number of persons who are injured and crippled as a result of fire is sufficient reason for all to give serious consideration to finding a solution which will prevent its continuation.
The leaders in the fire prevention and firefighting field, together with members of each committee, have been working for several weeks in preparing for your consideration a number of reports. The reports as presented are, to say the least, only a step in the direction of solving the problem. They represent a compilation of the latest thinking on the subject. Many of you probably will not agree with all the recommendations, or even the phraseology of the reports. As I said earlier, the problem is not new; for many years many organizations and many persons, both in the fire prevention and fire protection field, have done an excellent educational job. That they have not fully succeeded in preventing fires is only an indication of the stupendous task before this Conference. When President Truman invited you to be present, he believed you would contribute something constructive to the Conference. We are all here for the sole purpose of cooperating with the President in an attempt to reduce this unnecessary loss of life by fire. We have the brains, we have the technical skill, we have the practical knowledge and we have the will. On behalf of the firefighters of the Nation we pledge our continued loyalty and fidelity to our President in his efforts to reduce this tremendous loss of life as a result of fire.
Chairman Fleming. Thank you Mr. Richardson, for an excellent presentation.
The gentleman whom I will next introduce is an old schoolmate of mine at West Point, from which he graduated in 1914. I was a first classman when he was a little redheaded plebe. He has a long and distinguished military record. He served in France during the First World War and later was an instructor for a time at West Point. In February 1944, he became Chief of Staff, G-3 Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces, which all of us knew as SHAEF. He is now attached to the Office of the Secretary of War, engaged on problems of civilian defense.
He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Medal, and has been decorated by numerous European governments.
It is my pleasure to introduce Maj. Gen. Harold R. Bull. [Applause.]
Maj. Gen. Harold R. Bull. Your invitation to participate in this Conference gives me an opportunity to express the War Department’s appreciation of your purpose to improve the Nation’s position in the solution of fire problems so vital to the national welfare and security in both peace and war.
I assume that I was asked to speak because of my recent membership on a special War Department board studying the important problems of civil defense. I shall discuss primarily that aspect of fire prevention. Organized fire prevention, of course, stands high in the demands for adequate solution. With the many eminent specialists in this group who have acquired personal knowledge by profound study of firefighting lessons of World War II, I am certain that you have full information of the terrifying possibilities for this country involved in the future use of fire as a weapon of war.