I. A. F. C. Directors Launch Big Educational Program
Steps Taken at a Meeting in New York to Put Machinery in Operation at Once—Other Important Activities Outlined
IN order to get prompt and nationwide action on the large program of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, outlined at the Birmingham convention last year. President Ralph Scott called a special meeting of the officers of the Association, the directors, and the presidents of the district organizations, at New York, on Monday and Tuesday of last week. Every district organization was represented in addition to one hundred per cent attendance of the officers and directors.
President Scott and Executive Secretary Jay Stevens as well as Chairman of Exhibits, Chief Charles Alt of St. Louis, Mo., stopped at Winnipeg enroute to New York to look over the local situation there and be prepared to present specific data on the forthcoming annual convention before the New York meeting.
Educational Plan Under Way
The accomplishment of greatest importance at the meeting was the decision to start the educational program at once. This program, which is referred to elsewhere in this article, is designed to place before fire departments throughout the country, both large and small, instruction in modern methods of fire prevention and control.
The first action taken at the meeting was the selection of date of the annual convention, to be held at Winnipeg, Manitoba. President Scott reported the most desirable open dates to be Sept. 9th to 12th inclusive. These dates were accepted. The hotel situation at Winnipeg was thereafter discussed, and the report of Traffic Manager Geo. Cobb was presented as follows :
The convention headquarters is to be the Royal Alexandra Hotel. The rates for this hotel are: room and bath for two (twin beds) $8.00; for three, with single beds, $9.00; for four, with single beds, $10.00.
The Fort Gary Hotel rates are: double room, twin beds, with bath, $8.00; double room, double bed, with bath, $7.00; double room, double bed, without bath, $4.00.
Marlborough Hotel: double rooms with bath, double bed, $6.00 and $7.00.
McLaren Hotel: double room with bath, $3.00 and $3.50; double room without bath, $2.00 and $2.50.
St. Regis Hotel: double room with bath, $3.00 and $4.00; double room without bath, $2.00 and $3.00.
St. Charles Hotel: double room with bath, $3.00 and $4.00; double room without bath, $2.00 and $3.00.
For special blocks of rooms of ten and over applicants should write Geo. F. Cobb, Traffic Manager, 774 Albany -St., Boston, Mass., before April 1st.
For individual reservations, applicants should write to Chief D. R. Boulden, Fire Headquarters, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, stating the price of room desired, and giving the date and, if possible, the hour of arrival at Winnipeg.
Delegates intending to attend the convention at Winnipeg are urged to make their reservations as early as possible, for hotel accommodations are limited.
Chief Charles Alt, of St. Louis, Chairman of the Exhibit Committee, briefly outlined the exhibit facilities at Winnipeg. The exhibit hall is approximately one mile from the hotel headquarters, but the local committee on arrangements will supply continuous bus service to and from the hall to accommodate the delegates. The exhibit hall is sufficiently large to comfortably accommodate a big display of equipment.
Insofar as the customs problem is concerned, customs officials will be present at the exhibit hall, and apparatus or equipment sent for exhibit will be brought in under bond. The customs officers will be on hand when the material is shipped from the hall, to facilitate shipment back to the United States.
Regarding District Memberships
Chief Peter Steinkellner, of Milwaukee, President of the Great Lakes District organization, suggested that the constitution be so changed as to require automatic registration in the district organization of all members applying for membership in the International Association. In other words, if an applicant makes application direct to the International Association, $1.00 of the fee paid should be returned to the district organization, and the candidate enrolled therein as well.
Secretary J. J. Mulcahey approved the idea and pointed out that both the New England and Pacific Coast Associations do not wait until the convention to collect their dues but collect them in advance. This arrangement facilitates, very much, the registration at the convention. Action was recommended to the end that registration at the annual convention be permitted only to those who are members of the Association.
To Simplify Membership Records
In order to simplify the recording of members, as well as to iron out problems incidental to membership in District and International organizations and to correct inconsistencies at present encountered, a special committee was appointed by President Scott to supervise the work. The committee consists of Chief Peter Steinkellner; I. H. Case, Vice-President and General Manager, FIRE ENGINEERING,Sherwood Brock well, and Jay W. Stevens.
The most important work considered at the New York meeting was the educational plan which President Scott had outlined for the Association during the coming and succeeding years. This plan, which was presented in preliminary form at the Birmingham meeting last year, has as its aim the institution of short courses or “fire colleges” throughout the country. But it will not stop with the so-called fire college. It is the ultimate aim to make available to fire departments throughout the country, both paid and volunteer, information which can be presented in departmental or sectional schools.
President Scott sprung a surprise on the delegates by displaying talking pictures which were subsequently described by the members present as being the most revolutionary and far-reaching innovation yet introduced into the fire service, from the standpoint of education. The talking picture shown, which is the first of an anticipated number of features, dealt with the inspection of buildings. It showed the drillmastcr of the Los Angeles fire college, Assistant Chief Dodd, lecturing to a class, using stereopticon slides for this purpose. Chief Dodd was shown standing alongside a screen whereon was projected different views illustrating conditions met by inspectors, and the comments Chief Dodd made to the class in the picture were highly instructive.
Talking Pictures Make Best Talent Available
It is President Scott’s plan to have such films produced covering the various topics to be presented in the short courses and fire schools. By the use of talking pictures it will be possible for departments throughout the country, no matter what size to have available the very best talent in the field of fire control. It is anticipated at this early date that at least fifty reels of film will be incorporated in the series of lectures. The speaker emphasized the tremendous advantage that this development would have in volunteer departments, particularly, where it is so difficult to secure speakers of ability.
As to the cost of the films to the Association, President Scott believes that this will be negligible as most of the reels can be made available through the generosity of organizations identified with the field of fire control or fire prevention. In order to compensate donors for the expense entailed in the preparation of these pictures, there will be incorporated in the introduction to these pictures, there will be incorporated in the introduction to the able through the generosity of the donor, who is cooperating with the International Association of Fire Chiefs in its educational program.
The cost of making a negative, 1,500 feet in length, of a lecture would be in the neighborhood of $500. Each print front a negative cost around $30 and this price may be reduced by quantity production.
While the projection and sound equipment is comparatively expensive, most cities and towns have within their limits moving picture theatres possessing projection equipment. As such theatres are rarely open for the public in the forenoon, it will be possible for most fire departments to secure the cooperation of local theatres in showing these films in the forenoon to fire classes, and the afternoons may be employed by the classes in drill or other outdoor work.
Chief Scott also showed several reels of silent pictures illustrating salvage work and other operations in the Los Angeles school.
As a later development it is expected that stereopticon slides will he developed and made available to the fire schools throughout the country. These slides would be employed in illustrating lectures on various topics which for the present might not be applicable to sound picture production.
In order that no time might be lost in getting the course of instruction under way, the course will be developed in its entirety in the form of written instruction. As facilities become available, films will be completed so that the original course in its printed form will be made much more effective by utilization of these films.
Educational Committee Appointed
In order that the fire service throughout the country may be utilized in the development of the course of instruction, President Scott appointed a committee consisting of the eight district Association presidents and eight additional members whom they will appoint, to review the instruction as sent out and make comments or criticisms deemed necessary. As all sizes of cities are represented on this committee, it is believed that departments both paid and volunteer will be given equal weight in the development of the course. Fred. Shepperd was made Chairman of the Educational Committee.
The course as outlined met the approval of all delegates present. Assistant Chief Thos. F. Dougherty of the New York Fire Department endorsed it and expressed his belief that the use of motion pictures would prove very effective in conveying useful information to the fire service.
Sherwood Brockwell expressed his belief that the application of the instructions to volunteer fire departments would prove of tremendous value.
Association Already Active
President Scott pointed out that the Association is already making headway on the Pacific Coast in instituting fire schools. One three-day course has already been held in California, and other courses are to follow in close order in San Francisco, Portland (Oregon), and Seattle. These courses are designed as preliminary courses, and will be followed by ones of greater length as the course of instruction is developed by the Association.
President Scott expressed his wish that none of the present fire colleges already established by other organizations be interfered with, and that as the International Association gets its plans fully under way these other schools may come under the direction of the International organization.
As a future development it is believed by the President that the courses of instruction may be made available in foreign languages for use abroad. Due to a number of requests for such instruction that have been received from European cities, it is anticipated there will be a real demand for the course once its existence becomes known abroad.
Topics for Coming Convention
The Chairman introduced the subject of topics for the next convention, and several useful suggestions were made. Sherwood Brockwell pointed out that post-mortems of large fires or occurrences affecting fire departments during the past year would prove of interest and value to most of the members. He suggested that such post-mortems include “what happened, the causes, and suggested remedies.”
Chief Taplin described a plan put in operation with good advantage in the Oklahoma Firemen’s Association whereby a half day was devoted to departmental meetings. By this means all of the chiefs interested in one particular subject would gather together and discuss that subject. In this way a more intimate discussion was secured and all delegates present at such a departmental meeting would be particularly interested in the subject presented.
The chairman suggested the Association give thought to taking definite action on conditions which affect members of the Association. organizing itself so that it may be able to use its influence in aiding a member who may need such cooperation from time to time. .
Chief Steinkellner expressed his belief that before the Association could expect many of its members to take a definite stand against conditions which would be considered other than to the best interest of their respective cities and departments, they must be protected. If not, as soon as they oppose political interests they may find themselves out of the fire service.
In this connection President Scott described how his department prepared an ordinance following the Cleveland disaster, and which was passed by the Council. This ordinance, while representing expense to affected interests, will go a long way toward preventing occurrences such as that in Cleveland in his city.
Chief Brosnan expressed the opinion that the International Association should back up the chiefs of smaller cities, where they are anxious to accomplish some improved condition in their respective towns. He believes that direct contact between the Association and local authorities would frequently accomplish the desired results.
At the suggestion of the Chairman, and upon motion of Chief Brosnan, carried unanimously, the President was authorized to appoint a Topics Committee for this year’s convention. The motion was carried unanimously, and the President appointed the following on that committee:
Assistant Chief Thomas F. Dougherty, New York Fire Department: Chief J. E. Taplin, Blackwell, Oklahoma; and Sherwood Brockwell, Raleigh, North Carolina.
The committee will prepare a schedule of topics, and endeavor to develop a means whereby discussion will be brought forth on the convention floor.
Committee on Cooperation
President Scott brought up as the next topic the problem of developing cooperation with other organizations interested in fire control in this country. In order to develop such cooperation, he expressed the belief that a committee on cooperation would serve the purpose in an effective manner.
Chiefs Brosnan, Bogan, Charlesworth and Ziegler described results in their respective cities of cooperating with commercial organizations, and having members of the department address such organizations. They coincided with President Scott and expressed the belief that a committee such as suggested by the President would prove very helpful.
Upon motion by Chief Charlesworth that this committee be appointed, and seconded by Chief Brosnan, the matter was settled by unanimous vote. The President was instructed to appoint such a committee.
Chief Bogan added that he believed it would be a good move on the part of the Association to invite presidents of the international clubs such as the Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, and others, to attend and address the annual conventions.
Grading Contest Reports
In grading the fire prevention reports submitted in the contest for the I.A.F.C. cups, a tremendous amount of work is involved. In fact, it usually takes two or three days for the members of the committee to properly rate them. In order to avoid burdening any of the members of the Association at the convention, with this task, Chief Brosnan offered the suggestion that the reports be rated prior to the convention, and at least one month be allowed for this purpose.
Upon motion by Chief Brosnan, which was carried unanimously, the Headquarters Manager was instructed to notify all contestants that reports be sent to headquarters a month prior to date of convention for rating. A committee will be appointed to work with Association headquarters in the rating of the reports.
Finance Committee to be Appointed
In order to properly carry out the big program of the AssoPresident Scott emphasized the necessity of having sufficient finances, and he recommended the establishment of a finance committee. He pointed out that the Association must have a very definite program laid out before it can expect cooperation from outside sources.
Upon motion, carried by unanimous vote, the President was authorized to appoint a finance committee.
Equipment Approval Discussed
The subject which brought forth most discussion was that dealing with proposed approval of equipment by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. It seemed the opinion of the majority that such approval is necessary’ and that definite action should be taken toward that objective.
President Scott suggested a committee on the Approval of Standards of Equipment, and recommended that at the next convention the Association go on record as assuming the responsibilities incidental to this particular function. Upon motion, which was carried unanimously, President Scott appointed the following committee:
Chief D. W. Brosnan, Albany, Ga.; Chief John Moran, Hartford, Conn.; O. E. Fearn, Supt. of Machinery, Fire Department, Washington, D. C.; Chief John Evans, New Orleans, La.; Chief Peter Steinkellner, Milwaukee, Wis.
Headquarters Assistant Authorized
It being the opinion of the delegates assembled that more efficient work could be accomplished by having located at headquarters in New York a young man capable of carrying on the detail work of the Association, a motion authorizing the President and Headquarters Manager to appoint such an assistant was carried unanimously.
Following the regular business of the meeting, Chief Scott had projected on the screen several sets of stereopticon slides, used in connection with lectures at the Los Angeles fire college. These slides well emphasized their value as an aid in instructing fire department members in the various subjects such as salvage work, inspections, etc.
Upon completion of the slide presentation, President Scott called upon the officers of the different Associations for reports as to probable progress during the current year.
Chief John Evans, Chairman of the district organizations club, expressed his opinion that the current year would show a great increase in membership in the Association.
Chief R. N. O. Harrington, representing the Dominion Association of Fire Chiefs, outlined the contest being carried on for new members in the provincial association. He expressed confidence that his organization would show a marked increase in membership during the year.
Sherwood Brockwell, President of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiels, presented the report of the memoers’nip committee, of which he is a member. With regard to the Southeastern Association, there are now 113 members in that district organization. Additional growth is anticipated.
Chief W. J. Springer, President of the Southwestern Association of Fire Chiefs, reported 124 paid members in his organization. Chief Springer reported having appointed state vice presidents on membership, to serve in building up the membership of that district organization during the year, and efforts in this line will be continued.
Chief C. W. Greenfield, President of the Eastern Association of Fire Chiefs reported membership in his organization as follows:
Delaware, 24 active and 7 associate members; District oi Columbia, 2 active members; Maryland, 44 active and 43 associate members; New Jersey 563 active and 41 associates; New York City, 115 active and 575 associates; New York State (outside of New York City) 40 active and 11 associates; Pennsylvania, 182 active and 227 associates; honorary life members, 8.
The total membership, therefore, in the eastern organization is 1,882.
Chief Greenfield reported a little trouble in getting the membership in New York State organized (upstate) to come into the International. They voted to come in as a body at the last convention, and while no definite action has yet been taken, he stated that definite evidence of cooperation between the New York and the Eastern associations is developing.
He also added that in his opinion the Secretary of the Internationa! Association of Fire Chiefs should not accept any money whatsoever for dues from individuals. Instead, these dues should be sent through the district organizations, and the district organizations make payment direct to the International to cover members so enrolled. The district organization, being a part of the International, the latter should not accept memberships front a district unless such members were also enrolled in the district organization, he contended.
Chief Lawrence E. Reif, President of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs, reported 600 odd members at the present time, all of which are affiliated with the International Association. He expressed the opinion that present efforts to increase membership would prove fruitful.
Chief Peter Steinkellner, President of the Great Lakes Association of Fire Chiefs, reported that action is under way at the present time toward increasing membership. A meeting is scheduled to be held at once, at which time reports on actions taken at the directors’ meeting in New York will be presented, and steps outlined for developing greater membership. Chief Steinkellner reported that he expects to have 250 members this year. He also stressed the importance of having all membership applications to the International pass through the district organizations, tions, and permitting no members to join the Association direct without joining the district organization.
Chief W. A. Buell, President of the Missouri Valley Association of Fire Chiefs reported his district organization as not being very active. He expects that results will he accomplished as soon as the proposed activities of the International Association are put in operation.
In closing the meeting. President Scott called upon Executive Secretary Jay Stevens, First Vice-President Joseph Sullivan, and Second Vice-President D. W. Brosnan, to say a few words. All expressed the opinion that the Association had taken a very wise move in instituting the educational course, and expressed the belief that such activity will prove valuable in increasing the prestige of the Association throughout the country.
Secretary Stevens emphasized the point that the work lias just been started, and it is up to each officer both in the International and district organizations to carry on the work from the start which was made at the New York meetings.
Delegates See Fire
Following the adjournment of the meeting the delegates were taken in fire department cars to the steamship Muenchen, a North German Lloyd liner, which had taken fire in the North River the day previous. The fire was still burning, and the department was still operating on it. The boat, partly submerged, had been gutted by the flames, doing damage estimated at $5,000,000.
In the evening the delegates were treated to a banquet by Nate Bass, a New York fire buff, and who, along with Commissioner Dorman, acted as hosts. Mr. Bass recently returned from the Pacific Coast where he was received very warmly by the fire department officials in that section of the country. It was as a gesture of appreciation that he provided the banquet for the crowd.
Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:
James Armstrong”, Chief of Eire Department, Kingston, Ont Canada, representing the Dominion Association of Eire Chiefs.
Charles Alt, Chief of Eire Department, St. Louis, Mo., Chairman, Exhibit Committee.
Robert A. Bogan, Chief of Fire Department, Baton Rouge La., Director.
Sherwood Brockwell. Ex-Fire Chief. Raleigh. N. C„ representing tlie Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs D. IV. Brosnan, Chief of Fire Department. Albany, Ga., Seeond Vice-President.
V . A. Buell, Chief of Fire Department. Parsons, Kansas, representing Missouri Valley Association of Pit……….
Peter Ji. (‘arter, Ex-Fire Chief, Camden. N. J.. Treasurer Frank Charles worth, Chief of Fire Dept.. Providence it 1 . Director.
John M. Evans, Chief of Fire Dept., New Orleans, La., President, District Officers Club.
it. Gauthier. Chief of Fire Dept., Montreal, Canada, Director. C. W. Greeniield, Fire Chief, Arlington Works, Kearney, X J., representing the Eastern Association of Fire Chiefs it. N. O. Harrington, Fire Chief. MeColl Henneries, Montreal, Canada, representing the Dominion Association or Fire Chiefs.
J. J. Mulcahey, Chief of Fire Dept., Yonkers, N. Y., Recording Secretary.
L. E. Reif, Chief of Fire Dept., New Haven, Conn., representing the New England Association of Fire Chiefs.
Ralph J. Scott, Chief of Fire Dept., Los Angeles, Cal., President.
W. J. Springer, Chief of Fire Dept., Texarkana, Ark., representing tlie Southwestern Association of Fire Chiefs.
Jay W. Stevens, State Fire Marshal, San Francisco, Cal., Executive Secretary.
Peter Steinkellner, Chief of Fire Dept., Milwaukee, Wis., representing the Great Lakes Association of Fire Chiefs. Jos. N. Sullivan, Chief of Fire Dept., Utica, N. V., First VicePresident.
J. E. Taplin, Chief of Fire Dept., Blackwell, Okla., Secretary, District Officers’ Club.
In addition ihe following were also on hand:
Fire Commissioner John Dorman, New York: W. E. Mallalieu, General Manager National Board of Fire Commissioners, New York; George W. Booth. Chief Engineer. National Board of Fire Underwriters, New York; A. C. Hutson, Assistant Chief Engineer, National Board of Fire Underwriters, New York: Clarence Goldsmith, Engineer, National Board of Fire Underwriters, Chicago, ill.; William Jerome Daly, New York, Thomas ,J. Dougherty, Acting Chief, New York Fire Department; William Ziegler, Chief of Fire Department, Hackensack, N. J.; Geo. F. Cobb, Traffic Manager, International Association of Fire Chiefs; Joseph H. Green, Vice-President, Eureka Fire Hose Alfg. Co.; A. G. Sullivan, Manager Motor Apparatus Sales, American I-aFrance &. Foamite Industries, Inc.; George Thomas, Canadian Manager. American-La France & Foamite Industries, Inc., Toronto; Fred Shepperd, headquarters manager, International Association of Fire Chiefs, and I. Herbert Case, vice-president and general manager EIRE ENGINEERING.