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Wednesday Afternoon Session

May 7, 1947

THE Conference reconvened at 2:05 P.M., Chairman Fleming presiding.

Chairman Fleming.  Will the meeting please come to order?

This afternoon we will take up another aspect of fire protection.  In other words, we will get right down to cases with the man whose job it is to put out the fires which the rest of us carelessly start.

We expect a great deal of our firemen.  We take it as a matter of course that they will respect our property and save our lives, if need be, no matter how many cigarettes we fling carelessly about.  The records show that they have not had too much cooperation from  the rest of us these last few years.  I would not blame them a bit if they took advantage of this present opportunity to lecture us on our bad habits.

I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. Charles A. Delaney, president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.  Mr. Delaney.  [Applause.]

Mr. Charles A. Delaney.  Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, the very purpose of this Fire Prevention Conference clearly indicates the immediate need of action to safeguard and protect human life and property from the destruction of fire.  The calling of this Conference is a very commendable act on the part of the President of the United States at this time because of his being burdened almost to the limit of human endurance with the more complex problems of the nation.

The presence of so many individuals who have seen fit to leave their homes and respective business and have traveled long distances for the purpose of attending the Conference clearly indicates that there does exist a widespread, deep-seated interest in actually reducing fire losses to a minimum.

The promotion of fire prevention at local levels has been practiced for many years, and a reasonable degree of success has been attained.  However, despite the fire prevention activities in which many of our communities are engaged, and with public officials diligently endeavoring to interest the general public in fire prevention practices, the fire loss experience of recent months from the stand point of both life and property proves that to date we have failed to keep pace with the need for the development of more effective means and methods of dealing with the problem.

We have all observed that following in the wake of tragic death-dealing and devastating fires there is invariably a wave of indignation and concern which swells over the entire nation, the immediate result being that every rational, thinking individual becomes fire prevention minded

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