New England Chiefs Discuss War and Other Emergencies
A STAFF REPORT
WITH a total registration of 539, the New England Association of Fire Chiefs held one of its most successful annual conferences at “The Balsams,” Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, on June 24-27. The Association also reported a gain in membership of from 860 in 1939 to 963 in 1940. The exhibits were well arranged. and the display was among the finest ever staged by the New England Association.
Chief S. I. Pope Presided
The program started Tuesday morning with opening ceremonies, with Chief Samuel J. Hope, President. in the chair.
T he Invocation was by Rev. Michael F. Collins. Chaplain of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs, and the Addresses of Welcome were delivered by Governor Francis P. Murphy of New Hampshire. Gaston C. Cournover, City Clerk of Berlin, N. H.. and Fred M. Dodge, President of the New Hampshire Fire Chiefs Association. The Response to the Address of Welcome was delivered hv Chief John S. Pachl, Annex hire Department. New Haven, Conn. Following the Opening Ceremonies, a very impressive Memorial Service was held.
Tuesday Afternoon Session
The first business session opened on T uesday afternoon at 2 P.M. C. William Johnson. Assistant Secretary of the Insurance Company of North America, Philadelphia, reviewed the growing cooperation between the insurance industry and the fire service.
He called attention to the fact that in 1921 the average fire insurance rate per hundred dollars valuation was $1.05 while in 1929. it was $0.89 and in 19.39. it was $0.67.
He held that this marked reduction in insurance costs proved the value of fire protection and fire prevention activities.
He also called attention to the fact that fire losses were again creeping upward. The total fire losses for this country in 1934 were $275,000,000; in 1937, they were $209,000,000 while in 1939, thev totalled $313,000,000.
Approximately one third of the loss by fire occurs in private dwellings. Of 10,000 lives which were lost last year through fire, approximately twothirds occurred in homes, and onehalf of these were children.
At this point, a report was made by the Board of Directors on the action taken by’ the Committee on Dues. Upon a motion bv Chief Daniel B. Tierney, properly seconded and carried, the dues for the New England Association was made $3.00, and for joint membership in the New England and International Association of F’ire Chiefs, $6.00.
Under the new setup, members can belong to either association without joining the other. And to join either association costs $3.00. there being no discount for joining the two at the same time.
Under the above title, E. J. McCarthy, General Sales Manager, The Gamewell Company, Newton Upper Falls, Mass., pointed out the inadequate provisions in the average department for notifying the department in case of a large fire. “Such inadequate provision for notifying the department has proven the cause of most large fires” said Mr. McCarthy. The need of informing the department of the exact location of fire is paramount, he pointed out. He also called attention to the fact that the U. S. Chamber of Commerce has asserted that there is today no city where there are enough fire alarm boxes.
With regard to methods of marking fire alarm boxes, Mr. McCarthy reviewed the various systems employed : colored light over the box, which is very efficient; colored light on nearby pole, which is inefficient; reflector over each box, which has proven effective both day and night.
Connections to Fire Alarms
He suggested the extension of fire system into buildings, with connection to automatic fire alarm devices therein. He called attention to the fact that there are sufficient devices now on the market for this purpose, and whose connection to the municipal fire alarm system would be safe.
Kenneth H. Erskine, Local Manager. Liverpool and London and Glove Insurance Company, and Chairman of the Public Relations Committee of the Bay State Club, Boston, Mass., compared the functions and purposes of the fire service with the insurance service, and reviewed how cooperation between the two has grown in recent years. He urged that fire adjusters confer with Fire Chiefs, whenever the occasion demands, in case of fires.
Leakage of Gasoline from Underground Storage Tanks
R. M. Cadman, Superintendent, Engineering Department, The Sched-
ule Rating Office of New Jersey, spoke on “Leakage Gasoline from Underground Storage Tanks.”
After citing a number of instances where gasoline had leaked from underground storage tanks and reached hazardous points, he suggested the following precautions as essential:
- Installation—Tanks should be set in firm ground and covered with soft dirt. No corrosive earth, such as ashes, should be used.
- Soil analysis before tank installation.
- Determination of location of tanks. In addition to having the location of tanks on record, the input and output should be checked at all times by the station operators.
- Test holes around service stations : Such test holes should he drilled and tests run from time to time to determine if there is any leakage from underground tanks.
- Explosimeter tests in basements, manholes, etc., should be made where gasoline leakage is suspected.
- Check disposal of used gasoline, which is commonly thrown on the ground as a means of disposal. Such gasoline, penetrating the soil, may reach other structures in the neighborhood.
- Flash point test to determine if petroleum distillates found underground from leakage is gasoline.
He suggested that tanks and pipes
should he capable of standing a tenpound static pressure per square inch, and for one hour, without appreciable loss of pressure.
Where defective tanks are found, they should he removed nr filled up. The subject was widely discussed.
Training Pictures Shown
On Tuesday evening, colored motion pictures of the Brookline, Mass., Fire Department Drill School were shown through the courtesy of Chief Selden R. Allen. Charles Madden, Aid to Chief Allen and official photographer of the Brookline Fire Department, served as motion picture operator. The pictures were highly instructive, and illustrated the proper methods of carrying out various lire department evolutions.
Wednesday morning session started with an address by Harry Newell, Assistant Chief Engineer of the National Board of Lire Underwriters, and Mayor of Bloomfield, New Jersev, on “Transportation and Storage of Flammable Liquids.” Mr. Newell reviewed the history of the oil history and transportation of oil. After the World War, railroads chiefly were at first used for transportation of petroleum products; then the transcontinental pipe line came into use, followed by oil tankers (steamships), then finally the tank truck. He discussed the steps taken to reduce the hazards of tank trucks in the event of accidents, and commended New York City on its safety record in movement of gasoline and oil, and the regulations enforced in that city.
Grading Schedule of N. B. F. U.
Following Mr. Newell’s talk, Mr. George W. Booth, Chief Engineer, The National Board of Fire Underwriters, discussed the standard schedule for grading cities and towns, as developed by the National Board of Fire Underwriters.
Mr. Booth described in a very interesting manner the development of this schedule from its conception up to the present time. He also explained this application in rating cities and towns from the standpoint of fire defense.
I. A. F. C. Aims and Purposes
Chief Ralph J. Scott, Managing Director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, spoke on the aims and purposes of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
After reviewing many of the difficulties encountered today in the fire service in keeping the departments free of politics, Chief Scott urged vigorous action on the part of the Association in protecting members against unjust removal. He also criticized organizations alien to the fire service which have taken upon themselves the prerogatives of the Chiefs’ Association.
He urged cooperation of all fire chiefs in carrying forward the organization plans of the International Association.
Life Net Construction
Arthurs Myers, of the Atlas Fire Equipment Company, described the construction of life nets. Fie outlined points which are essential in selecting safe nets for the fire service. In the absence of Captain Moeller, of the Superior Fire Equipment Company, manufacturers of “Superior” life net, Secretary John
O’Hearn read a paper prepared by Captain Moeller on the construction of these life nets.
Fire Protection Problems During Air Raids
The first paper on Wednesday afternoon was one devoted to “Fire Protection Problems During Air Raids” by Fred Shepperd, Editor of FIRE ENGINEERING.
Mr. Shepperd reviewed the characteristics of the various types of bombs used in aerial warfare, and their effects. He also outlined methods employed abroad by the fire service for handling the many fires started during air raids. This topic was discussed at length by the delegates.
Continued on page 373
(Continued from page 330)
The Fire Service in 1950
Fire Commissioner William Arthur Reilly of Boston, in his talk on “A Prophecy for 1950” discussed the increased traffic congestion and the possible future correction of this serious problem in fire department operation. He believed that in the next ten years super-highways would be a big factor in correcting this growing problem.
Within the same period, the development of new building codes as well as educational legislation would develop fire prevention as applied to buildings very materially. He also believed that radio would prove a major aid to conventional fire alarm systems in the next decade, with the possibility of television (recording of messages on tape) entering the picture.
That fire alarm systems would be extended to practically every room of every building, or at least to one place in each building, was his prediction for the next ten years. He suggested that possibly each house might be equipped with three signal buttons, one to call help in case of accident, one to call the police, and the third to summon the fire department.
In ten years’ time the two-piece fire company would be a thing of the past, and in its stead, a single unit which includes the pumper, hose and possibly ladders, would be generally adopted. Also, the tillerman on the aerial would vanish due to the use of shorter, multiple section, power operated ladders.
Within the decade, Commissioner Reilly believed, fire protection in rural areas would be materially aided by the use of airplanes for fire fighting operations.
While water will remain the principal extinguishing agent, new chemicals. he ventured, would be developed for handling fires involving specialized hazards.
Storage of Explosives
Stephen C. Garrity, State Fire Marshal, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, outlined the program placed in service in his state which has resulted in the location and indexing of every place of storage of explosives. This continual inventory enables the State Fire Marshal’s Office to know at all times just how much explosive is on hand at the various locations. Such an arrangement prevents the loss, or illegal movement, of explosives.
Oil Burner Installation
J. Henry Brody, Vice President, Buckley & Scott Utilities, and President of the Boston Oil Burner Associates, discussed “Evidence of How the Oil Burner Installers are Cooperating with the Fire Chiefs.”
On Wednesday evening the annual banquet of the Association was held, with Commissioner Arthur Reilly as Toastmaster. Entertainment program was furnished through the courtesy of the Berlin, N. H., Fire Department. Prizes donated by manufacturers were drawn for by the ladies present.
Newly Elected Officers
Chief Thomas Cotter, Providence, R. I., was elected President of the Association for the coming year and Chief William Mahoney of Peabody, Mass., First Vice-President. Chief Michael Lawton of Middletown, Conn., was elected Second VicePresident and Chief John W. O’Heam of Watertown, Mass., Secretary-Treasurer. In each case, the election was unanimous, a single ballot being cast for each candidate.
The following State Vice-Presidents were also elected unanimously : Maine, Chief Oliver Sanborn, Portland; New Hampshire, Chief Charles French, Manchester; Vermont, Chief A. H. Koltonski, Rutland ; Massachusetts, Chief William Dooling of Malden (Chief Malden is at present out of the department awaiting the outcome of litigation) ; Rhode Island, Chief A. J. Cote, Woonsocket; Connecticut, Chief Michael Keena, Hartford.
Tierney Becomes a Director
Chief Daniel B. Tierney of Arlington, Mass., was elected Director to the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Chief William T. Happy of Concord, N. H., was appointed Sergeantat-Arms, and Charles Madden. Aide to Chief Allen of Brookline, Mass., was oppointed Official Photographer.
Harry Belknap was appointerl Press Representative and Vincent C. Stanley, President of the Gamewell Company was appointed Associated Press Representative. Rev. Michael F. Collins was reappointed Chaplain by the Association.
The Directors will decide later on the place and date of next year’s conference.
Candidate for Treasurer
Chief George B. Milne of the Rockville, Conn., Fire Department, candidate for the post of Treasurer of the Connecticut State Firemen’s Association at the annual convention to be held at Danbury in August, was a guest of the
members of the Fairfield County Fire Chiefs’’ Emergency Plan at their banquet at the Hotel Green, Danbury, on May 22. He was introduced to the gathering by Chief Thomas J. Carroll, Fairfield, retiring president of the Plan.
At a recent meeting of the Fairfield County Plan the members voted unanimously to support Chief Milne for the Treasurer’s office, left vacant by the recent death of Deputy Chief Michael T. Souney, of New Britain.
Chief Milne has been a member of the association’s Executive Board continuously for the past twenty-three years as Tolland County representative. For the past twelve years he has been Chief of the Rockville Fire Department.
THOMAS F. MAGNER