Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chief Wilson Taylor

Over the history of the Salisbury Fire Department there have many many men who have served as chief and have had significant impact on the operations and in the hearts and minds of the men who worked and volunteered there. One such man was Chief Wilson Taylor. I never served under Chief Taylor as he retired before I was hired, however I did meet Chief Taylor on a few occasions before he passed away and what impressed me the most was after our very first brief meeting he never forgot my name or who I was. He always spoke to the men when he was in the building and it was easy to see the respect everyone had for him.

I never saw Chief Taylor wear anything but a Class "A" uniform or a suit. He was soft spoken but in his voice you could always detect authority. Chief Taylor was an exceptionally fair and just man and I have yet to hear anyone who knew him say an unkind words about him.

A reader and contributor to this BLOG offers this brief history:
Wilson Taylor started at Station 2 as a volunteer on May 12, 1931. He ran a successful service station until 1958 when he joined the paid division. He became Chief at age 53 and took over from Chief Austin Moore who retired at age 69. Chief Moore had served as Chief two terms 1934 - 37 and 1947 - 1961 when Chief Taylor became Chief. The salary for Chief in 1961 was $ 5,200 and the volunteers voted on the position of Chief. It was then submitted to the Mayor and council for approval. I 1973 Chief Taylor retired and left a legacy of vast improvement for the Salisbury Fire Department. During his tenure Engine 210,(first diesel), Engine 8, Engine 1 Engine 9, and Ladder 4 were purchased. The first Diesel, Engine 210 was the first enclosed cab fire truck Salisbury had. A rescue truck, modular ambulance, rescue boat, brush truck and tankers for rural firefighting were acquired. The career staff rose to 6 firefighters per shift and a Monday -Friday duty crew at Station 2 in 1969. Chief Taylor definitely knew how to talk to City Hall.
Thank You Chief Taylor for you did for the Salisbury Fire Department.

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