CENTRAL NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS HOLD ANNUAL MEETING

CENTRAL NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS HOLD ANNUAL MEETING

Officers of the Central New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association were elected, at Seneca Falls, N. Y., last week, at the twentythird annual convention as follows: President, Thomas J. Murray, Cortland; secretary, Clayton A. Smith, Waverly; treasurer, Dr. Julian Smith, Union; chaplain, Rev. W. S. Stevens, Moravia; delegate to state convention, Stuart W. Smyth, Owego. Owego gave an invitation for the convention in 1917. The designation will be made by the executive committee. The parade, which was a feature of the meeting, was participated in by many companies, in ten divisions. At one of the sessions of the meeting, Chief Robert C. Ruckholdt, of the Eastman Kodak Company’s ft re department, Rochester, made an interesting address on fighting gasoline fires, his address being interspersed by questions and remarks by members and delegates, including D. S. Mersereau, of Union, who condemned the methods of selling and handling gasoline and urged co-operation to secure the passage of a law restricting the sale of gasoline. ‘‘One pint of gasoline,” said Chief Ruckholdt, “will make 200 cubic feet of air explosive. This vapor is two and one-half times heavier than air and will jettle. I recall one explosion of a gasoline tank. The only survivor told how he had smelled gasoline fumes while working near a fire 800 feet away from the tank. The last he remembered was seeing a ball of fire start from the fire near which he was working, gradually roll up the hill, followed by a tremendous explosion when it reached the tank. Jt is extremely dangerous to smoke in and around garages. Empty casks and barrels should always be stored with the bung-hole down. It is often two days before the vapor leaves the cask if turned upward, because of the greater weight of the vapor. Rubber piping and rubber washers should never be used. Too much care cannot be exercised in handling gasoline. If a fire starts from gasoline do not use water except to protect adjoining property. Ventilate the burning building as much as possible. Many different things are used to extinguish gasoline fires.” Mr. Mersereau. in his remarks said: “Just as long as people handle gasoline as they would water, just so long will we have dangerous gasoline fires.” He produced a newspaper clipping showing the death rate in one municipality. Of a total of 71 deaths, 50 were caused by gasoline and 17 by fires of other nature. Of HO injured during the same period, 47 were caused by gasoline, 20 by kerosene and 73 by other mediums. He said: “Children by the thousands are allowed to buy and handle gasoline by the pail, can and barrel. I say that gasoline should be sold under a license. Not a prohibitive license. A dealer should be compelled to have a license for the sale of gasoline, something that will restrict the promiscuous sale and compel the use of judgment in dispensing it. Just as lonjj as the people of New York State allow your children and my children to handle gasoline, just so long will you have gasoline fires,” Chief Ruckholdt said: “I recommend a law prohibiting the sale of gasoline to children, and to grown persons only in bottles and cans labeled: ‘Do not expose to flames or sunlight.’ This would be the greatest fire prevention law ever placed in existence. Put your heart and effort to secure the passage of such a law. In that manner and that manner only will you get it. I will do wdiat I can to help along a law prohibiting unrestricted sale of gasoline.” Chief Ruckholdt then described the New York Department. He suggested engaging experts from such departments to lecture to bodies of firemen throughout the state.

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