DEMONSTRATIONS AND LECTURES GIVEN FOR VOLUNTEERS AT MARYLAND COURSE
Three-Day School Held at the University of Maryland Under Direction of Prof. R. B. Criswell—Larger Quarters Next Year
MORE than 300 firemen and visitors attended the University of Maryland Fire School, September 6 to 8, at College Park, Md.
Only one mishap marred the entire course. This was when an obsolete type deluge set broke away from the operators and knocked down about six men. One man was injured slightly, when the high pressure stream rolled him on the ground.
Treating Materials for Flameproofing
Director R. B. Criswell started the course with a lecture and demonstration on “Flameproofing.” Various types of materials were held in flames to demonstrate the value of treating them with fire resistant preparations. Prof. Criswell explained that the treatment does not make the material fireproof and that the treatment must be renewed frequently.
Battalion Chief Robert Tate, Baltimore, demonstrated forcible entry. Chief Tate said that the proper method of entry will often cause no damage, and that an ordinary table knife in the hands of a trained man will open most windows.
Tuesday afternoon opened with a lecture and demonstration on Chemistry of Fires by Dr. Malcolm Haring, University of Maryland. Dr. Haring demonstrated the hazards of bringing together certain chemicals and showed how they may produce explosions.
J. Alfred Fisher, Jr., Annapolis Fire Department, gave a demonstration on oil burners. Mr. Fisher told of oil burner control in Annapolis. Every burner is inspected and all details placed on file for the benefit of the firemen. Rigid control of oil burners has held fires from this cause to a remarkably low figure in Annapolis.
Mutual Aid Systems Spreading
Regional school instructor Thomas G. Basil, Annapolis, then brought up the subject of “Mutual Aid.” Mr. Basil asked the firemen for ideas on how to perfect means of calling outside aid by means of a code. Most of those present said that they have no such system and that they have answered false calls for aid, sent by excited persons in nearby towns. Harford and Cecil Counties reported that they are working out a code call system.
L. C. LaVelle, American-LaFrance engineer, spoke on Pumper Operation. Mr. LaVelle said that a poor driver can be quickly spotted.
Residential and Forest Fire Fighting
At the Tuesday night session, Capt. A. L. Headlough, Akron, presented an illustrated talk on “Residential Fires.” He was followed by Walter Quick, Jr., Assistant State Forester, who spoke on “Forestry Fire Fighting.” The class then moved outside for two very interesting demonstrations. The Water Witch Fire Company, Annapolis, had their recently purchased aerial ladder on hand, and demonstrated the 100-foot metal ladder. Mt. Ranier volunteers put on a drill, with the Homelitc Company furnishing illumination. Chief Karl Young, President, Maryland State Firemen’s Association, is head of the Mt. Ranier firemen.
Art Espey on Wednesday morning gave a demonstration of gas masks, He proceeded to place two rats in jars, one jar being protected by a gas mask, the other jar open to deadly fumes. The only accident was when one rat bit Espey’s finger, as he tried to force a No. 11 size rat into a No. 6 size jar.
Capt. Headlough spoke on Overhauling. He explained how failure to over haul will cause additional damage and perhaps result in a rekindle.
Heavy Stream Appliances
Drillmaster S. T. Porter, Washington, described and demonstrated “Heavy Stream Appliances.” A three-way deluge set was operated in a satisfactory manner. A type of deluge set now obsolete was then placed in operation. The stream struck a power line and the operators tried to pull the gun platform back to clear the wires. As they did so, the gun got out of control and swung about like a whip, hurling six or eight men to the ground. When the gun was again set up, it hit the same wire and the force of the stream snapped the wire before the water could be shut off.
T. Alfred Fleming, Director of Conservation, National Board of Fire Underwriters, opened the afternoon session with a talk on New Fire Hazards in Industry.
Mr. Livingston, of the duPont Company, remarked on the exaggerated notions that most people have concerning dynamite. “Actually,” he said, “the cap used to explode the stick is many more times dangerous than the dynamite itself.” He also explained that frozen dynamite is less susceptible to shock than is warm dynamite.
Rev. James W. Minter, Chaplain to Maryland State Firemen’s Associaton, delivered a short inspirational address on the subject, “The Trained Man Wins.”
Treatment of Burns
Dr. Eugene Willison, Red Cross, described burns likely to be encountered in the fire service, and ways of treating them. Dr. Willison said that application of grease to burns makes further treatment difficult, as tannic acid or other treatments will not penetrate the grease and will merely run off. It may also be dangerous to attempt to remove the grease, due to the condition of the burned area.
Wednesday night was devoted partly to entertainment. Asst. Chief Lloyd Hopkins, Annapolis, spoke on Maryland’s Fire Prevention Program. T. Alfred Fleming spoke on “Danger in the Home.” A sound picture entitled “Approved by the Underwriters,” concluded the evening’s entertainment.
On Thursday morning, Director Criswell demonstrated his miniature fire stream set. It is designed to show pressure with various size nozzles and elevations. Colored water and small rubber hose is used in the set.
John J. Seidel, Director of Vocational Education for Maryland could not be present. His subject was covered by Dr. Frank Cushman, Consultant, Vocational Education. He spoke on “Training Programs for Public Service.”
Regional Instructor John O’Lexey opened a discussion on apparatus specifications. The dangers of buying apparatus built on commercial chassis by inexperienced persons was discussed.
Dr. Eugene Willison gave a talk on “Cuts and Bruises.” Dr. Willison discussed the wounds likely to be encountered by firemen and ways of treating them.
Fire Extinguisher Demonstration
On Thursday afternoon, a fire extinguisher demonstration was staged outdoors. Oil and gasoline-soaked lumber was set afire and every type of extinguisher brought into play. The students then moved inside for a talk on “Modern Electrical Circuit Protection.” The hazards of bridging fuses and using improper fuses were explained. Art Espey gave another talk on “Inhalators and Artificial Respiration.” He explained the proper use of the inhalator, and cautioned against lubricating the inhalator valves. Grease in contact with oxygen under high pressure will cause an explosion
Capt. A. L. Headlough concluded the school with a talk on “Fire Department Pumpers.” Capt. Headlough had several wood models to show the workings of various type pumps.
Each fireman who registered at the school was charged five dollars for the three days. This covered his meals, and the college provided a bed. Each student was required to bring his own bed clothing. Next year the fire school is moving into larger quarters, with increased facilities.