THE LIFE OF A FIRE CHAPLAIN AFFORDS PLENTY OF SCOPE FOR THE DISPLAY OF HEROISM.
THri CHAPLAIN'S STUJHKS ARK INTERRUPTED Bl THE RINGING OV TTTT:
FIRE ALARM RBLI4 WHICH IS ON THE WALL BEHIND HIM.
FIRE CHAPLAINS AT WORK.
how thj:y respond to alarms pro
vidh spiritual and temporal
BLESSINGS FOR MEN.
>.= a tire signal rings In the quarters of Hook
*<1 Ladder Company No. 7, in Bast Twenty-
Mgbth-st., near Tliinl-avc, "Third alarm for
Broadway and Reade-st, The chaplain goes!"
shouis the Bretnan -in house watch. A half doses
men in blue sliir.s an- on tin ir way down the
Ihiniii^' brass poles to tin- ground Boor. They
■ear th-ir comrade's words, and all turn to a
buggy that stands U-side the big tru< k. One of
them loads under the hanging harness a sleek,
w<-il groomed trotter, who seems to know ex
actly what is expected of him, the harness is
lowered, the snapping of the collar is the work
>t a second, and the r\x Is ready.
This was on a recent Sunday afternoon, and
the streets and avenues were clear f<ir the run.
Th>' chaplain's homo is the rectory uf the- t'hurch
of St. Vincent d<- Paul, in T-^enty-fourth-st.,
near Sixth-aye. In the rear of tne third lloor is
the study and bedroom of the Rev. William St.
Klmo Smith, one of the best known members of
the order of Fathers of Mercy, who was selected
by Archbishop Corrigan to become one of the
two chaplains of the Fire Department.
Father Smith knows his wagon is approaching
the rectory as fast as a horse can fetch it. His
reading of the priest's office la Interrupted by
m OFTEN ABUIYES AT THE FIRE NO T A MOMENT TOO SOON TO MINISTER
SO A FATALLY INJURED FIREMAN. MirUblLU
NEW-YORK TRIIHNE ILLUSTRATED SUPPLEMENT.
Bl TIIK TIME 118 HAS TUT ON HIS UNIFORM THS Rl<: IS AT THE POOR. THE DRIVER W\S tSOTSED U Tfll
SAME ALARM. HAI.I A MILE AWAY.
the same signal that has caused the commotion
in the truckhouse, a half mile away.
Whih- tin- wagon is crossing the city Father
Smith doffs his cassock and beretta and dons
the heavy blue coat, with its gold buttons, and
the cap, with its cross above the trumpets — the
uniform denoting the rank >>f a tire chief. Hi.
boots and rubber coat and the big whit, leather
helmet are beneath the seat of the wagon. He
hears the familiar sound of the thlmc bell at
the Sixth-aye. crossing, and he hastens to the
front door to meet the buggy.
Broadway on a Sunday is a favorite thorough
fare for lire wagons going north or south. There
are few vehicles other than trolley cars moving
on it. and good time can be made. Father
Smith has gone the route many times before.
and he decides to take it on this occasion.
The clanging bell warns every one a: the
crossings, and the chaplain urges, his horse to
top speed. In the distance the smoke from the
fire and a dozen engines that have already got
to work can be seen rising above the sky
"Looks like a hot one." the chaplain remarks
to his aid. and a touch of the whip sends the
horse along at a livelier clip.
A few more blocks, and the fire is reached.
The chaplain drives over a couple of lines of
hose, and halts by the side of a smoking engine.
He haps from the wagon, and while his assist
ant blankets the horse the priest-fireman takes
off his shoes and dons his heavy fire boots.
From under the seat he takes his bis tire hat.
and a rubber coat completes the outfit. Thus
armored for the battle, Father Smith appears
among the firemen ready to risk life itself to
This is a sample of the everyday life of the two
chaplains of the Fire Department. Frequently
the alarm rounds in the stillness of the night,
when the chaplains are asleep, and the call of
the bell breaks their rest as it does that of the
firemen in quarters.
The chaplains have had many narrow escapes
from death at fires, but their thrilling experi
ences seem only to make them take greater
chances in their work. In times when fires are
not raging the chaplains work in harmony for
the betterment of the morals of the brave men
who risk life and limb every day. They visit
the various engine houses and talk to the men
on their duties as Christians, and encourage
them to be good as well as courageous. The
chaplains are always welcome in quarters, for
the firemen realize that the men of the church
are laboring for their own good.
But it is at fires that the chaplains have shown
themselves most fearless in the discharge of
their duties. Both respond on all third alarms;
and each on second alarms in the immediate
neighborhood of their homes. At all of the
large fires they come in contact with the higher
officers of the department.
Besides attending to the spiritual wants of the
firemen, the chaplains are responsible for many
temporal benefits to the men in whose cause
they have enlisted themselves. Fighting fire
on a cold winter's night for hour after hour
without nourishment Is sufficient to try the
nerve of any man. The chaplains realized this
when they responded on their first night fire
and they promptly made arrangements for a
supply of boiling hot coffee to be sent to the
scene of danger at their calL When they believe
the fixe will be a long one the message for the
coffee wagon is sent out. and when it reaches
the fire they take personal charge of It, and see
that the men in dangerous places Inside the
building or on adjoining roofs are supplied.
Instances oX self-sacrifice on the part of the
chaplains for the firemen are common. Onlyr*.
cently Father Smith, at a fire in Park PJw
near Church-st., learned that several Him
were in the smoke filled cellar unable to get on*,
Seizing a lantern from a nearby hose wacoa,
the priest descended a 20- foot ladder into tie
inky darkness with its pungent odor. He waj
soon lost to view, but he reappeared in a tat
minutes leading several firemen, who held la
their arms the prostrate form of a chief of bat
talion who had fallen in the battle. It was
only the head of a procession of victims iib ta»
ladder to the street. In a:. i joining bnfld*
ing the victims were laid out upon hog
tables. One of them, a fireman attached to
Engine Company No. 27, was in a critical con
dition. It was feared he would die. The priest
knelt by his side, and while those around uncor
ered their heads he gave to the unconscious
the last rites of the Church.
ICEBOAT SEASOS HAS BEGUN.
The iceboat season got into full swing tut
week, and several preliminary contests wm
held on the Shrewsbury River and the Hudson,
as well as on some of the small lakes here-
a bouts. If the eetd weather I ' "-i»
championship nues of the year n.iy :ake pan
this week or next.
A HORst; A\O A HOBBY.
At a dinner given by the Lotos Club the otfcai
night the Rev. Dr. Thomas K. Sheer tol . :hef<*>
lowing story, which he said «M intended to
fine the professional reformer:
A visitor at an insane asylum saw an inmate
sitting on a table, which he was striking vio
lently with a cane and shouting at in terms a.
jockey might use to a racehorse.
The visitor said to him pleasantly:
"That's a fine horse you have there."
"That ain't a horse." said the insane man con
temptuously. "Can't you see for yourself It
"Well.- said the visitor, "if it isn't * horse,
what do you call it?"
"Why. that's a hobby." said the rider, re
doubling his efforts to start his steed.
"And what's the difference between a horse
and a hobby?" queried the astonished visitor.
The insane man paused in his efforts and
turned to his questioner and said sadly:
"Why. the difference between a horse and ft
hobby is you can get off a horse, bat you can
get off a hobby." „
"The trouble with the professional reformer.
concluded Mr. Slier, "is that he can't get °*
the hobby.- ;
A DEATHBED RECOGXITIOX.
Prom Ldppincott's Magazine.
"Uncle Jimmie" was a man who had a repu
tation fur "tightness" in business affairs, wnica
clung to him the entire eighty-odd years of qj»
When he was stricken with what proved tos»
his last illness, a neighbor came to see mm wao
had heard he was near unto death. ' te
1 The family were gathered about the room "
various stages of grief— he had not bee" .*r
I over kind husband and father— and ™*J~2
man lay on his bed with closed eyes and laDoi*
| breathing. *,n«
"See If he knows you." said his wife tea.. ■**>
to the neighbor, who tiptoed to the side cl
, bed and leaned over the occupant. , t^_
- 'Uncle Jimmle.' do you know meT" as*.ea "*"
neighbor gently. Finally
A deep silence hung over the room. *?=r^
"Uncle Jimmie" slowly opened his eyes and v*
them intently on the questioner. _t-.n I
"Know you?" he echoed feebly. 1 «* K ow«
do! Where's that gallon of vinegar you
me?" ■ . -(J.nrnl*
The neighbor had to acknowledge &* rev>^— _
tion was complete
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