Los Angeles Fire Department
Historical Archive


Commissioner Schwamm Overhears
His Reply to Superior's Rebuke

    Anthony Schwamm, fire commissioner, played the part of detective yesterday.  As a result Ike Rosenheim, a driver of company No. 14, must appear before the fire board next Friday to answer to the charge of impudence to a superior officer.
    Mr. Schwamm was in the vicinity of Elgin and Santa Fe avenues yesterday afternoon when company No. 4 was responding to an alarm.  He decided to investigate and see how a Los Angeles fireman works.
    "I say there, don't drive those horses to death," he heard Acting Chief McDonald tell Rosenheim.
    What Rosenheim told McDonald about that time, Mr. Schwamm refused to repeat to the police board today.
    "Do you want him to appear before the board?" asked the mayor.
    "Indeed I do," replied Mr. Schwamm.  "His demeanor and language were disgraceful."
    So Rosenheim has been called on the carpet.

The Los Angeles Express, August 24, 1906

Isaac Rosenheim of Engine
Company No. 14 Will Be


Fireman Is Brought to Book 
Before Officers, Who Decide
on Leniency

Isaac Rosenheim, driver of engine company No. 14, under suspension pending an investigation for insolence to the assistant fire chief, was an humble fireman today when he appeared before the fire commissioners.  It happened that Commissioner Anthony Schwamm was present when Rosenheim "sassed" his superior officer at a fire and at the last meeting of the board he brought the matter up, declaring that Rosenheim apparently was a type of the San Francisco hoodlum, and that it was time to insist on proper respect being paid the officers of the department.

    Rosenheim stated to the board that he did not mean to be offensive. "I am in the department to do my duty and to do it quickly.  I got orders from the lieutenant to drive up and did so when the assistant chef called me down for not running up. It is not my habit to speak crossly to a superior officer.

    Commissioner Schwamm was disposed to be lenient with Rosenheim, in view of his frank statement.  "It seems," he said, "that boys born and raised in San Francisco are somewhat lacking in refinement.  I was raised there," he added apologetically.  "I believed that Rosenheim was a type of the San Francisco hoodlum, but I don't believe now that he is.  He is blunt and outspoken.  He was not profane to his superior officer, but was vulgar, and it impressed me that he was not civil in his remarks.  I don't want to be hard on him."

    Mr. Robinson's motion that Rosenheim be left to the tender mercies of Chief Lips was satisfactory to the board.  Mr. Betouski interposed by declaring that he often saw firemen walking around shaking their shoulders as if they were the whole thing.  "When you happened to speak that way,"  he said to Rosenheim, "you did not know one of the commissioners was sitting near by.  If you had, you would not have spoken so abruptly." Rosenheim admitted that would have made a difference.



    Isaac Rosenheim, driver of Engine 14, was called before the Fire Commission yesterday for talking disrespectfully to a superior officer.  Commissioner Schwamm was present and preferred charges which resulted in the diver being laid off one week.  He promised to live up to the rules and was allowed to go back to work.


The Los Angeles Herald, September 1, 1906

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