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.