Alameda Dedicates New Drill Tower
The City of Alameda officially dedicated its new fire department drill tower Saturday, October 11, 1947, with appropriate ceremonies, in which city officials joined with the public in acclaiming the improvement and admiring the exhibition staged by the Fire Department, under Chief Thomas M. Lane.
Alameda, which has growm from 37,000 population to 90,000 in the past few years has long needed a suitable structure for training. Now, under the persistent efforts of Chief Lane and his co-workers, the department has it.
The four-story’ fire drill tower is of steel and wood construction, 50 ft. high, the lower floor measuring 20 x 35 ft. (which will house the pumper used for training purposes). The foundation is securely anchored by 30-ft piling and concrete. Construction permits the lower floor being used for smoke mask training. The tow’er is complete with plumbing and shower fixtures for the convenience of personnel. The outside east wall is provided with wings, which fold into the building on hinges, providing a handball court for warming up exercise. Furnishings of the lower floor include lighting, fire alarm and hot water facilities.
Photo Courtesy Poulard Department
Stairways of standard tread lead to the upper three floors. ‘I’ ese floors measure 20 ft. x 20 ft. ar.J, with the exception of the second floor, are unfurnished. A 3-ft. 6-in. square hole is provided for each floor in a corner, to facilitate hose drying. Protective covers are provided to guard window frames from damage by pompier ladders and the east side of the building has a standard fire escape and dry standpipe. A steel arm is secured on the top, south side of the tower for use in rope climbing and removing “victims”.
Stretching across the full 20-t’t. width of the building and outwards at ground level, for a height of 6-ft. is a rope safety net. A fire hydrant and a drafting cistern are also provided for pumping and hose operations. These and many other refinements tend to make the new structure one of the most modern of its kind in the country .
Ceremonies on the training ground included an inspection of the new structure and demonstration of the “voice alarm system”; raising of the flag by Firemen Guard of Honor; salute and pledge of allegiance to the flag and the introduction of Mayor W. J. Branscheid, who gave the welcoming address. Members of the city council were then introduced and Chief Tom Lane gave the official response in the name of the fire department. A special address was given by Chief Jav Stevens, Assistant Manager, National Board of Fire Underwriters, and Secretary of the Pacific Coast Association of Fire Chiefs, following which members of the fire department executed a dozen drill tower evolutions.