From the Publishers Desk

From the Publishers Desk


Fire Engineering Moves To New High-Rise Building

By the time you read this, the staff of Fire Engineering will be working in a new highrise office building on Third Avenue— just four blocks due east of our Fifth Avenue location.

The new address is 875 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022. We’ll be one of the first tenants in this building even as workmen strive to complete the interiors of other floors in the structure. Technical Publishing, our corporate father figure, has leased floors in this glass-enclosed structure. Come and see us when you get a chance. The new office is between 52nd and 53rd Streets in midtown Manhattan.

We’d like to call your attention to three articles in this issue of Fire Engineering. I think the intelligentsia would refer to them as a triad—or whatever is the current in word for three closely-knit stories that mutually support each other.

The first is the story of an explosion and fire at the Allied Fibers and Plastics Company in Philadelphia. The blast occurred in two groups of tanks containing over 100,000 gallons of cumene hydroperoxide, an irritant. The second of the triad—love that word—is the story of an explosion and fire at the Berncolors-Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Dye Works that killed two workers. The last of the triad—there’s that word again—is an article on decontamination of personnel involved in hazardous materials incidents.

Together, these three articles contain a wealth of information on fire suppression, control of hazardous materials and the final problem the chief faces—making sure all personnel undergo decontamination procedures so that the last details are handled as successfully as the problems on the scene. The Poughkeepsie incident is a example of how several agencies can work together.

We hope that you will look at Fire Engineering’s research study on emergency medical supplies on page 52. The survey form won’t take much more than a couple of dozen seconds to fill out, but the benefits will help everyone in the fire service. After the information is tabulated, you can find out how your fire department compares with others of similar size in regard to expenditures for EMS supplies, purchases of apparatus and equipment and how widespread is the provision of F’MS by fire departments.

Your cooperation in filling out this form will be greatly appreciated. We’ll tell you the results in this column, so watch for them.

From the Publishers Desk

From the Publishers Desk

Results of Survey on Buying Apparatus and Equipment

One of the responsibilities that all publishers share is the need to keep abreast of current practices in their field and pass along this information to their readers. This is particularly true in the profession of fire fighting. One of the reasons that advances in the state of the art are constantly being made is that there is an unselfish sharing of information by fire officers—including both statistics and techniques.

In the March issue of Fire Engineering, we carried a research questionnaire on apparatus buying practices. ‘Thanks to your responses, we now have the results of that study.

In these days of tight budgets, it is natural that fire officers anxious to take the most effective approach to expense matters would like to compare their procedures and budgets with like-size departments. The following data should help you make that comparison:

Departments Serving Less More

Than Than

2500 2500

People People

No. of fire officers 8.4 6

involved in apparatus selection & purchase

Average 1981 apparatus & $9,914 $148,875

equipment budget

Average apparatus only $7,786 $114,236

budget in 1982

  1. In fire departments responding to the survey, an average of 6.5 officials participate in buying decisions.
  2. The chief is involved almost all the time, but particularly in the smaller departments.
  3. The average equipment and apparatus budget for departments that serve more than 2500 people is 15 times larger than the budgets for departments serving less than 2500 people.

So that we can continue to bring you the kind of data we are carrying, the second operations research study is in this issue. Due to the increased emphasis in recent years on fire departments supplying emergency medical service, the subject of this survey is ambulance practice by size of department. Because the value of the findings is related to your response, I urge you to take a few minutes right now and fill out and return the form on page 61 of this issue.