Traffic Problems Featured at New England Chiefs’ Meeting
Over 800 in Attendance at Conference, Setting New Record; Wide Variety of Topics Discussed
1 HE New England Association of Fire Chiefs continues to chalk up new annual Conference records. The June 20-23 gathering held this year as for the past 8 years at Wentworth-by-theSea. Portsmouth, N. H., saw 805 fire chiefs, their ladies and guests registered.
Records were broken, also, in attendance at the business sessions and in number of exhibits and new members added during the Conference.
This year’s meeting got under way Monday, June 20, although many Association members signed in at the Wentworth several days ahead, to enjoy a weekend at the beautiful resort.
President, Chief George Graham of Bristol, Conn., formally opened the Conference at 4:00 P.M. The invocation was given by Rev. Michael F. Collins, N.E.A.F.C. Chaplain of Somerville, Mass.
Official welcomes were extended the delegates and guests by: the Hon. Raymond K. Perkins, President of the N. H. Senate, representing Governor Lane Dwinell; Hon. John J. Leary, Mayor of Portsmouth, N. H.; Portsmouth City Manager Robert C. Violette; Chief Guy L. Foss, Wolfeboro, N. H., President, New Hampshire Fire Chiefs’ Club; Chief Frederick R. Crompton of Portsmouth and Chief Thomas H. Webb of New Castle, N. H.
Chief John E. Corcoran, Newton, Mass., gave the response to the addresses of welcome, after which impressive memorial services were held, with Chief John O’Hearn, Secretary-Treasurer of the Association, calling off the roll call of the deceased.
Selections were rendered by the Chapel Quartette and taps was sounded by a bugler from the nearby Naval Base. The memorial address was delivered by Rev. Roswell Hinkleman, pastor, First Congregational Church and Fire Department Chaplain, of Bristol, Conn. The benediction was delivered by Rev. John P. Fitzsimmons, Chaplain of the Association, of Belmont, Mass.
New England Division, I.A.F.C. Meets Jointly with N.E.A.F.C.
Following the afternoon N.E.A.F.C. meeting, the New England Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs conducted its Annual Conference, with President Chief Albert Kimball of Hingham, Mass., presiding. The division is continuing a steady growth.
Monday evening’s showing of colored moving pictures of previous New England Association Conferences, directed by Lieut. Edward Carroll of Brookline, Mass., was heavily attended.
Traffic Problems Get Airing
Tuesday morning was given over in its entirety to round table discussions of traffic regulations and related problems, as affecting the fire service. Although no direct action was taken on any of the matters aired, the panel was kept busy without even a “coffee break” answering the questions propounded by the members present.
It is believed this was the first round table discussion of the subject ever held by the Association. The panel members were Frederick N. Clark, Commissioner, Motor Vehicle Department, New Hampshire, moderator; Capt. John deWinter, State Police, Maine; Commissioner William H. Baumann, Dept, of Public Safety, Vermont; Chief Joseph B. O’Kane, Weymouth, Mass, Police Dept, representing the Mass. State Police Chiefs Assn.); Laure B. Lussier, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Rhode Island and Capt. Victor Clarke, Connecticut State Police.
There is general agreement both among fire fighters and police and traffic officials that the problem of response of fire apparatus and equipment to emergencies is growing progressively more critical.
On Tuesday noon the registrants enjoyed one of the Wentworth’s celebrated shore clam and lobster bakes, after which business sessions resumed with an address by G. G. Costantino, Chief, Air Pollution Inspector, Providence, R. I., on “Safeguards for Oil Burning Equipment.”
Mr. Costantino reviewed the fire and explosion hazards inherent in this type of equipment and pointed to the need of better regulatory measures. Following his paper, an open discussion enlivened the issue, with chiefs pretty much in agreement that something ought to be done to curb poor installation, operation and maintenance of these products. The problem, however, is what—and how to apply the corrective measures. The Association may later take some concerted action through appointment of a committee to review the question.
The next speaker, Chief Henry Thomas, Vice-President of the National Fire Protection Association, and former President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, reviewed the purposes and growth of the N.F.P.A. and its relation to the fire service, and its various associations.
Chief Lewis A. Marshall, of Providence, R. I., a Vice-President of the New England Division, I.A.F.C., spoke at length on “Getting the Most Out of Radio.” His enlightening talk was supplemented by motion pictures showing, for the most part, how the Providence Fire Department promoted its fire prevention drives, including home inspections. The part played by fire department radio was stressed throughout Chief Marshall’s address, which was enthusiastically received by the large audience.
Photo by Lieut Edward Carroll.
Photo by Lieut. Edward Carroll.
On Tuesday evening the popular proprietor of the Wentworth, Mr. Smith, and his wife, tendered the delegates a cocktail party. During the conference he was presented with a testimonial scroll.
Quiz Round Table Session Popular
This year, yielding to the requests of the membership, the Program Committee, under Chief Joseph Scanlon, of Lynn, Mass., set aside the entire morning of Wednesday the 22nd, for a “Questions and Answer” session, with Chief Roi Woolley of FIRE ENGINEERING as Moderator. Those on the panel of “experts” were Chief Horace Jose, South Portland, Me.; Chief G. Napoleon Guevin, Manchester, N. H.; Chief Richard C. Holmes of Windsor, Vt.; Chief Richard M. Salamone of Needham, Mass.; Chief John A. Laughlin of East Providence, R. I., and Chief Thomas J. Collins of New Haven, Conn.
Questions ranged all the way through administration to operation of fire departments. Among the subjects discussed by the panel, with the audience participating, were: shortage of manpower; training (both in-service and at county and state levels); the position of the fire fighter with relation to military service, and holding two jobs; wood vs. aluminum ground ladders; use of red lights on emergency fire and other vehicles; oil storage hazards; odorization of natural gas, and natural gas hazards; use of motion pictures in training; the effectiveness of crash trucks in saving life in plane fires, and new airplane crash fire fighting.
The session also produced a number of questions which may have influence on future association conferences and educational programs.
Thomas Speaks at Banquet
Wednesday afternoon was given over to the exhibitors, with the spotlight on a demonstration of the latest aircrash apparatus loaned for the occasion by the newly constructed Portsmouth Newington Air Base through the courtesy of John Holden of Newington, and Captain Brown of the Base. These included the newest in such apparatus, the Model 0-11-A Crash truck, and the “Class 750” companion unit. Over 20 of these two units will be stationed at the new Air Base when it is completed.
The formal banquet was held Wednesday at the Wentworth, with over 500in attendance. Chief Henry Thomas of Hartford was the guest speaker. He was presented with a chief’s helmet by the Muscular Dystrophy Association in honor of the efforts of the fire service of the nation, which raised over $3 million towards the M. D. Fund for 1955. Chief Thomas reported that the fire service would support the 1956 drive and urged all branches of the service to cooperate.
Following the banquet there was dancing in the main ballroom.
John Keefe New President
The concluding business session on Thursday morning saw Chief George Graham, retiring head, presented with his outgoing-president’s gold badge, and a beautiful wrist watch, the latter presentation being made by Chief Henry Thomas.
Chief John O’Hearn, secretarytreasurer of the Association, reported the organization in excellent condition financially and otherwise. It now has 1.388 members. Chief Tom Slaman of Wellesly, Mass, reported for the Exhibit Committee. Chief Thomas of the Resolutions Committee submitted sev-; eral courtesies resolutions and one to support the forthcoming Muscular Dystrophy drive. Ail were adopted. Chief O’Hcarn received his usual standing ovation for his long and faithful service.
Chief John E. Keefe, of Bellows Falls, Vt., was then elected president; Chief Horace Jose of South Portland was named First Vice-President and Chief Tom Slaman was elected second Vice-President. Chief John O’Hearn was re-named Secretary-Treasurer. Directors for the coming term are: Chiefs Oliver T. Sanborn, Maine; Clarence “Bucky” Green, New Hampshire: Al Koltonski, Vermont; B. S. Curran, Massachusetts; Gus. Cote, Rnode Island, and Francis J. Dacon, Connecticut.
The new president re-appointed the following: William Dooling, Hood Rubber Co., Pittsfield, Mass., Sergeant-atArms; Andrew Palmer of Woonsocket, R. I., Press Representative; Roi Woolley of FIRE ENGINEERING, Technical Consultant; Rev. Michael Collins of Summerville, Mass., and Rev. John P. Fitzsimmons of Belmont, Mass., Association Chaplains.
It was voted unanimously to hold the 1956 Conference at the Wentworth, beginning Sunday, June 24, and continuing to and including June 28.