A VALUABLE TYPE OF FIREMEN
The statement has been made that many firemen in the paid departments of the larger cities are little concerned about their calling—that they perform whatever duties they have to do in a perfunctory manner and work at fires like so many automatons. Why this should he said especially about firemen is not readily understood, as this class of indifferent individuals may be found not only in every city department, but in any and all of the mechanical trades as well. They are to be found in all the professions—their chief aim being to annihilate time, and hasten the pay-day. Fortunately, however, this class is comparatively small; so small that they are obscured by the multitude of others who have a purpose in view—a goal to reach. That goal may be a mcrcinary one, or it may he an altruistic one, or it may be one whose attainment means fame—it is at least a desire to do something honorable. And there is not a city of ordinary size whose fire department does not contain one or more such members. They may not have become prominent, but in their constitutional make-up they have the germ of this type of fireman. Mention has been made of some of these in the past in this Journal. It is impossible to keep them long in obscurity, as their ambition forces them into the limelight of publicity, and it is not necessary that they should sacrifice their lives in the performance of some heroic deed to become known outside of their immediate environments. In this age of fire prevention there is a wide field for fire department members to make a study of this feature, and then impart such knowledge to others. We have in mind at this writing one John Egan, a member of the St. Louis fire department, who is performing yeoman service for the cause of fire prevention. Egan, when opportunity affords, takes his camera to a fire and snaps pictures, showing the fiatnes in their various stages and how the fire is being fought by the department. With these lie delivers illustrated lectures on fire prevention under the auspices of church societies. His theme is “The Life of a Fireman,” and his illustrations show the means of combatting fires, past and present, together with pictures of ancient and modern apparatus. His audiences, we are informed, arc always large, being attended by young and old, who find edification as well as instruction and education from the standpoint of fire prevention and fire extinguishing. This proves that a fireman can he of service to the public outside of his firefighting habiliments.