THE TEST OF GOOD FIREMEN.
The suggestion we would make to the heads of our Fire Brigades’ Associations and to other gentlemen who are responsible for the drills at competitions, is, that in addition to the present time trials in getting an engine ready, the Fireman’s knowledge of his business and ingenuity of resource under varying and difficult circumstances might be tested, if no better way occurs to the judges, than by practical viva voce examination. The element of bustle and excitement which makes the present style of competition so attractive to Firemen and the outside public would be retained, and for all practical purposes the combined tests would be vastly superior to the present time trials. To the competitors themselves, also, the result would be more satisfactory, provided there was confidence in the impartiality of the judges. Time trials are exceedingly uncertain, the cause of one Company getting through their work a second or half a second sooner than their opponents is generally a lucky accident, and another trial ten minutes later might reverse the position of the respective competitors. If brain and muscle were both considered, and with regard to the relative importance of each, no good brigade, by a run of bad fortune, could make an utter failure at a competition, as we are told in sometimes now the case.— London Fireman.