Driving Over Fire Hose
A writer in this week’s issue claims that no harm can follow the driving of an ordinary touring car over hose when in service at a fire. He bases his assertion on the fact that the pressure of the water in the hose is greater than that of the air in the inflated tire of the car and therefore the give must be on the part of the tire and not on that of the hose.
Whatever the mechanics of this question are, the ethics are very plain and forbid that any such permission be given to drive over fire hose to any class of drivers. It would manifestly be wrong to allow heavy trucks, especially those with solid tires, to drive over hose, whether under pressure or not. The result would be disastrous to the hose. Such being the case it would also be the worse kind of policy to discriminate in favor of the lighter car and to allow the chauffeur to drive over the hose while forbidding the driver of the heavier vehicle to do so.
But entirely aside from this view of the question the passage of any private vehicle within the fire lines, or within the area in which the fire department is conducting its operations, should be prohibited. Complaints are constantly coming in to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING from chiefs that they are being hampered in their operations by private automobiles getting in the way of the department and its apparatus. The strictest regulations should be passed by city or town councils controlling the private vehicle at fires and forbidding their entering the fire area under any pretext whatever and such laws should be rigidly enforced.
The chiefs would welcome such legislation in municipalities where at present it does not exist and would no doubt co-operate with the police authorities in aiding its enforcement.