INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE PLANS PRACTICALLY COMPLETE
New York City ond its Fire Department Will Give IAFC its Greatest Conference
THE 74th Conference of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, to be held in New York City on August 19, 20, 21 and 22, will be outstanding in every way.
Preliminary plans include business, entertainment and social activities that will keep the anticipated 2,000 to 3,000 visitors occupied as only could be expected in a city the size of New York with its almost endless attractions. For the fire officer it will be enough just to study first-hand the world’s greatest fire department, which will be host to the Association members.
International and Eastern Conferences to Meet
Adding to the importance of the occasion will be the coincidental convention of the Eastern Association of Fire Chiefs which is scheduled for Monday, August 18, at the Hotel Pennsylvania, New York City. President William Wandras, Chief of the Kearney, N. J., Fire Department, estimates an attendance of over 500 chiefs at the Eastern conference, a large number of whom will remain over to attend the International Convention, which opens on Tuesday the 19th. Although the Eastern meetings will occupy only one day, the program being prepared for its members is said to be outstanding in every detail.
In many ways the 74th Conference will be international—it being the first time in years that representatives of foreign fire departments will convene with their American brother officers.
Invitations have been sent to heads of fire service in fifty countries, urging their attendance, and already a number have signified their intention of beingpresent. Details of this phase of the Conference are in the hands of the Hon. Frank J. Quayle, Fire Commissioner and Chairman lix-Officio, and Frank Murphy, Chief of Staff and Operations, who is Co-Chairman with General Chairman Hon. lames J. Moran, 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner. Chairman of the General Conference Committee is John J. T. Waldron, Deputy Chief of Department.
Visitors from out of the country will be given special honors and the program of the Conference is being shaped to develop the international phase and the universality of the brotherhood of firemen, which knows no boundary.
The theme of internationalism will be carried out in the opening ceremonies which will be on a scale never before witnessed by I.A.F.C. delegates.
Although it is too early to announce the business program, it is understood that it will include outstanding speakers in the field of the fire service both here and abroad. There will be panel
discussions of topics of universal and timely interest.
As may l»e expected, visitors will be afforded entertainment on a lavish scale. This will include a boat ride on the North and East Rivers and down the Bay, during which visitors will have a view of the world’s busiest harbor. Units of the city’s great fleet of ten fircboats will salute the guests in a series of demonstrations. The boat ride will be reserved exclusively for guests of the Conference.
In addition to the boat ride there will be sightseeing trips and, it is expected, visits to the X. Y. Fire Department Shops, the newest and largest in the world.
The official banquet will be held at the Pennsylvania Hotel, in the largest banquet room available to the Conference. This will be one of the memorable events of the program.
As in the past, leading manufacturers of fire apparatus and equipment will have displays. This feature of the Conference will be staged in the large rooms adjoining the meeting room in the Hotel Pennsylvania. Chairman of the Exhibit Committee is Fire Chief Rudolph Swanson of Jamestown, N, Y.
Fire Bell Club Cooperation
Assisting the New York Fire Department, as host to the Convention, will be the Fire Bell Club, the city’s famous “buff’s” club. The Club’s headquarters in the heart of the Convention area, on West 33rd Street, will be “open house” for delegates, and members of the Club will staff the N.Y.F.D. convention Information Center at the Hotel Pennsylvania where, it is expected, a complete fire alarm watch service will be maintained to keep persons informed of the operations of the fire department.
“The Midnight Alarm”
A high point of the Conference will be the Midnight Alarm Show, to be staged by the members of the New York Fire Department at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 18. 19 and 20, with three evening and two matinee performances.
Proceeds from the sale of tickets for the five performances will go to the New’ York F’ire Department Welfare Fund. It is planned to endow additional beds in hospitals for firemen out of the Fund.
The Midnight Alarm Show will be similar to the original presentation of that name which received wide publicity some years ago. The performance provides several hours of thrills, fun and music and takes the audience back to the ‘gas light’ days, with musical numbers from the Floradora Sextette and the Sidewalks of New York. It climaxes with a fire in a full-scale four-story ten-
ement, known as “Cobweb Hall.’’ at which the members of the F’ire Department rescue the panicked occupants and extinguish the biaze in gallant fashion. Following this, practically the entire class of probationary firemen will give a thrilling exhibition. The full assignment of apparatus responding to the alarm tor the fire in “Cobweb Hall” will include the very latest types of pumpers, ladder trucks and other units.
Registrants at the Convention will each receive a ticket for a seat at the August 20 evening performance of this Show. Additional tickets will he on sale at prices ranging from $2.40. general admission, to $5.00 for selected reserved seats, and $12.00 for box seats. Reservations for tickets may be made with check or money order made out to F’rank J. Quayle, Fire Commissioner, care Room 1122 Municipal Building, New York City.
Production of the elaborate Show is in the hands of special Committees representing every branch of the fire department and members of the Fire Bell Club. The Show is being widely advertised and it is expected to be a ‘sell out’.
To accommodate the visitors, special arrangements have been made with what is known as the “Penn Group” of Manhattan hotels. These include the Pennsylvania, which will be Convention headquarters the New Yorker, Governor Clinton, McAlpin and the Martinique. Rooms are assured all visitors who make reservations in advance. All hotels in this group are within two blocks of the headquarters and provide first class accommodations at no advance in rates for the Convention.
The Hotel Committee is headed by Winford Beebe. Acting Battalion Chief, Chairman, and includes Frank W. Kridel, lion. Deputy Chief, and President of the Hotel Martinique Co-Chairman; Edward I., Buckley, General Manager, Hotel Governor Clinton; F. Burton Fisher, General Manager, Hotel McAlpin; F’rank L. Andrews, President, Hotel New Yorker; and James H. McCabe, General Manager Hotel Pennsylvania.
Hotel reservations or rates and particulars may be secured through Acting Battalion Chief Beebe, Fire Department Headquarters, Municipal Building, New York City. Early reservations are urged.