Reading Volunteers Oppose Paid Department
The Herald, of Reading, Pa., says: “The attitude of the firemen toward the inevitable paid department indicates a common-sense and a harmony which does the volunteers credit. They are not going to scrap or wrangle, it appear. They are going to accept all that is coming to them. They are going to do it protestingly, sure enough. They do not believe in a paid fire department, and they are not a bit eager or ready for it. But, counseled by wise leaders, they are not going to make a fuss about it. They arc going to be mild and responsive. They realize that there is no use in kicking against the pricks. They understand that the day of the volunteer department is doomed; that its death knell has been rung. Just how soon the curtain may fall and the transformation take place they have no definite knowledge. But they arc not seeking to prolong the agony. Their leaders have given them sage ad vice. And these firemen are following it like the good citizens that they aspire to be. There is a joy about running to a fire akin only to the joy of battle. Many a soldier has grown homesick and heartsick in a foreign field because there was nothing doing, because there was no chance to light, because the battle that he longed for in t er came There will be under the paid department somewhat of this same lack and sadness. The firemen will be unable to answer the alarm in the good old way. Their services will be no longer needed. Oothers will do the fire fighting; hirelings, not volunteers. They will miss the thrill and glamor of tingood old days. No wonder that for this and for other reasons they dislike the incoming of a paid system and would gladly stave off the evil day. But they are showing a striking cheerful ness under the circumstances. They have evidently made up their mind to meet their fate smiling. They are not going to storm and quar rel. Their leaders have bidden them ‘be nice.’ And ‘be nice’ is the advice they are going to heed. Seeing that a paid fire department must come one of these days, it is far wiser and more patriotic for the firemen to welcome it graciously than to war against it ferociously.”
The water board of Los Angeles, Cal., is against the joint board of control plan advanced by the power corporations for the operation of the mu nicipal power distributing system during the period of leasing from the corporations. The board has been advised by its attorneys that such a plan would be an illegal delegation of its own powers, and would be against the public interest.