Fire Problems of Parkway
Problems confronting fire departments adjacent to the Merritt Parkway were discussed at the October meeting of the Fairfield County Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Plan, held at the Turn of River Firehouse, Stamford, Conn., on Wednesday evening, October 25.
One of the guest speakers of the meeting, Sgt. Willard Bushy of the State Police, discussed the Merritt Parkway, which is now nearing completion, revealing that it is thirty-six miles long, and that fire extinguishers were provided at the Toll Station in Grenwich and will be provided at the new Gas Station at New Canaan. There were telephones at important points, locked at all times and only available to state patrolmen. No plans had been made for public telephones for use by the general motoring public.
It was the opinion of those in attendance asking the speaker questions, that there should be some way available for motorists to send in alarms of fire, etc., as it was brought out that under ordinary circumstances, a state policeman would only pass a given point every twenty minutes and that in case of accidents, etc., this might be increased. It was also suggested to Sgt. Bushy that the telephone numbers of the nearest fire department, which had access to the Parkway, be printed at each telephone, so that no delay would result in a call.
Lieut. John Howson of Eastchester, Chairman of the Westchester County Plan Parkway Committee, was also an invited guest, and discussed the various problems which the Westchester Plan has been confronted with, how they have worked out, and offered suggestions to the Fairfield Plan on a workable system for fire departments answering calls to fires on or adjacent to the Parkway. He said that in some instances fire departments go into the territory of another company, where access is not available, but in all instances Chiefs have cooperated and agreed that this was necessary for the protection of the motoring public.
Edward Cairns, of Cairns and Brother, makers of fire equipment, was the final speaker of the evening and in a short, instructive talk, demonstrated how firemen’s helmets are made. He showed the latest and some of the earlier helmets made by his firm, as well as helmets now in use in Germany, England and France. He also discussed their strength and protection offered.
Welcoming talks were given by First Selectman George Barrett of the town of Stamford, Harry McKeon, president of the Turn of River Fire Department, and Chief Gerald Shields of the same department. Mr. Barrett discussed firemen’s problems at length, and suggested more publicity for fire departments and advised them to start advertising. He also entered into the discussion of ways and means of attaining better results in a legislative way, and his ideas and suggestions were so informative that the Plan meeting voted unanimously to elect him an Honorary Member.
The meeting discussed the Drivers’ Liability Bill, and the fact that from present indications volunteer drivers would not be covered by the provisions of the Bill.
The meeting was presided over by Chief Thomas Carroll of Fairfield, President.
A later meeting of the Plan was held at Brookfield Center. Wednesday evening. November 22.