Mr. Pope’s School of Instruction.
To the Editor of FIRE AND WATER :
I notice that Albert A. Pope of Boston has addressed a circular to the Mayors of the different cities, requesting their opinions as to the feasibility of establishing schools for the education of firemen. Does Mr. Pope know that many of the larger cities are hard at work at that very business? Why does Mr. Pope address the Mayors; why not the old chiefs of many of the cities who have made the putting out of fires almost a life study? He says Boston would be a good place for such a school, owing to its many fires. If so, why is it that the very department that he complains of has had the greater education, and yet, in the estimation of Mr. Pope, has learned nothing? Does he think the putting out of fires is as the defeat of an army, where all movements are to be seen ? Fires are mysterious and come when least expected. Many of them can be attacked from only one side or end; most of them can be reached but from two points, front and rear. The idea of having a regular officer of the United States in command is simply ridiculous. He could not see any farther through smoke or a burning building, or be any better judge than the men who have been at the business for many years, and have tried everything that would suggest itself for the betterment of the fire service. Chief and others in command should be selected from among those having shown their fitness, not for their political or social influence. Politics appears to have crept into many of the departments, and it will inevitably ruin the best department that ever existed.
Every department should be supplied with your paper, either by the council or by private purchase. I find it an educator worthy of a place in every department.
OIL CITY, PA., April 21.