Ohio Fire Chiefs Discuss Important Matters
Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Convention of the Club—A Large Number of Practical and Important Papers—List of Those Present
THE Fire Chief’s Club of Ohio met on June 5 and 6 at the Southern Hotel Winter Garden, Columbus, Ohio, for its sixth annual convention as announced in the June 13th issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, The club was called to order by President James R. Fitton, chief of the Bellaire, Ohio, fire department, who introduced State Fire Marshal Louis F. Miller, who welcomed the club in behalf of the state of Ohio. Mr. Miller said: “I have discovered that many of the duties of the Fire Marshal are by no means pleasant. One of my greatest pleasures has been in meeting the different fire chiefs, and so you can realize the pleasure it gives me to meet all of you and to welcome you to this convention in the name of the great State of Ohio. Under the laws of this state the fire chiefs of municipal departments are all assistant fire marshals, and I am glad that that is true, for without your cooperation and assistance we would accomplish but little. The chiefs of the industrial plants are an important part of our fire protection system. I have instructed all assistant fire marshals to call on the chief when they visit a city or village for the purpose of investigation or inspection, and secure his co-operation, assistance and advice. If any of them fail to obey that order, I shall appreciate it if you will notify me.
“I regret very much that every fire chief in Ohio is not here today, but am glad to note that most of the live ones are here. I wish to congratulate your officials on the splendid program that they have arranged, the value of which will no doubt increase your knowledge of the various subjects presented. I know that this convention will be of positive benefit to you and to the municipalities and industrial plans which you represent. I hope that the pleasure you mav derive from your visit may be as great as the profit.— I thank you.” Following the Fire Marshal, Chief Jenkins Daniels of the Columbus fire department, welcomed the delegates as follows: “Mr. President, Fire Chiefs of Municipalities and Chiefs of Industrial Plants, and others attending this Convention, I wish to say just a word in regard to the feeling in Columbus toward the reception of the Fire Chiefs’ Club of the State of Ohio. I want to assure you that the members of the City Fire Department of Columbus are in hearty accord with the movements of the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Ohio, and that you have our support in every way.”
Paying the Chiefs’ Expenses
At this point President Fitton referred to the matter of the payment of the chiefs’ expenses to the convention by the municipalities as follows: “I believe that the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Ohio should appoint a legislative committee and have this committee at some time during the session of the legislature, get them a bill that would compel the city to pay the expenses of municipal fire chiefs to wherever the convention may be held in the State of Ohio. I have talked to quite a number of chiefs this morning relative to their expenses and I believe that if this thing was put up to the legislature, they would see that laws were passed to provide the money. None of the chiefs that I talked to said that they could not come down to Columbus or wherever the Convention may be held in the State of Ohio, spend two or two and one-half days and get back home. Regarding increased attendance, the president should appoint committees, one man from each fire marshal’s district, to work among the chiefs and to use his influence to have a better attendance at these conventions.”
Following these remarks. Secretary Philip J. Harty, chief of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, read the minutes of the 1922 convention which were on motion approved.
Paper on Dangers of Carbon-Monoxide.
This was followed by a paper entitled “Dangers of CarbonMonoxide” by Dr. E. R. Hayhurst of the Ohio State Department of Health. Dr. Hayhurst went into his subject very extensively and described the caprices of the gas and the dangers to which it subjects firemen in fighting fires. He said that statistics had been gathered throughout the state and during the winter months there had been fifty-five deaths caused by carbon-monoxide poison and one hundred and fiftynine partial asphyxia cases where death did not take place at the time. He said that every cold spell was followed by a wave of carbon monoxide asphyxia. Dr. Hayhurst described the various degrees of poisoning saying that one can stand about 20 to 25 per cent, displacement of oxygen in the blood by the carbon-monoxide without many symptoms if one is sitting down, but if one stands there will be a weakening of the knees. With a saturation between 40 and 50 per cent, the person becomes unconscious. If the gas continues with every breath one takes up to 100 per cent., death will follow almost invariably. He emphasized the necessity for Hues to carry off the fumes of gas heaters and other stoves so as to avoid their escaping into the room, especially during the sleeping hours.
At the conclusion of Dr. Hayhurst’s address, Chief T. J. Gough of Conneaut, Ohio, moved a vote of thanks to the doctor for his excellent talk, which was seconded and unanimously carried.
Appointment of Committees
The Chair then appointed the following committees: Committee on Resolutions—J. J. Conway, D. K. Moser, Chas. Morse.
Committee on Nominations—Samuel Butler, John A. Grogg, L. J. Elliott.
Committee on Audit —T. J. Gough, Chas.
Greensfelder, Samuel Hunter.
Second Session, 1:30 P. M., June 5
The first address at this session was by R. A. Brown, Professor Electrical Engineering, Ohio State University, on the subject of “Radio As a Fire Hazard.” Professor Brown described the various hazards of the radio in detail. In referring to the possibilities of the new discovery to the fire departments Professor Brown said: “Aside from thinking of radio as a dangerous piece of equipment to have around, the chances are very good that it will become a convenient help in actual fire-fighting business. That is particularly true, and is coming, I think, to be more and more a reality today especially since the very phenomenal development of the radio telephone. As long as the radio telegraph is practically the only means of communication by radio, the proposition was entirely different from what it is now. But with the telephone and improved equipment of transmitting and receiving, there is no reason to believe why the near future will not bring out perfectly practical transmitting and receiving stations to allow direct communication between headquarters and other places. During time of fire the question comes up, of course, in the matter of interference. This cannot be overlooked but it can be overcome. Largely by assigning in each locality certain wave lengths or territory in which nobody else would be allowed to operate. Within such territory the fire departments will have to operate. There is every reason to believe that such a condition can and will exist.”
This address was briefly discussed by the chiefs present and a motion was made by Chief Moser calling for a vote of thanks to the Professor for his interesting talk which was seconded and carried.
Captain Conway Speaks on Fire Prevention.
Captain J. J. Conway, Superintendent of the Cincinnati Salvage Corps next gave an address on “Fire Prevention.” He stressed the fact that the careless and indifference of the people is what is causing the enormous fire loss of the country. The whole proposition, he said, of Fire Prevention becomes a matter of education. It does not do much good to go into a factory and talk to the owner; you have got to get the individual interested. Cincinnati, he said, had been one of the first cities to start out with a safe and sane Fourth of July. Last year they had two accidents reported to the hospitals and lor several years the city has not had to put on any additional force on that day. He contrasted the punishment of automobile carelessness with the lack of punishment for fire carelessness. “If you run your automobile down the street,” said Captain Conway, “and run over a man or woman, you will be hauled into court. If they die you are charged with manslaughter. You can do anything careless that you have a mind to in burning a building; simply shrug your shoulders and go on and nothing will be done. How do you differentiate between the man running an automobile on the street and the man In a building. There are hundreds of people every year lose their lives in factories and other places due to carelessness, and yet the man who is responsible for those fires is walking about as if nothing had happened. I can start out and get a cigar box full of pennies that are used for fuses in houses. Our organization in the state of Ohio has got to get behind the important factors and fight them straight through if they are going to be of any service to the state of Ohio, which they can be and will be.”
Explanation of the Taft Law
As Captain Conway had referred to the Taft tax law, a motion was made by President Fitton that he be asked to explain to the members just what the law is. Captain Conway said: “At present the state is limited to 1 per cent, with outside limitations up to 15 per cent. If the cities want any more money than that, they are permitted by law to go before the public and ask for funds. That is up at every eleotion as to whether it can or cannot be carried. The relief should have been sought in 1911, because in 1910 when the 1 per cent. Smith Law was enacted, we did not feet the effect. Fifty per cent, of the taxes of the cities goes into sinking fund. The Taft Law makes it permissible to bring that maximum from 15 mills up to 17 mills and to change the distribution of the number of mills as you increase the amount which would give the schools the amount they are getting today and have something to run the city. Merely a relief proposition, more acceptable to the entire community. That can be ironed out. Now during the time when they come together, the tax paper is a relief that will let you go up to 17 mills in cities and 14 mills in rural districts, so that they can go on. Everything was working nicely until the real estate board threw this referendum. All business organizations in cities, Business Men’s Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, Kiwanis, Rotary Clubs and other organizations passed a resolution appealing to the state real estate board to withdraw their opposition to the bill and let it go through. To withdraw their opposition, then to raise a referendum. Little has been worked out in your last legislature. They had the interest of your citizens at stake when they did it because they knew municipalities had to have some relief until a bill or permanent relief should be worked out.”
After this explanation a motion was made that the body as a whole go on record as against the referendum on the Taft tax law and this motion was carried. It was also moved and seconded that a vote of thanks be extended to Captain Conway for his talk which was carried.
An invitation was extended to the convention by A. G. Crouse of the Seagrave Company, of Columbus, to be their guests at a luncheon in the dining room of the Southern Hotel and afterwards proceed to their fetory in special cars provided for the purpose. The invitation was accepted and a vote of thanks given to the Seagrave Company.
Papers on “Coal Storage” and “Municipal Building Codes”
The third paper of the afternoon was on “Coal Storage” by J. A. Thomas, consulting engineer, who spoke on the proper way of storing coal and avoiding fire hazards in so doing.
Chief Butler asked Mr. Thomas how he extinguished the fire. Mr. Thomas replied that he used plain baking soda and water. On motion of Chief Moser a vote of thanks was extended to Mr. Thomas.
The final paper of the session was on “Municipal Building Codes” by T. P. Kearns, Chief of the Factories Divisions, Workshops and Public Buildings. The afternoon session was closed by a motion by Chief Bowersox that a vote of thanks be given Mr. Kearns, which was carried.
Smoker by Fire Marshal Miller in Evening
In the evening at 7:30 o’clock a smoker was given the convention by State Fire Marshal Louis F. Miller of Ohio. During this session a paper was read by Secretary of the Association, Chief Philip J. Harty, of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, on the subject “The Industrial Plant Brigade.” which was illustrated by moving pictures, the first three reels of which showed the activities of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company fire brigade and the other three reels a picture known as “America’s Greatest Crime.” The latter was presented by Chief Samuel Hunter of Springfield, Ohio, to the State Fire Marshal’s office and will be used in an educational campaign. A short address was made by Charles S. Magruder of the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office, Mr. Magruder stating that that office would back to the limit the fire chiefs of municipalities and industrial plants in the state of Ohio. This closed the smoker.
Election of Officers on the Second Day
The first business of the second day’s session was a motion made by Chief Hunter and seconded that the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Club take out membership and affiliate with the International Association of Fire Engineers. This motion was regularly carried.
Chief Hunter moved that the incoming president appoint a legislative committee to serve during the ensuing year, the number of members of the committee to be at the discretion of the president. This motion was carried. The nominating committee then presented the names of the officers of the ensuing year as follows:
President—Chief Thos. J. Gough, Conneaut, O.
First Vice-Pres.—Chief Samuel Butler, Republic Iron & Steel Co., Youngstown, O.
Second Vice-Pres.—Chief C. R. Bowersox, Bryan, O.
Trustees—Chief Chas. Grecnsfelder, Proctor & Gamble Co., Ivorydale, O. Chief Samuel Hunter, Springfield, O.
Secretary—Chief Philip J. Harty, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., Youngstown, O. (Re-elected.)
The motion was then made that the election of the nominees be made unanimous and the secretary cast one ballot for them. President Gough then assumed the chair and a motion was made that the expenses of the board of directors for the March meeting to arrange for the convention be paid out of the treasury. This was carried.
Report of Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary-Treasurer P. J. Harty then made his report which showed the following figures:
Receipts for 1922 …………………………… $100.00
Balance on hand ……………………… 105.19
Disbursements …………………………….. 73.65
Leaving a balance on hand June 5, 1923 ……….. $131.54
It was moved that the secretary-treasurer’s report be accepted as approved by the auditing committee. The motion was carried.
Chemicals as Fire Hazards
A paper was then read by J. R. Withrow, Professor of Industrial Chemistry of the Ohio State University on the subject of “Chemicals as Fire Hazards.” Professor Withrow said that while the topic which he had been asked to speak on was “Chemicals as Fire Hazards” he wanted to say at the outset that providentially, the great majority of chemicals are not fire hazards at all. Professor Withrow divided chemicals into three groups as follows
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Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Club Convention
“1st. Those that are not potentially dangerous in my sense of tne term, as far as fire hazards are concerned, such as common salts, soda ash, lime, etc. Those things will not bother you a bit.
“2nd. Another group consists of substances which as soon as you wet them develop heat which might start combustion, which gives off a gas which is combustible, dangerous to health, or asphyxiating in its nature.
“3rd. This group is obviously combustible and it consists of such things as gasolene, kerosene and such substances. A sub-division of that is explosives. All explosives are combustible and the reason explosives have such power is because of the chemical action. They develop a certain amount of gas which as it burns in the ground causes a gas which will explode. I mention that last because there are chemical substances which we do not call explosives.”
This paper was very freely discussed and a motion by Chief Moser gave the Professor a vote of thanks for the talk. The following motion was also made by Captain Paul Mason and seconded by Chief Fitton:
“That in view of the important part played by numerous gases, the products of incomplete combustion, in the life hazard of fire problems and fire department operation and administration.
“That the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Ohio hereby authorizes and constitutes a permanent Committee for the Study of Gases and Other Products ot Incomplete Combustion as a Factor in Fire Fighting;
“The Committee to consist of seven members selected by the Board of Directors, with whom a representative of the State Department of Health, a representative of Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc., and a representative gas engineer or chemical engineer shall be invited to sit; the Committee to report its progress and findings from time to time for publication.”
This motion was carried. Referring to the motion Professor Withrow said: “I want to thank you gentlemen for the interest you have shown in this matter, and if at any time questions come up that you want to know about write to me at the University. In connection with Mr. Mason’s motion. I think it would he easy for you when you get your committee organized to get co-operation from the university. The purpose of the University is to give co-oj>eration and to extend the limits of human knowledge. If there is anything important to you or to the state, we naturally work on that thing. We have asked the legislature to establish an Engineering Experimental Station which is in full blast at the University. You can go there and get an answer to your question. If research work is to be done, we have a small amount of funds. We are there for co-operation and would certainly be glad to give it.”
It was moved that the report of the committee on resolutions be read which was carried and the report was read by the secretary as follows:
Resoked: That the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Ohio hereby expresses its appreciation to the citizens and press of Columbus for courtesies extended to the Club and its members incident to the holding of this convention; to the management of the Southern Hotel for its attention to their comfort and convenience; and to all others who in any way contributed to its success.
That in particular, it expresses its appreciation to State Fire Marshal Louis F. Miller, and to his Publicity Director. Charles S. Magruder. and to the other members of the Fire Marshal’s Department, for the arrangement of the splendid convention program; for their careful attention to detail, and for the many personal courtesies and attentions which have contributed to make this the best of the Club’s conventions.
That it welcomes with delight the assurance of the Fire Marshal’s Department that it contemplates and has under way in Ohio a program of concrete performance for the preservation of life and the prevention of fire and property waste in the State, pledging its co-operation to Ohio Fire Chiefs, thus assuring co-ordination of effort in the solution of this tremendous problem.
In consideration of which, the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Ohio pledges its reciprocal co-operation and an intensified continuation of its policy, education and performance in the municipalities of its respective members.
That the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Ohio hereby formally reaffirms its action, taken the first day of this convention by viva voce vote, declaring its opposition to a referendum on the Taft Tax Law; pledging its members to oppose a referendum in their respective municipalities, and expressing its belief that only by the Taft law, or by some similar enactment, can the cities of the State obtain the temporary financial relief so badly needed unid such a tame as the tax laws of the State are equably revised.
Respectfully submitted. By the Committee. Caul Mason. J. J. Conway D. K. Moser Chas. Morse.
This motion was unanimously carried.
A motion was made that the secretary have four transcripts of the topics, one for the Fire Marshal’s Department, one for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERIG. New York City, on for Fire Prevention, and one for the secretary’s file.
Uses and Advantages of 3-inch Hose
The final paper of the session was by Howard J. Manning, Chief Engineer, Ohio Inspection Bureau and is entitled “Uses and Advantages of 3-inch Hose as Ground Lines of Hydrants and Pumpers.”
(Note.—This paper will be found reproduced on page 9, of this ISSUE.-EDITOR.)
The paper was discussed at some length. Chief Hunter stating that Chief Daniels of the Columbus fire department had volunteered to give a demonstration along the line of Mr. Manning’s talk at the plant of the Seagrave Company in Columbus immediately following the luncheon. A vote of thanks was given Mr. Manning for his paper.
A motion was made that the choosing of the place for holding the next convention he left to the board of directors. This motion was carried. The convention then adjourned to attend the luncheon at the Southern Hotel, after which they were conveyed to the Seagrave’s plant for a tour of inspection. This closed the convention.
Those Present at the Convention
The following list gives the municipal and industrial fire chiefs present, including representatives of industrial plants. Besides those enumerated there were representatives of the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office, the Columbus fire department and representatives interested in the subjects of fire prevention, etc.:
Municipal Fire Chiefs
James R. Fltton, ex-chief of fire department, Bellaire; C. R. Bowersox, Bryan; Charles S. Brown, Bedford; D. K. Moser, Warren; T. J. Gough, Conueaut; H. E. Leslie. Hillsboro; A. W. Phillips. Wellsville; Steward Coffee, Newark; H. F. Karse. St. Bernard; Joseph A. Geller, Norwood; Flo Wonder, Carey; Harry L. Russell. Chagrin Falls; Vincent Malloy, Salem: L. J. Elliott, Painesville; John A. Grogg. Tiffin; William Berger, Fremont; Finley Duren, WeIJston; William J. Pflanzer. Lebanon; Paul Flanagan. Oxford; John G. Loff, assistant to Chief Hunter. Springfield; Samuel Hunter, Springfield; Charles Helfrich. Crestline; Frank Pantiabacker, Wilmington; George F. Gast. New Bremen; C. H. Piso. Napoleon; S. B, Overmyer, Wauseon; C. S. Izenouse. Mansfield; Jenkins Daniels. Columbus; R. J. Murray, Toronto; I. W. Brehford, Germantown; John Mack, Lima; J. M. Baer. Circleville; Charles V. Mack, assistant to Chief Bascom. Norwalk; W. J. Bascom. Norwalk; William H. Hildebrand. Wellington; G. S. Collier, Richwood; Robert Leedom, Portsmouth; C. W. Kyle. Girard; R. H. Steinfurth. Mantua; George B. Holst, Marietta; Walter S. Leppla, Millersburg; E. D. Carlton, assistant to Chief Steinfurth, Mantua; Robert Mann. Clyde; John D. Curtis, Sandusky; Dan R. Darklow, Bellevue; T. W. Taylor. Barnesville; F. F. Reed, chairman fire committee, Barnesville; Herbert Kidgell, Hudson; Frank Wilson, Ottawa; Conrad Adleta. Reading; Howard M. Day, Johnstown; F. M. Smith, Ironton; W. J. Fulton, Shelby.
Representatives of Industrial Plants and Industrial Fire Chiefs
Philip J. Harty. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., Youngstown; Sam. J. Butler, Republic Iron and Steel Company, Youngstown; Captain J. J. Conway, Supt. Salvage Corps, Cincinnati; A. C. McElroy, Trumbull Steel Company. Warren; A. F. Piper, Supt. Plant Protection, Miller Rubber Company, Akron; A. C. Kidd. Fire Chief, Miller Rubber Company. Akron; Charles I.. Jost, Firestone Rubber Company, Akron; E. W. Hexamer, United Alloy Steel Company, Canton; Charles Greensfelder. Proctor & Gamble Company, Ivorydale; J. I. Fisher, Willard Storage Battery Company, Cleveland; George W. O’Connor. National Lamp Co., Cleveland; W. H. Kast, Cleveland Twist Drill Company, Cleveland; I. F. Collins, Chandler Motor Car Company, Cleveland; A. W. Graham, Ivanhoe Plant, Cleveland Metal Products Company, Cleveland; R. C. Engels, Cleveland; Charles Morse, Falcon Steel Company, Niles; Robert Herron. Mead Pulp & Paper Company, Chillicothe; F. H. Wright, special representative Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Clark Stasme, Wheeling Steel Corporation, Wheeling, W. Va.; J. P. Gibson, National Supply Company, Toledo; C. H. Kelly, Toledo; A. G. Crouse, The Seagrave Company, Columbus; J. Treirs, Cleveland Metal Products Company, Columbus; B. M. Hoffman, Ramey Mfg. Company, Columbus; Charles L. Resch, Ralston Steel Car Company, Columbus; W. A. Swift, supervisor. Fire Prevention. New York Central Lines, Columbus; Rone Arthur, Wheeling Steel Corporation, Portsmouth; C. L. Pitcock, Kirksville Chain Company. Crooksville; A. Workman, Rottefer Glass Company, Bellaire; Christian A. Rittman, American Crayon Company, Sandusky; R. E. Vanatta, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, Barberton; W. A. Hutson. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, Barberton; O. J. Dutzler, Portsmouth By-Product Coke Company, Portsmouth; Frank Muenz, Newark; Paul Mason, State Department of Health, (charter member), Columbus.