For Co-Operation by Texas Fire Departments
In a report read at the convention of the Texas State Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Secretary J. Ed. Schmitz advocated a mutual aid service between neighboring cities. Many towns, he said, were too small to support an up-to-date fire department and equipment nor were they financially able to go to the expense of buying modern apparatus. He referred to the Paris conflagration with its loss of millions of dollars. Except for the city of Dallas, Honey Grove and Hugo, the neighboring towns were not able to render any assistance, as no provision had been made for such emergencies. Had they had a system of alarm the fire chief of Paris could have called out the first aid if he saw that such steps were absolutely necessary and if in his opinion he felt that still greater assistance was necessary he could have called out the second aid, which under his proposed plan would consist of such cities and towns which were located within a radius of 100 miles, the first aid to consist of towns which are located within less than 100 miles. An arrangement could be made with steam and electric railways, where the county roads were not in a good condition, to transport equipment with the least possible delay. The State should be divided into districts according to geographical location along a plan which he hoped the convention would take into consideration and have same ready at the next meeting of the association. The report was received with great enthusiasm. Chief T. S. Wright, of Temple, was recognized and introduced the following motion: “The convention to appoint a committee consisting of J. Ed. Schmitz, secretary, and three fire chiefs to be designated by him, from different sections of the State, to work out a plan to district the State in line with his report. This committee to meet at some point in the State to discuss plans and means. The expenses connected with this work to be borne by the association. This motion was promptly seconded and passed with great enthusiasm. Chief H. A. Magee, of the Dallas Fire Department, was recognized and stated to the convention that the city of Dallas had for the past ten years a system whereby quick service could be rendered to other towns and that his department had had occasion to use it twice during this time. He told of a fire which occurred in the city of Fort Worth, where his department was called upon for assistance. Before the railroads had gotten out the engine order his fire apparatus had been loaded and the run of thirty-two miles between Dallas and Fort Worth was made in thirty-five minutes. Again, at the Paris fire, the distance of 102 miles was made in two hours and one half.