According to an article published on 5/14/1930 in the Fire & Water Engineering Magazine, then Fire Chief Victor Veit was responsible for establishing the system of organized fire drills for stamford students that continues into today…  without the surprise visits of course.  The magazine pays him great homage with the following quite

“Chief Veit is conceded to be one of the most active fire department heads in New England.”

In 1930, stamford had TWENTY -TWO schools with 10,760 pupils enrolled.

Fire & Water Engineering Magazine Article

Prior to the elevation of Chief Victor H. Veit as head of the fire department at Stamford, Connecticut, that city held but few fire drills among its school children, an occasional visit to the schools being the limit.

Today Chief Veit is conceded to be one of the most active fire department heads in New England. He inaugurated a system some time ago through which all schools at Stamford are now thoroughly acquainted with drill work.

The accompanying illustration shows the students attending the Stamford High School during a recent fire drill which was “pulled” unknown to the two thousand pupils.

The building was completely emptied in two minutes and forty-five seconds.

“During the early spring and late fall of every year I visit all public and private schools and conduct a drill,” said Chief Veit. “No advance ‘tip’ of any kind is given to the teachers or pupils. The result of these drills have proven very satisfactory, the time required for emptying the different schools varies from thirty-five seconds to two minutes and forty-five seconds. It’s all according to the size of the school.

“There has never been any disorder among the pupils as I believe they realize the imporatnce of my work and are always willing to work with me and my assistants. The children about the ages of five and six go through the drill in real earnest.

“I feel it is part of the duty of every fire department chief to see that every precaution is taken for the safety of our school children in case of fire. In addition to the system of fire drills we also demonstrate to the pupils by means of a regular fire alarm box mounted on a pedestal, how to send in a fire alarm and also instruct them to become acquainted with the location of the nearest fire alarm box to their homes.”

The city of Stamford has twenty-two schools with 10,760 pupils enrolled.

— Fire Engineering, May 14, 1930