The Depression settled heavily over the Canadian prairies, what author James Gray would later call "The Winter Years." Calgary firefighters were not immune from the economic downturn, as City officials insisted on a new work-week regimen as a money-saving venture. A plebiscite had already allowed firefighters one day off in seven, and the hiring of 20 new men. But starting in 1932, each firefighter had to take off a half-day each week without pay to help the City avoid layoffs.
The half-day forced holiday became known as a "Davison Day", after Mayor Andrew Davison and his Council.
Fire Chief Cappy Smart retired in 1933 (Chief since 1893) with a special honour — he was appointed Honorary Fire Prevention Officer until 1935.
Cappy passed away at the age of 74 on July 25, 1939. "The City has lost one of its oldest servants and one of its best-loved pioneers," said Mayor Andrew Davison. Forty years later, the Calgary Board of Education christened its newest school in the community of Marlborough Park Cappy Smart Elementary.
More than 1,500 Calgarians attended Cappy's funeral at Knox United Church, and he was buried in Union Cemetery with the epitaph, "His Last Alarm Has Sounded."
Alex Carr became the ninth fire chief in 1933, and held the post until his retirement in 1943.