Instruction for Volunteer Fire Fighters
There is no reason why the chief of the small town fire department and his men should not be as thoroughly grounded in the principles of fire fighting as the members of the largest and most efficient fire department. It is simply a question of careful training and of enthusiasm and application on the part of the men. Another element that enters into the matter is the personality of the fire chief and this is a very important matter. He can inspire his men with keen interest in their work and with a desire to improve their knowledge in both fire fighting and fire prevention matters. In fact, the example and persona’ity of the chief is probably the most important nfluence that works toward efficiency on the part of the men of his department.
The fighting of fire in the small city or town is just as much a scientific matter as is that of the larger municipality. It requires relatively as much skill and the exercise of judgment in this case, in fact, the quick burning structures which the small town chief has to protect present often a bigger problem than the better constructed buildings of the large city, where there are often excellent fire stops in the nature of brick and concrete structures. This is especially the case where a considerable group of frame residences are built in close proximity to each other and roofed with the inflammable wooden shingle.
Naturally, under most circumstances, the small town volunteer chief and his men do not have the opportunity of actual practice that members of the fire department in the larger city have, and therefore, they must rely to a very large extent upon study, drill and the experience of other better informed fire fighters. Thus the importance of the fire school in such departments is very apparent.
The article by Mr. Stephen on page 109, gives some excellent suggestions as to instruction of the small volunteer fire department. His article is well worth consideration.