FEDERAL VOCATIONAL BOARD ISSUES SPECIAL BULLETIN
Publication Contains Suggestions for the Organization and Training of Firemen—Presents a Complete Analysis of Firemen’s Job
APPROPRIATE to the observance of Fire Prevention Week set apart by presidential proclamation, is the publication of a bulletin “Fire Fighting” announced by the Federal Board for Vocational Education.
This bulletin which is the result of a study made by the Board at the request of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, contains an analysis of the city fireman’s job, and suggestions for the organization and operation of training programs for firemen. The establishment of training programs recommended in the bulletin will, it is expected, result in a material reduction in the daily money loss of $1,500,000, and the daily loss of thirty lives, caused by fires in the United States.
According to the Federal Board’s bulletin, great improvements have been effected in fire-fighting methods, which make the imperative the training of firemen not only in the actual operations of handling fire hose and ladders, and other apparatus and equipment necessary in fighting fire effectively and efficiently, but also in what may be termed the technical aspects of the fire-fighting job.
Many fires which formerly were extinguished by water may now be extinguished more quickly and with less damage to property by chemical apparatus. An example of this is the use of foam type extinguishers to combat fires from oils and greases. With the increasing use of such chemicals in fighting fires has come also a recognition of certain dangers and limitations in their use under certain circumstances. While it is not necessary for a fireman to have an academic knowledge of chemistry in order that he may be able to handle a chemical fire extinguisher, he should have a practical knowledge of certain important chemical reactions, to the end that he may know how chemical apparatus works and how it can be controlled.
Proper ventilation is vital in handling a fire. It is possible to make too many or too few openings in ventilating a fireridden building. Ventilating the building to release overheated air, smoke, and gases so that the fire may be quickly reached and extinguished with the least possible amount of water and resulting damage is a science, and requires a knowledge of ventilating principles on the part of the fireman.
Fire departments are turning their attention more and more to training firemen in the measures necessary to the protection of property on fire from water and other damage. This work also has emphasized the need for more technical information on the part of firemen and the ability to apply this information on the job.
In many cities of the United States educational or training programs for firemen are only in the initial stage. Some cities have built drill towers and are training their men in handling equipment. Only a few cities, on the other hand, have gone further and have established training programs covering certain technical phases of the fireman’s job.
In addition to suggestions for establishing vocational education programs for firemen, the new bulletin of the Federal Board for Vocational Education contains a complete analysis of the city fireman’s job, the details of which have been checked and approved by Fire Chiefs in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Brookline, Mass., Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta and Albanv, Ga., Nashville, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Portland, Ore., Berkeley and Oakland, Cal., and Omaha.
Commenting on the bulletin the headquarters manager of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, said: “It will prove the biggest accomplishment up to date in the training of American firemen.”
The study to which the bulletin is a sequal was made by Frank Cushman, Chief of the Trade and Industrial Education Service of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, C. F. Klinefelter, and James R. Coxen, of the Board’s staff.
This new bulletin may be obtained at a cost of thirty cents a copy from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. A special rate is provided for quantity lots.
A bungalow type fire station is being erected in Houston, Tex. It is the eleventh fire station of bungalow design to be erected in the city. Two more houses for the Fire Department have been proposed. The latest fire station will cost $11,000.