INITIATIVE OR HABIT?
Which will prevail in the coming convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers? What a queston! !
In another part of this issue is a letter from the President of the I. A. F. E. in which he protests politely, of course, but he protests the position of The FIRE ENGINEER that the present administration should be continued in office for the coming term.
If the health of any one of the Executive Officers were causing concern, or if the demands of his municipal charge were of compelling force, then and only then might anyone of them with propriety even wish to be relieved of his office.
It is almost unthinkable that a body of engineers in the very beginning of a tremendous piece of construction and constructive work could think of dismantling approved machinery just at the moment when it is getting tuned up for capacity performance.
And as a matter of fact the executive machinery of the I. A. F. E. involves every member and many associate members. It is in nearly completed process of being geared for product which will discover and quicken the potential of the whole Fire service, advance the interest of every individual member of it, engage the admiration and the warm co-operation of every municipality and the whole world, indelibly stamp the profession as really professional and create, construct for itself and its life and property charges such progressive values as so far has never been more than dreamed of.
Don’t change leaders on the border of the debatable land.
May 19 in Orange, N. J., the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ Association upon motion of Gerstung of Elizabeth passed with earnest unanimity a resolution whose verbiage you will find in the report of that meeting on another page, and to the effect that impressed by and conscious of the magnitude and value of the work just now undertaken by the I. A. F. E. it is the part of wisdom to proceed for another term under the same administration.
The man and the men involved in this discussion are, as men, of minor consideration, but the principle involved and the qualities of the men are of the very utmost importance.
The salient man of the hour is the President. Let’s see—some men like John Kenlon, some don’t, but no reasonable man can withhold the yidmiration and regard he has so manfully won. He possesses an aggregate of qualities, high qualities, of emphasized value just now to the whole continent and which it were a stultification of the law of economics for the I. A. F. E. not to utilize to the very fullest.
He has vision, prevision and provision, as has abundantly been shown.
He is aflame with ambition for his profession, that Fire Engineering shall take aggressive and progressive rank among other great engineering bodies and keenly jealous of its fair report in great deeds well done.
Bear in mind, please, that it is not the man under consideration now. But these be qualities, my masters, it were well to weigh impersonally in scales of precision, to estimate, to commandeer, if necessary, and to employ to their uttermost of service for the further development of the association, the welfare of municipalities and in the interest of the common wealth of mankind.
Besides, and this too is important, those other capable officers, the Vice Presidents and other coming executives, will come to leadership far better equipped for fine discharge of added duties than otherwise they could be.
The novitiate might seem long but it is in reality a granary bursting with food for him who can digest it, or better perhaps, it is a chart to study for errors maybe or maybe for further fields to explore and cultivate.
Only—Don’t change leaders on the forward march.