Fire Chief Homer B. Whiting and The Whiting Light

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Chief Homer B. Whiting
1923 - 1937

Chief Whiting

Homer Whiting was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 14, 1895. He enlisted in World War I and served as a sergeant in the United States Signal Corp., 54th Telegraph Battalion, as driver of the big combination pumping engine in Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, fire department. Mr. Whiting was made permanent member of the Haverhill Fire Dept. when the two-platoon system went into effect in 1920. Upon the death of Lloyd Walker, the chief's driver, who was killed in an accident in May 1923, Whiting served as the Chief's driver for two months. When the new Seagraves aerial ladder was added to the apparatus of Haverhill, he was assigned as one of the drivers of the ladder truck.

Mr. Whiting was granted a leave of absence from the Haverhill department and it was during that time he accepted a position as chief of the Hampton Beach Fire Department. On September 30, 1924, he resigned as a member of the Haverhill department and was made Chief of Hampton shortly thereafter, holding the position continually until early spring, 1937. His appointment as head of the Hampton Beach Fire Department was at first for a six-month period. Later he was elected permanent. He succeeded Alexander Brown, who had resigned.

Chief Whiting was elected president of the New Hampshire Fire Chiefs club and the New England Association of Fire Chiefs, as well as the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Mr. Whiting invented lights for fire apparatus, including the so-called flasher lights. He was proprietor of Whiting's Express Co., an enterprise which he personally directed. He died May 23, 1937, following an operation for appendicitis. See his obituary.

The Whiting Light

Hampton Union, Wednesday, March 31, 1982

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union]
AN ORIGINAL WHITING light, invented by the late Hampton Beach Fire Chief Homer Whiting (1923-1937), was presented to the Hampton Beach Village District at the precinct's 75th annual meeting, March 26, [1982], by Elaine Savage of the Hampton Beach Women's Club. Commissioner Bernard Limericks accepted in behalf of the precinct. The club also assembled and had on display postal cards and fire department patches representing the early days of the precinct, which was founded in 1907 for fire protection purposes. [Photograph by Rosalyn Cotter]

THE WHITING LIGHT invented by Home Whiting, Fire Chief of Hampton many years ago, is part of Melvin Clark's incredible collection of fire engines and accessories. The light was manufactured in Hampton and used on fire trucks throughout the country. The light was installed on the trucks and flashed alternately as a warning to traffic.
[Photograph by Christine Rand]

A Silver Chief's Trumpet

Presented to Mrs. Donald Matheson, Sr.

In remembrance of her late husband's service
with the Hampton Fire Department

Hampton Union, Wednesday, March 31, 1982

A SILVER CHIEF'S TRUMPET was presented to Mrs. Donald Matheson, Sr. by the Hampton Beach Village District at the precinct's 75th annual meeting last Friday. The trumpet was presented to Mrs. Matheson in remembrance of her late husband's service with the fire department. Chief Matheson died in February after a heart attack. Commissioner Bernard Lemerise read the "Fireman's Prayer," and said that the Chief "has never really left us." Shaking hands with Mrs. Matheson is Commissioner Richard Roy. Applauding are Commissioners Bernard Lemerise, and James Kennedy. Precinct Counsel H. Alfred Casassa is next to Kennedy. [Photo by Rosalyn Cotter]
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