Boston Gas Emergency Wagons

Boston Gas Emergency Wagons

The City of Boston, Mass., is fortunate in having one of the most efficient gas emergency services of any city in the world. Completely equipped apparatus manned by a uniformed force of men answers every alarm of fire in the city and suburbs. This service is maintained by the Boston Consolidated Gas Company. There are seven emergency trucks, all similarly equipped, and all manned in the same manner. Five of these trucks are in daily service and two are held as spare wagons and used for reserves to cover in or replace the other trucks in event of accident.

The personnel of each company consists of a chauffeur, foreman, two assistants, and a service man. An emergency inspector has supervision over the care and upkeep of all trucks and equipment. The inspector also assists in training the crew in first aid methods, both manual and mechanical. The work assigned to the trucks in their respective districts is to respond to all fire alarms, gas leaks, etc., and to render aid in cases of emergency whenever requested.

One of Seven Emergency Trucks in Use by Boston Gas Company, Which Answer All Alarms of Fire

Each truck carries among its equipment the following: One inhalator, complete; two oxygen tanks, large size; two oxygen containers, small size; two searcli lights; two bars for manhole covers; gas masks; fire extinguishers; two sounding bars; one frost wedge; six bars of leak soap; one bag of fittings of assorted sizes, consisting of service caps, plugs, etc., and a large assortment of tools.

The men work on eight hour shifts or what amounts to a three-platoon basis. The gas wagons are given the right of way through the streets and are nicknamed “the gray ghosts,” as they arc painted a gray color, with brass bell mounted in front.

The gas men work in close co-operation with the Boston fire and protective departments and render invaluable service in shutting off the gas, when requested by the officers of the fire department. Chief John O. Taber, of the Boston fire department, has heartily endorsed the present service of the Gas Company, and he was one of the first to point out the need for just such a system as is now maintained. Among the jobs sometimes performed by the men of the emergency crews are life saving, trench digging, light fixing, pipe laying, trouble finding, and trouble fixing. If the fire chief decides he wishes the gas off, the gas crew attends to his order.

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