Looking Forward to the Chiefs’ Convention
While the annual convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers is still three months off, it is not too soon for chiefs who intend to be present at this most important gathering of the year to begin making their plans accordingly, and this should mean the chief of every fire department in the United States, whether of a large city or a small town.
The city of Atlanta is particularly well suited to the holding of a banner convention. It is conveniently located in a central position geographically and is accessible to all parts of the country by rail. The railroads, too, now have returned to the practice of making rebates for travel to conventions, and no doubt the I. A. F. E. will be able to take advantage of a fare-and-a-half arrangement.
There should be no hesitation on the part of home governments in paying the full expenses of the chiefs to this important gathering. No head of a fire department who attends the convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers can fail to return to his home city without having absorbed some important points in fire-fighting and fire prevention, which will be of service to him and his department in the following year. Rubbing elbows with other chiefs and learning of their various problems and the methods they have pursued in overcoming them will be of inestimable value to the chief to whose charge the safety of the citizens from fire has been intrusted by the city or town that employs him and consequently as a matter of course to the municipality itself—much more so than the small outlay necessary to send him to this convention.
No matter how efficient or up-to-date a department is there are always some points where improvements can be effected, and no better method can be devised than to expose these weak points through comparison by the head of the department with similar conditions in other cities. This can be learned in no more thorough way than by meeting and talking with chiefs of other departments assembled at this convention. It is only by such comparison that the defects, often hidden and obscure, in his own department can be made manifest to the chief and remedies be pointed out that have proved effective in similar cases in other cities.
Surely such a chance as this to increase the efficiency of the city’s fire-fighting forces should appeal to the governments of all municipalities, and this alone, not to speak of all other advantages to the fire department, should, show the wisdom in sending its head to the convention at Atlanta. Send the Chief!