100 Years of LFD
The first officers for the Liverpool Hook and Ladder Company were called “Foremen”. The company was incorporated on February , 1889. The first meeting was held on March 21, 1889 with the following officers:
- J.J. Rogers, Foreman
- William Kotz, First Assistant
- J.T. Siebert, Second Assistant
These men were elected to office under the charter granted by the State of New York. In September of 1895, there were thirty were basketmakers, one was a saloon keeper, another a hotel keeper, and there were one barber, one painter, seven butchers, one builder, one laborer, and one gentleman!
The first meeting minutes kept under the new incorporation was held March 21, 1889 at the truck house at 8 p.m. Silas Duell served as chairman and C.G. Alvord acted as secretary. They then proceeded to elect the new officers for the ensuing year.
Silas Duell was elected president and C.C. Westgate was elected vice president. Other officers were J.T. Rogers, foreman; William Klotz, first assistant foreman; J.P. Siebert, second assistant foreman; C.G. Alvord, secretary; R.B. Randall, assistant secretary; A.H. Crawford, treasurer; and Charles Connor, stockman (quartermaster)
It was decided that the money from ex-treasurer A.B. Randall of $21.85 would be retained and used according to the bylaws of the old company. A motion was made to purchase books at a cost of $2.50 to keep the minutes and proceedings of the company. Also, at this meeting they appointed a standing committee for membership. A motion was made that there would be an initiation fee of 25 cents for all new members. This report was written by C.G. Alvord and he signed it as clerk. However, since then, they have been titled secretaries. Thus, a new era for the fire department was born. From this humble beginning has risen an outstanding and innovative fire department that it second to none. Each and every new method of firefighting that had been approved by the state and other agencies was adopted by this fire department. The men have become very proficient with all new methods.
Throughout 100 years of service to the community, as written in the minutes, the men, and of late, the women have reflected a high degree of professionalism in their performance. On April 9, 1889 it was decided that they would have a dance on May 7, 1889. This was the first fire department social function that was held under the new corporation. Tickets were 50 cents each. During the month of April of 1889, meetings were held on the 9th, the 16th, and the 23rd. The next meeting recorded was on May 23, 1893. The whereabouts of the missing minutes are not know at this time. In August of 1893, a motion was made and carries that the annual meeting be held in September of each year. Later, on March 7, 1944, the annual meeting date was changed to the first Tuesday in April. On August 1, 1893 at the regular meeting the chairman reported by letter that he had engaged the Cigarville Band of 15 men for $15. The location of Cigarville had been tracked down and was found to be a name given to Clay in the bygone days. On October 17, 1893 a committee was formed to see what could be done about uniforms which were to consist of pants, coats, and caps. This is The first mention of uniforms found in the minutes. At the December 19, 1893 meeting, it was decided that the music for the New Year’s Ball would be provided by George Mauer and his sister Mamie. Mamie played the piano. George was the grandfather of our own John Mauer, the local funeral director.
A special meeting was held on March 6, 1894 for the purpose of getting more members for the department. It seems that they had a problem even way back in those days in getting volunteers! On March 10, 1894, they had 11 prospective names brought to vote. On April 6, 1894, it was reported that the village would have the building repainted as soon as they could get the money to do it with-not much different that it is today. At a special meeting on May 17, 1894, a committee of three was to see Mr. Barnes about renting his boat for a “moonlight!” It is presumed that this meant a ride around Onondaga Lake. His terms were for two tons of pea coal and half the profits. It was moved that the “moonlight” be dropped. Carried.
The next entry was for September 3, 1895. Fred Bretzer was given $12 for expenses to attend the State Convention at Lockport in August 1896. This is the first mention of anyone going to a state convention. Motion was made and carried that they have a New Year’s Dance on January 1, 1897 at the Globe Hotel. Tickets were 50 cents each. Those not in uniform would have to pay for the dance ticket. One of the members of the committee absconded with some of the funds from the dance and he was promptly dismissed from the department.
On November 1, 1897 there was a rash of money spending. Items such as three dozen chairs at 75 cents each, matting at 15 cents a yard (use unknown), curtains at $1 each, and two dozen spittoons at 30 cents each were purchased. In April 1898 they had a minstrel show and took in $9.90. A Mr. Arnold put it on for 50% of the monies. Among the bills presented to the company was one for a violin player for $2.50. Most of the minutes seem to consist of collecting dues and assessments from members. They used to fine members for missing meetings and fires. March 7, 1905, S.F. Smith paid $4.01 and Robert Tuttle paid 83 cents insurance tax. This has appeared in other minutes and there doesn’t seem to be an explanation as to what it was for. On February 7, 1905 there was a mention that $21 be sent to the State Fireman’s Home Insurance Tax. This may be a tax on policies written by companies whose home offices were outside New York State. More about this later on. On May 2, 1905 a motion was made and carried that the treasurer buy one half dozen metal cuspidors! March 2, 1905. The president appointed a committee to see the village board about having the rooms heated on the regular meeting nights. On August 7, 1906 the president appointed a committee of five to organize a ladies auxiliary for the fire department. It shows that on September 3, 1906 the auxiliary gave the firemen $12.30 but it doesn’t say for what.
At the May meeting of 1907 there was a report by Howard Dahl that the Liverpool Hook and Ladder Company Number One Fife and Drum Corps has property valued at $86.95. Seven drum lessons and eight fife lessons were given at a cost of $20 total.
March 21, 1907. They decided to buy new uniforms consisting of a white shirt at 45 cents each, white cap at 25 cents, black tie at 23 cents and white pants at $1.50. The committee would also purchase black belts at $2.50 a dozen.
During this era one method of raising money was to have euchre parties. Among those giving the parties were Miss Heid, George Maurer and Michael Heid.
On June 2, 1908 a committee was appointed to take an inventory of the drum corps. Passed, inventory consisted of one bass drum , seven other drums and nine fifes.
- October 2, 1908, few members – no business.
- November 1908, national presidential election and great excitement prevailed – no meeting.
- December 1908. Few members present. After a controversy the meeting was adjourned.
- January 1909. No meeting on account of cold weather.
- February 1909. Nothing written. This was the shortest five months in the records.
During the March meeting in 1909 it appeared that the drum corps was breaking up, they made a motion that the Clark Music Company should set a value on the drums. It was agreed that the members could buy the drums at a fair price from the company.
On August 6, 1912 it was voted that all uniformed men have their picture taken on August 10, 1912. This was one of the first times that the company had its picture taken as a group.
The minutes for the year 1913 are missing.
On March 20, 1914 a group of men met at the truck house for the purpose of organizing an independent fire company. It was to be known as the Liverpool Independent Fire Company Number One.
They had meetings from November 20, 1914 to May 7, 1915. After that nothing was written about them. Due to a lack of records for 1913, it was impossible to see if they were members of the Liverpool Hook and Ladder Company before they started this independent company.
In the March 10, 1915 meeting of the Liverpool Hook and Ladder Company, a motion was made and carried that the fire company would buy $2 worth of dance tickets from the Independent Fire Company. These tickets were to be destroyed at the next meeting.
There was a motion at the June 15, 1915 meeting that the secretary be instructed to notify the secretary of the independent company to find out how many men were going to march with the regular Liverpool Hook and Ladder Company. The regular company would buy suits for the convention.
On June 28, 1915, Lin Nichols turned over $25.20 from the Independent Fire Company, thus came to an end, this independent company.
On July 6, 1915 a motion was passed to ask the School Board to have the school desks removed from the room before the convention. This was in the building at the corner of Brow and Tulip Streets. The kindergarten met there for many years. Many local residents attended school there.
On September 7, 1915 it was reported by Howard Dahl that the School Board would furnish two rooms in the Hand Block and also heat, light and hire a janitor. This building is located at what is now the Olde Liverpool Shoppes.
In the November 3, 1915 meeting a committee met with the Village Board to gain information about the new company. The Village Board sanctioned the new company and suggests that the departments allow them to use the room and furniture.
On January 8, 1918 a motion was made and seconded that a service flag be purchased to honor the members of the company in the Armed Services. This was the first mention of anything done for the members entering the Armed Forces in World War I.
On February 5, 1918, Miss Sue Gleason was appointed an honorary member of the company because of her great interest in and loyalty to the company.
The election of officers up to this point had been in September. But on July 30, 1919 a special meeting was held for the election of officers and the reorganization of the company. There isn’t much difference in the way the department is now running under the new reorganization. On August 9, 1921 an election of officers was held.
On September 1, 1919 a discussion was held in the evening about the different types of fire trucks. There was no decision made that evening. Members decided to go ahead with publishing a Village Directory and see what financial gain could be realized.
In a special meeting on October 1, 1919 the Liverpool directory subscription was made up and the monies were to be turned over to the Village Board toward the purchase of motor apparatus.
On September 13, 1921 the Village Board turned the money from the old company over to the new company. This amounted to $77.05. This may be what the reorganization was all about as previously stated.
Also, in September of that year the department decided to buy 500 feet of hose; apparently they had some sort of apparatus. They also purchased 12 feet of suction hose, four pairs of boots at $2.98 and two sets of tire chains for the truck.
Things were really looking up. At the February 28, 1922 meeting a motion was made and seconded that the secretary order a bell for the fire truck.
On March 28, 1922 it was decided that the department change the meeting night to the first Tuesday of the month.
On April 17, 1923 a special meeting was held for the election of officers.
On December 2, 1925 the Fire Department went to the Village Board and requested that if the fire apparatus was taken out of the barn, a fireman should drive it and take care of it. Also at the meeting, they were to write to the Volunteer Firemen’s Association to see if the Village Board could stop the fire engine from going outside the village limits.
The Village Board was present at a special meeting on December 15, 1925 when the question was brought up about the fire engine going outside the village. Nothing at the meeting apparently was settled. In May of 1927, Chief Thomas White obtained permission to take the fire truck outside the village within a reasonable distance.
On May 4, 1926 a committee was appointed to get 25 signatures for a new firehouse.
On October 5, 1926 the trustees were to see Von Hopper and the Village Board about moving the firemen’s meeting rooms.
At a special meting that month, Sam Elsey reported that it was up the firemen if they wanted new rooms. The School Board would have to pay for them. It wasn’t clear how the School Board got involved, except that the kindergarten used to be over the fire barn when it was located at Brow and Tulip Streets.
On April 5, 1928 the Fire Department voted to have Dan’s Boys play for the convention. This was a fife and drum corps headed by Dan Dashley. Mr. Dashley was an active fireman for many years.
On March 4, 1930, Lew Shurtleff reported that he had met with the Liverpool Centennial Committee and that they would like the Fire Department to take charge of all decorations and sports for the celebration. This committee consisted of Lin Nichols, Lew Shurtleff, George Nichols, Sam Elsey and Walter Hoar.
The Fire Department authorized the treasurer to take $300 from the treasury for the Centennial Committee for advertising and whatever else was necessary.
Ray Phares reported on November 5, 1930 that they had cleared $157.11 on the Centennial.
On January 6, 1931 the president reported that the banner had the wrong date on it. The date of 1885 was when the department was started, while the date of February 23, 1889 was the date of incorporation.
On October 6, 1931 it was reported that due to election, the next meeting would be held above the truck house. This confirmed suspicions that the department did not use the truck house for meetings. They probably held their meetings in the Hand Block and then moved to the old village hall that was located at the corner of First and Tulip Streets next door to Meyer’s Shoe Store.
On November 1, 1932 it was reported that many men did not have coats or boots at the last fire. A motion was made that enough money be drawn so that every active member would have a pair of boots and a coat and that the firemen take these home. They were not to be worn outside of fire duty or the men would b subject to a fine.
On January 2, 1934 Chief Nichols reported that he bought a box of candy for the telephone operators. There were many times that he brought candy to the operators in appreciation for the work they did in answering fire calls.
On May 2, 1934 the depression was in full swing. The department needed costs and boots. Chief Nichols gave a list to the Village Board that included the price of coats at $5 and boots at $3 a pair.
On September 4, 1934 it as reported that the minute the siren blew a bunch of fellow hopped on the truck and tot in the way of the firemen. Chief Nichols stated that the firemen had the right to order them off.
It seems that there was a building fund that was to be used when enough money was acquired to build a truck house. At various meetings someone was always making a motion to borrow from it for a variety of reasons. Whether they ever paid it back will never be known.
On October 6, 1936 the secretary was told to write a letter protesting the dumping of rubbish and ashes in the Fire Department lot between the Cobblestone Hotel and the bank. This is the first time any mention was made of a place where a truck house might be built.
In November of that year a committee of one was to go to Mr. D. D. Brewster, clerk of the School Board, to inquire who was to hold the deed to this lot behind the bank.
At the December meeting it was stated that the deed to the lot was made out to the village and that the Fire Department was not mentioned at all. It appeared that the School Board owned this property. It also appeared to be part of the Westgate property where fifth grade classes had been held.
On July 10, 1937 a call was answered at the French Fort for a fire in which one building was destroyed and considerable damage done to another. In April of 1938 the insurance underwriters were to re-rate the village because the department had two trucks.
At the April 5, 1938 meeting, Mayor Heid explained the purchase of the Lacy property and that the barn would be given to the firemen for a truck house and recreation rooms. The board wanted the department to back them in this matter at a public hearing.
On February 7, 1939 the Fire Department donated $50 to the Widows and Orphans Fund as a result of the Collins Block fire in Syracuse. The chief also offered the services of the department at the fire. Ken Skurk worked on first aid at the fire.
Chief Nichols announced at the April 4, 1939 meeting the a new state law had been passed requiring that all cars be kept back 500 feet from a fire truck.
William Schneider reported that the fire trucks would be moved to the new building by noon of July 12, 1939.
The first event that was held in the new Station One was a card party, sponsored by the auxiliary and the firemen on March 27, 1930. The Ladies Auxiliary entertained the county association on April 1, 1940. The men held the county association meeting in Liverpool on April 10, 1940. A motion on October 1, 1940 was made and seconded that any member called to the services of his country would have his dues paid for all the years he was away from home.
On December 2, 1941 the secretary was asked to write to Albany to see about changing the name.
On December 2, 1941, Clarence Root made a motion and Robert Chester seconded it to change the name to the Liverpool Fire Department, Inc.
Also, at that meeting, a fire was reported at the Buckley Road home of Mrs. Dixon. The house was lost due to a lack of water. This happened on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day.
During the next months, auxiliary, fire fighters, first aid courses and blackout drills were the prime subjects for the meetings.
They also bought War Bonds and made contributions to the USO organization and the Red Cross at many meetings. It was also stated that they received their sugar and meat ration coupons. Also, firemen answering alarms were allowed gas rationing coupons.
At the annual meeting of April 3, 1945, it was decided that the village carry workman’s compensation including Section 19 of the New York State laws.
Liverpool firemen went to Syracuse to fight the E. C. Stern’s building fire. The department laid 850 feet of hose and pumped for six hours at 175 pounds of pressure. It is said that the Liverpool men had the best stream of water on that fire.
A youth center was opened at Station One. It opened on July 4, 1945. Each fireman took turns monitoring the activities of this center.
At the November 5, 1946 meeting Vice President Ernest Holmes has the secretary read a letter from Bernard Duerr, attorney, showing that the corporate existence of the company known as Liverpool Hook and Ladder Company Number One had ceased in 1939 and that it would be best for all concerned to apply for an extension of that existence to the present time and then apply for a change of name to Liverpool Fire department, Inc. Both these applications would be in the same request.<
On January 7, 1947 Chief Nichols reported that an organization was under way in City View, off Old Liverpool Road, to help in fighting fires in that section.
The idea was to get a chemical outfit to check blazes before the Liverpool department can get there. On December 2, 1947 the chief asked the secretary to write a letter to the Chamber of Commerce stating reasons whey the department would think that a theater would be an asset to the village. The community council proposed that a place be cleared on First Street for this project. It seems that after World War II the fire protection district grew and grew. City View expanded at a very rapid rate. The minutes of the meetings also grew. It was evident in the minutes of the meetings that the fire calls were written up in great detail. After the beginning of the ambulance service this was very evident. The minutes of the meeting went from one page to three or four pages.
Later years showed that the fire and ambulance reports were kept on individual sheets and filed in the proper places. At the meetings, the umber of fire and ambulance calls were noted but with little detail.
On January 3, 1950 the fire company accepted the new Dodge fire truck purchased by the village.
In April 1950 Chief Root reported that the addition to Station One cost $5,499.05 up to that point.
At the meeting of September 2, 1952 the chief reported that five ambulance calls and eight fires with the loss of one life. This is the first time a loss of life was mentioned in the minutes.
At a special meeting on May 17, 1956 it was decided to purchase a boat, motor and trailer to be used in water rescue and dragging operations. This was to be a 14 foot aluminum boat with a Mark Six Mercury motor and Motorcraft trailer.
At the December 4, 1956 meeting Chief Howard Holmes discussed the expansion of the fire station to house new equipment. A new pumper ladder truck was under consideration. it would be a Class A 750 gallon pumper with a 65 foot aerial ladder.
Also at that meeting, the fire department was to ask the Village Board for 35% instead of 25% of the contract with the Town of Salina.
On July 2, 1957 Chief Holmes talked about the meeting of the line and executive officers in reference to building a new station in the Galeville area. A meeting was to be held with the town and village boards.
In August of that year Chief Holmes reported that the town board was in favor of such a station in the Galeville area.
At the September 1957 meeting Chief Holmes reported no answer as yet from the Village Board on the question of Station Two in the Galeville area or the 35% of contract monies.
In November 1957 Chief Holmes reported that the village board rejected the proposal for a new station in Galeville but agreed to give the department 35% of the contract monies.
At the November 5, 1957 meeting Chief Holmes suggested that in order to stimulate interest in the department the company give each man a turkey for Christmas. The point system was to be determined by attending meetings, fires and rills, and ambulance calls. The size of the turkey would be determined by the number of points each man had accumulated. The top man was to received a complete Christmas dinner.
At the August 5, 1958 meeting the application of Mary Veith, RN, was approved. Mary was the first, or nearly the first, woman to be a member of a fire department. She was the first in Onondaga County. She had worked with the ambulance for many years and gave an untold number of hours of work to the departments fighting fires and emergencies. There was no other person more deserving to become a member of the department than Mary was.
At this same meeting an addition to Station One was approved. It was to be 26 by 80 feet and cost approximately $6,000.
The department paraded at the New York State Fair on August 30, 1958. This was volunteer Fireman’s Day.
In September 1958 the Village Board denied the department the right to build the addition. The village said they were going to build a new fire station on the site of the village garage on the Onondaga Lake Parkway. This, however, never did come to pass.
At a special meeting of the department on March 17, 1959 Chief Holmes proposed that it purchase a lot from Bud McArdell, approximately 124 by 300 feet, on Seventh North Street for $3700. He explained that this was about all that was available in the Galeville area and that some action should be taken quickly. A motion was made and seconded that the site be purchased.
The new truck – the pumper ladder combination – was to be in service in a few days, according to William Fahey at the April 1959 meeting.
At the June 2, 1959 meeting, fifteen new applications were read. Thirteen of them were held off because the Village Board had not acted on a resolution for men outside the village to become members.
At a special meeting with the Village Board in June 1959 the Mayor stated that no action was needed by them and that any men taken in would be covered by insurance.
During the July 7, 1959 meeting the names of fifteen new men were read and acted on as a group. The motion was carried. Thus the nucleus of Station Two was brought about.
At the January 5, 1960 meeting Chief Howard Homes stated that Engine Company Two was now activated and firemen should report to the nearest station when an alarm sounded. In February 1967 it was decided that a one bay addition should be built at Station One for the ambulance. The cost was not to exceed $12,257.
At the September 5, 1967 meeting a report of a fire fatality, a 13-year old girl, was noted. This is the second death recorded up to that period in the secretary’s minutes.
Jim McGillis reported on December 6, 1967 that the addition to Station One was completed.
It was recorded on December 3, 1968 that a floral arrangement had been bought for fire fighter Clarence Root who passed away on November 18, 1968. He was a long time member and a long time chief. The department lost not only a good man but a person who had a great knowledge of firematics. He lived for the fire department night and day. A great many innovations and ideas on firefighting were his. He was sorrowfully missed.
At the December 3, 1968 meeting Chief Peters reported progress had been made in procuring land in the Long Branch area for Station Three. Changes in the constitution were proposed to allow men from that area to become members of the department. These changes were voted on at the January 7, 1969 meeting and were approved.
Then on February 4, 1969, 15 men were voted on and approved. These men became the nucleus of Station Three.
Chief Charles Peters reported on this same day that the new station receiver at Station One would be know as KLR-345.
On August 5, 1969 the land acquisition in the Long Branch area for Station Three was accompanied by a letter from Liverpool Central School District. The lot size was 80 by 160 feet.
At the July 6, 1971 meeting the committee got the department’s approval for the construction of Station Three from the contractor, A.J. Beaudette, for an estimated cost of $26 per square foot. The mortgage was obtained from Lincoln Bank. Construction was already started and everything was going smoothly.
Vice President Richard Allen reported that on Sunday, October 17, 1971 at 2 p.m. an open house would be held at Station Three.
Thus the Liverpool Fire Department now had three stations to cover its fire districts. The stations are strategically located to give all the people the very best fire protection available.
On August 1 ,1972, two fatalities were reported. These were the third and fourth deaths reported in the department’s history.
On September 2, 1972, Tom Bonus said that the R. Badowski Memorial Baseball Game would be held at Hopkins Field. Captain R. Badowski died on August 19, 1972 during the State Convention. He was a fun loving person who had a smile for everyone. He was a great leader, a smart fireman, and a great person to know.
Another fire fatality, number five in the department’s history, was reported at the June 1973 meeting.
By July 5, 1977, all the contracts were awarded for the new Station Two at a total of $176,090. A loan at a 9 ¼% rate of interest was granted for 20 years. Ground breaking was held on July 31, 1977.
At the dedication ceremony of the new Station Two, which was held on Sunday, October 8, 1978, oil paintings of Robert Badowski and Charles Peters were unveiled. They were beautifully done and proved an inspiration to everyone who knew these men who had given so much of themselves in their duties as firemen.
At the December 04, 1979 meeting in a proposal for membership, 10 women’s names were read. This was probably due to the fact that an ambulance squad was to be formed.
At the January 8, 1980 meeting the proposal put on the floor in the December 1979 meeting by the ambulance committee was withdrawn in hopes of finding a better solution. A vote on the election of members was taken and one man was approved. What happened to the 10 women candidates was not recorded.
The ambulance squad was brought up again in the October 7, 1980 meeting. It was stated that many new applications had been received. This was the first time since the January meeting that the ambulance squad was mentioned.
On August 4, 1981, a motion was made that the department allocate $300 toward a picnic to be held by the ambulance squad in celebration of its one year of operation.
At the March 6, 1984 meeting, Father John Roark was appointed to be the new Catholic chaplain.
At the June 5, 1984 meeting, Mary Gelling was voted on and accepted as an active firefighter. Department members all welcomed her and wished her the best.
The building committee stated that they have looked into building a storage facility behind Station Two. The size would be 30 by 60 feet. This building was first proposed in 1984. Now it had come to the point where bids were finally opened at the June 3, 1986 meeting. The low bidder for the building was A.C. Wagner and Son. Construction was to be started on August 21, 1986.
Chief James Galli stated at the November 4, 1986 meeting that department members must tour the General Electric plant because they are phasing out their fire department. The guards were to take the firemen on a tour through the facilities to familiarize them with the layout.
Liverpool not only helps the local community, but spreads out to their other brother firemen.
At the December 2, 1986 meeting, the North Chittenango Fire Department asked for help in the rebuilding of their fire station that was destroyed by fire. The department donated $250.
At the January 6, 1987 meeting the resignation from an assistant chief was read. At that time the fire commissioners made a reference to the village law that at least one chief has to be a village resident.
At the January 1989 meeting, the fire commissioners stated that the village would not accept the popular vote for assistant chief stating the none of the chiefs were village residents. A motion was made, seconded and carried to accept the four chiefs as voted on and a “District Chief” from the Village of Liverpool and/or for the fire commissioner shall be appointed.
In reply, a fire commissioner stated that a motion for this was not required, and that the fire commissioners have no right to appoint a village chief.
It was brought to the commissioner’s attention that the rejection of our choice of a chief should be in writing and received within 30 days.
As of January 9, 1989 the village boards eliminated the residence requirement that one of the chief officers had to be from the village.
Thus, we come to the end of this first one hundred years history for the incorporation of the Liverpool Fire Department.
The facts and figures contained here are only as accurate as the former secretaries have recorded them.
It is my hope that the person who writes the second hundred-year history has as much enjoyment as I have had in delving through the old records and visualizing the bygone days of how things were done and how fires were fought. We should say thank God that there is a breed of men, who, at the sound of the siren, are willing to drop what they are doing and go help their less fortunate neighbors.
It is on this basis that our country has survived and become a leader for all mankind.
Liverpool Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.