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Firemen's Watchfulness

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Aíter twftssore firenien had been taken nnjonscious from Cíe cellar of a burn:ng building in Chambers street a cnrions citizen who wandered inside the fire lines asked: "How do they happen to know in all this confusión and noise that men supposed to be fighting flre in the cellar have been overeóme by smoke and are lying down there unconscious, and how, too, with nearly 40 men rescued, do they know that there are not more men in the cellar in a similar predicament?" Under the circumstaness the qnestion was perfectly natural. It was a dark night and the fact that the electrio liphts for a block east and west sputtered constantly iustead of giving a steady light did not improve matters. All was confusión around the burning building. Firemen were runniug every which way. Policemen were beating back the crowd which was struggliug to get near enough to the engine house to see the prostrate firemen within. Ambulances and fire engines blocked the street, and firemen weré claniberhig over the roofs of adjoining buildiugs, yelling hoarsely at one another and seeking places to fight the fire. Naturally in all this confusión it was a matter of wonder to one not familiar with the ways of firemeu how in the world they could tell whether or not any of their comrades was in danger. The cellar of the building was full of thick, black snaoke, which no man could live in even for a short time, and besides that the temperature was down to zero, for the fire was in a cold storage warehouse and the freezing rooms were in the cellar. There is a system in the fire department by which the men can keep track of one auother. The rule is for tüe .men of each company to look out for the members of that company. This makes it comparatively easy for the men to keep track of one another, for there are rarely more than a dozen men in a company, and each man in it knows about where his comrades are working at a fire. The costom amoog the men is to keep constantly inquiriug forone another. If Jones hasu't happened to see Smith for sorne time, he iminediately asks the first man of his company that he comes across where Sruith is. If that man can 't teil, the inquiries go on, and so a man can't be missing for very long without his comrades knowing it. Then it is an easy matter to trace Smith to the last task he was ordered to do, and as a rule he is hauled safely out of danger. From constant usage the system has become almost perfect, and the cool courage that it has developed bas made the department one of the finest in the world. The men will risk everything and go aeainst tbe most tremendous odds to gave a comrade.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News