Let’s Close Our Ranks
From the Publisher’s Desk
FIRE ENGINEERING has been serving the fire service successfully for, lo, these many years, but even so, we regularly sit down and ask ourselves just what is the fire service.
And we always come up with the same answer. The fire service is a varied group that includes anyone who is involved in the prevention and extinguishment of fire: fire fighters—paid, volunteer, industrial and military, fire protection engineers and, of course, the fire equipment manufacturers.
We feel that it is necessary that all these groups should work together for the common goal. Occasionally, and unhappily, individuals within the group are often at loggerheads. Paid fire fighters tend to upstage the volunteers, and the military and industrial fire fighters often feel that they are left out of the main stream. All of them, however, occasionally join in condemning the manufacturer for not giving them what they need.
This, of course, is unfair. The manufacturer, who is part of the varied group, can only give the others what they ask for.
If the various members of the group don’t know or don’t state—collectively—what they want, they are leaving the decision up to the manufacturer. The manufacturer, therefore, can only guess. And his guesses can be costly.
The manufacturer is now at the mercy of the Department of Transportation, which can suddenly come up with a requirement for sky blue windshields on all apparatus put out from today on. This, without any relief for the manufacturer who is in the process of building an apparatus that was contracted for a year ago.
Everyone has his problems, but the fire service is such a small, though varied, group that the problem of one automatically becomes a problem for all the others.
We—the fire service family—often wind up with the small end of the stick, as witness what happened with the Fire Research and Safety Act. (Nothing!) But like all families, we should be close knit and present a united front to the “outside.”