Allentown May Have a Paid Department.
The councils of Allentown, Pa., are planning to establish a paid fire department, and with that end in view have received reports from some other third-class cities in Pennsylvania, of which there are five that have paid departments—Easton, New Castle, Wilkes-Barre, Altoona and Williamsport. Allentown, with a population of 38,000, has 7 steamers, 1 combination chemical and hose wagon, 4 chemical engines, 16 chemical hand extinguishers, 1 hook and ladder truck, 1 supply wagon, 1 hose wagon, 5 hose carriages, 32 horses, 9,000 feet of good cotton, rubber-lined hose and 1,350 feet of inferior hose, a Gamewell fire alarm system of 46 boxes; value of department equipment, $95,000. The annual expense of the department is $33,043. There are 25 full-time paid members and 894 volunteers. A report from Easton, which has a population of 28,000, states that the paid fire system was organized November 1, 1879, and consists of 41 men, divided into three steam fire engine companies, 1 hook and ladder company and 1 chemical engine company.
Fourteen of the men give their entire time to the service. The others arc call men. The South Side volunteer force consists of about 250 men, divided into 1 steam fire engine company and 3 hose companies. The estimated value of the fire engine houses, apparatus, horses, fire telegraph, wagons and supplies is $68,835. The officers and firemen arc appointed by the mayor for six-year terms. The yearly appropriation totalled $22,690.
The paid fire department of New Castle, with 30,000 population, consists of 21 men and a chief. The salary of the chief is $85 per month. The salaries of the men are $60 for the first year’s service, $65 for the second year and $70 per month for each year thereafter. There are 7 fire stations, 7 combination hose and chemical wagons,
1 aerial truck and l wagon for the chief, 18 horses and no steamers. The total expenditures for last year were $22,606.63.