Convention of Texas State Firemen.
The thirty-fourth annual convention of the Texas State Firemen’s association was held recently in the Opera house at Gainesville, with President M. L. O. Andrews, of Navasota in the chair. The address of welcome was delivered by Mayor Puckett, who was succeeded as a speaker by Judge Potter. Hon. J. E. Kauffman, of Galveston, replied on behalf of the association. The president’s address was chiefly devoted to showing the progress, in fire protection and the good work done by the’ firemen in the State. The financial condition of the association was reported as being good. Under-the head of “Topics” were discussed the following subjects: “Of what use are chemicals in cotton fires, and what is the best manner of using them?” The paper, which had been assigned to. Gonzales, showed the value of chemicals in inside cotton fires when water was of no u. The nozzles, it was pointed out, should be kept very close to the hales and, if necessary, inserted into them, so as to reach the cotton inside. Mexia had been assigned the topic,. “WhAt are the laws governing acts and authorities of fire departments, and what recommendations do yon propose The writer, S. F. Carroll,called attention to the laws which allowed departments some authority in case of fire, but indicated that other laws, were necessary to bring the departments up to-the highest degree of efficiency. More’ legislative action. was ttrtgtfL, and ⅛ waft sfuuwii +hnh could help to build up departments, ifthey would encourage rather than censure them. Punctuality in attendance at and active participation in the proceedings of fire conventions were urged in the paper contributed by Waco on “The duties of the delegates to the State association, to their hosts and to the towns they represent.” The topic assigned to Amarillo was, “Are iron shutters an aid or a hindrance to fire departments?” The old-time iron shutter was condemned by the reader, Chief Miller, as a nuisance and urged that it be dumped into the scrap heap—he then presented a modern wire-glass -window with metal sashes and spoke of the valuable protection it afforded. “The best fire alarm system for small towns;” was discussed in the Martin paper. It advocated dividing a town into small fire districts, placing the number of each district on the telephones in it, then securing the co-operation of the telephone companies in turning in the alarms. The same subject was afterwards discussed and treated in a similar way by the reader representing the Georgetown department. Denton read a paper on “Should fire insurance companies be required to allot a part of their premiums to maintain fire departments?’.’ On the hypothesis that fire departments were to protect the property of the citizenship in general, and that lower rates were given where the best departments were maintained, it was argued that insurance companies should not be requested to help maintain them. “Fighting cotton fires,” also, was again treated of by Chief Washman, of Hillsboro, whose opinion was that the first thing to do is to get as many streams as-possible on the fire at the. earliest moment – and, when the blazes were whipped out, to pick the sampleboles’, into which the fire often creeps in a way not to be discovered, unless there is a thorough picking. ..Discussing this topic. Chief Nettles, of Marlin, stated that his department had learned the great value’of chemicals. His advice was to use water until the blaze was extinguished, then thrust the chemical nozzle into the holes made for sampling. He praised the work of the chemical engines in this character of work and said that the fire could always be put out, if the nozzle were inserted properly into the bale.
The attendance at the convention was very large, and, as usual, it was not a case of all work and no play, although business and practical work certainly took and held precedence throughout. A new hook and ladder truck was publicly dedicated, and a real fire in a furniture warehouse showed the visiting firemen how well their brethren in Gainesville could work and how quickly and effectively they could fight the flames.
Temple was chosen as next year’s place of meeting and the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, Lee Wilson. Waco; first vicepresident, W. T. Hunt, Dublin; second vicepresident, John S. McKinney, McKinney ; third vicepresident. H. W. Speckles, La Grange; fourth vicepresident. I. B. Warren, Belton: secretary, J. Ed. Schmitz, Denton (reelected) ; treasurer, James L. Storey, Lockhart.