PHOTOS: New Bedford Fire Chief Edward F. Dahill changed the way firefighters fight fires.
Dahill dedicated 59 years of service to the department from 1888 to 1947, and left behind an invention that made an extremely difficult job less difficult for all firefighters.
He invented the first aerial ladder hoist, called the Dahill hoist, in 1902.
Larry Roy, director of the New Bedford Fire Museum, said Dahill’s invention really made a difference when it came to firefighting and helped save time and save lives. Before Dahill's invention, firefighters had to manually raise the ladder out of the bed of the fire truck. Born in New Bedford in 1862, Edward F. Dahill joined the New Bedford Fire Department in 1888 when he was 26 years old. He served as chief of the department from 1904 to 1947. He left his job as chief at age 85 due to mandatory retirement.