From the Publishers Desk

From the Publishers Desk

Tradition Expires, But Not Unheard


Among the grain gleaned from our mail this month is news of the demise of another tradition. Although its life span was far less than that of the leather helmet and the wooden ladder, its passing merits notice.

The 10-code has gone to join the hereafter of the radio tubes in the Phoenix Fire Department. It seems that a study of the department’s radio communications led to the conclusion that the 10-code was “sometimes more of an impedi ment to clear communications than a help.”

However, that’s only part of the reason for the change. The Phoenix Department is moving toward computer-aided dispatch and the operation of push buttons on mobile digital terminals will transmit a number of routine messages. Plain language for other messages fits in with the design of the new dispatch system.

Although tradition may die a little, grammar will find new life.

It’s nice to learn from another nugget in our mail that justice does triumph, even though it may take a circuitous path to get there.

When Seattle’s Engine 19 applied water to some burning material outside a warehouse, a phosphine gas cloud erupted. The burning material was left after fumigation of the warehouse. Rain later caused the leftover fumigation product to react and cause a fire involving the packaging material as well as the aluminum phosphide, the Seattle Fire Department reports.

The incident was handled by the department’s haz-mat team and an investigation was made by the Department of Agriculture. The result was that the fumigator’s license was suspended by the Agriculture Depart-, ment and his firm was reprimanded for negligent handling of the leftover material.

Another item in our main that set us to thinking was the offer of an electrical emergency kit that includes rubber gloves. That reminded us that there are probably still some fire companies that carry “lineman’s gloves” that are a threat to their lives. Such gloves must be tested periodically—utility companies do it once a month—and the test, which is quite expensive, can be done by only a few labs.

At one time, local electrical utility companies sometimes sent fire service gloves to a test lab along with their own. However, in this suit conscious world, no utility wished to run the risk of testing fire department gloves anymore.

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