Chief W. N. Avery Lectures
Up to a few years ago, the Worcester fire department had a good many firemen in it who were not real firemen. Previous to 1906, the department was not what it should be in efficiency. So said Chief Wesley N. Avery, of Worcester, Mass., in speaking before a church club recently, where he gave an address on “Fighting Fire.” He made a number of interesting statements, and reiterated his desire, already expressed, to see the fire department telegraph operating room located in the suburbs. The present new fire headquarters building, he said, is in itself one of the worst fire traps in the city, and if anything happens to the operating room the telegraph fire alarm system would be crippled for two weeks. Noting the change in methods of fighting big fires, Chief Avery said that if the old time methods had been followed at the recent Sherer fire, the whole Chase block would have been razed by the flames. The old way, he said, was to put about a dozen small streams into action at such a fire. What Chief Avery did was to get the water tower as quick as he could, concentrate his fight on that and use about five streams to hem the fire in. But the water tower, he declared, did the bulk of the work and won that particular fight over the fire fiend. He outlined the development of team work in the department during the last few years and the training of the men, especially in the use of the scaling ladder and the climbing of high buildings.