Minutes of the September 18, 1999 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


President Yarnell called the meeting to order at noon. Chaplain Jim Washburn gave the invocation and the president led the pledge to the flag and the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: Dwight Tetrick, Elwin Thrasher, Jim Chambers, Marty Miller, Robert Yarnell, Jim Washburn, Cy Gamber

Welcome guests: Janett Tetrick, Billie Washburn, and Hector Noyas Jr.


The membership approved the minutes of the May meeting as published in the newsletter.


The secretary read two letters received over the summer. The first from Charles O’Daniel thanked the chapter for the Law Enforcement Award he received at the May meeting. Lt. Thomas Michel, Sr. Army JROTC instructor at Brandon high wrote to convey his appreciation for the chapter’s JROTC program and the April luncheon held in honor of the cadets. The secretary also conveyed information about a DAR celebration of George Washington to be held Sept. 19th. Compatriot Washburn located this information for the chapter.


Treasurer Marty Miller presented the financial report indicating a balance of $2,289.49.


The president reported on plans for the yearly picnic to be held with the CAR in October. The location and date may need to be altered from last year. Details are to be included in the next newsletter. Robert received a request from a student about the essay contest, which he forwarded to Kevin. A Board of Governors meeting was set for Oct. 7th at 7:00 at Tampa Catholic High School.


A short discussion ensured about a possible change of location for our monthly meetings. The current location has undergone another change of management and we may not be able to continue with the same arrangements. Members with ideas or contacts were asked to speak with President Yarnell who is working on the matter.


Vice President Tetrick passed on a request by American Financial Advisors to make a presentation at one of our monthly meetings. Since we endeavor to present programs consistent with the Revolution and other matters of history, the membership declined the offer.


The meeting adjourned for lunch.


President Yarnell reconvened the meeting and introduced Vice President Tedrick who presented the speaker, Hector Noyas, Jr. Mr. Noyas is in his 18th year with Tampa Fire and Rescue and currently works in the fire prevention office, specifically in the arson division. He has received numerous awards in this time including Fire Fighter of the Year.


After a brief introduction of his background and current duties, Mr. Noyas presented a wonderful history of the Tampa Fire Department.


[The highlights from the secretary’s notes do not do justice to the presentation. For the benefit of those unable to attend, a few key items are recalled.]

§         The Tampa Fire Department is first organized in 1884 and consists mainly of volunteers. The Hillsborough River, the Jackson St. ditch, and two public wells are the only source of water. Bucket brigades are the norm.

§         1886:  the department improved its service with the addition of new equipment purchase by individuals

§         1895:  May 10th begins the first paid fire department in the city

§         1905:  The city purchases 2 new horse driven engines. The first fire fighter fatality happens shortly thereafter.

§         1908:  March 1, 9:33 am, a fire starts in Ybor city that eventually engulfs 55 acres. The one million-dollar loss makes this the most destructive fire in Tampa’s history.

§         1914:  July 27 is the last day that horse driven engines are used in the city


Mr. Noyas concluded his talk by applying his skills as an arson investigator to the facts surrounding the 1908 Ybor fire. He explained to the membership his reasoning process and concluded that the fire most likely started by accident.


A brief question period followed.


Vice President Tetrick presented Mr. Noyas with the SAR Fire Fighter award consisting of a medal and certificate.


The 50/50 drawing fell to our able newsletter editor who donated all the proceeds to the treasury.


The president led the recessional, the chaplain offered the benediction, and the meeting adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary