HOW THE EASTERN STATES CONDUCT THEIR FIREMEN’S TOURNAMENTS
You have invited me to explain away how we in the Eastern States operate our tournaments. Firemen’s Tournaments are no longer interesting to the larger cities, for reasons well known to us all. The interest to-day is held by the firemen of the towns of about 5,000 inhabitants, where one or more volunteer companies are in possession. The tournaments in these parts are held jointly with the various state associations; one day being set aside on the program for the event. This, I think, is best, rather than hold a convention at one period of the year and a tournament at another. I like this old time sport and hope that it will not soon be abandoned. In Virginia, the principle interest is in the State Association Hose Reel race for the custody of the Association trumpet, supplemented by substantial cash prizes. In North Carolina, much interest is shown. In this state, they have horse hose wagon, hook and ladder hand reel, and grab reel contests covering a period of eight hours on the last day of the meeting of the state firemen. In Virginia, the city that entertains the fire boys at the time of their annual convention puts up the money for the contest prizes. One of the greatest difficulties is the protests of the contestants, but we see that the test committees of the local organizations that have general charge appoint good men as judges and timekeepers, empowering them to make the necessary rules that may not be provided in those established by the general tournament rules, which are about universal, as you are aware. By all means keep up the interest in tournaments.
Abstract of paper read at Illinois Firemen’s Association Convention, Murphysboro, Ill., January, 1916.