Constant Checking Fills Duty Hours of Industrial Firemen
Our job as industrial fire fighters is somewhat different from that of city firemen. We are constantly inspecting and testing extinguishers, hoses, pumps and extensive sprinkler systems. Also, we check welding and other open-flame operations to prevent, or at least to control, fires, and we minimize property damage caused by water line breaks and leaks.
Pumper and pickup trucks
Our 18-man (and one secretary) department has its station across from the Goodyear test garage between Plants 2 and 3 in Akron. Extinguishers used throughout the Akron facilities are repaired and recharged at the fire station, which houses a 1958 Ward LaFrance 750-gpm pumper with a 500-gallon tank. Our department also has three radio-equipped pickup trucks to respond to alarms at our various plants and handle routine jobs, such as transporting fire equipment for recharge and testing.
All Goodyear firemen here take the Akron Fire Department recruit training course and also receive 320 hours of training in industrial fire operations. They work 40 hours a week on eighthour shifts. My assistant chief, Bob Longbottom, and I have only 15 firemen to cover an around-the-clock, seven-day-a-week schedule.
To ensure quick response, our firemen must be familiar with the plant layout. Using truck radiosand pager equipment, they can be in constant communication with each other and the fire station. Ordinarily, fire department response consists of three or four firemen and one unit from supervision.
Work with city firemen
The Akron Fire Department responds to fires we can’t handle ourselves. We work closely with the city department in many respects. Once every year or two, we take the Akron engine and truck companies on a tour of our more hazardous operations so that they will be familiar with the location.
One of my special duties in Akron involves working with corporate and engineering people on new construction and layouts. We install special extinguishing equipment for fire hazards associated with machinery or a process.