The Fire Engineers.

The Fire Engineers.

WE devote the greater part of our space this week to a full report of the proceedings of the Springfield convention of the National Association of Fire Engineers. Some of the papers read we are obliged, for want of room, to carry over; but they will be printed in subsequent issues of FIRE AND WATER.

The systematic and energetic work of Chief Leshure and his associates resulted in giving to the attendants at the convention of fire engineers at Springfield last week the best exhibition of fire department apparatus and supplies which, we believe, has ever yet been seen at one of these meetings. The advantage of this to the fire service, as well as to the manufacturers, is readily realized. It was, of course, to be anticipated that, with the meeting place right in the nest of the Eastern manufacturers, the list of exhibits would be fuller than usual, but it exceeded expectations. We believe, though, that if the committee which has charge of this feature of next year’s convention at Louisville bestirs itself early, works hard and makes proper, convenient and economical arrangement for exhibitors, it can do equally well. These exhibitions of apparatus are counted as among the most interesting and instructive features of the conventions, and a failure to properly provide for them, as has happened more than once, works distinctly against the success of the meetings and the objects of the National Association generally.

It is a pity that more time was not given in which to enable Chief Leshure to exhibit his experiments in the flow of water through hose and pipe, as they were exceedingly interesting, while Professor Brophy’s illustrated essay, pointing out the real dangers to be expected from electric light wires, formed a unique and valuable contribution to the proceedings. His practical demonstrations with electrical apparatus and wires will be remembered by many upon whom a mere verbal presentation of the subject would have left little impression. *****

It must be said, though, that however successful the Springfield meeting may have been in point of attendance, exhibits of apparatus and the general entertainment of the delegates, it fell somewhat behind many of the previous meetings in the way of business done at the sessions. The papers read and subjects presented for discussion were good—there was no trouble upon that—but the weather was very warm, the outside attractions great and a large proportion of the delegates either straggled into the hall late and left early, or didn’t attend the sessions at all.

It has been suggested, and the idea seems a good one, that the present plan of holding two or three short business sessions daily at the annual conventions should be given up in favor of one continuous session lasting, say, from 9 o’clock in the morning until about 1 p. M., the delegates to be left to their own devices during the rest of the day. A session of two hours has been demonstrated to be of little value in summer weather, owing to the dilatoriness of attendants, and more work would probably be done in four consecutive hours than in six or seven divided into two or three sessions. This is a matter which the executive committe should consider carefully when making its arrangements for the meeting at Louisville next year.

The Fire Engineers.

0

The Fire Engineers.

(From Our Own Correspondent.)

SPRINGFIELD, MASS., August 12.—The nineteenth annual convention of the National Association of Fire Engineers began yesterday morning, and something like 300 delegates— most of them chiefs—responded to roll call.

I shall not go into details, as you will have a full account of all of the proceedings next week. It’s enough to say that Springfield is treating its visitors as thoroughly well as it would probably like to be treated in return.

The arrangements made by Chief Leshure and the rest of the committe were, really, capital in themselves, and have been just as well carried out.

The place is absolutely ablaze with color, the whole city having dressed itself in honor of the occasion.

After the reception of the visitors and a parade, on Tuesday morning, the convention was formally opened by Chief Leshure, who made a very pleasant speech of welcome. Mayor Bradford also said something which deserves reprinting. He said :

Amid all of the perplexities and anxieties, the trials and tribulations, the troubles and cares attendant upon every Mayor’s office, there are some pleasant experiences which are like green oases in a dusty desert.

So, as Mayor of Springfield, comes the pleasure to extend to you her salutation and greeting ; her warm, yes, warmest, greeting and boundless hospitality.

It has been her pleasure before to extend greeting to other conventions, but never before did she do it more warmly than she does to you, who have come from every part of our glorious country on an errand of advantage. These are no empty phrases, but are expressions of absolute truth, and I take pleasure in welcoming an organization which has an excellent character of individual membership.

Among all departments of municipal affairs no department is so far-reaching as tho fire department, and it is by the very nature of things full of peril to yourselves or your subordinates, and grateful communities arc not slow to recognize your good work in the protection of property and in the preservation, yes, the very salvation of human life.

I go so far as to say that the general character of a community is shown in its fire department.

Show me a department that is well equipped with all of the latest appliances, that is well supplied by appropriations, that are honestly administered, and l will show you a community that is good to live in and which has a low rate of taxation.

These conventions are exceedingly helpful, ami no place should be without a delegate.

They arc helpful because they reduce your work down to a scientific principle.

Who can estimate the value in the saving of life and property that your interchange of ideas will bring about ?

1 think that this is about the best speech of the kind which has been made for some time.

President Battle responded pleasantly, and incidentally made some extremely sensible suggestions anent the possibility of keeping politics, as far as possible, out of fire departments.

There has liecn a lot of work done, and everyone seems to l>e pleased with the meeting as a whole.

Chief Sweoie of Chicago is to be thanked for a great part of the success of the occasion, owing to his indefatigable work in gathering in the lambs who flocked into the train from the Windy City, which made so much trouble on the road.

The business transacted to-day was too important to be dismissed with a few words, and will be given in full for your next issue.