Maine Chiefs Hold Quarterly Meeting
The January meeting of the State Association of Fire Chiefs of Maine was held on Tuesday January 18th. with more than sixty chiefs and guestin attendance, at the Central Station of the Augusta Fire Department. Mayor Levi T. Williams of Augusta made the address of welcome to the Maine Chiefs which was responded to by Chief Michele H. Falconi of the Hallowell Fire Department.
One of the important matters of business of the meeting was the vote to continue the standardized training program which had been promulgated by the State Office of Civilian Defense and now under the direction of the Maine Instructors Association. Col. F. H. Farnum, State OCD Director, one of the speakers at the morning session stated in his talk that firemen’s training as established under the OCD will be continued on the OCD program, and praised the Maine departments for the work that had been done. He further stated that the fire fighters, police and medical staffs were the backbone of the CD protective service, and advocated training on an increased scale, for the benefit of the different localities in the state, as an indefinite program and not only for the duration of the war.
Charles E. Fortin, chairman of the Unemployment Compensation Commission, and a former fire chief of the City of Lewiston, another speaker on the program, devoted his remarks to state legislation that would provide a Fire Marshal for the State. This would give the fire departments and their officials a unified authority to which they could turn in their problems, and is a matter that the Maine Association has worked on for a number of years, concerning which there is now a bill in recess of 1943 legislature.
Lt. James Cowan of the Bangor department and President of the Maine Instructors Association, who had recently returned from the Sixteenth Annual Fire Instructors Conference at Memphis, Tenn., stated that Maine was rated third in the list of states in the number of men that had been given training during the past year. He also spoke of the coming innovations in fire fighting practice in the use of high pressure fog or water vapor which will supplement the former heavy streams of water. He also indicated that the post war training would include special studies in airplane crashes, and that the army Jeep would undoubtedly figure in grass and forest fires in the post war program.
Secretary of State Harold I. Goss, who was speaker at the luncheon session of the association at the Augusta House, complimented the State fire departments, declairing that Maine is well equipped to take care of lives and property by an efficient personnel, and advocated continued training, as too much could not be known of the cause of fire and of fire equipment.
One of the pleasing features of the meeting, was the making of Ralph Webber of Augusta an honorary member of the association “for conspicuous servicerendered” the association in his position, in charge of the training program by the State Office of Civilian Defense. His membership was proposed by Chief Curtis Allen of the Sanford department.