Pennsylvania State Firemen.
Owing to lack of room, the proceedings of the 33d annual convention of the Pennsylvania State Firemen’s Association had to be omitted from last week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING. The convention was held in York for three days, beginning September 5, and it is estimated that fully 10,000 firemen were present on the second day, nearly one-half of whom were accompanied by their wives or lady friends. The social features provided for the throng of visitors on the first day consisted of a banquet at the York fair grounds for the fire fighters and a theater party at the Auditorium and a luncheon by the Epworth Methodist Church for the women. The festivities were largely attended, and merriment, such as firemen can have, reigned long into the night. Many old acquaintances were renewed by the firemen. Emerson Ruby, of Chicago, formerly of York, and John Sapp, of Reading, met for the first time in 45 years, hire Chief Geo. S. Krolt called the convention to order. After invocation by tbe Rev. S. H. Stein, chaplain of the York department, addresses of welcome were delivered by Mayor Jacob E. Weaver and N. Sargent Ross, the former on behalf of the city and the latter on behalf of the firemen. The response was made by President Ferber. Business sessions followed, during which it was decided to hold the next convention in Lebanon. Death benefits were increased from $100 to $110. Recording Secretary W. W. Wunder stated that there were 2,588 delegates in attendance at the convention. This number exceeds that of the 1911 convention by 326. There were 14 deaths in the association’s ranks during the past year. Benjamin F. Chase, member of Clearfield Company No. 1, Clearfield, who is now United States Consul at Leeds, England, sent a communication, which was read before the firemen. He urges the regulation ot building construction as a means of reducing fire loss. European cities were cited as an example. Leeds, with a population of 445,000 people, has only 35 active, and eight substitute firemen. The city, lie declared is a hive of industry. The newly elected officers are: President, Alfred H. Marks, of Allentown; vice-president, Charles S. Salin, Ridley Park; Daniel Harris, Catassaqua; John D. Cole, Rochester; William H. Rohm, Harrisburg; recording secretary, W. W. Wunder, Reading; financial secretary, Irvine A. Hahne, Lock Haven; corresponding secretary, J. A. Green, Carlisle; chaplain, the Rev. Seth Russell Downie, Lebanon.
A. L. Reichenbach, in his report as treasurer, was very optimistic about the future of the association. He predicted that within the next decade the death benefit would be increased to $200, double the amount paid the past year. At present there is $16,735 in the treasury. Since 1896, when the death benefit fund was established, there have been but 52 deaths, out of a total membership of 4,782. This is slightly more than 1 per cent., and is considered remarkable, owing to the fact that neither age nor health is reckoned in admitting members. The placing of $10,000 into a singing fund, he said, would enable the association to face all emergencies. Fred W. Hay, Scranton, read a paper on “A Fireman is a Fireman, no Matter Where He Lives,” in which he advocated that the positions in the fire departments of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton be placed under civil service and be open to all firemen regardless of where they live. The formation of a system of tactics for firemen’s street parades was recommended by E. P. Geer, Bellwood, who presented a paper on “Street Demonstrations.” One of the unique features on the second day was the burlesque parade and exhibition of the Darktown Fire Brigade and Plome Guards of Blackville, composed of members of the Rescue Fire Company, of York, who have won much praise in recent years for their portrayalof negro fire fighters. The procession traversed the principal streets and was witnessed by 30,000 residents and visitors. The obesrvance of the annual firemen’s memorial day was touched upon by the Rev. Seth R. Downie, Bath, chaplain of the association, who said: “I do not believe in any such thing as immortal fame, but do in immortal influence. This influence I want you to catch in the memorial day observance. If we live up to this memorial idea, nothing can add greater efficiency to the service.” More than 100,000 persons, onehalt of whom were visitors, viewed the greatest pageant in the history of York, when 10,000 of Pennsylvania’s volunteer firemen marched to the strains of music furnished by 80 bands. Maryland and New York veteran lire lighters were guests. The mammoth spectacle was carried through without a hitch, although there were several light rainfalls during the procession. The ability of the Yorkers to handle a record throng was demonstrated. Prizes amounting to $550 were awarded the best appearing companies in line, as follows: Finest appearing uniformed company, $106, Colwyn Fire Company No. 1, of Colwyn.
Best equipped uniform company, $100, Hampton S. F. E. No. 6, Reading.
Largest uniformed company: First. $100, Greensburg; second, $50, Brandywine Fire Company, Coatesville.
Coining the greatest distance, 25 or more men, accompanied by a band, $100, Lathrobe Fire Company.
Company having the largest uniformed band. $50, Brandywine Eire Company, Coatesville.
Company having the finest appearing parade apparatus. $50, Washington Engine Company No. 2, Feekskill, N. Y.