The Seymour / Yost Era
Chief Eugene Seymour
When Chief Mangels retired in 1974, he was replaced by Deputy Chief Eugene Seymour. Chief Seymour was the first Fire Department chief to rise from the rank of paid firefighter. He had first worked as a call fireman in 1938 and was appointed as a regular on April 1, 1943.
Norwalk has always been home to a fleet of oyster boats, which are equipped with large water pumps. Chief Seymour worked with the oyster men to set up training so that, in the event of a major fire on the waterfront, firefighters could use the water supplied by the boat's pumps to augment their water supply.
1970s Truck TechnologyIn the 1970s, the department bought four more American LaFrance pumpers as well as a 100-foot, rear-mount American LaFrance aerial ladder. The 1970 pumper was the first pumper with a diesel motor and the first with a roof since the 1938 Mack. The 1973 pumper was the first with an automatic transmission.
Also in the 1970s, Mayor William Collins issued a decree stating that all new city vehicles would be white. The 1979 pumper was the first fire apparatus in this new color scheme. The vehicle was also the last the department purchased from American LaFrance.