Banner Year at Meridian.
The year 1907 stands out as a banner year in the way of improvements to the fire department of Meridian, Miss., where Charles C. Massey is the recently elected chief. While the expense of the department ran up several thousand dollars, the improvements were quite extensive. There was purchased a new hose wagon for No. 5 station, and that station was equiped in a way that makes it up-to-date in every particular. There is also now a station on South Side, equiped with a two-horse hose wagon and four men. It is also thoroughly up-to-date and protects a territory that has heretofore been hard to reach from other stations. on account of the many railroad tracks to be crossed, giving the people of South Side protection equal to that which other parts of the city enjoy. The improvements in these two stations, Nos. 2 and 5. increased the force five mena very important factor in itself, in case of a big fire anywhere in the city. Among, other improvements are the purchase of five new horses and the addition of 2,090 ft. of hose, which gives each station a change, aVid the whole city a reserve in case of conflagration. On account of these improvements 9he city can now be re-districted in such a way as to save many long runs to the different stations, more especially No* 1, and cover the entire city in a way that gives much quicker service than ever before. All the equipment purchased has been of the most modern description obtainable. The water mains have also been extended in the eastern part of the city, and over fifty new hydrants have been set in different parts of the town, covering districts that have hereto fore required many long lines of hose to reach, but that are now covered with one wagon or one company, instead of two. There are several places in West lend and Highlands that should be piped, and where many new hydrants should be set, so as to give equally as good service in that portion of the city as is now enjoyed in the eastern portion. An aerial truck should also be purchased. During 1907 the department answered 158 alarms, sixteen of which were caused from defective flues; two from electrical wires; forty-two from causes unknown, but seven of which are believed to be of incendiary origin; the remainder from carelessness, sparks from chimneys, engines, and other natural causes. The loss from fire during the year was very small, on a property value of $1,896,185 of insurable property; it was $34,080— about two per cent, of the amount at risk. Chief Massey has very recently succeeded Chief Farrell, who resigned lately. He came to Meridian as the successor of the late Assistant Chief Frank VV. Zeliler. He had proved himself a firstclass fireman when a captain in the Birmingham, Ala., department, from which city he was chosen by Chief Farrell to fill the vacancy at Meridian. He came there heartily indorsed by Chief Mullin, ot the Birmingham department, under whom he served for eighteen years as a fireman and engineer. He also brought to Meridian with him the added experience of having served an apprenticeshin as machinist in the Memphis, Tenn., shops. Chief Massey will not only maintain the present high standard of the department, but will direct his efforts towards putting it on even a better basis than it is today.