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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 54, Number 3 (Nov. 1952)

Richard, George
I worked my way through fire college,   pp. 20-22

Page 20

I Worked My Way Through
The first-hand account of a typical (more-or-less) UW Institute
                                  BY GEORGE RICHARD, '47
,'  7"OUR HOUSE is on fire!"
         Ten minutes after receiving that startling tele-
       phone call one February afternoon two years ago,
I got my first experience as a volunteer fire fighter. By the
time I arrived at the scene, our winterized cottage on the lake
some six miles from town, a fireman was playing a hose
on the fiercest part of the flames that ate at the small
building. I joined half-a-dozen volunteers from the neigh-
borhood who were efficiently removing clothes and house-
hold furnishings from the cottage.
  Half an hour later, the fire was all but extinguished.
There had been some anxious moments when the water sup-
ply temporarily gave out, but obviously the firemen knew
their business and today the same cottage-after a good
deal of redecorating-perches high on the shore of the
lake, with, I presume, a somewhat more reliable oil heater.
  That was my first experience as a volunteer fireman. It
wasn't until this past summer, though, that I fully realized
the debt I owed the group of organized volunteer firemen,
who, working with regular members of the city department,
had held the fire's destruction to a minimum. Then I had
an opportunity to attend the first University of Wisconsin
"Fire College" in 15 years, an institute that brought to
Madison 130 firemen, volunteer and paid, from all over
the state.
  I had wanted to attend one of the 40-odd institutes, clin-
ics, or workshops presented last summer by the University
so I could give to Alumnus readers a first hand report on one
phase of the UW's program of adult education. Although
many alumni are included in the nearly 60,000 registrations
that are recorded by institutes held on the campus each year,
the Wisconsin Idea of University service to the state remains
mostly hearsay for quite a few of us.
  As time goes on, of course, and with the added impetus
to be provided by construction of the Wisconsin Center
Building, there'll be few persons in Wisconsin who will
not play a direct part in the expanding public service role
of the University. But, like a lot of other grads, I knew little
                            WISCONSIN ALUMNUS

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