected. All five front-line engines carried two sections of very rarely used hard suction hose.

Squad 22 (the high-pressure / hose truck) carried 1,750 feet of three-inch “fireboat” hose, and the ladder trucks each carried two 50-foot lengths of three-inch hose that could be rolled out and used to supply an elevated master stream. Although they were not in front-line service, the three reserve engines each carried a full hose load (250-feet of 1-1/2 inch hose and 1,500 feet of 2-1/2 inch hose), plus three sections of hard suction hose and two leads of soft-sleeve suction hose. Engine 21, Engine 22, Engine 25, Squad 21, Truck 23, and the three reserve engines were equipped with one-inch rubber booster line (“red line”) on a hose reel.

There was an additional 700 feet of 1-1/2 inch hose kept at Station # 1, an additional 250-feet at both Station # 2 and Station # 5, and an additional 650-feet at both Station # 3 and Station # 4. Also, an additional 1,500 feet of 2-1/2 inch hose was kept at each station, with all hose rotated on a regular basis.

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 60

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department


A fire was reported at the Foster Elementary School at 2010 Dewey Avenue in the early-evening hours of Tuesday, October 28, 1958. Engine Co. 23 arrived first and led-out a 1-1/2 inch pre-connect. Engine 25 provided a supply line for Engine 23 and also laid a dry 2-1/2 inch line as a back-up, before grabbing a hydrant. Engine Co. 25 pulled another 1-1/2 inch pre-connect off Engine 23, and Truck Co. 23 assisted the engine companies locating the seat of the blaze. Cross-trained police officers assisted with positioning ladders to the second floor and dragging hose lines, and prepared to man Engine 25’s back-up 2-1/2 inch hand-line.

The fire was located in the attic in the school’s older section, and crews from Engine 23, Engine 25, and Truck 23 unsuccessfully attacked the fire from below. A second alarm was ordered by F-2, followed quickly by a third alarm. Engine 21, Truck 21, and Squad 21 (driven by the mechanic) responded on the second alarm, and Engine 24 and Truck 22 responded on the third alarm. Engine 22 transferred (changed quarters) to Station # 1. 

Engine 21 and Truck 21 pulled into the west alley, and Engine 24 laid a supply line for Engine 21 and a dry 2-1/2 inch line as a back-up, before taking a hydrant. Crews from Engine  Co. 21 and Engine Co. 24 pulled hand lines off Engine 21 on the west side (rear) of the school. Truck Co. 22 assisted Engine 21 and Engine 24 and did some salvage work. Truck 21’s main was extended to the roof immediately upon arrival, and the company initiated vertical ventilation.

Dewey Avenue was a through-street at that time, so Squad 21 was parked on Dewey north of Foster, with the mechanic preparing the squad’s four “night sun” floodlights for operation. Chief Geishecker (F-1) arrived from home and immediately ordered a full Code 10 (call-back of both of the off-duty platoons). As soon as the first reserve engine was placed in service, Engine Co. 22 was ordered to the fire to supply an elevated master stream atop Truck 21 on the west side of the school. Squad 22 was driven to the scene in case its high-pressure turret was needed.

Ultimately, all three reserve engines were placed into service. Two of the pumpers were sent to Station # 1 to provide coverage for the rest of the city, while Engine 27 (ex-E23) responded to the fire directly from Station # 3 and supplied Truck 23’s elevated master stream on the east side of the school. Additional firemen arriving from home were picked-up at their respective stations and shuttled to the scene in the CD pick-up truck. About 90 men were eventually put to work at the fire, allowing crews to rotate periodically.              

The flames had gained considerable headway by the time Chief Geishecker arrived, and not wanting to see a repeat of the Boltwood School fire debacle of 1927, he requested mutual aid from the Chicago Fire Department. Something may have been lost in the translation, however, because six Chicago FD engine companies and the Chicago Civil Defense Fire & Rescue Service were dispatched, only to find out once they arrived that they were requested as a precaution, and actually weren’t immediately needed. The Chicago FD companies returned to quarters, but the CCDFRS crews remained on the scene for a while.     

Foster School sustained significant fire damage to its roof and attic, some fire and smoke damage on the second floor, and extensive water damage on the first and second floors and basement, but it was not destroyed. This was NOT another Boltwood School fire! Students were temporarily transferred to other Evanston elementary schools for the balance of the school year, but the damage was repaired in time for the start of school the following September. However, the $325,000 loss resulting from this blaze was the second-highest dollar-loss resulting from a fire in Evanston’s history up to that point in time, second only to the Northwestern University Technological Institute fire in 1940.

The Foster School fire was the last time the Chicago FD responded on a mutual-aid mission into Evanston. The EFD would henceforth call upon suburban fire departments – usually Wilmette and/or Skokie — when assistance was needed, as the Wilmette FD became a 100% professional fire department in 1958, and new Skokie FD Chief Raymond Redick came over from the Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol in 1959 and transformed what had been a somewhat disorganized outfit into a first-rate fire department. The Skokie Civil Defense Fire & Rescue corps (using the radio call-sign “Squad 26” when responding into Evanston) provided valuable manpower and fireground support at many Evanston fires post-1959 as well.   

While the Chicago Fire Department did not respond into Evanston again after the Foster School fire, the Chicago Civil Defense Fire & Rescue Service did respond into Evanston one more time, in September 1959, after a number of trees were blown down in a late-night microburst that also knocked-out power across the city. Three squads from the CCDFRS assisted the EFD throughout the night and into the next morning, using  winches and chain saws to remove and then cut-up dozens of downed trees that were blocking Evanston streets.

The EFD’s Training Bureau was officially established on November 1, 1958, three days after the Foster School fire. Capt. Willard Thiel was appointed the first “training officer.” Previously, each platoon had its own drillmaster who was responsible for supervising the training of members of that platoon, but Capt. Thiel would be responsible for training all three platoons, as well as police officers. The Training Bureau was based at Station # 1, and besides being in charge of training, Capt. Thiel also was responsible for supervising the EFD repair shop and the fire equipment mechanics.

Creating the training officer position and transferring the fire equipment mechanics to the Training Bureau cut maximum shift staffing on each platoon from 32 to 31 and minimum shift staffing from 29 to 28, as Engine 21 was no longer staffed with a four-man crew each shift. Truck Co. 21 (the “high-value district” truck) still operated at all times with four men, but the other seven companies were usually staffed with three men. The three extra men on each shift were assigned to Engine 21, Truck 22, and/or Engine 25 when they weren’t covering for a fireman absent due to vacation, sick call, or a work-related injury, but it was rare when one of the extra men was actually available to ride as the fourth man on a rig.   

In addition to the establishment of the Training Bureau, the EFD’s Fire Prevention Bureau was upgraded in 1958, as captains replaced firemen as FPB inspectors, and a civilian clerk-typist / administrative assistant was hired (Catherine Leahy the first year, then Margaret Wood, and then Eleanor Franzen). Capt. Ed Fahrbach was promoted to assistant chief and replaced Chief Geishecker as a platoon commander, and firemen John Becker, George Croll, George Neuhaus, and Lou Peters were promoted to captain.

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