New Haven Inaugurates New Modern Training School
Approximately 750 fire officers and civic officials from a dozen New England and Eastern states registered at the Training Grounds of the New Haven Fire Department, Saturday, May 22, 1948, to witness a day-long demonstration of the latest advancements in fire fighting equipment and methods.
The event signalized the formal opening of the department’s reconstructed and expanded fire school and training center, and the culmination of Fire Chief Paul Heinz’s dream for an installation that would permit firemanship training under actual fire fighting conditions, as well as the heretofore conventional “drill tower evolutions.”
The event was co-sponsored by the New England Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs; the New Haven Fire Department and City of New Haven, aided by a large group of manufacturers of fire control equipment. under the personal direction of Chief Heinz, Deputy Chief Thomas Collins (in charge of the School), and a large staff of department personnel.
From 9:00 A.M. until late afternoon, except for a brief pause for a buffet lunch served at nearby Engine 7’s station (where many of the visitors bunked), one event followed another, most of them packed with thrills, including tests of water fog, fog foam and foam, wet water, and fire-retardent paint; demonstrations of underwater diving; modern fire detection and alarm transmission devices, and a parade of the city’s latest apparatus, including its new surgical unit, mobile crane, pneumatic power unit, high-power sound truck, deluge trailer, etc. The climax came with a hot, smoky fire in a 21/2story cinder-block test building which was extinguished by a full two-alarm assignment, with firemen utilizing the latest fire control appliances.
Dramatic demonstrations included:
- Comparison of plain water vs. wet water in extinguishing large pit fires using solvent said to be “tolulol.” The plain water fire eventually taxed efforts of four crews, using small and large Rockwood water fog nozzles, both low and high velocity. Time of extinguishment : 11 minutes. The wet water fire, using “Drench,” but other conditions being the same, required only 2 minutes, 10 seconds, two crews armed with 11/2inch low velocity Rockwood fog heads on applicators doing the trick handily.
- Principles of modern fire detection and alarm notification, both with and without automatic sprinkler extinguishment. The units exhibited were “Atmo,” “On Watch.” “Sealand” and “Grinnell,” all installed in the 21/2-story test structure and operated under actual burning conditions.
- The latest in portable, gasolinepowered smoke ejectors—the “Homelite,” which moved approximately 5,000 cubic feet of smoke and fumes per minute and, reversed, introduced even greater quantities of fresh air.
- Efficiency of fire-retardent paint (“Albi”) in a hot fire. Two shacks were burned for 5 minutes; the one painted with “Albi” was only blistered, whereas the unpainted shack was destroyed.
- Both Scott “Air-Pak” and Mine Safety “Chemox” oxygen breathing equipment were operated by firemen under typical fire fighting conditions. Also, for the first time, by courtesy of Fire Chief Clement Murphy of the District of Columbia Fire Department, a new “turnout” coat especially designed to carry the all-purpose mask, and facilitate its use, was exhibited by a Maryland delegation headed by Captain A. M. Grunwell and Lieutenant Wolz of the D. C. Fire Department; Chief Joseph Giammatteo, Glen Echo, Md.; and former Chief Irving Johnson, Takoma Park, Md.
- Comparative tests of the newest nozzles, including the Callender Rifle Fog Nozzle; improved Barker Solid Stream Pipe, Mystery Nozzle, and others also were held.
- The New Haven Fire Department exhibited the latest model teletype unit, used by the department. The power amplifier employed to describe the day’s events was the Dilks, also in use by the New Haven Fire Department.