NEW YORK STATE FIRE CHIEFS GATHER AT SARATOGA SPRINGS FOR MEETING
Urge Legislation to Provide Two-Platoon System for All Paid Departments in State—Chambers Elected President
A BILL to provide for the twoplatoon system in all paid departments in New York state not now enjoying such a plan, is to be sponsored by the New York State Fire Chiefs’ Association. It will also attempt to secure legislation to provide civil service protection for Chiefs and members of paid departments in villages, towns and fire districts.
This action was taken at the thirtyfirst annual meeting of the association held at Saratoga Springs, N. Y., June 28 to 30.
Layout of Sprinkler Systems Described
In a talk on “Sprinkler Systems” by G. M. Gilison, Rating Board, New York Fire Insurance Organization, Syracuse, he described the general layout of various sprinkler systems. He warned against shutting off the sprinkler system before the fire was out, or using the hydrants in the yard during a fire.
There was considerable discussion of this paper.
In the evening Chief John S. Hickey and the members of the Saratoga Springs department tendered a dinner to the visitors, followed by a vaudeville show.
Cooperation, Overhauling and Air Conditioning Considered
Capt. J. J. Sheedy, Salvage Patrol, Albany, who has had thirty-one years’ experience in this work, urged closer cooperation between salvage groups and Fire Departments, and more cordial relations between the police and Fire Departments. He urged special instruction for the police in the operation of fire alarm boxes, sprinkler devices, etc. Capt Sheedy urged that sawdust be carried to prevent excessive water damage.
“Overhauling at Fires,” was described by James J. Deasy, former Battalion Chief. New York Fire Department. He said that a rekindled fire was worse than the previous one, and could have been prevented if the officer in charge had carefully examined the premises before leaving. He urged officers to have a knowledge of building construction.
E. W. Fowler, Engineer, National Board of F’ire Underwriters, spoke on “Hazards of Air Conditioning.” The increasing use of ducts in air conditioning presents a great hazard for the fire service. The operation of fan spreads fire and smoke through the ducts.
Problems of Oil Burners
Chief J. J. Brennan, Pelham Manor, gave a talk on “Oil Burners and Their Problems.” Although the installation of two 275-gallon tanks were approved by the National Board, he said he was decidedly opposed to such installations. He said that most of the troubles were due to faulty installations.
“Advantages of Training Firemen,” were explained by Asst. Chief George L. McKenna. New York Fire Department. He referred to the elaborate training that school and college athletes received. He said that rookie firemen should receive just as intensive preparations. Company drills are held for one hour each day under the supervision of the Battalion and Deputy Chief.
Chief Charles Vogel, Chatham, spoke regarding the “Problems of Volunteer Fire Departments.” He traced the history of the Fire Department from the early days and he told of the vast improvement in the present volunteer departments. He advised selling the department to the community, and advocated club house activities to attract membership in the department.
Volatile Liquid Hazards
A paper on “Storage of Volatile Liquids,” was presented by Chief John Gibson. Mt. Vernon. He asked that the association go on record as against the transportation of volatile liquids in trucks of 7.500 gallons capacity. He cited several fires that resulted in severe loss to life and property. Much discussion resulted over the question as to
which tank was the safest, the riveted or the welded tank. Those present believed that the welded type was best.
The dangers of industrial sparking tools are fire hazards often overlooked in industrial efforts to establish adequate fire protection. It is natural that the greatest attention is concentrated upon those causes of fires that are the most common.
Though tool sparks are quite common in all industrial establishments, they are seldom looked upon as dangerous. For those locations removed from atmospheres of fine dust or chemical vapors, which constitute explosive atmospheres, tool sparks can do little or no damage. The red hot pellets or momentary hot sparks that originate from the tools are rapidly cooled, so that by the time they strike some object, the temperature is too low to do any damage. Where no explosive atmospheres exist, the management can set its mind at rest with regard to sparking tools.
However, it must definitely be ascertained that no danger exists, as the
“Hazards of Fighting Cellar Fires,” were described by Chief William J. Gates, Glens Falls. He told of the need for clear passageways and cleanliness, unobstructed zone for sprinkler heads, and the possible extension of fires through lateral and vertical openings. He believed the fog nozzle to be valuable in fighting cellar fires.
The new officers are Arthur E. Chambers, Ex-Chief, Yonkers, President; Raymond J. Kirsch, Fire Marshal, Kenmore, First Vice-President; W. W. Shoemaker, Chief, Canandaigua, Second Vice-President; George W. Brown, Chief, Newburgh, Director for two years; Michael J. Grimley, Chief, Mechanics ville, Director for one year; Chris W. Noll, Chief, Poughkeepsie, Secretary-T reasurer.
The next convention will be held at Elmira, N. Y. shops, mines, etc. The explosion is worker and management are prone to disregard a hazardous condition to which they have become accustomed.
Explosive atmospheres exist in a large number of industrial chemical establishments. oil refineries, wood-working
usually followed with a fire that levels the plant to the ground. It is a difficult matter to trace the origin of these fires and explosions. Investigations reveal that all the precautions required by law have been observed, and it is usually some unnoticed item, such as tool sparks, that lead to the conflagration.
Modern organizations realize that full protection is not obtained unless all small fire hazards are taken care of. The most prolific source of sparks is the grinding wheel, upon which the toolmaker and machinist sharpen their tools. Complete isolation of this unit from explosive atmospheres is recommended. That step is one-half of the battle. The remaining attention must be devoted to those small miscellaneous sparks that will originate from all of the more common tool steels. They will originate from hob-nails in shoes. Some organizations require that their workmen wear shoes that are entirely held by stitches, to the exclusion of nail attachments of soles and heels.
There are certain sparkless working tools that have been used to advantage. These tools are manufactured in all sizes, and for every purpose. A number of them are portrayed in the accompanying illustration. The particular group shown are products of the Ampco Metal Company, and are manufactured for one of the large oil refineries. The singular characteristic of these tools is that they will not spark under any working conditions whatsoever, even when held against a revolving grinding wheel. They are not ordinary tool steel, but a special alloy of beryllium-copper, which has been heat treated to arrive at certain desirable physical qualities.