Film: 4609

Social History | 1930 | Sound | B/W


A recruiting film for the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service) 1930's

Seems to have a peace time relaxed feel but recruiting firemen and fire watchers, so probably World War Two, however, no one carries gas masks etc. Shot of man shouting fire. Flames fill the screen. An elbow breaks a street fire alarm and a hand pulls it out. On a screen, the words FIRE are illuminated. At central control the controller flicks switches on mechanised alarm board. Fireman playing cards in a canteen. One looks up and realises they are being called. The firemen run quickly to their duties. Sliding down poles intercut with a burning building. Shots of fire engines doors are opened and two motorized fire engines depart from the County Council, London Fire Station on Albert Embankment. Montage sequence of repeat of events leading up to departure of fire engines. Shot of flames. Glasgow Fire Engine departs from its station. Manchester Fire Brigade depart from their station. Sheffield central fire station swings into action. Birmingham fire brigade. Salford fire station engines. Shot of flames, smoke billowing from windows. Engines arrive at fire, London fire brigade. (Could be in exercise yard of London fire brigade HQ - Lambeth High Street). Hoses are attached to taps, holes are pulled out of trick close up of hoses unfolding. A man is trapped in the building ladder is raised to rescue him. Hose thrown from top of building. Close up of water pressure measuring equipment. Fireman climbs ladder, it is maneuvered around. Shot of fire man on top of ladder from point of view of building. Turning on water valve. Hose fills with water and snakes along ground. LCC Ambulance arrives as man is rescued and lowered to the ground via a pulley. A stretcher waits to take him away. Exhibition of fireman's lift. Man is put into ambulance. Fireman hydraulically taken down mechanical ladder. People watch the display from the back of the Albert Embankment building. Medium shot and close up of crowd reacting, clapping. Including children, well dressed women. Formation ladder exercise, manual placing of ladder extensions up multi-storied building. Shot from above of fireman climbing ladders (minus safety harnesses!). Looking out window of building the fireman climb up, we see them passing the ladder to the fireman above him, until they are at the top of the building. Four firemen come into shot with carrying a tank full of petrol. This is lit. Four firemen put it out in formation. Wearing breathing apparatus, several firemen prepare themselves. Firemen on top of a building aim water hoses at something unidentifiable happening below. More crowd reaction shots. The crowd leave, children and mothers walking down stairs. Men in double breasted suits and hats. Poster for AFS says AFS London needs volunteer firemen now. Enrol at any fire station, a couple stop and look at it. He stares at it seriously. He smiles patriotically. AFS office, our new recruit enters the building and speaks to fireman. He fills in a form also includes over the shoulder shot of old nib pen scratching away at form. He hands his form to the 'quarter master' and exchanges civilian clothes for AFS uniform. AFS recruits on parade including close up. They march away. Includes low angle shot of our recruit boldly marching off. Shot of boots marching in close up. Carrying hoses exercises and laying them out for use. Shot of our recruit at nozzle end of hose pointing it and smiling. Tying knots. Putting a very long ladder against a building and pulling up the extension. Climbing the ladder. Pumping water from a bucket to a coal scuttle to put out the fire. Close up of our new recruit pumping. 'Manning' the fire engine. Wheeling out the extension ladders. Point of view from top of ladder of fireman climbing. Point of view from ground. He climbs into building and using the fireman's lift, takes a stuffed dummy down the ladder.

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