Great Lakes Division of I.A.F.C. Meets
The first convention of the Great Lakes Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs for some years was held in a fitting “fire atmosphere” on April 19-20 last.
On April 15th, the annex of the Hotel Oliver, scheduled to be the convention headquarters only a few days later, was visited by a $10,000 blaze which, although confined to an unoccupied third-floor apartment by six South Bend fire companies under Fire Chief Alex Andrzejewski, nevertheless so charged the main building, connected to the Annex by ramps, with smoke that the fire odor persisted all during the chiefs’ meetings.
The fire, incidentally, forcibly confined the hotel manager, Richard Holtzman, and four other members of his family to his third-floor apartment near the location of the blaze. During this time he employed his telephone to the office, and the hotel’s inner-system radio, to notify all the 150 or more guests how to conduct themselves so as to prevent panic and to aid the firemen. They did, and no one was injured, or overcome by the heavy smoke.
The entire conference, except for the brief memorial and business sessions, was devoted to study and discussion of civil defense. On the opening day, April 19, Chief Rudolph Swanson of Jamestown, N. Y., first vice-president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, conveyed the felicitations of I. A. F. C. President John H. Alderson of Los Angeles to the gathering and told of the progress being made nationally by the Association. Chief Swanson also discussed civil defense measures taken by his home town.
Anthony Mullaney, Deputy Fire Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department and former Chief Fire Marshal of that City, now in charge of civil defense, lectured on the effects of atomic bombing and showed pictures taken by the Strategic Bombing Survey group in Germany and elsewhere. Commissioner Mullaney explained the civil defense setup in Chicago and the “trial run” and tests conducted by the City, the last one being completed only the day before the convention. Chief Frank McAuliffe, Chicago Fire Patrol, and former president of the I. A. F. C., gave most of his lecture time to Chief Mullaney. All delegates to the conference were given a complete printed story of Chicago’s civil defense program. Continual reference during the convention was made to the part played by Chief McAuliffe, while acting as the I. A. F. C. representative in Washington, at the time of the preparation of the Hopley Report.
Other speakers who detailed the planning and program of their local civil defense were: Chief Dan P. Donahue. Peoria, Ill. (through his Deputy Chief Ray P. Miller) ; Chief Edward L. Uebelhoer, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Chief Frank Burns, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Chief Leo J. Girens, Oshkosh, Wis.; Chief C. A. Crosier, Battle Creek, Mich.; Wayne E. Swanson, Rockford, Ill. Also in the panel discussion conducted by Pat Kelly, Chicago, were the following: Chiefs
Ninnian Higby, Detroit, Mich.; Roscoe A. McKinney, Indianapolis, Ind., and Howard A. Redding, North Chicago, Ill. In another panel, led by Chief Ray T. Hall, Benton Harbor, Mich., these chiefs were scheduled : Waiter Hydaker. Lima, Ohio; L. J. Jones, Duluth, Minn.; W. A. Schultz, Elgin, Ill., and J. E. Williams, Elkhart. Ind.
A high point of the conference was the spirited address by Chief Jay Stevens, Executive Secretary, International Association of Fire Chiefs, who aroused enthusiastic support for the Association’s nationwide drive on saving children from fire. Chief Stevens, who flew from the coast for the meeting, told about the method of financing the campaign, already underway, by means of “baby bonds” to be sold through the fire forces.
The Michigan program of civil defense was described by Roy G. Pulver, Chief. Fire Division, Michigan Office of Civil Defense; and the national civil defense picture was drawn for the delegates by Charles Scott, recently appointed to the Federal Civil Defense Administration, Washington, D. C.
Chief Roi Woolley, of FIRE ENGINEERING and chairman, Committee on Communications of the I. A. F. C., spoke on civil defense communications and air raid alarms and emphasized the need of modern two-way radio facilities in time of disaster.
The local (South Bend) civil defense plan was described by Joseph Boland, assistant deputy director.
The convention was opened by Emmet H. Byrne, battalion chief, Cleveland Fire Department, president, who also conducted the meetings. The invocation was given by Rev. Father Walter McInerny, Chaplain South Bend Fire Department. Fire Chief Alex Andrzejewski and Mayor George A. Shock officially welcomed the visitors to South Bend. Chief Roger C. O’Donnell, of Covington, Ohio, responded to the welcome addresses. A brief memorial service for the departed members was held.
An important action taken during the business session was to pass a resolution decrying the discontinuance of sirens on emergency vehicles and urging that this step, presently taken by New York City and a few other places, not be followed nationally by the national civil defense authorities.
The report of Chief Charles Delaney, Lakewood, Ohio, former president of the I. A. F. C. and present Great Lakes secretary-treasurer, showed the Association making continual progress, both in membership and financially.
In his address, Chief Frank Burns of Grand Rapids, urged all Great Lakes members to attend the forthcoming Convention of the International Association of Fire Chiefs in his cijy August 14-17.
During the South Bend conference members were taken on a sight seeing trip to Notre Dame where many inspected the attractive fire station and modern apparatus.
Officers of the Great Lakes Division,I. A. F. C. are : President, Chief Leo J. Girens, Oshkosh, Wis.; first vice-president, Chief Wayne E. Swanson, Rockford, Ill.; second vice-president, Chief E.
J. Bandgren, Muskegon, Mich.; secretary-treasurer, Chief Charles A. Delaney, Lakewood, Ohio.
State vice-presidents are: Minnesota, Chief C. M. Williams, St. Louis Park; Wisconsin (to be named) ; Illinois, Chief Howard A. Redding, North Chicago, Ill.; Ohio, Chief Roy T. Messerly, Zanesville; Michigan, Chief Frederick A. Pudvan, Fcorse, and Indiana, Chief Alex Andrzejewski.
The Great Lakes Director to the International, Chief Frank Burns of Grand Rapids. Mich., has one year remaining on his three year term of office.