1941 while anticipating the possibility of an
attack, air raid sirens were installed
on the roofs of local
industries, businesses and public buildings as well as firehouses.
sense of increased urgency was evident in a municipal directive
By Public Safety Commissioner Mary
W. Kobus in 1942 stating: "If an Emergency signal is
received from the United States Arms Information Center
advising local defense officials that an air raid is imminent,
all fire apparatus and other emergency vehicles will be placed on the
apron in front of their respective quarters and their sirens, exhaust
whistles or other audio devices shall be sounded as an air raid
number of Federal Decrees were also enacted regulating public conduct in
the event of air raid warnings. With the sounding of alarms, all
civilian traffic must stop and everyone must seek shelter. One new
Federal Regulation prohibited fire apparatus from using sirens in
response to alarms. Under war-time regulations, sirens would be reserved
exclusively for air raid warnings.
use of audible warning devices by fire apparatus was restricted to bells
only. The burden to both fire fighters and the public safety was
formidable. On March 1,
1942, the inevitable happened. Engine
Company 8 while responding to an alarm was involved in a collision
with a ten ton truck at Third
Street and Kaighn
Avenue. Upon impact all of the firemen were thrown into the street.
The truck driver declared that he failed to hear the bells of the
approaching apparatus. The mishap resulted in injuries to six members
and total destruction of the apparatus. Captain Alvin Thompson was
listed in critical condition, while Firemen Mitchell
Farrow, Leonard Oshushek,
Lawrence Boulton and
Edwin Robbins were admitted for lesser injuries. Battalion Chief Newton
stated that he believed the accident might have been avoided if fire
companies were not prohibited from using sirens.
same day another mishap occurred at Ninth Street and Ferry
Engine 3 was struck by an automobile, the motorist stating that he heard
the bell but thought the apparatus was somewhere behind him. A week
later Ladder Company 2
was involved in yet another crash at Tenth Street and
when the motorist said he did not hear the apparatus coming.
war-time regulations would continue to hamper the Department for the
next three years. Deputy Chief Charles
a complaint with Commissioner
Rhone to see what
could be done about lifting the ban.
1969 Leonard Oshushek was living at 1352 Sheridan
retired from the Camden Fire Department on December 1, 1971. He
was still living on Sheridan Street as late as 1980. A resident of Franklinville NJ in his later years, he
passed away on March 17, 2006.