About Your Letters to the Editor…

This is the sixth issue of Fire Engineering you’ve received since the new format was inaugurated last October. That seems to be enough time to add up your comments, and the results indicate your overwhelming support of the changes.

Your positive comments were expected, frankly, but nevertheless we waited anxiously for you, the readers, to make your thoughts known to us here. To those who took the time to express an opinion, I want to extend a grateful “Thank you!”

In addition to design changes, you perhaps have noticed that the editors are devoting more space than ever to your letters. The reason is simple: your letters and opinions on any subject are very important to us. And influential, too.

Here’s how influential: when a number of letters are received praising an article, the editors are naturally influenced to provide more articles with similar impact. And if very few letters are received about another article, the editors take that to mean that the subject did not “move” you enough. The idea is to avoid a similar article in the future.

The most influential result is when your comments on an article add to the educational impact of the article. When you do that and the letter is published, you are influencing many thousands of fire service readers all over the country and a number of others. Two examples are the letters in this issue about the December article, “Are You Really Prepared?”

So, if you have an idea — express it. The editors wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t have a genuine interest in your letters. By the way, many of you effectively use the space for comments on the Reader Service Cards found in the back of every issue of Fire Engineering. I hope you will continue to use the cards for additional information about advertisers and for your comments. But the best way to exert your influence is to send the editor a letter in which you spell out the details to support your comments.

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We’re Looking For a Few Good Photos

A good combination of words and illustrations is a basic requirement for any successful magazine, including Fire Engineering. This space has been used before to invite you to send in your articles to the editor. Now we want to invite you to send in your photographs.

The editors of Fire Engineering are setting up a photo bank Interested readers may send in “deposits” of black and white or color prints or slides. These deposits will be kept on file until the editors need to make a “withdrawal.” If any of your deposits are selected for a cover or to illustrate a particular article, you will be paid “interest,” which will be the standard amount for a photo according to its use. For a cover, the amount is at least $ I25. And you could earn a bonus.

So why not send in your photography for the bank? A deposit should be a duplicate print or slide, not a negative. Each should be clearly marked with your name, address, phone number and any ID number you want to add. Unless you tell us differently, your deposit will be held until used in the magazine or until you give us other instructions.

If one of your photos is used, you will be contacted for caption information or other details needed by the editors. They will also tell you the amount of payment. Unusable slides or prints will be returned to you.

Address your photos to the editor. There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain.


In addition to the usual informative fire reports and other useful articles you’ve come to expect from Fire Engineering, the editors are putting the spotlight on training activities in the fire service. The coverage should be as comprehensive as this month’s spotlight on maintenance. You shouldn’t miss it.