Convention Notes

Convention Notes

For the third time in a row, Chief L. Clyde Canning, of Midvale, Utah, Chairman of the Exhibit Committee, has set a new record, both for the number of exhibits and the total revenue therefrom. Revenue this year exceeded $14,000 as compared with $12,500 for 1951. The outstanding success of the exhibit feature speaks volumes for the tireless energy of Chairman Canning.

As usual, the Registration Committee, under the capable guidance of Chief A. H. Koltonski, did a bang-up job in registering members, associates and guests. The long hours spent at the registration desk assured prompt service to arrivals at almost any hour.

The very fine report on fire department salaries, prepared by Chief William Fitzgerald, of Seattle, Wash., is bearing fruit in a big way. Many fire chiefs have reported raises during the past year due to Chief Fitzgerald’s outstanding work.

Fortunate indeed is the Fire Chief entertaining on I. A. F. C. conference who has the backing of a Fire Commissioner with the enthusiasm and drive of Michael T. Kelleher of Boston. Commissioner Kelleher was on hand at all times to make sure that his guests were not neglected. Host Chief John V. Stapleton, too, was ever present to see that things ran smoothly.

The Belfry of the Old North Church, where Paul Revere hung his lanterns. This famous church was visited by many in attendance at I. A. F. C. Boston Conference.

The half-day session, entitled “Meet the State Fire Training Program” staged by “Rick” Townsend and his capable aids, was a masterful presentation. It provided the explanation of why the firemanic training program has proven such an outstanding success.

Convention Notes


Convention Notes

For the first time in its seventy-eight years of existence, the International Association of Fire Chiefs has voted to incorporate. Necessary steps to accomplish incorporation will be taken at once.

For the second time in a row, Chief L. Clyde Canning, Chairman of Exhibits, has set a new record in the number, and revenue from, exhibits at an I.A.F.C. Conference. Last year at San Francisco a new high was reached, but this was surpassed at the Grand Rapids meeting. Good work, Clyde!

For one of the smoothest running conferences ever held by the I.A.F.C., no little credit is due to Chief Frank Burns, of Grand Rapids, the genial and efficient host this year. Though under tremendous pressure during the week that he entertained the 1600 guests, he remained calm and saw to it that each feature was run off on schedule. Despite the fact that he labored under restrictions in raising funds for staging the Conference, he put on a convention that must be classed with the best ever held by the Association.

President John Alderson proved a past master in conducting meetings, whethey of the Conference or the Board of Directors. His full knowledge of parliamentary procedure was evident in the manner in which he piloted each session to conclusion without permitting departure from the business at hand.

A change in the Constitution, voted by the Association, which permits the Board of Directors to select the conference city, will prove highly beneficial to the organization. Now a city can be selected sufficiently far in advance to make possible the choice of desirable dates for the meeting. Such early selection will also help the local Chief and his conference committee to do a better job.

Five resolutions were adopted by the Association at the Grand Rapids Conference. In substance, they were as follows:

  1. A protest against the requirement that a tone signal, or “beep,” must be used when telephoned alarms are being recorded.
  2. Protesting against proposed changes in present F. C. D. A. specifications for fire apparatus to be purchased for Civil Defense use.
  3. Commending the National Board of Fire Underwriters in their hospital survey, and pledging the Association’s cooperation in this work.
  4. Protesting the banning of fire apparatus sirens in certain communities.
  5. Protesting the indiscriminate newscasting of fires or other catastrophes, resulting in the mass movement of people and motor vehicles toward the scene, blocking of highways and otherwise interfering with the work of fire fighting and other emergency activities.


Speaking to a representative of Fire Engineering, following his election to the presidency of the Association, Chief Rudolph Swanson said: It is a bit early for me to put forth any program for the coming year. However, I can say that a number of important matters for the advancement of the Association were discussed at the post-conference meeting of the Board. I shall take these recommendations under advisement. Meanwhile, I intend to make every effort to further the following:

  1. —Continue to cement the friendly relations between the Divisions of the Association.
  2. —Carry forward the excellent fire prevention work of Jay Stevens and his group, headed by former President Herbert Hoover, to save those 4,000 lives of babies lost annually in this country and Canada through fire.
  3. —Push for the recommendations made in the splendid report of the Committee on Firemen’s salaries, Chief William Fitzgerald, chairman. In this connection I shall send a representative of the Association to the Mayors’ Conference, the City Managers’ Conference, and the American Municipal Association meeting.
  4. —Continue to drive for improved fire service communications with emphasis on broader use of modern radio in all its forms, including its application to mutual aid operations.
  5. —See that the fire service has its proper place in the local, State and Federal programs for civil defense.