Westchester Chiefs Discuss Traffic Problems
The subject of traffic problems in relation to the Fire Department was discussed by Dr. Miller McClintock, Director of the Bureau for Street Traffic Research of Harvard University, at the regular meeting of the Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Plan, held at Fire Headquarters, Larchmont, N. Y., on the evening of Wednesday, December 19. The members were welcomed by Mayor John Hooley, of Larchmont. A letter of appreciation was read from Chief Donnigan, Elmsford, on the assistance rendered by members of the Plan to the Fire Department of his village in the recent large fire in a wax factory. Later on in the evening Chief Donnigan described the fire, and how it had been fought, following which there was much discussion of the subject.
Dr. McClintock was introduced by Ex-Chief Wooley, of Larchmont, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and spoke at length on the problems of traffic regulation. He predicted that the duties of the Fire Department would in the future be greatly broadened in respect to the saving of life and property; it might even be that it will be called something else, and will enter many fields in the performance of its duties. His bureau had made studies in traffic safety in many cities of the country. He said that many millions of dollars are lost in delays through congestion, which also involves tremendous suffering and renders many unable to support themselves through disablement in accidents. The speaker referred to the serious conditions of traffic in the narrow streets of Boston. He said that while the Fire Department should have the right of way, that care should be taken not to endanger those who were involved in the passage to the fire. In many cities, at crowded intersections, sirens were installed to announce the coming of the fire apparatus. The apparatus should approach the signal light under control and having come to a stop, should pass through a red signal carefully, if no hazard was involved. There was considerable discussion of Dr. McClintock’s address.
There was also much attention given to the question of the transportation of dynamite by means of gasoline driven trucks. This was brought up by Chief Chambers, of Yonkers. Chiefs Brennan and Grabb and Judge Hoop discussed the matter. It was decided to leave the matter to a committee to frame an ordinance providing that dynamite could only be transported through the streets in electrically driven or horse-drawn trucks.
On invitation of Chief Chambers, it was decided to hold the next meeting at Tire Headquarters, Yonkers, N. Y., on the evening of Wednesday, January 16. Refreshments were served by the Larchmont Fire Department after the meeting.