Eastern Chiefs Meet
The sixteenth annual convention of the Eastern Association of Fire Chiefs was held in Baltimore, Md., on June 24-26. The meeting was well attended with about 295 delegates on hand.
Speakers at the meeting included Chief John J. Tubridy of the Buffalo, N. Y., Fire Department, whose topic was “Training of Auxiliary Firemen Along the Canadian Border”; Mr. T. Alfred Fleming, Director of Conservation, National Board of Fire Underwriters, New York City, who spoke on “Fire Losses in War Times”; George A. Cumming, Chief, Fire Protection Section, War Production Board, Washington, D. C., on “Priorities”; Jack W. Mason, Chief, Fire Defense Section, Protection Branch, Office of Civilian Defense, Washington, D. C., on “Auxiliary Fire Defense,” and the Hon. James M. Landis, Director, Office of Civilian Defense, Washington.
Dean Landis in addressing the convention declared that firemen should receive a selective service classification similar to that assigned physicians.
Noting that the draft has seriously depleted fire fighting staffs which face difficulties in obtaining replacements, Landis said the problem “has reached proportions which involve a real threat to the public safety in some of the critical war zones of this country.”
Under selective service provisions applying to doctors, a committee of civilian doctors, meeting on the case of each physician called by bis draft board, determines whether the physician is essential to his practice. The committee’s recommendations are not binding on selective service officials but are frequently followed.
“Firemen,” Landis said, “have always been regarded as persons in an essential industry by the selective service system. This, of course, never meant that they should be automatically deferred.
“It does mean, however, that in critical areas where dire hazards to war industries have increased abnormally, where manpower shortages are acute, firemen have an essential significance to this country.
“The fireman’s place is comparable to that of doctors and should deserve much the same sort of treatment from local selective service boards.”
He said that in several instances the shortage of firemen had endangered whole cities.
Moving pictures on rescue units, the new type bombs and other firemanic subjects were shown by Mr. R. Chandler Heagy of the Lancaster County Firemen’s Association.
The election of officers was held on the last day of the meeting. The new officers for the year include: President, William J.Lutz, Ex-Chief, Wilmington, Del.; First Vice-President, Frank Deen, Assistant Chief, Lancaster, Pa.; Second Vice-President, William G. Wandras, Chief, Kearny, N. J.; Secretary, ExChief Charles E. Clark, Wayne, Pa.; and Treasurer, George E. Mitchell, ExChief, Fast Orange, N. J.