The Fire Chiefs’ Convention at Richmond
Report of Happenings at Annual Gathering of I. A. F. F.—Business Session Very Well Attended—Good Exhibits—List of Attendance
(Special Report to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING)
A CONVENTION notable for its large attendance at the business sessions and the admirable entertainment and hospitality by the authorities of the convention city was that of the fifty-first annual gathering of the International Association of Fire Engineers at Richmond, Va., on October 23 to 26. The chiefs began assembling on Monday, October 22, some in their cars, some via the Eastern Regulars, the New England Contingent, the Western Delegation, the Southern Regulars, and so on. The weather during the week was excellent, except Tuesday, on which day it rained pretty steadily. For the trip down the James River on Friday, the weather was ideal, A notable fact in this connection was the unusually large number who stayed over until Friday. The last day of a convention is usually rather slimly attended, but on this occasion nearly the full number was present.
Opening Session 10:30 P. M., Tuesday, October 23
The opening session of the convention took place on the dot of 10:30 A. M., on Tuesday, October 23, as scheduled in the program, with President Charles W. Ringer, chief of the fire department of Minneapolis, Minn., in the chair. In fact, a characteristic of this convention, under President Ringer’s administration, was the promptness with which the sessions opened on schedule time. The convention hall of the Jefferson Hotel auditorium was by this time filled with the chiefs and other members and their ladies. The chair called upon Rev. Beverly D. Tucker, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, who delivered the invocation. This was followed by the singing of “America” by the convention led by Howard Bryant. The chair then introduced Mayor George Ainslee of Richmond.
Mayor Ainslee’s Father Chief of Richmond
In welcoming the convention Mayor Ainslee said that he felt a particular interest in the occasion, as fifty years ago his father, who was chief of the fire department of Richmond at the time, left for Baltimore on October 20, 1873, to attend the organization meeting of the then National Association of Fire Chiefs. Mayor Ainslee said this was the first convention of the many he had attended in Richmond that had opened its session on time. His address was punctuated with witty and humorous stories. He welcomed the members of the association, he said, in the name of the city very cordially.
The mayor’s address was followed by song by Mr. Bryant. Chief Bywater and ExChief Brockwell Reply The chair called for Ex-Chief Sherwood Brockwell, safety engineer of the insurance department of North Carolina, bill as he was not present, called upon First Vice-President Bywatcr, fire chief of Salt Lake City, to respond. Chief Bywatcr began his address and was just warming up to his usual eloquence when Mr. Brockwell came in. He then promptly turned the office of replying to the mayor over to the ex-chief.
Mr. Brockwell made a short hut fervent address in which he thanked the mayor for his hospitality and referred to the history of Virginia.
The President’s Address
President Ringer said he noted that there was an item on the program calling for the “President’s Address.” He would not put any such infliction upon the members. He reminded them that the meetings would open at the exact time scheduled and urged prompt and full attendance at all sessions. He spoke of the importance of the Round Table Discussions. President Ringer referred to the problem of the automobile and the interference with the fire apparatus in answering alarms. He hoped that some suggestions would come from these sessions that would relieve the dangerous condition. The band of the Oklahoma City fire department then rendered a selection. This organization, which entertained the convention frequently with its well rendered music, has been touring the country on its way to Richmond and has been well received all along the line.
Impressive Memorial Service
The memorial service, which immediately followed, was opened by the singing of “Nearer My God to Thee,” led by Howard Bryant and accompanied by the Oklahoma City band.
The oration was delivered by Captain J. D. McNeill, of Fayetteville, N. Y., whose address tvas very eloquent and emphasized the importance of the work which the “Army of Peace” accomplished for humanity.
At the conclusion of the address “One Sweetly Solemn Thought” was sung by Howard Bryant. Secretary Mulcahey then read the names of those who had passed away during the year. At the reading of the list all stood in silence and at its conclusion taps were sounded.
The report of the resolutions committee, read by Chief Boyd, concluded the memorial service.
Garage Hazard and Arson at Afternoon Session
The afternoon session opened as promptly as did that of the morning, with Vice-President Bywater presiding. The first topic was “Garages with Sleeping Quarters Overhead,” and was opened by Sherwood Brockwell, of the fire marshal’s department of No. Carolina, Raleigh, Mr. Brockwell treated the subject at length, and pointed out the hazards which accompany the allowing of garages to be placed in the lower part of buildings where persons sleep. He pointed out the great influence that the chiefs’ association has all over the world, and how necessary it was for the association to take a decided stand in the matter under discussion. He urged the chiefs to go home prepared to take action against any form of sleeping quarters over garages, over cleaning establishments or any others where such inflammable materials were stored. Chief Sandidge told of methods in Lynchburg, whereby builders of such garages were compelled to seal their walls so that there was no connection with other parts of the building.
Chief Joseph, Ludington, Mich., suggested that if refused insurance on all homes with garages under them, such action would solve the difficulty. He knew of houses where the owmer let out his garage for the use of as many as three cars, with his family sleeping above, and these cars coming in at all hours of the night.
Chief Delfs spoke of the jeopardizing of human lives by the practice of placing garages under sleeping quarters, and said that the National Board should be asked to co-operate with the association to formulate proper law’s to cover the subjects. He moved that the secretary be instructed to mail printed copies of the suggested ordinance to every fire chief in the country. The motion was seconded.
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Chief Gildav said that in Hoboken he was boss as regards the construction of garages. All those already in existence must be made fireproof with no connection with the stories above. Garages under sweatshops must also be fireproof and only outside entrances allowed, with none on inside of building.
New Directors Appointed
President Bywater announced at the convention that he had re-appointed Chief August Gerstung of Elizabeth, N. J., as director for one year to fill the unexpired term of Chief Boyd, elected as second vice-president, and Chief George L. Johnson of Waltham, Mass., as director for three years.
Chief Bywater said the first thing to do was to tie up with the United States Chamber of Commerce and adopt their national building code. Then enlist the aid of the local chamber of commerce through the national body. Insurance men will not help out. He said it was about time the association stepped out without fear or favor and saw that proper laws were adopted and enforced.
Chief Armstrong offered an amendment that the ordinance be printed in the proceedings and that extra copies of the pages containing it he printed as single sheets and sent out to save expense.
Chief Foster advised collective action of the association. He said that many people hire able lawyers and shut the mouths of chiefs on account of no concerted action on the part of the association. It should go on record that no dry cleaning establishment, filling station or garage be allowed under any sleeping quarters. He said he would endeavor to put the matter before the state legislature of Virginia. When chiefs took such matters up individually they were fanatics; but when collective action was taken people realized that all were not fools.
Chief Johnson, Waltham, expressed surprise that such a question should ever have come up. Massachusetts was ahead of other states in matters of gasoline regulations. In 1910 the use of gasoline for autos had been discussed by the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Massachusetts, and in 1911. after the club had obtained expert advice, it had gotten the fire marshal interested and the result had been a garage law in which the fire marshal is given power to regulate the construction of all buildings in which gasoline is used. Garages must be built with protective fire walls between them and the rest of building. Also there must be no entrance or opening from cellar, only from the outside. A frame garage must be three feet from lot line and ten feet from wall; a cement garage eight feet from lot line, and a fireproof garage can be built against the building. Every garage must be licensed by city council and no permit can be issued unless it contains the signature of the fire chief. If the chief, in his judgment, refused his signature the garages cannot be built, even with legislative sanction.
Chief Delfs accepted Chief Armstrong’s amendment. Chief Becker moved as an amendment that a committee be appointed to formulate a proper ordinance to govern the installation of garages in such buildings and report to the present convention, so that the ordinance can be primted in the next proceedings. The amendment and the motion as amended were both carried.
Fire Marshal Gamber on Arson
“Arson” was the next topic to be discussed. This was led by a paper read by John A. Gamber, state fire marshal of Illinois. In opening his address Mr. Gamber said he wished first to bring to the assoociation the greetings of both the National Firemen’s Association and the Illinois State Firemen’s Association, for both of whom he was delegate to the I. A. F. E. Convention. In his paper Mr. Gamber arraigned very severely the insurance agents for their complicity, through signing up large amounts of over-insurance through a desire to obtain large commissions. He told of several experiences he had had with arson cases and showed how difficult it was to secure a conviction with the insurance agents working against him.
Chief Reynolds in discussing Mr. Camber’s address cited four cases which had come under his jurisdiction, in which the evidence pointed plainly to the guilt of the accused. Three of these cases resulted in acquittal and one was nol pressed. The cases he had noted were not entirely due to over-insurance, but the results were largely caused by lax state laws. It is impossible to convict under circumstantial evidence.
Chief Foster believed that laws should be so framed that fire prevention bureaus should be able to force insurance agents to make reports in the amount of insurance written in all cases. If that were done the situation could be remedied and the chief could keep tabs on all those insuring with dishonest purpose.
Chief Tyson moved that the paper be made a part of the official records, and that a vote of thanks be tendered State Fire Marshal Gamber. Seconded and carried.
Meeting then adjourned.
Entertainment on Tuesday
The entertainment for the ladies on Tuesday consisted of a motor ride to the Confederate Museum, St. John’s historic church and other points of interest at 2 P. M., and in the evening reserved seats of the performance of the musical comedy, “Sue, Dear,” at the Academy of Music.
There was a smoker and buffet supper for the men in the evening in the Jefferson auditorium.
Wednesday Devoted to the Exhibits
Wednesday, October 24, was set apart as a day devoted to the exhibits of the manufacturers, and the spacious exhibit hall in the main drill hall of the Howitzer Armory on North Seventh Street was thronged with chiefs all day.
Richmond Fire Department Parades
The morning dawned cloudily, but before 10 o’clock the sun had come out. At that hour the fire department of Richmond, under command of Chief William H. Joyncs, paraded in honor of the visiting chiefs and made a splendid showing, with its completely motored apparatus and its soldierly officers and privates. The parade was reviewed from the portico of the Jefferson Hotel on Franklin Street.
How the Exhibits Stacked Up
The exhibits showed up admirably in the armory. They were arranged along all four sides of the building, with the larger apparatus in the center. While no central scheme of decoration was adopted, each exhibitor used his own method of embellishment and the general effect was excellent. The following list gives the names of exhibitors, their lines and the names of the representatives present. Some of the exhibits were in the rotunda of the Hotel Jefferson and these are so designated.
Grether Fire Equipment Company, Dayton Ohio—Automatic door opener, general line of firemen’s equipment—William G. Grether, president; John Grieser. factory superintendent.
Samuel Eautraan Company Concord, N. H.—Nozzles, deluge nets. etc.—C. E. Robinson, Manager.
Johns-Manville, Inc., New York City—Fireproof shingles and covering—J. M. Berdan, gen’l manager, builders’ materials department; R. L. Kent. Richmond representative; J. F. Watson and J. O. Boy Ian, Philadelphia office.
Fire and Water Engineering, New York City—I. H. Case, gen’l manager; Karl M. Mann, adv. manager; Robert H. Lockwood, editor.
Holtzer-Cabot Electric Company, Boston, Mass.—Fire alarm systems—W. W. McCusker, sales engineer; E. S. Wilkins, service engineer
C. G. Braxmar Company New York City—Badges and Insignia—G. 10. Brodbrook, vice-president; C. G. Braxmar, Jr., secretary.
Guarantee Liquid Measure Company, Rochester, Pa.—Frey Visible Gasoline Pump—James A. Mackenzie, chief service engineer; L. F. Scanlan, local representative.
Larkin Manufacturing Company, Dayton. Ohio—Fire department supplies—F. E. Larkin, secretary; W. O. Schlemitz, salesman; C. L. Hardy, factory representative.
Ptre Retardant Products Company Oakland, Cal.—Fireproofing liquid and paint—Represented by Chief Samuel H. Short, Oakland. Cal.
Federal Fire Engineering Company. San Francisco, Cal.—Line of fire extinguishing compounds. Represented by Fire Marshal Michael F. Hannan, San Francisco, Cal.
The Fire Engineer. New York City—Frederick Shepperd, Managing Editor; Roy Caracher, Assistant Editor.
Alirens-Foz Fire Engine Company, Cincinnati, Ohio—Fire apparatus—Charles H. Fox, president; John P. Ahrens, vicepresident; George E. Morley, George M. Dillinger, Ben C. Graf,
J. A. Prescott and C. E. Wood, New York representatives; Henry Carlow, N. E. representative. The 1,000-gallon triple combination pumper exhibited goes to Brewster Engine Company, Doyleston, Pa. Ladder truck of new design, Braintree, Mass.
Harrington-Seaberg Machinery & Electric Company, Moline, Ill.—Fire alarm systems M. .J. Grace, Southern States representative.
Gamewell Pire Alarm Telegraph Company, Newton Upper Falls, Mass.—Fire alarms—V. C. Stanley, gen’l manager; Charles Berst, Atlanta representative; W. J. Carroll, publicity manager; Frank Stover, Chicago representative; Frank Clements, San Francisco; A. D. Wheeler, N. E. agent.
Eureka Fire Hose Department, U. S. Rubber Company New York City—Fire hose—Fred Bensen. Metropolitan District manager P. O. Hebert, Southern manager, Atlanta. Ga., Dallas. Texas; Atlanta representatives. W. L. Knight, C. B. Payne. R. S. Zimmerman. H. B. Barnard, J. L. Proctor and C. S. McCosker
Westinghouse Air Brake Company, Wilmerding, Pa.—Automatic air brakes for fire apparatus—R. B. McGuiness, Chicago representative.
McNeil & Olson Company, Dayton Ohio—Fire department supplies—T. W. McNeil, president; A. T. Olson, secretary.
Overman Cushion Tire Company, New York City—Cushion tires for fire apparatus C. R. Rinehart, vice-president; E. N. Stent, district sales manager. Philadelphia; Dalton Johnson, representative; R. S. Allen, Jr., general sales manager. New York City.
Seagrave Company Columbus, Ohio—Fire apparatus—H. B. Spain, vice-president and gen’l manager; Frank S’. Shattuck. sales manager; William E. Lee. gen’l superintendent; A G. Crouse. Columbus branch; Frank 10. Taft. N. E. representative; Fred S. Hirsch, branch manager. Los Angeles, Cal.; Lester Stevenson, branch manager. Dallas, Tex.; Arthur A. Wilson, branch manager, Kansas City, Mo.; James DeCourcy, branch manager, Chicago; H. Y. Ensign, branch ma-nager, New Haven, Conn.: H. C. Lehr, branch manager, Birmingham. Ala.; Charle Fitch, branch manager, Louisville; Carl L. Jefferson, branch manager, Philadelphia; H. M. Havens, chief engineer; L. K. Burton, chief Inspector; J. E. Phillips, delivery engineer:
B. Saunders, branch manager. Greenwood. S. C. Triple combination pumper exhibited goes to Annville, Pa., and the service truck to Peabody, Mass.
Stutz Pire Engine Company, Indianapolis, Ind.—Fire apparatus—Thomas R. Johnstone, president; O. S. Doolittle, representative, Indianapolis; Howard Story, A. H. Story, New Jersey representative. Asbury Park. N. J.; E. L. Myers. Boston representative; P. H. Wright, Rocky Mount. N. C.; Rudolph Schmall. Indianapolis, Ind. The 750-gallon triple combination pumper exhibited goes to Shohomish. Wash. The 600-gallon triple combination pumper to West Catasauqua, Pa., and the 500-gallon to Stockton. N. J.
American-LaFrance Pire Engine Company, Elmira N. Y.— E. C. Keating, general sales manager; Fred Fischer, assistant sales manager; Hugh Logan, sundry sales manager; J. W. Knoblock, safety engineer; R. D. Hazard. Clarence Stewart O. F. Beutal, New York representatives: Earl C. Watson. ChicagoCharles Cizek, sundry sales manager: Joseph Webber, manEastern territory; George E:. Thomas, Toronto; Don Green. Robert E. Browning. Minneapolis; James E. Chalfonte Penn, sales manager. Pittsburgh; Ray Engels. Ohio state manager: J. Fd Sehmetz. Jr., Texas: P. o. Hebert. Southern manager. Atlanta, Ga.; Thomas Stewart. Charles B. Payne, R. S. Zimmerman, J. S. Proctor, H. N. Barnard, W. L.Knight, C. S. McCosker, Southern office. The 1.000-gallon triple combination pumper exhibited goes to Weehawken. N. J. The 750-gallon triple combination pumper to Longview, Wash Lumber Company, and 85-foot aerial to Long Branch. N. J.
Lobby of Hotel
Gilson Nozzle Company, New York City—John Gilson.
Morand Cushion Wheel Company, Chicago, Ill.— Representative, J. J. Morand, William Smethurst and H. S. Testin.
Thomas-Smith Company, Canton. Ohio—Fire alarm traffic signalsFrank Smith, president, and W. H. Murphy.
G. C. Reiter—Gongs and bells. Victor Levering, representative.
General Auto Supply Company Inc.—Sewell Cushion Wheel Company and Kelly-Springfield Tire Company. K. H. Milliken, Boston representative.
J. D. Bass Petersburg, Pa.—Continuous automatic fire escape sttfoty device.
No Fire Products Company and Pirst Fireproof Paper Company, Jersey City, N. J.—Fireproof compounds— A. White, president and chief of Fire Prevention Engineering, president.
Hendee Manufacturing Company Springfield, Mass.—Indian MotorcycleW. S. Bouton, manager of municipal and commercial sales.
Rear of Auditorium
N. Snellenburg & Co., Philadelphia Pa—l/niforms and caps— M. A. Tyler.
Test of Foamite Pumper
At 2 P. M. the so-called “Foamite Pumper,” a new development in apparatus using foamite as an extinguisher, was tested at the playground. A full account of this test appears on page 953 of this issue.
Informal Round Table Discussion
An informal round table discussion not on the program was held at 7 P. M. in the Palm Room of the Jefferson Hotel. The first topic of discussion at this meeting was the hazard of automobiles at fires and in the answering of alarms. This was very freely discussed by many of the chiefs present.
The second topic was the proposal that the association adopt a plan of approval for standard apparatus.
The Proposed Standard for Fire Apparatus
Chief Foster spoke at length on the subject. He emphasized the importance of fire apparatus that is designed and built to meet the requirements of severe fire service and not the use of makeshifts. He urged that the association give the stamp of approval on all such apparatus. Others spoke in favor of the proposed standardization resolution, after which the meeting adjourned.
Entertainment Features, Wednesday
The entertainment for the ladies consisted of a motor ride through the shopping district at 10:30 a. m., thence to the Country Club of Virginia, with luncheon at 1 p. m. At 3 p. m. there was a vaudeville performance and at 7 p. m. motion pictures for every one, with the privilege of selecting their own theater. In the evening there was a grand hall in the auditorium of the Hotel Jefferson.
Fire Prevention Clown Performs for Association
“The Fire Prevention” clown gave an exhibition of his methods at 9 a. m. on Thursday in the auditorium to a large and interested audience of chiefs and their ladies. With his time clock and his clever by-play he held the attention of his hearers and many expressed a desire to have him visit their cities.
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Papers at Thursday Morning Session
At the opening business session of Thursday, Secretary M ulcahey read several telegrams and letters of regret from chiefs and others who could not attend, among others one of whom was the chief of Osaka, Japan.
President Ringer requested the ex-presidents of the I. A. F. A. present to come to the platform and Chief Haney of Jacksonville, Fla., Chief Kellogg of Sioux City, Ia., and Chief Reynolds of Augusta, Ga., came forward. Chief Ringer turned the chair over to Vice-President By water, who introduced Oliver J. Sands, president of the American National Bank, who spoke on the “Near East Relief,” and urged the chiefs to give their moral support to this great movement. At the conclusion of his address Chief Hunter, of Springfield, Ohio, introduced a resolution seconded by Chief Tyson, endorsing the work of the Near East Relief.
The next address, entitled “Oklahoma City, Her Past, Present and Future,” by A. Gray Gilmer, of Oklahoma City, was cut short in its early stages, by motion, as its subject matter was irrelevant to the objects of the convention.
Secretary’s and Treasurer’s Report
This was followed by the report of Secretary James J. Mulcahey, which showed the association in excellent financial condition. This was on motion accepted and ordered on file.
The report of Treasurer Peter B, Carter and that of the finance committee followed, both of which were also accepted and ordered filed.
Resolution on Standardization Adopted
At this point a resolution was introduced by Sherwood Brockwell, providing for the adoption of a uniform certificate of approval by the association for all apparatus, appliances and fire prevention devices in fire department supplies. The resolution was as follows:
“Resolved, that this Association hereby adopt a uniform certificate of approval for all apparatus, appliances and fire prevention devices in fire department supplies which have been or may hereafter be approved by the Committee on Exhibits of this Association.
“And Further, that the Secretary shall, when authorized so to do by the Committee on Exhibits, furnish to the manufacturers of approved apparatus or material, an authority under the seal of the Association to use the certificate of their approved goods,
“And to require that such tests as may be determined by the Committee on Exhibits, shall be conducted each year under the direction of said Committee before the recommendation that the endorsation of this Association be given to such apparatus, appliances, devices or material for fire department uses.”
The committee which formulated this resolution was composed of Chief R. A. Foster, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth. Va., Chief T. W. Haney of Jacksonville, Fla., and Sherwood Brockwell, fire marshal of North Carolina. The resolution was unanimously adopted.
Advantage of 1 1/2-inch Hose
The next was a paper by Chief Howard L. Stanton of Norwich, Conn., on the subject of “The Advantage of 1 1/2-inch Hose.” In the absence of Chief Stanton the chair called on John Ashmead of Chicago, to read the paper. Chief Stanton in his paper, said that be spoke from an experience of ten years. One and a half inch hose has the advantage of being much easier to handle for interior work. It can also be taken to roofs of residential buildings, where the firemen often have to climb ladders in closets in narrow hallways and go through scuttles, where heavier hose would be hard to handle. It is easier to transport across the deep lawns of residences than the heavier 254-inch hose. He had one company that answered all alarms equipped with only l;4-inch hose, the idea being that at the beginning of a fire it is not volume that counts but the getting of water quickly on the blaze and to the right place. He preferred to use one-half inch tips at residential fires. He advocated the use of shut-off nozzles by all means. The National Fire Protection Association standard thread is best to adopt.
Second Paper on 1 1/2-Inch Hose
Chief Stanton’s paper was immediately followed by one on the same subject by Chief Samuel H. Short, Oakland, Cal., read by himself. Chief Short said he also wished to speak in favor of the use of 1 1/2-inch hose for interior and residential fires. In 1915 he had equipped each of his companies with 1,500 feet of 1 1/2-inch hose, and uses it with three men, one to couple at hydrant, one to go into interior and one to carry hose to the roof to extinguish shingle fire where necessary. First two companies lead with light lines and then the others with larger lines. Ordinary fires could be handled with six men. The ease with which small lines could be shifted is notable, with 50 per cent, less water damage. In small fires first company stretches in two lines. Second line is easily taken from room to room. Attic fires are also handled better with light lines than with heavy, which are cumbrous. The light type of hose is also much easier to handle than that of heavier weight, in fires in lumber yards, on water fronts and in ships.
At the conclusion of the paper Chief Tyson moved a vote of thanks to both chiefs.
Friction Loss in Fire Hose
The final paper of the session was read by Edward A. Barrier, assistant chief engineer, inspection department, Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies, Boston. Mass., on “Friction Loss in Hose.” Mr. Barrier said that the first study of friction loss was made by George A. Ellis, water registrar of Springfield, Ill. Mr. Ellis’s tables were in general use until John R. Freeman, of Boston, made very extensive tests and published his tables which have since become recognized as authoritative on the subject. Mr. Barrier showed by a diagram the relative losses through the use of 2 1/2-inch nd 3-inch hose. He emphasized the fact that in advocating the use of 3-inch hose there was nothing in his paper which would conflict with those that had just preceded it as regards the use of 2 1/2-inch hose at small fires.
A vote of thanks was given Mr. Barrier for his interesting paper.
President Ringer asked for expressions of appreciation for those who had done so much to make the convention a success, especially to Chief Goff of Oklahoma for the entertainment by his band.
After the Morning Session with the Ladies and Oklahoma Band in Foreground and Officers Grouped in First Row Standing
A vote of thanks was also tendered to Chief Nissen as chairman of the exhibit committeee. A vote of thanks and $100 expenses was voted to Captain McNeil, who came from Fayetteville, N. C., to deliver the memorial oration.
Sherwood Brockwell spoke strongly in favor of chiefs joining the National Fire Protection Association. Chief Tyson also urged the chiefs to join this association.
Mr. Brockwell asked that the secretary be instructed to send a letter of sympathy to Chief Ford, of Highland Park, Mich. This suggestion was accepted and the secretary was also instructed to send the greeting to others who were sick and unable to attend. The session then adjourned.
Three Topics Discussed at Afternoon Sessions
Three subjects were discussed at the afternoon session, which convened at 2 o’clock. One of those discussions was an informal one that was sprung unexpectedly on the speaker, Jay W. Stevens, manager of fire protection bureau of National Board of Fire Underwriters, San Francisco, Cal.
At the opening of the session President Ringer suggested the idea of a permanent secretary for the association, under a fixed salary. After some discussion the matter was finally on motion referred to the consideration of the board of directors to be taken up at the next convention.
Straightening Out Differences Between Chiefs and Insurance Interests
Chief Bywater then being in the chair called upon Jay W. Stevens, referring to him as the only living man who had risen from the fire ranks to a position of trust in the insurance field. Mr. Stevens said the chair had sprung an absolute surprise on him. He wanted the chiefs to realize that all insurance men were not dishonest, that the heads of the insurance company and many of the agents also are men of integrity. Because there are some dishonest agents is no reason why all should be condemned. It would be better to encourage the men who are square so that the dishonest element can be eliminated. He made an appeal as a fireman and an insurance man for co-operation between the two branches. He was most proud of the fact that he is secretary of the Pacific Coast Association of Fire Chiefs.
The Underwriters’ Laboratories
The first regular paper was by George B. Muldaur, general agent, Underwriters’ Laboratories, New York, on “Fire Prevention.” This was illustrated by lantern slides, but through some defect the slides were so poorly shown that Mr. Muldaur was compelled to dispense with presenting many of them. He gave a running history of the Laboratories and told of what this remarkable institution had accomplished. A vote of thanks was tendered to Mr. Muldaur.
What Automatic Sprinklers Have Accomplished
The next paper, also illustrated with slides, was on the subject, “Automatic Sprinklers,” by Mr. I. G. Hoagland, secretary, National Automatic Sprinkler Association, New York. He emphasized the necessity to bring the water front the curb into the building to fight the fire, when huge sums are paid for fire departments to bring the water to the curb. He described some of the things automatic sprinklers had accomplished.
The meeting then adjourned, after discussing the plan of electing officers at the afternoon session and after Secretary Mulcahey had announced that this could not be done, owing to the list of attendance not being prepared, as the election was originally scheduled on the program for the evening session.
Choice of the Next Convention City
The first act of the evening session was to pass a vote of thanks to the Fire Prevention Clown. A rising vote was also given to the ladies of Richmond for their part in the entertainment. The secretary announced that the total registration amounted to 741. Of this there were 424 active members, with 76 new active members; total actives, 500; 170 associates; 71 new, total associates 241.
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Chief Edward P. Murphy then personally invited the convention to make Buffalo, N. Y., the convention city for 1924, also setting forth the city’s advantages in a letter which the secretary read. By motion, Buffalo was made the convention’s unanimous choice by acclamation.
Election of Officers
The first office to be filled was that of president, and First Vice-President William H. Bywater, fire chief of Salt Lake City, was elected by the secretary casting one ballot for him. Chief Bywater made a short, but earnest speech of acceptance.
The next officer to be elected was that of vice-president. For the office Second Vice-President Edward P. Murphy was unanimously elected by the same procedure. Chief Murphy also made a short speech of acceptance.
Lively Contest for Second Vice-President
There were four nomineees for second vice-president: Chief John H. Espey, Elmira, N. Y., nominated by Chief Carson; Chief James Armstrong, nominated by Chief Tyson; Chief Alexander Henderson, Kansas City, Mo., nominated by Chief Neuenschwander; and Chief Sam Boyd, Knoxville, Tenn., nominated by Sherwood Brockwell. The chair appointed as tellers Chiefs Healy, Haney, Tyson, Buckley and Gilday. The first ballot resulted as follows: Chief Boyd, 141; Chief Armstrong, 87; Chief Henderson, 66. and Chief Espey, 19.
On the second ballot the result was: Chief Boyd, 177; Chief Armstrong, 118. The chair declared Chief Boyd elected as second vice-president.
Secretary and Treasurer Re-Elected
Secretary James J. Mulcahey and Treasurer Peter B. Carter were unanimously re-elected.
The convention then adjourned its business session sine die.
Entertainment on Thursday
On Thursday there was a luncheon at 12 a. m. for ladies only in the Jefferson Hotel palm garden, and at 1 p. m. the ladies assembled in the Franklin Street lobby of the hotel and were taken in automobiles to Westover, the home of Colonel William Baird, the founder of Richmond. At 7 p. m. there were motion pictures for all with the privilege of selecting their own theatre. At 9 p. m. there was a dance in the hotel auditorium.
Trip to Jamestown Island on James River on Friday
Friday, October 26, was devoted to a trip down the James River to Jamestown Island and return. This trip was by courtesy of the city of Richmond and was splendidly carried out without a hitch, thanks to the efficient arrangement by Col. William M. Myers, director of public safety, and Fire Chief William H. Joynes of Richmond. Folders were presented to each guest with an explanatory map of the James River, which pointed out all of the historic spots along that stream. At the luncheon on board at 12 m. the guests were served in their seats on the boat or in the dining saloon, as they preferred. On arrival at Jamestown Island the guests were photographed. Then Col. Myers requested that all remain standing and made a short but very impressive prayer before those present entered the sacred gates. The return trip was made on schedule time, dinner being served on board at 6 p. m. and the boat arriving at the Richmond wharf as promised. Thus closed this most successful and enjoyable convention.