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Let me first merely state what appear to me to be quite evident conclusions.  I believe it is worth while to point them out, although I am sure that you realize them.

One.  In World War II fire was probably the most devastating of all weapons.

Two.  Development of new weapons will increase an enemy’s capabilities for fire devastation many hundredfold to a point where paralysis of our own war-making capabilities is a possibility unless we develop and take counter measures.

Three.  Entirely outside of any active counter measures of the armed forces to prevent or check such fire attacks on our big industrial centers, lies a vast field of civilian endeavor to mitigate the effects of such hostile attacks if delivered.

Four.  The utter and sudden devastation of atomic attack, with many added hazards for the firefighters to cope with, will call for development of some new techniques, equipment, and types of training.

Five.  Although there are many other aspects of future modern war against communities, many presenting entirely new problems to be solved by strong civilian defense machinery, one very old one but very much magnified in importance, is fire.  Whether it be created by sabotage, incendiaries, conventional or atomic bombs, whether delivered in widespread or concentrated fashion, a terrific task faces us if we are to carry on.

Sixth.  No stricken community will ever have adequate resources to meet the threat single-handed yet the local problem is basically a civilian problem demanding solution through strong local civilian organization guided and assisted by State and Federal Government agencies.

Seventh.  It is evident that provision of the protection required to meet simultaneous devastating fire attacks on our crowded American communities will make the following demands on our individual citizens and on our various echelons of government:


Training of all  individuals in the elimination of all of the many unnecessary fire hazards so well known to you, and in immediate-action methods of individual firefighting to suppress and control incipient fires.  These missions will call for not only organized training but a disciplined citizenry.


Augmentation of local trained firefighting reserves.


Development of effective reciprocal or mutual aid arrangements in a manner certain to be effective in emergencies.


State support of their communities through emergency control of available mobile fire reserves within the States.


Federal emergency support with available means including necessary elements of the armed forces in aid of the civil powers in stricken communities in spite of such undesirable diversion of troops from their primary mission.


Standardization of certain fire equipment for flexible employment where the need develops.

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