Newsletter - National Fire Heritage Center

Newsletter - National Fire Heritage Center

Newsletter AUGUST 2017 Protecting Our Heritage Installing Fire Sprinklers in the National Fire Heritage Center By Mark Hopkins P.E., National Fire ...

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Newsletter AUGUST 2017

Protecting Our Heritage

Installing Fire Sprinklers in the National Fire Heritage Center

By Mark Hopkins P.E., National Fire Sprinkler Association Vice President of Engineering

In a small town, just south of the Mason-Dixon Line in Frederick County Maryland, is the home to several significant fire-related buildings. This quaint little historic town is home to the National Fire Academy, the U.S. Emergency Management Institute, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, the National Emergency Training Center, the Vigilant Hose Company (Company 6), which is the most visited fire house in the country, and the National Fire Heritage Center (NFHC/Frederick County Fire Rescue Museum. The photo above shows the NFHC, which looks more like an auxiliary fire station than a museum housing a wealth of fire related treasures. The NFHC has been acquiring personal libraries from many important people that have made contributions in the fields of fire protection and firefighting such as the library of Dr. John L. Bryan, founder, and Chair of the University of Maryland Fire Protection Engineering program. The NFHC newsletter of November 2016 identifies that the NFHC is an archive, rather than a museum. This facility also houses the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Museum, which displays some historical apparatus from Frederick County and The Vigilant Hose Company 6. The facility is home to such documents as the log books used on 9/ 1 1 during fire and emergency operations at the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA. A collection of fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, pictures, plaques, and other fire related memorabilia are also displayed throughout the facility. Many more are stored at other sites maintained by the NFHC. Protection of these collections may invite a future project of shared significance, as this one has. During an April 2015 meeting of the Capital Region Fire Sprinkler Association (CRFSA) at the NFHC, the idea of voluntarily installing a completely donated fire sprinkler system to protect the structure and, more importantly, its contents was discussed. A motion to donate all materials, labor, and necessary


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skills to have the system installed without cost to the NFHC was unanimously supported by all member present. The idea took hold, and the CRFSA successfully helped to design and install a fire sprinkler system throughout the structure thanks to the leadership of Terry Victor of SimplexGrinnell, CRFSA Chairman, E&S committee member and Board member, John O'Malley, VP of Reliance Fire Protection, the assigned project manager, and a vast number of generous contractor, manufacturer, and professional members of the CRFSA, the local NFSA chapter in the Mid-Atlantic area. If simply installing a fire sprinkler system wasn't enough, the CRFSA chose to use this project to demonstrate all the various skills, talents, and resources of the members. This was shown through the contributions made to accomplish this fire sprinkler system installation.

The fire sprinkler system shop drawing was prepared by Phillip Knott, senior layout technician of Reliance Fire Protection. The fire sprinkler system was laid out to showcase all equipment donated by each of the generous manufacturer members. Fire sprinklers were positioned throughout, for easy identification by manufacturer, as well as for functionality. Review and professional endorsement services were provided by Jarrod Childs, P.E. and me, while I was at Jensen Hughes. Construction oversight services were provided by Robert Gagnon, P.E. The shop drawing is framed and prominently displayed near the riser in the building. It is currently displayed on an easel, but will be mounted on the wall as part of the system. 2

The NFHC building is composed of three different functional areas: I) the garage and apparatus display area, 2) the offices, collections storage and gift shop, 3) the museum display area. The configuration of this structure provided an opportunity to show a variety of fire sprinkler types and system configurations. The portion of the fire sprinkler system in the garage area is proudly configured to show the sprinkler system rather than conceal it, as is the case in most buildings. Upright sprinklers are installed throughout this area of the building. Unit heaters and a storage room allow for special attention to be given to protection around heat sources and clearance beneath sprinklers. The fire sprinkler system installation was truly a community effort. NFHC Museum staff prepared the building for the sprinkler system installation by relocating fire engine and other large apparatus to alternate locations, covering display cases and relocating and protecting collections. Local CRFSA fire sprinkler contractor members Livingston Fire Protection, Reliance Fire Protection, and SimplexGrinnell stepped up and donated labor to install the sprinkler system. Local HD Supply and Ferguson Supply house members supported the project by fabricating system piping, ensuring equipment was available and coordinating project deliveries. Manufacturer members donated all sprinklers, above ground and underground pipe, fittings, hangers, vents, valves and other equipment necessary for a fully functional system. A local underground excavation contractor performed the wet tap and installed the underground piping. The sprinkler system was installed to showcase the variety of fire sprinklers in the building as well as other equipment commonly used in fire sprinkler systems. A double check valve assembly is provided at the base of the riser and plans to add a test valve for forward flow testing will be implemented in the future. The sprinkler riser is configured to show a functional Globe alarm valve, a Tyco dry pipe valve and Reliable DDX preaction/deluge valve. This riser will

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be used as a teaching and instructional aid. Plans to add features to allow for on-site flow testing of the dry and preaction/deluge risers are being developed. A clear plastic panel has been installed next to a flexible sprinkler drop used in the museum area. This allows for patrons to sec the "as installed" condition of this device, which is often installed, but not usually seen from the floor. An air vent has been installed at the end of the cross main in the apparatus bay near the street side of the building. This device is functional but was installed at this location more for educational purposes than anything else. The installation of a relief valve with an improved inspectors test connection valve. A separate residential fire sprinkler system mock-up riser for teaching will also be provided.

Wayne Powell of the NFHC with Jim McHugh and Ben Gleason of AGF Manufacturing discussing plans for the addition of this residential riser.

At the end of the day, the installation of this sprinkler system will allow everyone to have the peace of mind knowing that it will protect our fire heritage and has united a Chapter for a good cause.

The National Fire Heritage Newsletter is published four times a year by the National Fire Heritage Center. Editor: Ricky Brockman ([email protected]) Copyright © 2017 National Fire Heritage Center The National Fire Heritage Center is an archive for America’s fire services and fire protection disciplines PO Drawer 76 Emmitsburg, MD 21727

Message from the NFHC President

Put Money Where Your Mouth Is You have probably heard this old cliché before, “put your money where your mouth is”. The inference is that when you talk about a particular course of action, it doesn’t make much difference how much talk you engage in unless you actually do something about it. On the one hand, it is great to have vision and to be pursuing a course of action, but it is even greater if you actually do what you say you are going to do. That is the theme of this month’s newsletter for the NFHC. While we have limited funds, we have had some incredible successes based on our commitment. Way back when the NFHC was first created, we advocated that our building needed to be protected by automatic fire sprinklers. Guess what? It is now being protected as a result of a tremendous effort in our staff and the leadership of the automatic sprinkler industry. Recently we had an open house to demonstrate this capability. The money in this case came from our sponsors. The National Fire Heritage Center can now honestly say that we are practicing what we preach (ok that’s the last cliché I am going to use in this column). Our building is fully sprinklered with a state of the art sprinkler system that clearly fulfills our obligation to “Preserve the Perishable”. But, that is not the only achievement over the last several months. We planted a tree in memory of Jan Gratton, and we


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Recent Acquisitions

have received significant contributions for our library from IFSTA. Our list of accomplishments grows every day. Our challenges remain as significant as they have in the past. Our capital needs which were identified in our first Strategic Plan remain unfulfilled. We have a pressing need to raise sufficient funds to expand our storage and filing capacity if we are to continue to serve the fire service and as a brain trust for all of its allied professionals. As you read the various stories in our newsletter, ask yourself this question: what can you do that will help us achieve our major goal of capitalization of our facilities? It remains one of our major goals and simultaneously one of our major challenges. In summary, we are becoming more and more successful in acquiring the body of knowledge that the fire protection industry desperately needs regarding its legacy. Simultaneously we are facing severe challenges to be able to adequately store, archive and retrieve the same body of knowledge.

We have received three significant donations from Gene Carlson of Pennsylvania recently, including 79 cartons of printed materials and an 18-foot sliding pole. Getting the sliding pole into the second floor of Station 26 was quite an exercise: it took six firefighters from Vigilant Hose Co. (including the career ambulance crew), and several family members to take it up an outside fire escape, around a corner, and down a hallway into the storage area. We are very grateful for the help we receive on a regular basis from the Powell and Schmersal families, and from our “extended family” at Vigilant Hose Co. There have been lots of other donations as well, some small and some large but all very much appreciated. The really big news, however, is that IFSTA (the International Fire Service Training Association, of Stillwater OK) closed its library when it moved into its new building, and sent the NFHC 305 cartons of materials weighing a total of over 5 tons! Thanks to Mike Wieder and his staff at IFSTA for thinking of the NFHC, and for packing and shipping their library to its new home. Sponsor a Bookcase Campaign Update There still is room for more sponsors’ names on the bookcase sponsor plaque. Please consider sending a tax-deductible donation of $150 to the NFHC (P.O. Drawer 76, Emmitsburg MD 21727). Become a bookcase sponsor today! The Archivist’s Wish List

Notes from the Archives

The items on the following list are needed for us to view, process, and store items that are in the collection. If you can help the NFHC obtain any of these items, please contact Executive Director Wayne Powell (waynepowel[email protected]) or Archivist Frank Schmersal ([email protected]).

The Archives

The State of the Archive We now have over 13,000 objects cataloged; a new directory is being created for the new web site, and should be posted in the next week or so. Our cataloging backlog now stands at over 800 cartons of material, virtually all of which now is stored at the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Co. building (Station 26).

● 16mm reel-to-reel movie viewer with splicer ● Fluorescent light box, 18 x 24 inches (or larger) ● Audio tape player/CD recorder (also known as a “dubber”) ● U-matic videotape player ● Video projector 4

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● Microfiche and microfilm viewers, preferably with printers ● 35mm filmstrip projector ● Drawing files (“flat files”) for 24 x 36-inch and 36 x 48-inch drawings

David J Robertson

(December 7, 1933 - October 5, 2016) David J. Robertson, Jr. was born December 7, 1933, in Jamestown, ND, the son of David J. Robertson and Margaret (Axon) Robertson.

I’m Glad You Asked . . . why we need a 16mm movie viewer

He graduated from Jamestown High School in 1951, attended a year of college at UND, and then three years at Jamestown College. Dave continued his education at the University of Iowa and was activated into the U.S. Army in October 1956. He married Helen Ann Moore in 1958 and returned to Jamestown where he began a career as a firefighter and eventually became Fire Chief in 1970. 16mm movies frequently consist of several segments held together with tape splices or cement splices. Over time, these splices become brittle and can break. If this were to happen while the movie was running through a projector, it could damage the film significantly. Instead, it is common practice to first run the movie through a manually-operated reel-to-reel viewer to check the condition of the splices. Once questionable splices have been replaced, then the movie can be projected normally. Frank Schmersal, Archivist

New Website Receiving Praise Our new website went live on 31 July and has been receiving great reviews. With thanks to webmaster Maury Grundy, both the old/old website ( and the now most recent former website ( are now on ‘redirect’ to the new site Maury welcomes feedback regarding how to make it even better plus she looks forward to receiving potential photos/written items from you, too ([email protected]). 5

He moved to Plant City, FL to be Fire Chief until 1974, and then was Fire Marshal of Orange County, FL. Dave left Florida to become a fire service specialist for the National Fire Protection Association in Boston, MA. After a year, he became a college professor at J. Sergeant Reynolds College at Richmond, VA in the Fire Science and Technology Dept. for two years. Dave was the Fire Chief in Salina, KS, and the St. Louis Park, MN until he retired in 1994. He returned to Jamestown in 1995. He owned and operated his own fire investigation company for ten years while being an active member of the B.P.O. Elk’s #995. He served as chairman of the veterans’ organization committee since 1995 and was a member of the North Dakota Fire Chief’s Association and International Association of Fire Chiefs. Dave was a leader in the formation of the first underwater body recovery teams in the nation. He is also known for recovering the old Jamestown firehouse bell and installed it at the current fire station. His sons are donating his library and written materials to the National Fire Heritage Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland

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Gettin’ The Word Out… Vice President for Finance Bill Killen and Archivist Frank Schmersal were in Sackets Harbor/Watertown, NY, attending the annual Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America (SPAAMFAA) Summer Muster while Director Steve Austin, Director Harry Carter, Media Affairs/PIO Susie Nicol and Executive Director Powell were participating in the President’s Council Meeting of the annual Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (CVVFA) in McConnellsburg, PA. A number of national fire leaders are on hand for the CVVFA Meeting (from such groups as the CFSI, NFFF, NFPA, state/regional associations, etc.) while SPAAMFAA attendees come from across the country. And, last week, Treasurer Paul Brooks featured the NFHC in materials in his exhibit booth during the annual Fire-Rescue International (FRI) Conference in Charlotte, NC.

Museum plus the National Fire Academy/NETC campus. Last week’s visit here was the 2nd year program participants got to see the Heritage Center/Museum with 40 participants on hand plus 8 adult leaders who oversaw all aspects of the excellent learning opportunity. President Coleman just authorized our announcing that the Annual Meeting of the NFHC Board of Directors will take place on Monday, October 9, 2017, in Emmitsburg beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Former OKCFD Fire Chief New U.S. Fire Administrator

Youth Group Visit For a number of years now, a special week-long program known as the Franklin County, PA, Junior Firefighters Academy reaches a group of teenagers from several eastern states who receive training as well as keen insights into the world of being a First Responder. Ranging from ages fourteen to seventeen, the young men and women are provided training in different aspects of the fire and

emergency services plus are provided with tours of several different fire departments, the National Fire Heritage Center/Frederick County Fire-Rescue 6

Photo by WOKH, Oklahoma City/ Scott Noland

Keith Bryant was sworn in August 4 in the special ceremony at the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Bryant will be responsible for leading fire and EMS services on the national level. He retired in July after 35 years with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. He helped Oklahomans during the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in April 1995 and was named the department's 20th chief in 2005. Bryant has also served as the President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

NFHC Newsletter


What Will Your Legacy Be?

NFHC Annual Meeting Details

The National Fire Heritage Center (NFHC) is committed to ‘preserving the perishable’- meaning, to preserve, protect and increase the utilization of contributors to the body of knowledge of the American fire protection services and allied disciplines through identification, acquisition, preservation, conservation and restoration of the printed word.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Your gift for the future will help us preserve our mission for generations to come. Consider these opportunities to leave a meaningful legacy while taking into account your personal goals.

Location: the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company building (operated by the VHC), 17701 Creamery Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727. Directions: the facility on Creamery Road is located just west of U.S. Route 15 and can be reached via East Main Street (MD Route 140), east of Town Square, or directly off U.S. Route 15 by using the exit immediately north of where most normally come into town by way of South Seton Avenue. Plenty of free parking is adjacent to the facility. Meet and Greet/Social Hour starts at 8 a.m. with morning coffee, juice and pastries available. The Meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room (easily accessible for mobilityimpaired persons).

FROM YOUR WILL OR TRUST Gifts that cost nothing in your lifetime. RETIREMENT PLAN DESIGNATION Avoid the double taxation incurred if designated to heirs. LIFE INCOME GIFT Receive annual income and an immediate tax deduction with a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust. To learn more about these and other creative ways to support the NFHC please contact us.

Wi-Fi accessible.

In the Beginning…

Lodging closest to Emmitsburg: while many major brand hotels are within 25-35 minutes driving time in Gettysburg, Frederick and Westminster, the 2 closet lodging locations are: • Sleep Inn & Suites Center, 501 Silo Hill Parkway, Emmitsburg, MD 21727, 301-447-0044, 800-4084748; 2 miles away. Book via - • Thurmont Super 8 Motel, 300 Tippin Drive, Thurmont, MD 21788, 301-271-7888, 800-8008000; 10 miles away. Book via - And, for those unable to attend in person, Conference dial-in info will be shared as we get closer.

An early NFHC Board of Directors meeting - then USFA Deputy Administrator Glenn Gaines speaking with BoD from left - David White, J.C. Robertson, Bill Killen, Ron Coleman, Vickie Pritchett, Stu Nathan, Gary Frederick and Ken Dungan with USFA's Ed Metz looking on.


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Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association 2017 Distinguished Service Award to W. Parker Browne

Parker Browne’s contributions have impacted thousands of fire service responders throughout Ohio over the past five decades. W. Parker Browne served as a volunteer student firefighter with the City of Williamsburg (VA) and later, chief instructor/aircraft crash rescue at Tempelhof Central Airport, Berlin, Germany (USAF) during the Cold War. In 1959, he joined the Capen Hose Company #4, Brockport, NY Fire Department. He is still a lifemember and former captain of his hometown fire company. Parker was Brockport Fire Department’s first training officer. In 1968, he was recruited by Akron Brass to come to Wooster, OH to work in product development, sales, and marketing, especially with the new Turbojet nozzle. Immediately, he was appointed as a minuteman, (volunteer firefighter) with the city of Wooster Fire Department, where he remained until 1988. Beginning in 1972, Parker worked closely with John K. Finley, Finley Fire Equipment, in the early years of the business, and later served as Vice President of 8

Red Head Brass. He most recently served as Staff Chief of the Medina Township Fire Department from 2003 to 2015. Parker is semi-retired, but still serves as a local and national fire service educator, instructor, and consultant to the fire apparatus industry and municipal and industrial fire departments throughout North America. He is the product specialist for the Trident Automatic AirPrimer for fire apparatus. Fire service education and training have been a cornerstone of his distinctive fire service career. He served in some capacity on almost every annual Wayne County Fire School committee, and he was instrumental with the development of the Wayne County Regional Training Facility. Parker was an adjunct professor at the University of Akron where he taught Fire Protection Technology for 4 years and worked with the Training Center for Fire and Hazardous Materials for 12 years, delivering municipal and industrial training throughout Ohio. In addition, Parker’s local contributions include the development and implementation of the Standardized Regional Water Supply System for Wayne County. His work grew and continued on to the state level as part of the Emergency Response Plan with the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association. A Water Supply Technical Advisory Committee was formed, recruiting a statewide network of volunteer experts representing all aspects of the fire department water supply system from the source to the attack engine. The full diversity of Ohio’s geographic regions was brought together for the first time in the history of Ohio’s fire service.

Twitter Give-A-Way

To help create increased awareness and mission visibility, Webmaster Maury Grundy has organized a NFHC Twitter Giveaway initiative in which those answering a question correctly can win a prize. Prizes have been selected from stock in the Gift Shop.

NFHC Newsletter


History – 50 Years Ago 6 Killed, 14 Injured Plant Fires Still Raging By Sam Tarleton and Wayne Owens, State Edition of Lake Charles American-Press, 8 Aug 1967

Southwest Louisiana residents were shaken from their sleep at 4:42 a.m. today by two violent explosions which rocked the giant Cities Service Oil Co. refinery. Damage is severe at the sprawling complex and officials report that four workers have been unaccounted for. Twelve persons were taken to St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles and West Calcasieu-Cameron Hospital in Sulphur. One man was seriously injured. Bob Forest, public relations manager at the plant, issued the following statement at 8:30 a.m. "The explosion at 4:42 a.m. today was caused by a leak in a line from one of the alkylation units. The leak was probably catapulted into an explosion from a nearby furnace." Forest said no estimate of damages could be made early today. An inventory was still being conducted as fires continued to rage at the parent plant in the petro-chemical area south of Interstate 10. Residents throughout the area were confounded by the two early explosions which occurred within about 10 minutes of one another. About 1,500 men are employed in the basic refinery. The refinery area resembled a bombed out area with wreckage strewn over a wide area. All of the power at the plant has been lost. It all began when a leak was discovered in a butane line almost due west of the "A" alkylation unit. Operators in nearby units said they began a shutdown of the units. Men on duty in the devastated area said a southwest wind apparently swept the butane towards furnaces of the coker unit which is located immediately north of the "B" alkylation unit. The furnaces set off fires and resulting explosions which apparently knocked out the power house. The "A" and "B" units and the coker were consumed by fire which was still burning furiously at 10 a.m. today.

The National Fire Heritage Center (NFHC) is a nonprofit organization working to preserve the written history of “fire in America.” We support individuals, fire departments, fire libraries and museums, fire protection organizations and others who wish to collect, catalog and preserve firerelated writings.