Friendship Fire Association Participates in Blackout Test

Friendship Fire Association Participates in Blackout Test

There was an exciting finish to a meeting of the Friendship Fire Association, fire buffs of Washington, D. C., recently when a surprise blackout test alarm was sounded. All belong to the Auxiliary Fire Service and though the meeting was being held at the home of Edward B. Sonneborn, in the Wardman Park section, within ten minutes’ time seven members attached to Engine Company No. 1 had reported for duty at the quarters of the company about two miles away.

Engine 1, first due at the White House carrying the keys to the White House gates, had responded to stand-by at the Executive Mansion on the “yellow.” Accordingly, Dr. Edward R. Gookin, Chief of the FFA, took charge of Engine l’s quarters detailing Auxiliary Fireman Roy A. Wiseman to the desk where within a very short time eleven more auxiliary firemen reported, as did Dr. J. P. Lyons with an ambulance from a local hospital and two nurses, four Red Cross nurses, and a casualty shock team of four members from the American Women’s Volunteer Society, all of whom Auxiliary Fireman Wiseman duly registered in addition to keeping track of incoming alarms.

When the “all clear” was sounded and Engine 1 returned from the White House, Dr. Gookin reported to Captain Harper the duties performed by the auxiliaries during the latter’s absence.

In the meantime, members of the Friendship Fire Association not detailed to Engine 1, but attached to Engine 28, Engine 9 and other companies had lost no time reporting to their various stations. The surprise test proved, as others? have previously demonstrated, that however widely scattered these firemen of the National Capital happen to be, it doesn’t take them long to get to their accustomed places when the sirens sound.

Auxiliary Firemen of the Ninth Battalion, New York On Saturday, August 1, graduate members of the New York City Auxiliary Fire Department received their regulation steel helmets which they wore during a parade past the City Hall, where city officials and Mayor LaGuardia reviewed them. As soon as the parade was over this group of fire auxiliaries went directly to their fire house for the approbation of their superior officers, Battalion Chief William Ryan (left) and Lieutenant Cook (right).

Photo by Bill Berries

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