The Radio in the Fire Department
While Ex-Chief Buchanan in his article on radio in this week’s issue has chosen to treat the subject principally from the angle of its possibilities as a fire hazard, there is another and equally as important side to the matter. This is the growing use by and the usefulness of this comparatively new discovery to the fire fighting forces of the country.
As a means of entertainment and the whiling away of the leisure hours of the firemen the radio is coming into general use. In fire stations throughout the land receiving sets are being installed and many a weary hour is passed pleasantly by the firemen when time hangs heavily on their hands.
But this is only a minor development of the new science as regards the fire department. Its real use is gradually becoming apparent in its adoption for communication between stations and the fire apparatus, between stations and headquarters and from station to station. The advantages of this are very apparent. Apparatus sent out on a false alarm, for instance, can be caught half way if a phone message is received that there is no fire or that the fire is out, with the consequent return of the apparatus to quarters without the necessity of its traveling the entire distance to the box. Instructions from chiefs and other officers to fire apparatus enroute or in service at a fire, communications between the chief and his subordinates and a hundred other uses are possible through the radio. Several departments have already taken advantage of the new science and installed receiving sets in their apparatus and sending sets in their headquarters or stations.
The other angle of the situation so well treated by ex-Chief Buchanan hardly needs any comment. The fire hazard problem, like that of the automobile, is an ever-increasing one and requires constant study and attention by the chief of the fire department. This will increase as time goes on and the use of the radio becomes more and more general. No doubt restrictive measures will have to be taken to safeguard the installation of the radio from the careless or ignorant individual, which constitutes the greatest of the perils connected with the new science.