A Convention Trip School
The Pacific Coast delegation to the International Association of Fire Chiefs Convention instituted a novelty which may have considerable hearing on the future conduct of special trains to Fire Chiefs’ Conventions. It consisted of a school, conducted by capable instructors, for the delegates enroute to the Convention. Each day the delegates assembled in the school car and entered into discussion of pre-determined topics. A record was kept of these discussions.
Topics included in the conference aboard the special train from the coast to Toronto were: Linen hose in the fire service; increasing the capacity and pressure of individual fire engines; use of sectional metal ladders; enclosed bodies on fire apparatus; phantom fire alarm boxes; standardization of fire service equipment; uniformed firemen for night district patrol duty; inspection of places of public assembly when in operation; fire department activities in the event of disaster; traffic problems and the fire service; fire department auxiliary power equipment; providing an association home for aged and infirm firemen, and the eight hour day firemen.
This trip was particularly instructive, for in addition to the school conducted aboard the train, the Chiefs paid a visit to the Underwriter’s Laboratories in Chicago, and on the return, to the Detroit Fire Department training school.
At the Underwriter’s Laboratories the delegates witnessed laboratory tests on fire hose, hydrants, fire extinguishers, and automatic sprinklers. During the tour through the various laboratories, short talks on the engineering of fire prevention and fire protection were given by laboratory instructors. A spectacular test of a fire door was also shown. This test was conducted in a large gas-fired furnace, the largest of its kind in the country.
The final demonstration by the Laboratory engineers was the test of a fire extinguisher which, in the hands of an expert, was used to attack a burning 100 square foot oil soaked panel of wood.
As indicated in the report of the convention, a resolution passed by the Pacific Coast Association of Fire Chiefs, was presented at the International Convention recommending the adoption of the school car idea where large parties go in a body to the annual conventions.