MAINE STRESSES ITS PROGRAM OF FIRE AND SPECIAL DEFENSE
Chiefs of State Hold Quarterly Meeting at Westbrook—Chief Sanborn, State Administrator, Speaks
THE quarterly meeting of the State Association of Fire Chiefs of Maine was held at Westbrook on April 8 with the Westbrook Fire Department and the S. D. Warren Company’s fire department being the hosts. The meeting was opened at 11 a.m. by Stanley G. Turner, President. A fine address of welcome by Mayor Roscoe F. Libby, Westbrook, welcomed the visitors and Chief Z. F. Drouin of Lewiston, responded. The Mayor said in part, that he considered it an honor to represent the city chosen for the meeting of so important an organization as the Fire Chiefs of Maine, and congratulated the association for its accomplishments in the past.
History of Westbrook Department
The history of the Westbrook Fire Department was related by Chief Edward A. Reny, who in his remarks, expressed regret that the very early history of the department was not available. However, he had been able to secure data back as far as 1891, when the apparatus consisted of a hand drawn hand tub, called the “Rough and Ready,” and the water supply was obtained from cisterns built in the ground, the hose was 2flinch leather hose. Ladders were not provided and church bells furnished the alarm system.
The first improvement in the equipment came in 1891 when two horse drawn hose wagons were purchased, and a ladder truck in 1893. Horses used were from local livery stables as needed, and were not purchased by the city until 1899. The first motorized piece of apparatus was purchased in 1916. The department now consists of three engineers, sixty-nine call men, and four permanent men. The complete history was incorporated in the records of the association.
County Work for Fire Defense
Chief Eugene Ricker of the Saco Fire Department gave a paper on “County organization of Fire Defense” as set up by the Committee on National Defense. In his talk Chief Ricker outlined the operation of the county organization and urged all chiefs to send in the information desired by the County Administrator. Particular stress was laid on the importance of every chief making sure that all hose threads in his department conformed with the national standard.
Luncheon was served in the American Legion Hall dining room, where the meeting was held. The association was the guest at luncheon of the Westbrook Rotary Club.
Following the luncheon, Chief Oliver T. Sanborn of Portland. State Administrator of the Fire Defense Program spoke on the reason for the fire defense program and explained to the group that this program applied not only in the case of an invasion of the country by an enemy, but also in the case of a major disaster, conflagrations, floods, earthquakes, etc. The organization is Statewide in its scope under the direction of State Insurance Commissioner, under whom is a State Administrator and his deputy, and assistant administrators. The state is divided into sections, north central and east, and the various counties are assigned to a certain section. Each county has a county administrator, whose duty it is to organize his area. A complete inventory of each class of equipment of every fire department is filed with a sectional administrator for that section. Through him, any necessary equipment may be dispatched in the shortest possible time and route to give the required assistance.
Chief William H. Clifford of Cape Elizabeth made a report on the legislative session in relation to the proposed Fire Works Law and the appearance of the members of the association before the legislative committee.
State Defense School Started
Chief J. W. Randlette, reported to the association that a defense school has been organized in the state under the National Defense Program, for the benefit of water works and fire officials. The schools will continue until July 7 with classes each week; Monday at the University of Maine at Orono; Tuesday, Augusta Water District Shop. Augusta; Wednesday, Auburn Water District Office, Auburn; Thursday, Portland Water District Shop, Portland, and Friday, Town Hall, Kennebunk.
Chief Sanborn, asked the association to ratify the donation made for the Brockton Disaster, by the directors; this was ratified.
Chief William H. Clifford, 3rd, made a report on the apparatus in connection with the fire defense plan, and stated that the following Chiefs bad been assigned county administrators. Eugene T. Ricker, Saco; William H. Clifford, 3rd, Cape Elizabeth; Solomon A. Mercier, Rumford; Richard Frates, Bath; Francis X. Pendelton, Belfast; Edward Hutchins, Boothbay; George R. McCurdy. Augusta; Charles G. Griffin, Skowhegan; Victor Huart Farmington; Allen Payson, Camden; Z. F. Drouin, Lewiston; Leon B. Door, Presque Isle; Joseph P. McCosker, Bangor: Frank Pierce, Bucksport; Frank H. Whittier, Dover-Foxcroft.
Joseph A. P. Flynn, Chief Supervisor, Insurance Department, Arson Division, presented a paper on the Fire Defense Program.
Chief Tierney Tells About I.A.F.C.
Chief Daniel B. Tierney, Arlington, Mass., Secretary of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and guest of the association, gave a short talk on the membership in the I.A.F.C., Association and the coming convention in Boston in August. Chief William H. Hill of Belmont, Mass., was also a guest of the association.
Chief Solotnan A. Herman, of the S. D. Warren Company gave an interesting talk on “Defense Preparations in Industrial Plants”.
At 6 p.m., a banquet was served in the Legion Hall, Chief S. A. Herman was toast master. Vice-President Hyde of the S. D. Warren Company spoke. The State Insurance Commissioner, expressed the regrets of Governor Sumner Sewall for his inability to be present at the meeting. He also expressed his appreciation of the completion of the fire defense program and of the work that the fire chiefs are doing. He said in part that the insurance business was the largest industry in the United States and that in Maine alone, $35,000,000 are spent annually in insurance premiums of all classes. None of the companies doing business in Maine had failed. He said the fire defense organization was the first organization to become perfected in Maine, without orders of the Commission, and this would go down as one of the major accomplishments of the fire defense forces of the state. He expressed his views of the somewhat disturbing factor of incendiary fires, and that the arson squad would be enlarged and investigations carried on a larger scale. Eighty members and guests were present at the evening banquet, about 125 at the noon-day luncheon, and seventy-five active members at the business session of the association. The next meeting will be held in Rockland on July 8.