A Good Report From the Fire Department of Erie, Pa.

A Good Report From the Fire Department of Erie, Pa.

According to the report of Fire Chief John M. Duerner, of Erie, Pa., the department is in a very excellent condition, for over a year all members of the department having been fully paid, new apparatus added and during 1916 the fire alarm telegraph system much improved and is now better fitted to do the work required than ever before. During the year the department responded to 386 fire alarms, which is an average of little more than one a day. The number of false alarms were 17. The number of false alarms, the chief reports, is increasing each year rather than diminishing. Aside from the unnecessary expense incurred thereby, there is the same element of danger, when responding to a false alarm to the men, horses and apparatus, as when there is a real fire to fight. A few arrests, followed by convictions and severe sentences, are the only means that will eliminate these enemies of every fire department. Although the number of fires was large in only three were the losses heavy. They were the Model Garage, German Baptist Church and Erie Forge Company. On Christmas morning occurred the only serious accident of the year. While the department was extinguishing a fire in the plant of the Erie Forge Company, Captain Charles Llebau, Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, received injuries from which he died a few hours later, and Pipeman Charles G. Fetscher, Engine Co. No. 6, was so badly hurt that it is expected he will be absent from duty for some time to come. The apparatus of the department consist of eight steam fire engines, as follow’s: two American Fire Engine Company; two Amcrican-LaFrance; one each, I.aFrance, Manchester, Silsby, and Manning engines; nine 2-horse Gleason & Bailey hose wagons; two Hayes and one American-LaFranee hook and ladder trucks; one Halloway chemical engine; one motor-driven American-LaFrance pumping car; with one engine and two hose wagons in reserve. The department has 45 horses at present, four having been sold and two others purchased during the year. As the department will be motorized, it will probably not purchase any more horses. The department has 22,737 feet of hose, in good, fair and poor condition. There is also 705 feet of chemical hose in use. The triple combination 750-gallon pumping car, received during 1916, is giving good satisfaction. Since its acceptance by the department Engine House No. 3 (headquarters) has been fully motorized. Despite the fact that headquarters building is considered unsanitary and inadequate, it was thought best to make some alterations and repairs in order to meet the new conditions. Another pumping car, an exact model of the one now in service, will be purchased and delivered during the coming year. It is now certain that a long feit want will be realized, the motorizing of the department as rapidly as possible. Each new piece of motor apparatus received in the department causes an old horse drawn piece to go out of commission and greatly increases the efficiency of the equipment. The system of property inspection, inaugurated in 1914, it is claimed is producing excellent results. The captains and other members of the department made 1,393 inspections in 1916, which number does not include those made by Chief Duerner and Assistant Chief Cronin. These inspections, it is believed, prevent many fires and thereby keep down the fire losses and greatly lessen the work of the department, because it is much easier to prevent fires than it is to extinguish them after they have started.

Chief John M. Duerner, Erie, Pa.

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