“All Boston firefighters are called Jakes. When I was appointed to the department over forty years ago, I asked my peers how the nickname originated. The most common reply was ‘I dunno’. Throughout my career I would occasionally pursue the answer without success. These ineffective research attempts terminated at my retirement testimonial when I asked a retired deputy fire chief, long noted for his historical knowledge of the department, and his thoughtful reply was, ‘Who cares?’

I do.

So, this book is named and dedicated to all Boston Jakes past, present and future. May they be ever thus.” 

Leo Stapleton, author

Available now on

Close Menu