How Gardner, Mass., Firemen “Waste Their Time”

Issue 2 and Volume 110.

How Gardner, Mass., Firemen “Waste Their Time” In the October 1956 issue of “Reader’s Digest,” author Karl Detzer made this statement — among other ill-considered assertions: “No firemen were just sitting around, wasting time playing cribbage, taking a hand at pinochle or watching television as they do in nearly all of 2,500 American communities with paid or part-paid fire departments.” There isn’t room herein to recount all of the tasks undertaken by fire fighters of this country during the time they are not engaged in responding to or returning from emergency calls, performing necessary housekeeping duties, etc. FIRE ENGINEERING has in the past described many of these undertakings, such as field inspections, special safety details and countless “extra-curricular jobs,” many of them frought with considerable danger. Mr. Detzer evidently hasn’t studied these and other undertakings calculated to make a fire department “pay its way.” One such bit of evidence which…

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