Fire Departments for Rural Communities: How to Organize and Operate Them. Page: 2
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FIRE DEPARTMENTS FOR RURAL
How to Organize and Operate Them
An uncontrolled fire anywhere is a bad thing. On a farm it may
be disastrous. Bucket brigades are of little use when a fire has gained
headway. Unless arrangements have been made in advance for
service by the fire station in a neighboring town or city, its firefighting
trucks may not arrive in time to bring the fire under control.
Even if they are there promptly, the farm's water supply may be too
small, or it may be so far from the burning building that the truck's
hoses will not reach. When no advance preparation has been made
for these services, all the firemen can do is to keep the fire from spreading
to other buildings.
Farmer leaders are realizing that their communities must have
protection from fire.
Many Farm Communities Now Have Protection
Here are some examples of fire protection provided by farmers for
their communities in different parts of the country.
In California, the Stanislaus County Mutual Insurance Company
has bought seven trucks that are to be paid for by members at the rate
of 5 cents per $100 of insurance, plus a prorated interest charge of 2
percent on the yearly unpaid balance.
By 1953, more than 340 fire-protection districts had been organized
in Illinois. About 40 percent had qualified, with equipment and
personnel; farmers who lived close enough to the station and who
had facilities such as telephones and sufficient water storage were
entitled to reductions in fire insurance rates.
Most farmsteads in Maryland are protected, either by volunteer
departments or by rural fire districts.
The Kent County, Mich., Fire Department, organized in 1941, with
15 cooperating townships (now 16), saved about $385,000 worth of
property in the first 2 years. The original outlay was about $25,000.
The department now has 9 trucks and 1,000 trained volunteer firemen.
The Schuyler, Nebr., Rural Fire District No. 3 protects 700 farms
at an average annual cost of about $2 each.
By 1953, two-thirds of more than 150 rural fire-protection districts
in Oregon had qualified, at least partly, for reduced fire insurance
rates to property owners. The fire marshal estimated that in 1952,
property in class 9 districts valued at $1.5 million was saved from.loss
by fire because these disricts had fire-protection services that Are
not available in class 10 districts.' Fire-protection
districts are classified from 1 to 10. Class 1 districts have
the greatest degree of protection, and class 10 districts the smallest.
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Rush, John D. Fire Departments for Rural Communities: How to Organize and Operate Them., book, October 1954; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1553/m1/2/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.