Sixty Years of Service

This fall FIRE ENGINEERING celebrates its sixtieth birthday. And what a revolutionary period those sixty years have proven to be in the fire service!

The rise and decline of the steam fire engine occurred within that period. The introduction of motor apparatus and the complete motorization of the fire service, too, came within those years, as well as the birth of the closed body fire truck and the advent of power raised aerial ladders and of metal aerial ladders.

Civil service in the Fire Department had its beginning and its growth to healthy maturity in those eventful years. And coupled to civil service came the Fire Department schools and so called “Fire Colleges.” The almost universal adoption of the two platoon system and the start of three platoons were also credited to the same era.

New and effective extinguishing agents have appeared in the line-up to strengthen the fire service in its fight against the perpetual enemy. Notable among these are carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, foam, both chemically and mechanically made, and atomized water sprays, or fog.

Changes in methods of operating at fires, too, have occurred in numbers. Today, fighting fires inside of buildings and at close range instead of relying largely on outside operation is the common procedure.

To facilitate inside fire-fighting work and to aid in rescue of trapped occupants in burning buildings, ventilation of the structures is today the usual practice.

To check unnecessary damage by water, salvage work and overhauling are almost universally done. Salvage work by municipal departments is a comparatively new trend. Started about 1924, it spread rapidly and today is classed as a highly necessary function in the vast majority of Fire Departments in this country.

Inspection work by Fire Departments, too, has grown in importance in recent years. It is based on the belief that fires are best fought before they occur.

All of these innovations have proven productive of decreased fire losses. All have proven themselves worthy of the labor and cost they represent.

In these advances in the fire service FIRE ENGINEERING has been privileged to take a leading part. Salvage work, uniformed inspections, ventilation at fires, motor apparatus, Civil service, two platoons and the adoptions of effective methods of handling newly created fire hazards are among the many developments for which this journal has campaigned vigorously since their inception, and has observed with gratification their consummation.

On this, our Sixtieth Anniversary, we take pleasure in rededicating ourselves to continued improvement of the fire service and all it represents.

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