Betterments in Boston
Progress is recorded in rehabilitating the Boston Fire Department which, in 1946, was forced to rely on apparatus ranging from four to thirty years in age, 95 per cent of the equipment being over twelve years old; 60 per cent over fifteen years of age and some pumping engines over twenty-five years ancient. It is reported that Deputy Chief Walter Glynn, Superintendent of Maintenance, and his shop men have kept rolling stock in service only by most strenuous day-andnight operations. At one time in March,1947, fifteen pumps were broken down but despite this and other layups due to accidents or failures, not a single company was put out of service.
New apparatus is being installed as rapidly as the rehabilitation program inaugurated by Fire Commissioner Codman can be effectuated. These companies have received new pumpers: Engines 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 14, 17, 22, 24c, 25, 26, 30, 32, 33, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 46, 49, 54; Hose wagons: Engines 4, 7, 10, 13, 33, 25, 22, 26. New rescue trucks have been given three companies. Water Tower 2 has been rebuilt and fitted with new tractor. Three new companies have been organized: Lighting units 1, 2 and 3. will respond to all night fires and on special call at any time.
Engine 54 was organized at Long Island and Ladder 33 was inaugurated at the same time. Ladder 32 was organized in District 15. Now, all boxes in the City normally have response of not less than two ladders. In Boston, all hospital boxes bring three ladders on the first alarm.
Two new Diesel-motored fireboats have been purchased and one installed at Engine 31. The fuel bill for the first month’s operation of one new boat is reported as $54.00 whereas Engine 44 (oil-burning fircboat) had a fuel bill for $1,400 for the same period.
Firemen now work 48-hours and over 400 new men have been trained.
In February, 1948, orders for new apparatus (for which deliveries are to start this spring) included: twenty pumping engines; ten 85-ft. aerial ladders and six junior aerials; a tractor for Water Tower 1 and twelve hose wagons.
Interest is centered in two new high pressure hose wagons of Engines 25 and 26 which are unique in design and construction. Each piece has two 1800 GPM guns and one portable gun.
Boston is said to be the only city in the United States that operates twopiece engine companies throughout the department.