1960 F.D.I.C. Sets New Memphis Attendance Record
EXCEPTING unseasonable weather, the 32nd Annual Fire Department Instructors Conference held for the 26th straight year in Memphis, Tenn., March 1 through 4, was a record event. A total of 2,594 participants from 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada registered to shatter all previous attendance records.
In keeping with past conferences, Chairman Emmett T. Cox called the overflow assembly in Ellis Auditorium to order at 9:13 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1. Rt. Rev. Monsignor M. F. Kearney, a long time friend and participant in the conference affairs, gave the invocation. The welcome to Memphis was extended by Mayor Henry Loeb, Vice Mayor and Fire and Police Commissioner Claude A. Armour, and Acting Fire Chief Edward A. Hamilton.
As soon as the preliminaries were accomplished, the business program swung into high gear and continued without letup until final adjournment on Friday, March 4. The only problem occurred when a heavy storm, which struck a major part of the country on March 2, coated the Memphis area with heavy sleet. This caused postponement and finally cancellation of the outdoor demonstrations.
The program committee quickly shuffled the schedule as provided in the original planning and the smoothly flowing conference continued without noticeable effect. As a result of the timing changes, W. Fred Heisler, Oklahoma fire training consultant, was called on to address the assembly. Fred” responded to his pinch-hitting role by delivering a sparkling 30-minute talk on fire department leadership problems. His audience gave him a standing ovation.
A highlight and a “first” for the conference was the presentation and training film on “The Fire Service and Nuclear Weapons” by LCDR W. L. Zimmerman, U. S. Navy; and M. T. Kincannon, technical advisor, Atomic Weapons Training Group, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Sandia Base, N. M. The lecture and film presented unclassified information on fires in atomic weapons and was especially prepared for the F.D.I.C. It is expected that the film and a training outline will be available for fire service use in the near future.
The Memphis Fire Department members played their usual stellar role as “hosts” and provided lunches and transportation for their guests. At the final luncheon, the 2,000 or more visiting fire fighters present gave them a standing vote of thanks.
The F.D.I.C. Follies concluded the conference. The well-placed variety show under the capable direction of District Chief Robert Maynard featured many top-notch acts and was well received. Final adjournment came with benediction pronounced by Robert F. Hamm, assistant conference secretary. It was announced that the 1961 conference would convene in Memphis on February 28 continuing through March 3.