Fire Fans Organize to Help Fire Department
Formation of Second Alarmers Association in Wilmington, Del., Assists Chief in Many Ways—Presents First Aid and Coffee Wagon
THE unique organisation described in this article should give suggestions to the chiefs of other fire departments in forming similar bodies. Such an association could be capable of performing service of great help to the fire department during fires and in many ways assist it other times. The combined first aid and coffee wagon would be found a useful addition to any fire department as an auxiliary apparatus.
On July 24. 1924, a group of men interested in the Wilmington fire department, convened at the summer cottage of Chief W. J. Lutz, at Charlestown. Md„ for the purpose of having a good time, and also to devise ways and means of assisting the firemen and policemen while engaged in fighting serious fires and other emergencies. However, nothing was done at this first meeting with the exception of having a good time.
Second Alarmers Formed
On August 28, another meeting was held at Charlestown, to which was invited a number of city officials, and representative citizens. At this meeting, an organization of fourteen men was formed, and the name, “Second Alarmers Association of Wilmington, Del.” was given to the association. After this second outing, regular meetings were held each week at one of the fire houses. The directors of public safety were advised of our intentions to assist their employees, and we received their permission to carry out our plans, so long as we adhered to all the rules of the fire bureau.
Contract for Coffee Wagon Awarded
Our organization is to serve two purposes, that of furthering the doctrine of fire prevention among the citizens of Wilmington, and that of rendering first aid and serving refreshments to our firemen and police while engaged at emergencies. We decided to purchase, equip and present to the department of public safety an emergency first aid and coffee wagon, the first, we believe of its kind in the country. One of our members, M. F. Mulrooney, who was connected with the fire department for three years, drew up a plan and a model for the proposed wagon. A quiet subscription campaign among our business men was started, and when we had $800 in bank, we awarded a contract to the United States Fire Apparatus Company of Wilmington to build our wagon. This contract was awarded on September 9.
Prizes for Fire Prevention Essays
During Fire Prevention week, we offered a $5 gold piece to the student, and a silver loving cup to the school who turned in the best essay on Fire Prevention. This $5 was awarded to Agnes C. Connell, age 17, of the Ursuline Academy on November 7, and the cup went to the Ursuline Academy for a period of one year, or until another school takes the cup away from them.
Our next move was to elect officers, to take care of our brigade while on the fire grounds. M. F. Mulrooney was elected chief engineer, Ervin N. Snellenburg was elected assistant chief engineer. We have two prominent doctors of this city as surgeons to respond to all second alarms of fire. The electrical operator will call our officers at any time their services arc needed, the officers will in turn call all the other members and have them report to the fire ground. The officers will then arrange to move the wagon from the fire headquarters to the scene of the fire, where it will be placed in some handy place, out of the way of the firemen. The operators will start burners under urns, the surgeons will make ready for any accident or injury. The officers will ascertain how many men are working, and divide our men up in teams so that each team will have a certain number of men to serve refreshments to.
Description of Coffee Wagon
A description of our wagon follows: It is a one ton Chevrolet truck, on which is mounted two closets, 31 x 28 x 54 inches, the front closet is divided into two parts, one for first aid equipment, and the other to carry our stock. In one of these closets we carry three cans, each containing five pounds of ground coffee, two cans containing ten pounds of sugar, and twelve cans of cream as well as spoons, knives, forks, etc. In the first aid cabinet we carry two stretchers, waste bucket, two basins, eye basin, blankets, rubber blanket, bandages, gauze, Unguentine, adhesive tape, scissors, tourniquet, morphine, ether, chloroform, iodine, alcohol, needles, pins, tongue depressors, applicators, cotton, and many other first aid necessities.
Immediately in back of these closets are mounted two large navy coffee urns, 20 gals, capacity each, heated with two large gasoline burners. A ten gallon gasoline tank supplies burners. Back of the urns is the large rear closet in which is carried three coffee pots, 36 cups, three cup racks, two first aid stools, and other utensils necessary for the coffee wagon. We carry two 2 1/2-gallon extinguishers, a hook and an axe, as well as a Pyrene gun. A basket is mounted on top for coats and boots.
The following program was placed at each plate at the dinner and presentation of the First Aid and Coffee Wagon to the department of public works which took place on November 20 at the Hotel duPont. At this banquet each mail was presented with a souvenir helmet. Hardly anyone knew anything about how this car would look until the night of the banquet, in which evening the car was placed in the Hotel duPont near the banquet room.
Blazing Cocktails. Fame (h)ous(e) Highballs. Oysters a la Controlling Nozzle. Celery at la Turret Pipe. Aerial Olives. Broiled Baby Chicken a la Service Truck. Au Gratin Potatoes Tarpaulin. Brussel Sprouts Saute Pyrene. Remain Salad-French Dressing, incendiary. Assorted Cakes with Pick-axes. Biscuit False Alarm. Demi-Tasse Not Fish. Cordial, Soda and Acid Surprise. Amoskeag Cigars. Ahrens-Fox Cigarettes. Addenda—Liquids consumed, 20 gallon. In service three hours. Life nets upon request.
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Fire Fans Organized to Help Department
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Toastmaster, Clarence C. Killen
Second Alarmers Association of Wilmington, M. F. Mulrooney, Secretary Second Alarmers Association. Presentation of First Aid and Coffee Wagon, S. J. White, Vice-President Second Alarmers Association. Acceptance of First Aid and Coffee Wagon, H. P. Scott, Jr., Department of Public Safety. Acceptance on Behalf of the City, G. W. K. Forrest, Mayor of Wilmington. What the Fire Bureau Thinks of the Emergency Wagon, by Chief W. J. Lutz. What the Police Bureau Thinks of the Emergency Wagon, by Supt. Geo. Black. What the Emergency Wagon Will Mean to the Members of the Department of Public Safety, by Captain George Ferrier of the Bureau of Fire, Philadelphia, Pa.
Second Alarmers Association of Wilmington, Delaware—President, Ervin N. Snellenburg; vice-president, Samuel J. White; secretary, Michael F. Mulrooney; treasurer, Harry W. Chairs; publicity, Clarence C. Killen; surgeon, Fred F. Armstrong, M. D.; surgeon, Taleasin H. Davies, M. D.; Charles W. Lutz, operator; James A. Spence, human siren; Alex. Harris, orderly; Zodac A. Poole, chambermaid; Walter S. Kidd, repair man; Edward S. McAteer, quartermaster; Charles E. Abramow, stoker.