Although Nazi Germany had surrendered on May 7, 1945, ending the war in Europe, the war in the Pacific would not end for some months. The need to shift troops from the European to the Pacific theater resulted in the cancellation of that year’s International Association of Fire Chiefs convention. In Fire Engineering, the war’s effect on the fire service was reflected in such articles as “Fire Fighting on Guadalcanal” (June 1945), which describes developing fire protection for a remote Pacific island serving as a depot for military war supplies, including improvising a fireboat, HERE.

In an October 1945 article, “Navy Fire Fighting Techniques to Benefit City Fire Fighters,” HERE the U.S. Navy declared that the firefighting methods developed during the war that saved Navy ships and personnel “will save billions of dollars for the civilians for the post-war years.”  A follow-up article in November, “Impact of Wartime Fire Defense Upon Peacetime Fire FightingHERE outlined the firefighting tools (including the three-position fog nozzle, the oxy-acetylene cutting torch kit, and firefighting foam) and the techniques the U.S. Navy developed for their use.

With the end of war in sight, in a June 1945 editorial, “Here’s Room for that Post-War Reconversion,”HERE Fire Engineering Editor Fred Sheppard admonished chiefs that “. . . the majority of fire stations . . . are totally unsuited for the part they must play in modern fire fighting. . . .A large percentage have seen only the most elemental, necessary repairs since they were erected back in the days of horse-drawn apparatus. . . .Many still smell of the horse stalls!” In the same issue, “Fire Station Design—Tomorrow” HERE provided a selection of innovative designs for fire stations.

MORE FROM THE FIRE ENGINEERING VAULT