Sacramento Performs Unusual “X”-Curricular Job
It is axiomatic that “when in trouble, call the fire department.” The result is that firemen are continually performing extra-curricular work—some of which is indeed far removed from the business of fire control and extinguishment. One of the most unusual such demands made upon a willing department was that recently experienced by the Sacramento, Calif., Fire Department, Chief Terence Mulligan.
Sacramento is noted for its beautiful elm trees. There was much concern recently when an invasion of parasites (leaf-piercing aphis, it is said) appeared to be causing serious damage to these trees—not to speak of the inconvenience caused motorists by the gummy substance released by the aphis which was dropped on cars and windshields.
Various remedies applied by the Superintendent of Parks being of no avail, it was evident special equipment and “heroic measures” would be required to rid the trees of the pestiferous parasites. Washing the leaves of the pests and the gum they release, seemed to be the answer—and in the extremity, Chief Mulligan and his men were summoned for help.
The chief assigned a crew with a piece of apparatus equipped with a deluge gun to the task, A 2 1/2-in. line was led from a reserve pumper into the deluge gun and the heavy stream was used to wash away the parasites from the leaves and limbs, generally checking the plague.
According to Chief Mulligan, Sacramento citizens were high in their praise of their fire department for this service —beyond the normal call of duty. As for the fire fighters—they considered it just another day’s work.