The Flying Squadron

The Flying Squadron

With the increased adoption of the two-platoon system in the fire departments the chiefs have found themselves confronted with the difficulty of meeting the necessity for the additional number of men under the prevailing conditions. In many cases the city council has failed to provide any or at least not sufficient funds to carry out the change in system of hours properly so as to maintain the manual force at its necessary strength, and the chief has been unable to give the two-platoon system a fair trial on that account. A way out of these difficulties has been found by many cities by the adoption of the so-called flying squadron. A very clear exposition of the workings of this plan is given our readers in another column by the former secretary of the Montgomery, Ala., fire department, Clarence E. Meek. Mr. Meek, in speaking of the advantages of the “squad” system says: “It was to place a maximum number of men at signal station, on receipt of an alarm, with the least increase in the total department that the ‘squad’ system was devised and is in successful operation in a number of cities. The flying squadron, or squad, has been an important unit in a number of departments for several years. Detroit, Chicago, Newark, St. Paul, Hartford, Springfield, Brockton and Rockford are some of the cities using squads as a manual reinforcement to the companies.” Mr. Meek’s paper is well worthy of careful reading by those interested in the subject of the Flying Squadron.

THE FLYING SQUADRON.

THE FLYING SQUADRON.

The subject of a so-called Flying Squadron, or squad of men independent of a regularly formed company, but part of the city fire department, which shall answer all alarms, get to the fire quickly and prove a valuable emergency corps, has been commented upon before in these columns. In one of these references we spoke of the plan suggested by L. S. Jones, secretary of the Richmond, Va., fire department, and he has replied to our criticism in an interesting letter printed in this issue. In this communication he has certainly worked out the scheme very carefully, and on paper it looks quite feasible. It would be interesting to have the opinions of chiefs who have tried or contemplate the adoption of some such plan. There is nothing like practice to prove or disprove a theory, and if the plan has been tried in other departments the results of such a trial would be very instructive to the fire fraternity in general, and especially to those considering the adoption of the scheme. At any rate, our thanks are due to Mr. Jones for the interest he has shown in the matter, and we hope that others will follow his example and use our columns for any suggestions of value to the fire service.