Homer Whiting, Hampton Fire Chief, is Fired

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Deputy Chief Lamont May be Appointed to Job by Precinct Board

(Taken from unknown newspaper clipping dated Thursday, April 15, 1937

Chief Whiting

HAMPTON BEACH, N.H, -- In a surprise move, the Hampton Beach precinct commissioners will meet this evening to appoint a successor to Fire Chief Homer B. Whiting, who has been the head of the department for the past 12 years, coming here from the Haverhill fire department.

For the part 24 hours, Deputy Chief George Lamont has been acting chief after the precinct commissioners failed to reappoint Whiting.

Commisioner Amos Guyon was the only member of the board not to favor the change in chiefs. He stated today: "Whiting was a good man for the beach. If anything went wrong, the commissioners should have curbed the difficulties."

Commissioner Guyon revealed that the action taken by Commissioner George Ashworth and Commissioner Fred R. Batchelder was a surprise to him and he did not vote in favor of not reappointing Whiting as chief. He expects that Lamont will be made head of the department to succeed Whiting at tonight's meeting.

Commissioner Ashworth stated that he will not attend the meeting this evening because of a meeting of the New Hampshire Seacoast Erosion commission in Seabrook. He further asserted he would not make any statement in regard to the decision of the board.

It is believed thal the action of the commissioners is an outgrowth of a controversy over the introduction by former-Chief Whiting of several articles in the town warrant last March, without the sanction of the commissioners. At that time the chief's pay was docked as punishment for going over the heads of the commissioners.

At the town meeting, the articles which called for the reorganization of the fire department into a two-platoon system, with the adding of an extra man, were defeated after Selectman Harry D. Munsey had sided with the commissioners and requested a postponement of the matter.

At the time, it was explained by Commissioner Batchelder that former-Chief Whiting had carried on the affairs of the department without consulting the commissioners over a period of several years.

During his regime as chief, Whiting developed the equipment of the department and in some instances insurance rates were lowered at the beach.

Before he came to Hampton, Whiting was a permanent member of the Haverhill fire department.

Acting-Fire chief Named by Beach Commissioners to Take Place Of Former Chief Homer b. Whiting

Hampton Union, April 22, 1937

Deputy fire Chief George Lamont has been named acting chief of the Hampton Fire Department by the Hampton Beach Precinct Commissioners to succeed Homer B. Whiting who has held that position for twelve years.

Former Chief Whiting received his notification of dismissal last week with a salary paid to May 1st.

Evidence has been shown for some time that Whiting was due for a "set back" as it has appeared that he has on several occasions gone over the heads of the commissioners and the climax seemed to come at the March town meeting when, without the authority of the commissioners, he had inserted in the warrant articles for a two platoon system, for which he was punished by a small loss of pay.

During the term of Whiting a fine department has been constructed and insurance rates have been somewhat reduced and many have expressed the opinion that it is a shame such a condition has arisen and that the former chief could not have enjoyed the fruits of his labors in building one of the finest fire departments along the coast.

Chief-elect Lamont has the best wishes of his many friends in his new position.

[Editor's note: Whiting died not longer after this article appeared, on May 23, 1937, following an operation for appendicitis. See his obituary.]
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