OHIO’S FIRE CHIEFS.
HIO’S fire chiefs have just held their second annual convention of chiefs. There were present: D. C. Larkin, president, Dayton; William Aungst, Alliance; M. Eugene Crofoot, Painesville; Z. T. Donnan, Greenville; John Milliken, Washington; W. H. Williamson, Portsmouth; C. F. Reiff, Fremont; 15. F. Mauderbach, Akron; Stephen Genslinger, Troy; It. J. Lacy, W i 1 m i ngton ; George Knofflock, Mansfield: Jacob A. Rinehart, Dunkirk; C. F. Wall, Toledo, treasurer; A. Mollenkoff, Convoy; James W. Dickinson, Cleveland; G. Follrath, Springfield, and Henry Hills, of Wyoming, secretary of this, and the national association. There were many new applications for membership, as the association is growing more and more in favor among the fire chiefs of the state. The treasurer’s report showed a balance of $51.50.
Chief Dickinson, of Cleveland, read the following paper on “Advance in Fire Department Work : ”
“Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Convention:—This meeting has been called not only for the purpose of mutual benefit, but to inquire into the most approved method of fighting fires, as well as to know the best thing to be done by fire-lighters and for all emergencies arising in and about a fire. As fire departments are at present constituted, their members are supposed to devote their time and service to the extinguishment of fires only. That has properly been the primary object of organization,equipment, and support of such departments. To make them most efficient, the latest improved apparatus and paraphernalia have been secured and placed in the hands of those skilled in the art of fighting and putting out fires. In American municipalities, no department is so popidar as those engaged in the fire service. This arises, no doubt, from the fact that the members are always on the alert, quickest to respond to every call, reliable and efficient in services rendered, and heroes when, forgetful of self, perilous conditions demand their personal sacrifice. Its telegraphic facilities distributed at all points of a city bring lire departments within easy call in case of fire or an emergency, and this also popularizes them with all classes of people. What can be done to make them still more efficient and popular ?
We would suggest “The first aid,” as it is called, taught by professors of athletics in all the Young Men’s Christian Associations throughout this country, and exhibited before the Chiefs’ Rational Convention at Springfield, Mass., in 1891. Those passing examination under the rules of such association receive a diploma authorizing them to practise such first aid in restoring persons injured by explosions, suffocated by smoke, or in a comatose state from smothering through any cause; setting, temporarily, broken bones, relieving persons from the effects of poisons, burns, scalding and all other accidents or various cases of emergency they are taught to handle. For firemen would at any time rather save a life than a building. Policemen and others near where an acdent occurs should at once send in an alarm from the nearest file box, and the fire apparatus, manned with a company of intelligent, fearless firemen and equipped with ladders, ropes, picks, saws, shovels, axes, and other necessary implemens—restoratives, bandages, and other aids, dispatched to the designated place. Many now present have no doubt witnessed, through the timely efforts of firemen, with only their limited knowledge, crude methods,and incomplete appliances for such purposes, the restoration of life by such means of persons supposed to be dead. It will not be long before all the fire departments must of necessity, in order to keep up their present high standard of efficiency, have a school of athletics, where the members can be so drilled they will the better endure the fatigue and hardships demanded of them at fires. Men sitting around all day in their engine houses waiting for fires, with very little if any but the most ordinary exercise, their muscles become soft and flabby, they get too fat and short winded, and some, in such condition, can scarcely run the length of a line of hose without becoming winded and exhausted and entirely unfitted for the present duty or to encounter and work successfully in a smoky, smudgy, band-fought fire. This “first aid” mentioned and a school of athletics give the fireman a more extended and thorough knowledge of the subject he may be called upon to handle in the line of emergent duty, and is also important in its bearing upon the relief and pension funds of the department, as it fortifies him more strongly against many of the ailments incident to a life of partial leisure, whether forced or voluntary. View it as we may, this proposed new departure and advance in the work of fire departments will inaugurate and establish a still greater public interest and concern in them, and bring them in more constant and still closer touch with the people who so cheerfully maintain them.”
A long and interesting discussion followed the reading of Chief Dickinson’s paper. Those who took the princicipal part in the discussion were Chiefs Knofflock, Wall, and Dickinson. President Larkin appointed a committee for an exhibition of “ first aid” at their next convention, to be held at Columbus—Chiefs Dickinson, Wall, and Follrath.
An informal talk introduced by Chief lleinmiller took place on the subject of pensions for different departments and a beneficial association in connection with the departments throughout the state, in which Chiefs Dickinson, Mauderbach, Wall,Winchell, Follrath, and President Larkin took part; the latter appointed as a committee to draft the general pension bill for the State of Ohio, Chiefs lleinmiller, Dickinson, Wall, Winchell, and Knofflock.
This was succeeded by another on electric wiring and legislative enactments thereon, in the course of which Chief Mauderbach spoke strongly on the subjectof giving the municipal authorities of every city the power to say where and how the wires should be strung, as the fire department had often improper insulation and improper construction to contend with. At Akron they lost $107,000 by the improper erection of the electric light wires. Chief Wall showed how they interfered with the raising of the ladders and the proper operation of the apparatus. He would have all such wires placed underground, a method which Chief Mauderbach heartily indorsed. The experiment had been successfully, if only partially tried at Akron.
As noted last week in FIRE AND WATER, Chief Heinmiller, of Columbus, was elected president for next year, and Chief Williamson, of Portsmouth, first vice-president. The other vice-presidents were Chiefs Milliken, of Washington, and Winchell, of Zanesville. Chief Henry A. Hills, of Wyoming, the present secretary, and Chief T. C. Wall, of Toledo, were unanimously re-elected secretary and treasurer. The following new members were admitted: George Follrath, Springfield; K. L. Winchell, Zanesville; W. II. Williamson, Portsmouth; It. J, Lucy, Wilmington; M. Eugene Crofoot, Painesville; W. II. Murphy, Columbus: J. Daniels, Columbus; Chas. E. Johnson, Columbus; Josiali Harlow, Portsmouth; D. E. Davidson, Xenia.