SANTA ANA, CAL., ESTABLISHES RESCUE AND SALVAGE UNIT
Body Constructed on Old Fire Department Chassis—Men Assigned to Company Well Trained in Emergency First Aid Work
A STUDY of local conditions in Santa Ana, Cal., convinced Chief John Luxembourger that the community of 40,000 persons could be better served in cases of an emergency if the fire department had a crew of specially trained men and the necessary equipment. Disasters in schools, theatres or hospitals are not impossible and would place the city in an extremely awkward and embarrassing position if preparations were not made to handle such a condition.
Chief Luxentbourger presented his ideas to the city council, and of a scheme to remodel a truck used as a squad wagon to serve as a rescue unit. The actual work was done by volunteers of the department working during their offshift hours. When the truck was completed and ready for service, Rescue & Salvage Company No. 1 was created and installed in the quarters of Engine House No.
1. Two of the most capable officers in first aid practice were assigned as ranking officers of the new company, with the Chief in direct supervision.
Additional equipment was needed to insure proper results. Members of the City Council and the Purchasing Agent approved the move and the following equipment is now carried:
18 salvage covers
100 ft. 1/2-inch rope
100 ft. 1-inch rope
1 pair insulated bolt cutters
1 8-lb. sledge
2 fire axes
2 sacks sawdust
2 sacks fine sand
1 Detroit door opener
1 Army stretcher
1 rear spotligtht
1 10-inch locomotive bell
6 bottles oxygen
1 complete first aid cabinet
1 surgical kit
6 Torridaire hot pads
2 sterilized sheets
2 21/2-gal. Babcocks
2 Grether hand lanterns
2 qt. carbon tetrachloride guns
3 Burrell “All Service” masks
1 Gibbs breathing apparatus
1 roll tar paper
4 prs. fog-proof gogles
1 12-foot pike pole
2 flood lights (mounted)
1 10-inch S. & M. (ruby lens)
1 B. & M. siren
2 bottles Carbogen
2 first aid kits (portable)
6 surgical aprons
2 wool blankets
Necessary bandages and instrument
All of this is carried on a 1923 Reo Speed-Wagon chassis. The cost of remodeling was about $700, including materials and labor.
With the equipment carried and operated by capable members of the department, such cases as serious burns, cuts, fractures, bleeding and occasions where the administration of oxygen is necessary and many other emergency cases can be handled in a way that will insure a large measure of success. Entering smoke or fume-filled enclosures such as basements, breaking into and through barred passageways and reaching difficult positions for the purpose of rescuing endangered persons also comes under the duties of the rescue crew. This crew has been instrumental in salvaging stocks in commercial buildings, furnishings in the private dwelling and other places where smoke, fire or water damage would result in a loss.
Chief Luxembourger elaborated on the value and purpose of the rescue service during a recent demonstration by the Fire Department before the members of the Elks Club.
“It has been our one and greatest desire to offer and provide for the citizens of Santa Ana a Fire Department that could be called on a moment’s notice, whether day or night. to render prompt and efficient service and assistance in time of need. Educating the public to the needs of the department in the way of additional equipment is a slow process, however; it is much more difficult to bring to the minds of the people the fact that we are now equipped to render first aid and rescue service by men who are thoroughly capable of handling any situation which may arise. Although we are not trying to take the place of a physician, we do know that there are times when a doctor is not immediately available, especially in cases of extreme emergency. It is for such occasions that we offer the services of the department. It is our custom to call a doctor immediately upon our arrival if one has not been previously summoned.
“I have every confidence in the capability of the men detailed to this work, as they were appointed to the positions because of their previous preparation in this line. These men have been thoroughly trained in the latest methods of first aid and uses of tne various pieces of equipment. The sooner the public recognizes the fact that we are at its service, regardless of time or conditions, the quicker we will BE ABLE TO RENDER THE aid that has heretofore been unavailable.
“We are at the service of the citizens twenty-four hours a day and take pride in rendering relief to anyone who meets with misfortune in the way of an accident of this nature.”
The Chief has extended an invitation to any and all citizens to visit the Fire Station where the Rescue & Salvage Company is located, assuring them that a thorough explanation will be made of all phases of the rescue work.
Plans Being Drawn for Erie, Pa., Headquarters—Plans are being rushed on the new fire department headquarters to be erected in Erie, Pa. The last fire house built in the city was completed in 1905. It is believed the headquarters station will cost $100,000.
Six-County Firemen Planning Convention—Plans are being completed for the convention of the Six-County Firemen’s Association to be held in Danville, Pa. The counties participating are Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland. Schuylkill, Columbia and Montour.