From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 10th February, 1933.
FIRE BRIGADES ARE NOT COMPULSORY
REVELATION BY CHIEF OFFICER WELLS
Mr. Albert O. Wells, chief officer of Mitcham Fire Brigade, speaking at a meeting of Reigate firemen on Saturday, said the fire brigade law of this country needed altering.
At the moment, he said, it was not compulsory for a local authority to maintain a fire brigade, and the protection of life and property became the responsibility of a minority largely helped by a system of voluntary service.
There were piles upon piles of properties in this country unprotected from risk of fire in any way.
Mr. Wells also gave details of an experiment now going an in Surrey for a County Fire Board, organised in four divisions to account for every square inch of the County.
Mr. Wells hoped Surrey would go down in history as the pioneer in adopting a system that would eventually become general throughout the country.