FIREMEN AND THE NEW DRAFT.
The serious condition that the new eighteen to forty-five draft law would have produced in the fire departments of the country has been greatly lessened by the rules which govern the workings of the new draft, as announced by Provost Marshal General Crowder. The firemen are to be allowed a deferred classification, provided the municipality in whose employ they are certifies that they are highly trained and cannot he replaced “without substantial and material detriment to the service.” It will also be necessary for the registrant to make the same declaration in his own behalf, in making out his questionnaire. This is a wise provision on the part of the government, as, even as matters stand at present, the manpower question in the fire departments is a most serious one, with men leaving the service through enlistment in the armed forces, or through entering other lines of work that prove more attractive and remunerative. With the general advance of salaries, which tends to make the work of the fireman more attractive, the situation confronting fire departments, while a difficult one, is by no means hopeless, but requires that all the remedial measures possible should he utilized to the utmost. If this is done, the outlook is that the fire departments, while to some extent crippled by loss of men, will be able to cope with the fire menace. In this connection the campaigns for fire prevention are of the utmost importance, in conserving the use of men, a fact emphasized by many of the speakers at the convention of the Fire Marshals’ Association just closed at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.