Cutting Blowpipe Aids Firemen
In this era of structural steel construction, fire companies are finding that new and modern fire fighting equipment must be installed in their trucks. The axe, which has given long and useful service, is no match for steel barriers.
Fire fighters would indeed be up against a great obstacle if a new and portable means of combating steel obstructions were not available. Fortunately such a means is available and is already being widely used. In the last few years the oxyacetvlcne cutting blowpipe, together with the attendant oxygen and acetylene cylinders, hose, and regulators have been installed by a great many fire companies in larger cities.
Fire doors are easily cut away, girders, grilles, and other metal obstructions are severed in quick order. The cutting blowpipe has supplanted the axe and hook in dealing with modern construction.
Among those fire departments that have found the oxyacetylene cutting unit of great assistance is that of Wilmington, Del. The crew and equipment of Truck Co., No. 1, are shown in the illustration. Attached to the running board next to the life net is the oxygen and acetylene cylinders to which is attached a complete oxy-acetylene cutting unit. Extra long hose is attached. The injector type cutting blowpipe that was selected was chosen because this is the only type of blowpipe which will cut cast iron as well as steel without any special nozzles. This is an important item to a fire company.
Each member of the company is given one hour’s practice each week in handling the blowpipe until he has become proficient in its use. When an emergency arises, any available man is able to operate the blowpipe.
Cylinders arc attached to the running board by specially designed clamps, or collars, and the entire unit, when not in use, is protected by a canvas cover.