THE NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION.
The New York State Firemen’s Association held a very successful Convention at Saratoga, commencing on Tuesday of last week and lasting three days. Amsterdam had been originally selected as the place of meeting, but owing to the unfinished condition of the new hotel there, sufficient accommodation for delegates could not be found, and so the Executive Committee called the Convention for Saratoga. While there is no lack of hotels at this popular summer resort, last week found it overflowing with visitors, and rooms in all the hotels were at a premium. Great difficulty was found in providing for the delegates, and it was absolutely necessary to limit the number of visiting Companies to participate in the parade because accommodations for them could not be obtained.
The Convention, however, was a success, there being upwards of one hundred delegates from different Departments present. In spite of the many outside attractions offered at Saratoga, the delegates attended the sessions of the Convention promptly and devoted themselves assiduously to business. The assemblage was one that would have done credit to any industry, or profession, and no body of lawyers, doctors or divines could have shown a better knowledge of their business than these representative Firemen did of theirs. Topics of interest to the Fire Service were discussed with deliberation and intelligence, and experiences related that were of value to all listeners. In addition to the discussion of the usual list of topics, and the general debate indulged in by delegates, addresses were delivered by Mr. Van Renssalear, of Saratoga, Fire Commissioner Fitzgerald, of Boston, and Mr. Oysten, of Little Falls. The latter gentleman advocated his theory of fire extinguishment by the use of spray instead of solid streams, and gave good reasons why spray, in certain cases at least, can be used to advantage. Commissioners Fitzgerald spoke of the wonderful improvement that had been made in the past twenty years in the science of fire extinguishment, and also in the character of the men who are engaged in the business. He ascribed much of this improvement to the beneficial influence exerted by the various associations of Firemen, and their intelligent discussion of all subjects of interest to the Service. T. A. Raymond, of Rochester, was chosen President for the ensuing year, and Rochester was designated as-the place for holding the next annual meeting. Frank M. Baker, of Owego, was, of course, re-elected Secretary, and J. A. Murphy, of Buffalo, was chosen Treasurer. We may remark here that much of the success of the Association is due to the indefatigable labor of Frank M. Baker, who has been its Secretary for nearly.the whole period of its organization. His work extends throughout the entire year, and he is in constant correspondence with the various Departments at all times, keeping them fully informed as to all that goes on of interest to them. Mr. Raymond is a young man of intelligence, capacity and good executive ability ; he is a live, active, pushing man, and will, we predict, make a most efficient President.
In the course of some remarks made to the Convention by the editor of THE JOURNAL, he suggested that a comrfiittee be appointed to arrange for a series of practical experiments with all kinds of apparatus’and appliances for fire extinguishment, to be made during the session at Rochester, and that one day be set aside especially for this purpose. The suggestion was received with enthusiasm, and a committee of seven appointed to arrange for the tests proposed. Members of the committee subsequently informally talked the matter over, and resolved to make “Experiment Day” the special feature of the next Convention. To this end manufacturers and inventors of anything relating to the Fire Service are requested to send to Rochester samples of their goods, and a thorough exhibition and trial of them is promised. The excellent system of water-works that Rochester possesses offers unusual facilities for testing fire extinguishing machinery of all kinds, and the committee assigned to the work is enthusiastic to give every exhibitor as full and thorough a test as he may demand for his goods. During the Convention last week, Mr. Shaw, of Boston, inventor of the Shaw relief valve, and Mr. Haley, of Boston, inventor of the Haley shut-off nozzle, gave an exhibition of their inventions in combination. On a two-way hydrant a line of hose was attached with the shut-off nozzle at the extreme end; at the other hydrant opening, the relief valve was attached. The pressure at the hydrant was only about sixty pounds. Both apparatus worked splendidly, the shut-off nozzle cutting off the stream instantaneously at will, while the slightest contraction of the stream at the nozzle caused the relief valve to open and discharge the water into the gutters. Mr. Haley also exhibited a nozzle similar to his shut-off, with the difference that instead of cutting off the stream entirely it would enlarge the opening from one inch to an inch and a-quarter or reduce it from the larger to the smaller size. This is a practical illustration of the idea we have so often advanced, that the best results are obtained when the outlet at the nozzle is in harmony with the pressure exerted at the engine. The exhibitions of the shut-off nozzle and the relief valve—appliances so familiar in the large cities—attracted the attention of every delegate as well as crowds of spectators, and was a good indication of what may be expected at the Rochester Convention, when a series of experiments, embracing the whole range of Fire Service, will be given. We regard this as a long step towards securing improvements in fire extinguishing appliances, and hope to see other associations make arrangements for an “ Experiment Day ” at each of their annual gatherings. Manufacturers and inventors have frequently complained of the difficulty they experience in getting their inventions and goods introduced to the Firemen and having them tested. “Experiment Day ” will not only give them an opportunity to practically exhibit in the presence of delegates from numerous departments, but they may be assured that the committee wilt give a fair unprejudiced report upon every article exhibited.
On the third day of the session, the Saratoga Department had its annual parade, several visiting Companies being in attendance and participating in the street show. As before intimated, the parade was not as large as is usual at State Conventions, for the reason that accommodations for Companies could not be obtained in consequence of the crowded condition of the city. The several Companies participating, however, looked and marched well, they were handsomely uniformed, their apparatus was bright and appropriately decorated, the several bands of music filled the air with their martial strains, and, on the whole, the parade was one well worth looking at; at least the thousands of strangers, including great numbers of ladies, who viewed it from the piazzas of the many hotels, were evidently pleased with the display, for they testified their appreciation by prolonged applause, waving of handkerchiefs, and other demonstrations of satisfaction. Chief O’Rourke, of the Saratoga Department, is a genial, pleasant gentleman, who did all in his power to make the stay of the Firemen pleasant. But a popular summer resort is not a good place to hold a Fireman’s Convention. The residents of the place live by preying on their visitors three months in the year, and the greatest rush is their greatest harvest. It was not expected that Saratogans would be particularly liberal, and in this no one was disappointed. They cannot afford to. be. They live by their summer trade, and make their money out of their guests. The hotel accommodations supplied the delegates were not first-class, but charges for the same were. We do not say this in any spirit of fault-finding with the people of Saratoga —they did the best they could for the Firemen when their city was overflowing with visitors—but we simply allude to these things to warn associations to keep away from all popular summer resorts with their annual Conventions.
The proceedings of the Convention were quite lengthy, but owing to the fact that Mr. Paddock, of Auburn, the Recording Secretary, was too ill to attend, Mr. Baker had all the work to do, and has not had time to write up the report in time for this issue of THE JOURNAL. We have our own brief notes of the proceedings, but as it is desired that we shall print the official report, we delay the publication until Mr. Baker shall have completed it, when it will appear in full in ,THK JOURNAL. Subsequent to its publication in THE JOURNAL the report will be printed in pamphlet form and a large number distributed throughout the State. Persons desiring extra copies should apply at once to Frank M. Baker, Owego.