“Spread the Alarm” is a circa 1941 color film presented by the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company is cooperation with the Massachusetts Commission on Public Safety. Starting at mark 00:30 we see a map of the New England states as a narrator explains how Civil Defense agencies “are hearing the call to action” as newspaper headlines about mock air raids and bomb attacks appear on the screen. At mark 01:07, Myron D. Chase, a liaison between the telephone company and the National Defense Communications Board, provides details on the defense plan for American communities in the case of an air raid, including civilian observers watching for enemy aircraft and using phone lines to report their movement. He also provides information on air raid alarming and air raid precautions, and at mark 03:50 shows footage from a training exercise in Massachusetts as a building burns (the result of an “enemy attack”) and an air raid warden surveys and reports all the necessary details of the damage. At a report center (mark 04:25), volunteer operators are shown recording the details. As incidents are reported, the locations are shown being plotted on a large wall map with various color pins. Meanwhile, at mark 06:20, we see representatives from the water, gas, electric, and telephone companies as well as the local fire department manning phone lines to take “necessary action” as fire trucks speed to the scene. “These defense workers present an inspiring picture of the unity which a great crisis always brings,” the narrator concludes at mark 08:40.
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