On Memorial Day this coming Monday, please join us in remembering World War I veteran and Distinguished Service Cross Award recipient Charles R. Reilley, in battle roughly 99 years ago. 33 years later, he became Chief of the Marin County Fire Department, following the very difficult first decade of their existence, which our new Part III covers. Part I told the story of Charlie's family history and early life, and Part II was focused on his service in the U.S. Army in Europe in World War I, where he was recognized for "...extraordinary heroism..."
A hero in war, and many years later a quiet hero who overcame serious challenges, including the Marin County Board of Supervisors considering outsourcing County fire protection in unincorporated areas to the California Department of Forestry. This was considered in part to save money, and in greater part because of major problems in MCFD. Read about these events now in Part III of Charlie's story. The final Part IV later this year will cover his service as Fire Chief from 1951-1962, and a huge retirement dinner held in San Rafael for Charlie, with roughly 300 attending. May he rest in peace.
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Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith