Superintendent as Fire Prevention Leader
There can be very little doubt but that the logical leader in the Fire Prevention movement of a city or town is the superintendent of the water works department. Not only by his position, but also through his education and training, he should be equipped to take the lead in this movement. He, of necessity, must have considerable executive ability, else he could not hold the position he does. By the very nature of his position, he is in the public eye and is a well-known figure in the municipality. As a rule, he is popular and well liked by the citizens and, even if not gifted with oratorical ability, he is generally a plain and forcible speaker, as witness the conventions and meetings of the water works associations, and even lacking this gift, there will be plenty of his assistants in the campaign in Fire Prevention who can supply the deficiency.
The added advantage and prestige which his position as head of the water works would lend to his chairmanship of the committee in charge of the Fire Prevention movement would be of incalculable benefit to the cause. Those municipalities which contemplate a campaign of this nature for Fire Prevention Day or Week—and this should mean every city or town in the land—should turn to their water works superintendents to lead them in the fight to lessen the fire waste and to save to the nation the hundreds of precious lives and the millions of dollars which otherwise would go up in smoke.
Remember, this official is a modest man and it may take some persuasion to induce him to assume the post of leader in this movement; but, if you can get him to undertake the work, he will make good!
In a circular letter to the school authorities and teachers of Indiana, Newman T. Miller, state fire marshal of Indiana, makes several excellent suggestions as to Fire Prevention in the schools. He especially stresses the importance of the education of the scholars in the principles of Fire Prevention and also urges the perfection of the fire drill and the attention of the school authorities to all matters connected with the safety of the scholars, such as exits, fire escapes, fire extinguishers, and especially the important matter of a competent janitor.