Fire Departments for Rural Communities: How to Organize and Operate Them. Page: 3
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How can you go about getting fire protection for your community?
Here are the steps to take.
Planning a Fire-Protection Program
First, a little research is called for. You will need to know whether
a rural fire department is possible and practicable in your community.
Look over the area. Find out how many farmers will cooperate.
If you decide that such a program is feasible, proceed.
Getting the Facts Together
From your county or State's attorney, get copies of the law and
procedure for organizing a fire department.
Make a diagram of the proposed area, showing roads, telephone
facilities, and settlements. On this diagram identify the farmers
who will cooperate in the proposed program.
Devise a plan for spreading fire alarms. This could include roundthe-clock
telephone service plus a fire siren or other public alarm.
Get from your tax assessor the assessed valuation of the taxable
property in the area.
Estimate the initial cost of the program. This will include the cost
of properly designed fire-fighting apparatus and the annual operating
Outline a workable method of financing the program. The laws
of your State may permit a small tax levy. This method of financing
is more dependable and more equitable than chance donations.
Decide on the size of the area to be included in the fire-protection
district. It may include the area within a radius of 2 or 3 miles from
the fire station if your community is thickly populated, or a radius
of 8 or 10 miles if yours is a community of widely scattered farms or
homes. Much will depend upon the condition of roads and the extent
of telephone service.
Where To Go for Advice
In planning your program, you will need all the technical help and
guidance you can get. Consult specialists who have the know-how
Your State fire marshal (in some States it will be the State insurance
commissioner) can help you develop a program that will meet your
particular needs. He is familiar with the laws that authorize rural
Fire chiefs in nearby communities who have'had experience with
rural fire-protection service can help you decide on the best type of
organization and the kinds of equipment (ladders, hose, extinguishers)
best suited to rural conditions.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs has a vice-president
for each State. He would be a good man to contact. A fire chief
in your locality may know the name and address of the one in your
Your State rating and inspection bureau engineer will outline the
requirements for a program under which fire insurance rates can be
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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/m1/3/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.