PENNSYLVANIA HOLDS SCHOOL FOR WEEK AT STATE COLLEGE
First Annual School Draws Attendance of Over 200—Work Arranged for Group Instruction
MORE than two hundred Pennsylvania fire fighters received their state certificates at the conclusion of the first annual fire school and fire conference held at State College, Pa., the week of August 27. Following an address by Horatio Bond on Friday, September 1, and a brief talk by Dr. Walter B. Jones, Industrial Education Chief of Pennsylvania, the certificates were awarded by Rollin B. Posey, Principal of the Public Service Institute, Harrisburg, Pa.
The immediate direction of the week’s courses rested with George L. Townsend, Assistant Principal, Public Service Institute, who did an excellent job. Classes were held regularly in the various class rooms at the Pennsylvania State College, in its laboratories, and at such points as suited the needs of the student firemen. After the afternoon classes, games of soft ball and other sports were enjoyed, and some lively contests added zest to the occasion.
The evening sessions were in the form of a general assembly at the huge recreation hall of the college. Numerous fire extinguishment films and other educational “movies” were displayed. Among the speakers who addressed these evening sessions were: H. D. Immel, Director, Bureau of Inspection, State of Pennsylvania; T. Alfred Fleming of the National Board of Fire Underwriters; D. C. Jones, State College; Chief Nicholas Phelan, Pittsburgh: Dr. David J. Price, Washington; State Fire Marshal William F. Treager of Harrisburg; Chiefs Wagner and Erb of York and Allentown; Lieut. Faber and Sergeant Roche of the Pennsylvania Motor Police; Dr. Charles Bauer, Allentown, and Horatio Bond, Boston.
Leo Lieberman, Chief, Bureau of Combustibles, New York Fire Department, gave an enlightening address on the subject of gases and chemicals met with in fire fighting. The illustrated lecture on first aid and rescue by Dr. Hubley R. Owen, Police and Fire Surgeon of Philadelphia, was enthusiastically received. A highly informative paper on laws relating to Pennsylvania firemen prepared and read by Chief James L. Jack, Fire Marshal of Indiana County, contained a wealth of timely data and valued information.
One of the high lights of the occasion was the presentation of an honorary certificate to Dr “Dave” Price who spoke feelingly of his love for his native state of Pennsylvania and his momentary return to the alma mater of his college days. With the dynamic T. Alfred Fleming, Dr. Price was accorded a powerful ovation, and it was with reluctance that the listeners permitted these two popular gentlemen to depart.
The complete Fire Department equipment of the State College borough fire companies was available throughout the week. The Lewistown, Pa., Fire Department sent a 1,000-gallon Ahrens-Fox pumper and a Pirsch junior aerial truck daily to the training grounds. A Mack and an American-LaFrance pumper— both 750-gallon centrifugals — were loaned to the school by the respective manufacturers.
The course of training was divided into four groups, viz., chiefs; engineers, drivers and mechanics; firemen (rank and file); teacher training. The first group was subdivided into sections according to population of communities represented. Heading the respective groups were George Carpeneto, Chief, Undine hire Company. Bellcfonte, Pa.; Chief Michael Clark, Williamsport, Pa.; former Chief Edmund Lewis, Scranton, Pa., and Chief Ross B. Davis, Philadelphia.
The class of engineers, drivers and mechanics was taught by “Art” Flspey, Bureau of Fire, Elmira, N. Y., assisted by Lieut. William R. Snyder, Master Mechanic of the Allentown, Pa., Fire Department. The firemen group was directed by George Cartwright, Drill Master, Johnstown, Pa., Fire Department.
The teacher training group was instructed by Dr. F. Theodore Struck, Head of the Department of Industrial Education, Penn State College, and Herman F. Hall, Chief, Trade and Industrial Education, Connecticut State Department of Education. The practice training sessions were directed by Captain Joseph P. Fay, Fire School Instructor, assisted by Captain William R. Fulham, both officers being attached to the Bureau of Fire, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Demonstrations were held of the Day nozzle, Alfco vapor nozzle, and the new Poweron nozzle in the extinguishment of oil and gas fires; carbon dioxide fire extinguishing equipment. Foam extinguishers were demonstrated by representatives of the Day Company, the American-LaFrance-Foamite Co., the Walter Kidde Co., and the Pyrene Manufacturing Co. Others who displayed and demonstrated their Fire Department products were the Atlas Life Net Company, the E. & J. Resuscitator Company, and the A. D. T. Company. George L. Seth lectured on the subject of the all service mask, the one-hour oxygen breathing apparatus, and the H. & H. Inhalator, products of the Mine Safety Appliances Company.
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As a token of appreciation, the men enrolled in the fire school and the instructors of the various groups presented George L. Townsend with a tennis racquet and all accessories. The presentation speech was made by Chief Erb of Allentown, Pa., who lauded the efforts of Mr. Townsend who planned, prepared and directed the first annual Fire College of the State of Pennsylvania. It is only fitting before concluding this account to mention genial “Charlie” Clark of Wayne, Pa.. Secretary, Pennsylvania State Firemen’s Association and the “Eastern Regulars.” “Charlie” was George Townsend’s “right bower” and he handled the immense task of registering the two hundred and more students as only “Charlie’” Clark can.