Twenty-ninth Gathering at Oklahoma City Largest Association Has Ever Held-Some Excellent and Practical Addresses and Good Discussions

WHEN the Oklahoma fire fighters start out to do anything it is a sure thing that it will be done to perfection. The twenty-ninth annual convention of the Oklahoma State Firemen’s Association amply bore out this reputation. Convening on June 4 at the Central Fire Station considerably over six hundred firemen from every part of the state and from several other states too, made this gathering a memorable one in the history of organization.

First Session June 4, 1:30 P. M.

The convention was called to order at 1:30 p. m. on Monday, June 4, by President W. L. Jackson, of Wilson. After the invocation by Rev. Dr. W. H. B. Urch, the delegates were welcomed by Mayor O. A. Cargill, of Oklahoma City. To this, President Jackson responded. The second address of welcome was by Gov. J. C. Walton, of Oklahoma, and the reply was by Ex-Chief Echols, Elk City. Other addresses were made by Fire Commissioner Parman of the Convention City, who is known as “the smiling smoke-eater,” and who told the visitors nothing in the city was too good for them: by Chief T. B. Grudup, of Sulphur, who replied in fitting terms, and who, by the way, carried off the convention for next year; by Chief George B. Goff, of Oklahoma City, who also issued a fraternal welcome, and by Chief George B. Gelder, of Yale, who replied.

Charles Slemp, Secretary, Oklahoma State Firemen’s Association

The president then introduced a “young fellow with progressive ideas,” and Ex-Chief T. Dowell, armed with the gold cowbell which thirty years before had been his insignia of office as the first president of the association, made a historical address.

In the evening, there was a theatre party.

Roll Call Opens Second Day

The second session of the convention was held in the Pentecostal Church and opened with a roll call of the delegates and the assessing of fines on the absentees. After the reports of committees, the topics assigned to various speakers were taken up.

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Oklahoma Firemen Flold Big Convention

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The first of these was an address by Fire Marshal L. T. Hussey of Kansas City, secretary of the Fire Marshal’s Association of North America, who spoke in his usual eloquent manner on Fire Prevention and mentioned various hints which should be adopted for preventing the enormous fire loss which disgraces the country. Mr. Hussey was followed by Miss Olga Guniger. who spoke on the subject of “Fire Prevention Work in Ladies’ Clubs” and was listened to with close attention.

The third address was not on the program but was considered one of the best of the second day’s session. It was delivered by Richard E. Vernor, manager of Fire Prevention Department, Western Actuarial Bureau of Chicago. Mr. Vernor did not mince his words in discussing Fire Prevention from a practical standpoint and he was frequently interrupted by applause from the listeners.

The other topics and speakers of this session were: Topic 3, “Duties of Firemen Toward Fire Prevention,” by Jerry Atkinson of the Oklahoma State Fire Prevention Association; Topic 4, “Relationship Between Firemen and the Adjuster,” by Norman Nelson, manager, Bates Adjustment Company; Topic 5, “Co-operation Between Local Fire Insurance Agents and ‘The Fire Department,’” by John Delaney, president, Oklahoma Conservation Association.

Trips and Baseball in the Afternoon

Directly after luncheon, the convention, 650 strong, were taken to Packingtown, a suburb of Oklahoma City, and the Morris & Co. plant metaphorically opened its arms to the 650 firemen and took them over the entire works including strange smells and all. From there they adjoined to the fair grounds as guests of Jack Holland. The ball game resulted in a victory for Holland’s Western League aggregation over Omaha in the ninth inning. The evening was taken up with the annual ball, where every fire fighter appeared with his best uniform and his best girl.

Business Session Monday Morning

After the routine business at the 9:30 session, Topic 6 was taken up by Chief George B. Goff. Chief Goff’s address: was of a practical nature and he referred to the necessity of restricting the use of water in extinguishing fires so as to avoid unnecessary damage. The chief said: “We are learning more each year about the proper way in which to extinguish fires without tremendous losses caused by water. The ventilation of fires is one thing. Open up your building; don’t let the smoke curtain hide your fire. Shut your lines off until you find the fire. After you think you’ve killed thefire, slack up on your hose lines. When the fire is out, overhaul the building for hot spots. If there’s a bathtub in the building, fill it and throw smouldering rags in that; don’t toss them out the windows. Or get a garden hose, attachit to the kitchen sink and use that to wet down your high spots.”

Topic 7 was by John Ashmead, of the National Board of Fire Underwriters on “Practical Fire Prevention from a Fire Department Standpoint.” The third address was by C. T. Ingalls, manager, Oklahoma Inspection Bureau on “Co-operation” constituting Topic 8. Attorney General George Short followed Mr. Ingalls and paid a glowing tribute to the firemen of Oklahoma. “Not one of them.” said he, “has ever been charged with theft in all the criminal annals of Oklahoma. You men are the real producers of the state,” said Mr. Short. “For, if tenure of possession is not secure, no citizen would dare to leave his home to be a producer. You are soldiers of peace, and sentinels of safety. Except for you, the loss of labor would be manifold.”

Addresses were also made by Insurance Commissioner E. W. Hardin and State Fire Marshal John Connolly of Oklahoma.

Luncheon Served at Norman

At the close of Wednesday’s morning session, the convention were taken by automobiles from the Central FireStation to Norman, Okla., and enjoyed a luncheon furnished by the Norman Chamber of Commerce. This was followed by trips to the Central State Hospital and the State University and an entertainment by the Norman fire department. In the evening, a round table discussion and smoker was held and general discussion on Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention topics was the order of the day.

Final Session on Thursday

The final business session was held Thursday morning at 9:30 a. m. and opened with reports of officers and committees. At the annual election, the following officers were chosen: President, Chief W. A. Peters. Sallisaw.

First Vice-President, George B. Gelder, Yale.

Second Vice-President, Chief George B. Goff, Oklahoma City. Third Vice-President, J. E. Taplin, Blackwell.

Charles Slemp of Oklahoma City was re-elected secretarytreasurer by acclamation and thus started his eighth consecutive year in that position.

Sulphur Next Convention City

The selection of the next convention city followed and after Colonel Graves keeper had overwhelmed the delegates with his oratory, Bartlesville, which also up to that time had been in the running, withdrew in confusion and Sulphur won the next convention hands down.

Memorial Service in the Afternoon

The annua! memorial service took place at the Pentecostal Church, an eloquent address being delivered by Rev. W. H. B. Urch. The music was by the Oklahoma City fire department band and included beside the hymns, two well rendered cornet solos.

The members of the association who had passed away during the year and whose names were read by Secretary Slemp, were as follows: J. Bart Foster, former chief Chandler;

Mark H. Kesler and Clyde A. Smith of Oklahoma City; Milton N. Alexander of Hollis; Monroe Blocker and Frank Carver of Tulsa; Jess Kern, former chief of Miami, and W. L. Bird, Nathan Adler and R. A. Ball of Davis.

After the memorial services an exhibition was given by the Oklahoma fire department and the convention closed with a banquet at 6:30 p. m.

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