A County Arson Bureau and a Fire Prevention Bureau Are Considered at the January Meeting

ARSON investigation and fire prevention were discussed at the January meeting of the Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Plan of Westchester County, N. Y., which took place at Fire Headquarters, Chappaqua Independent Fire Company, District No. 1, on Wednesday, January 20, at 8:30 p.m. There was a large attendance of Chiefs and other Fire Department officers of the county.

The matter of a dinner to be tendered to Ex-Chief Janies J. Mulcahey, of Yonkers, N. Y., by the plan, was discussed, and it was decided to combine the dinner and the next regular meeting, and to hold it at the recently opened fire house at Union Corners, Eastchester, near Bronxville, N. Y., on February 10.

A proposal to form a Fire Prevention Bureau in Westchester County, was opposed by Chief Brennan, of Pelham Manor. He said that he believed fire prevention was strictly a matter for each Chief to attend to himself. He regarded the plan of a county bureau as an utter impossibility, as villages all have different laws and regulations on the subject.

Chief Charles H. Perschke, Mamaroneck, believed that the plan should be carried further and that it be made an investigation bureau in cases of arson.

The latter plan Chief Brennan believed would be an advantage, but not the Fire Prevention feature.

Chief Gibson, Mount Vernon, pointed out that, should any such plan as that proposed for the Fire Prevention Bureau go through, there would be danger of the Chief losing his identity. The National Board of Fire Underwriters can give all the information needed on fire prevention. He believed, however, that a central bureau to investigate arson would be an advantage.

Chief Brennan called attention to a bill before the New York legislature providing that when a volunteer department is headed by a paid Chief, such officer can only be appointed after a civil service examination. He believed the plan should go on record as endorsing the bill. Chief Gibson suggested that the Secretary obtain a copy of the bill and that it be made a special order for the February 10 meeting. This was agreed to.

Captain Dawkins spoke of the coming report in connection with the committee on the Zoning, and again urged that all Chiefs who had not done so, send in the replies to the questionnaires at once. The book to be issued would contain a complete inventory of apparatus and equipment of all of the Westchester Departments.

Chief Brennan spoke of the plan of having a code word adopted, so that in case of a call for help from another department, there would be no danger of any outsider representing himself as the Chief and causing an unnecessary call. This was discussed by Chiefs Veit, Stamford Conn.; Lounsbury, Portchester; Perschke, Mamaroneck, and others. The matter was left to a committee, composed of Chief Lemon, Chairman; and Chiefs Bart, Brennan and Lounsbury.

An interesting address was given by Mr. Seagrave, of the Mine Safety Appliance Company*, on the subject of the Fire Hazards of Fumigation and the dangers to firemen from gases in such fires.

Refreshments were served by Chief Rozner and the Chappaaqu Department after the meeting.

Milton, Mass., is considering the purchase of a new ladder truck.

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