EASTERN ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS HOLDS HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL CONVENTION
Attendance Well Ahead of Last Year and Splendid Program Presented at Poughkeepsie, N. Y.—Large Gain in Membership Reported by the Secretary
DESPITE temperatures hovering around 100 degrees F., the annual Convention of the Eastern Association of Fire Chiefs, held at Poughkeepsie. N. Y., July 10 and 11. proved to be an outstanding one. One of the best programs ever presented by the Eastern Association was presented and discussion of all topics was lively.
The convention was called to order on Friday at 10 a.m.. by Chris W. Noll, of Poughkeepsie. After the opening ceremonies. President Ross B. Davis, of Philadelphia, reviewed the work of the Association, and called attention to its increasing strength.
The afternoon session started with round table discussion on “What changes in fire apparatus design are necessary to meet changing conditions in fire departments, particularly in departments in small cities and towns?”
Booster or Chemical Tanks?
The use of booster tanks instead of chemical tanks was pointed out as one of the most notable changes at the present time. In answer to a question as to which was the better, chemical tanks or booster tanks, where water supply was limited, it seemed to be the consensus of opinion that the booster tank was more satisfactory, for any source of supply, such as wells, brooks, etc., could be called into use to furnish water to booster tank and keep it continuously in operation.
One Chief called attention to the ease with which chemical tanks can be changed over to booster tanks, it being necessary only to make connection between the tank and the pump.
The second round table topic was “How can a Fire Department get new apparatus that is badly needed, where a municipality hasn’t the money to spare?”
Answering this question, the suggestion was made that in some cases a town may establish a five year plan, whereby a certain amount of money is the end of five years will be sufficient to purchase the necessary apparatus.
Other suggestions were offered, but it seems to be the general feeling that the purchase of apparatus where a town is practically broke is an accomplishment which has little chances of fulfillment.
A round table discussion on fire hazards due to installation of air conditioning systems brought forth prolonged discussion. In some cases, particularly in dwellings, the spaces between the studdings and the plaster walls have been used for ducts to carry the conditioned air through a building; in other cases wood ducts have been built, without any fire stops.
In the event of fire, smoke is blown throughout the entire structure, and when the Fire Department arrives, it is difficult to tell where the fire is burning. Furthermore, these ducts aid very materially in spreading the fire throughout a structure. There is an additional hazard to life due to the discharge of smoke and hot gases into all rooms of the house where fire is burning in the
basement and where the blower of the air conditioning system is still in operation.
So important was the subject considered that a committee was appointed to make a study of it. This committee is made up as follows: Ex-Chief John Kenlon. New York City. Chairman: Chief Ross B. Davis. Philadelphia: Deputy Chief John 1. T. Waldron, New York City: Chief M. K. Clark. Williamsport, Pa„ Fred Shcpperd, Kditor, FIRE ENGINEERING; and Charles Fischer, Consulting Engineer,
Safety af Sea
Former Chief John Kenlon. of the New York Fire Department, presented a very excellent and instructive paper on the Morro Castle fire, particularly reviewing the causes and spread of this fire. Chief Kenlon had served as expert witness in the trial of the officers and officials of the Morro Castle steamship company and furthermore, having served for years as head of the New York Fire Department Marine fleet, as well as being Chief of the Fire Department over 20 years, he was in a particularly good position to offer constructive advice.
It is his belief that the Morro Castle fire would never have spread from its point of origin had the construction of the ship been thoroughly modern, employing bulkheads without concealed opening, and utilizing fireproof lumber, which will not carry fire. (Chief KenIon’s paper appeared in the July issue of FIRE ENGINEERING).
A paper by Chief Harry Schultz, Johnstown, Pa., on “Fire Hazards in a Flooded City,” was accepted, and ordered to be placed in the minutes of the Convention. Chief Schultz was not present to read the paper.
“Suggestions for Fire Prevention and Extinguishment During Time of Floods,” presented by Chief Michael E.. Clark, Williamsport. Pa., proved a very interesting description of the experiences and observations he made incidental to the flood which inundated a large part of Williamsport early this year.
A second paper on a similar topic entitled “What Fire and Flood has Taught me,” by Former Chief Richard E. Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa., was equally interesting and brought forth many points which should prove of great value to Fire Departments located in cities where floods may occur.
Saturday morning’s program started off with a paper entitled “Present Status of Fireproofed Lumber,” by Ernest F. Hartman, President of the Protexol Corporation, of Kenilworth, S. J. Mr. Hartman reviewed the history of fireproof lumber, and described its present uses and limitation. Fireproofed lumber, labeled by the Underwriters, can now be procured. Mr. Hartman briefly pointed out the tests to which the lumber had been put to procure Underwriters’ approval of the methods of treatment.
In a paper entitled “Hazards That May Arise in Any City,” Chief Joseph N, Sullivan, of Utica, N. V., reviewed the recent condition which developed in his city when gas mains ruptured and filled sewers with illuminating gas. Chief Sullivan was unable to be present, and his paper was read by the Secretary.
Chief Arthur Chambers, of Yonkers, N. Y., presented a very interesting paper on “Fire Fighting in London.” He compared British and American methods and pointed out ways in which European equipment and methods served more effectively than American methods would in like situations. However, he felt that American apparatus was equally as good, if not better, than British and gave sufficient evidence to carry his argument.
Washington, D. C. was selected for the next convention, the date to be decided by the Directors at their annual meeting.
All present officers were relected as follows:
Chief Ross B. Davis, President; Deputy Chief John J. T. Waldron. VicePresident; Ex-Chiet Charles E. Clark, Secretary and Ex-Chief Richard Lee Smith, Treasurer.