An Industrial Fire Department Competition

An Industrial Fire Department Competition

Competitions between private fire brigades of large industries in the vicinity of Montreal have proved to be very successful instimulating the interest of the various brigades in their work and interesting the officials and employees of the participating, companies in fire protection. Four years ago the Canadian Car and Foundry Company (Member N. F. P. A.) inaugurated & series of competitive manoeuvres for the fire brigades of their various works. The plan was favorably received at the start and has developed so that the annual competition is now planned for as a regular features by the several brigades.

A Team Going Into Action.The Fire Extinguishing Contest.

As far as is known this competition is the only one of its kind conducted in Canada, but the plan could doubtless be advantageously adopted for other localities. The competition described below may be taken as typical of the general methodsfollowed.

Two series of competitions are held, one for the four plantsaround Montreal and one for the four out-of-town plants. A silver cup is donated by the company for the team making the best showing in each group and cash prizes are given to thechief, captain, and men of the winning teams. The cup becomes the permanent property of the works winning it for twosuccessive years. In the four years of competition so far noteam has obtained possession of the cup.

Each works sends one team of seven men and a captain, the team being selected by the works chief.

The 1923 competition was held on neutral ground, the premises of the Dominion Bridge Company, Lachine, P. Q. Representatives of the Canadian Fire Underwriters’ Association and the Dominion Bridge Company acted as judges and timekeepers.

In the competition the teams were required to wear full equipment, consisting of rubber coats, rubber boots, helmets and belts and spanners. Each team used its own hose truck fully equipped and with not less than 300 feet of 2 1/2 inch cotton rubber lined hose, coupled.

The events were carried out as follows:

  1. Hose reel or truck was located 100 yards from the hydrant with caps on butts. A target 30 inches in diameter with a 12-inch revolving disc in the center was located 200 feet beyond the hydrant. The team had to attach the cut-out valve, stretch 150 feet of hose, disconnect it from the truck, attach the nozzle, turn on the water, and hit the target so that the disc would revolve.With the above layout of hose on the ground, the next evolution was to pick up the hose, turn on the water and hit the target, then assume the middle length of hose burst, replace by a spare length taken from the truck, turn on the water, and again hit the target.
  2. With the above layout of hose on the ground, the next evolution was to pick up the hose, turn on the water, and hit the target, then shut off, uncouple, take forward first length of hose and add 100 feet of hose, couple up, turn on the water, and hit the target. In this evolution the target was placed 300 feet from the hydrant.

The fastest time turned in on these three events was 39 2/5 seconds for the first, 27 1/5 seconds for the second, and 33 seconds for the third, making a total of 1 minute 39 3/5 seconds for the complete evolution.

Another interesting contest was staged as follows:

Four fires were built of excelsior, approximately 3 feet by 3 feet by 9 inches thick. Each team entered one fireman and the men were lined up ten yards away from the fires, each with a 2 1/2 gallon soda acid extinguisher. The fires were lighted simultaneously and at a given signal the competitors ran to the fires and extinguished them. This contest provided considerable excitement and amusement. The man who put his fire out first, went over and assisted one of his competitors with the balance of the liquid in his extinguisher.

Aside from the competitions the various teams gave special demonstrations and exhibitions. One team demonstrated the use of 2-in. deluge streams. Another gave a first aid demonstration. Another team show the use of foam extinguishers on oil fires.

The last event was staged as a surprise by the Dominion Bridge Company, who had an old shed available in a corner of the yard. This shed was well filled with combustible material and saturated with fuel oil. The shed was fired and the fire whistle blown. The Longue Pointe team of the Canadian Car & Foundry Company responded with their 40-gallon chemical engine, while the other works teams, owing to the distance from the nearest hydrant, laid two lines of hose siamesed and backed up the chemical company, putting the finishing touches on the fire.

There were a large number of spectators, including prominent officials of the companies. The competition will continue to be an annual event and is considered to be of real value in promoting the fire protection efficiency of the various works brigades.—N. P. P. A. Quarterly.

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