The Fire Marshal and Fire Protection
The two very important subjects which the State Fire Marshal of Minnesota treats of in the Fire Prevention Section of this week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING illustrate how great an opportunity for Fire Prevention work lies in the path of the state fire marshal. As regards his work in co-operation with the city and town fire departments the various means that come within scope of his authority to assist the firemen are many. The work done by the fire marshal of Minnesota in establishing a fire college has conduced to the improvement of the departments of his state and can well be emulated by similar officials of other commonwealths. But there are many other ways in which the fire marshal may assist the departments; for instance, he can urge the slow moving authorities to act toward the betterment of the department’s equipment and apparatus; he may encourage and follow up the inspection done by the members of the department and see that the orders given at these inspections are carried out. In both instances the State Fire Marshal can speak with greater authority than can the chief of the local department and with a better chance of having his recommendations and orders complied with.
In respect to the second portion of Mr. Nettleton’s paper, that of the co-operation of the fire marshal with teachers of the public schools, the work to be accomplished here is a matter of the utmost importance. In the youth of the nation lies the hope of Fire Prevention. On the coming generation will rest the responsibility for the reduction of the immense fire losses that have signalized the past few years. The coming men and women, if properly instructed and grounded in the principles of Fire Prevention, will accomplish what is yet to be done— that is to say an America with a smaller fire loss to its credit. There seems to be little prospect of accomplishing this with the present generation.