A Practical Device for a Chief’s Wagon.
The following letter from Chief Marjenhoff of the Charleston, S. C., Fire Department will be of interest to our readers, and, with the accompanying illustration, will suggest a novel and useful device for the use of fire chiefs. Chief Marjenhoff says:
EDITOR FIRE AND WATER:
I see in the issue of January 5, that Richmond, Va., has furnished its chiefs with fire extinguishers for their buggies. As the value of this apparatus in cities of such size that the chief isexpected to attend every fire, seems not to have been properly recognized heretofore, it may be for general benefit for some who are thus equipped to give their experience.
While corresponding with several chiefs last January with a view to obtaining a design for a fire department chief’s buggy, Friend Joyner of Atlanta sent me a sketch of his, and I saw a fire extinguisher on it. This struck me as very practical. A pattern for a buggy that I considered best suitable, I could not find, so I had one made after my own idea. It has a brood step on rear, and my driver has orders to get to fires as quickly as possible, and if the chief or any others that want to ride cannot catch him, they must stay behind. But we always can jump in easily and by simply sitting down and strapping the extinguisher on back, no strain is needed to take it out.
I also carry an axe, with pick and door opener, which I find very useful at times. Being thus equipped, I have put out several fires without other apparatus. Of late many of our citizens have had the good judgment to ring me up rather than pull an alarm for the whole department, and in every instance my apparatus “was sufficient. I thank Friend Joyner for the extinguisher idea, and if my idea of buggy can be of any use to our fraternity, my object in writing this will be fully obtained.
My horse, Bob, you see in the picture, is not particular if he has a bit in his mouth or not. He has carried me to fires several times without bit, but after having carried me a distance of two miles, around seven corners, galloping so that people told me afterwards they thought him running away, and I found he had no bit in his mouth, I got scared (if a fireman ever gets scared) and threatened the driver with discharge if it happened again.
O. G. MAIUKNHOFF, Chief Fire Dep t.
Chief Marjenhoff appends to his letter some interesting information in regard to the work of his department last year. There were eighty-two alarms, thirty-two more than in 93, with a loss of $06,000, of which $31,000 was caused by the opera house fire on January 1; 1894. Taking out a few fires of incendiary origin, and some where the insurance amounted to more than the property could have been sold for, which would naturally lead people to gross carelessness or worse in giving alarms, the losses would hardly have reached $8,900.