Junior Red Cross members in the States of California, Washington, Minnesota, Arkansas, Montana, Virginia, and Georgia. As an important part of these programs for leadership training, veteran forest rangers have presented films and lectures, and have taken the Junior Red Cross fire prevention trainees on field trips. The practical phases of these on-the-ground fire prevention courses have occupied from 3 to 10 hours for each Junior Red Cross member.
This type of Red Cross fire prevention work is, I believe, concrete and well defined. Similar programs are under way in many of our chapters. In Spokane, Wash., for example, several hundred Junior Red Cross members recently went on duty at all filling stations throughout the city. These young people were not pumping gasoline or filling car radiators or wiping off windows. They were performing a simple, courteous service in emptying automobile ash trays, so that the ash trays could be used without possible danger by car occupant. As you well know, cigarettes tossed carelessly from car windows have many times caused tremendous brush and forest fires. As each ash tray was emptied, a small sticker was attached to it, reading: “Use the Ash Tray – Prevent Forest Fires.”
Again – this time in Salt Lake City – all boys and girls belonging to the Junior Red Cross pledged themselves to act as voluntary fire spotters for the city fire department and for the United States Forest Service. Numerous instances have already been quoted in official reports showing that alarms turned in by these young people prevented potentially large fires from gaining headway.
Many other Red Cross chapters and Junior Red Cross groups could be cited for their practical, down-to-earth programs of fire prevention. Their projects may vary in some degree, according to locality, but the same over-all purpose inspires each of them.
And that, at least in part, is what the American National red Cross is doing in this Nationwide campaign for increased fire prevention education.
We are pleased that President Truman has asked the Red Cross to participate in this great conference. We are delighted to be an active partner with all of you and with other national and community groups who are striving toward a common goal. Working together, I’m sure we can achieve a safer America – a more alert America, constantly on guard against the needless loss of life and property from preventable fires. [Applause.]
Chairman Fleming. Thank you, Mr. Nicholson.
The next speaker is a gentleman who has developed such a distaste for fire in any shape or form that I am told he even eats his food raw. [Laughter.] A fire anywhere in the United States is certain to cause him acute distress.
I have the honor of presenting, not introducing, Mr. W. E. Mallalieu, general manager of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. Mr. Mallalieu needs no introduction to any audience interested in fire prevention. [Applause.]