BUSY TIMES FOR FIRE ENGINEERS.
News From All Points.
The steady growth of Toledo, Ohio, especially in the business and central districts, necessitates the maintenance of a firstclass fire department. Chief William Mayo is determined that his shall rank with the highest, if he can accomplish it, and that he has done “excellently well” with what men and apparatus he has is shown by the comparatively small loss of the past year in proportion to the number of alarms. Of these there were 588. The total loss amounted to $441,114.97 on property which was insured for $4,009,605. The insurance paid was $434,134.97, showing that the loss over insurance paid to be $6,980. The average loss for each alarm was only a little over $750. Of the fires attended 327 took place in frame buildings; 153 in brick; seventyone were other than building fires; four, for calls outside the city, and thirty-three were false alarms. Of the fires in buildings all but two were confined to the buildings in which they originated. What is lacking is in the way of apparatus, not of efficient men though six additional firemen arc really required. To protect the city as it should be protected there should he added to the equipment either seven additional steamers or at least one fireboat, with auxiliary pipes and independent hydrants, which would afford protection not only to the immediate vicituiy. but also to an area at least 1,000 feet bemud the termination of the auxiliary lines. As it “”is! of the eight steamers in the department, four are of small size and not capable of handling more than one stream, unless the lines of hose happen to be very short ones. There should, besides, be constructed at least fifteen fire cisterns of 1,000-barrel capacity each, and fed from the waterworks system At present there are but four. T hese are of small size, and have no waterworks connections. They are of but little use to the fire department. These, with the lireboat, are all the more imperatively needed, since, under present conditions, if a main burst in the business parts of the city while a (ire was raging, a conflagration would infallibly ensue. Additional fire docks are also called for, to be kept clear of all incumbrances, so that fire engines can IK* placed thereon without delay. An engine house, equipped with a combination hose and chemical wagon, and a hook and ladder truck, and an addition to No. 3 engine house, are also required, as well as two additional hook and ladder trucks, and improvements in the way of connections and valves for the water tower. Since, also. Assistant Chiefs L. H. F.lling and P. B. McDonough do all the clerical work, and one district is at a great distance from headquarters, the appointment of a battalion chief would seem to lie an advantage. The installation of additional fire alarm boxes and the purchase of about 6,000 feet of underground cable would also greatly increase the efficiency of the fire alarm system, which otherwise is in firstclass shape. A new system of telephoning from any of the fire alarm boxes has been installed, and five portable telephones have been pur chased and placed in service.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N. J. *
Chief Engineer Charles M. Banks, of the New Brunswick, N. J., fire department, had sixty-five tires last year, twenty-nine being from the street alarm boxes, while twenty-six were still alarms. I he tire loss was $25,190—an average per alarm of only $387, and a per capita loss of $1.14. The insurance on the property on tire amounted to $91,630. The largest fires of the year were the destruction of the Krause ice and coal plant and the Barnard and Hoe fires, at the Landing Bridge. One general alarm was sounded for the Krause fire, and two second alarms for other fires. The department has an equipment of six steam engines, six hose wagons, one hook and ladder truck, two wagons, 8,000 feet of hose, and other appliances. During the past year, a firstclass American tire engine was added to the force. This engine is equipped with thrcc-horse hitch and rubber tires, ami was on exhibition in New York at the Chief Engineers’ convention last fall. The city is supplied with the Gamewell fire alarm telegraph system, with twenty-eight alarm boxes, and the water supply is ample for tire purposes. New Brunswick is a compactly built city of 22,000 inhabitants, a manufacturing centre of considerable size, and the seat of the well-known Rutger’s College.
ORANGE, N. J.
Chief Engineer James W. Hodgkinson, of the Orange, N. J., fire department, has just completed his sixteenth year as the head of the tire department of that city. He has. however, been connected with the department a much longer time, having been appointed a stoker of the old Watchung company, December 2. 1870. At that time the department was a volunteer force. When the new’ engine was purchased in 1873. he was transferred to the engine house in Mitchell street, the company being known as relief engine No. 2. After serving for four years he resigned and went to Brooklyn, N. Y. In December, 1881. he returned to Orange and again entered the service, and has held various offices ever since. At the time of his promotion to chief engineer he was foreman of engine company No. 1. Of all the fire departments in Essex county, that of Orange ranks second to the fire department of Newark in general efficiency and equipment, and under the guidance of Chief Hodgkinson is constantly being improved. The city of Orange has a population nf some 27,000. and is well built up. The equipment uf the department comprises steam fire engine, recently rebuilt, one combination chemical engine and hose wagon, one hook and ladder truck, one hose carriage, two hose wagons, 7,000 feet of hose, and some twelve to fifteen horses. The city is well equipped w’ith the Gamewell automatic fire alarm system, comprising thirty-six alarm boxes, together with gongs, tower bells and other appliances. The total force of the department consists of forty-five men, of which a considerable number are full paid and the remainder part paid. The value of the equipment is about $60,000. The water supply is abundant for fire and domestic purposes, with some 350 hydrants and other appliances.
In his annual message the mayor of Evanston, Ill., thus speaks of that city’s fire department: “I am pleased to note considerable improvement in this department during the past year, not only in the addition of new apparatus and material for better fire protection, hut also in an increased loyalty on the part of the men working in this department in an endeavor to give the best service possible. Six new’ alarm boxes have been added to the fire alarm system. A new combination hose and chemical has also been purchased and added to the equipment. Twenty-seven thousand feet of four-wire cable has been laid underground and connected with the central fire station. This department is now in such excellent shape that I believe the needs of Evanston are fully met with, outside of possibly a new fire engine, which we are badly in need of, to assist the old two-stream engine, which we have had in service for a number of years past. This matter, however, has been thoroughly investigated by the fire and finance committees, and it is largely a question of funds to purchase and maintain the same that prevents us from placing the additional engine in operation. During the past year 162 fire alarms have been given the department, besides three fires which were visited outside of the city limits. The total actual loss incurred by these fires is estimated by the chief of the fire department to amount to $17,567.50. The chief of the department, in his annual report, recommends that additional fire hydrants be placed in the business district of the city, in order to effectually combat with any fire that might take place in that section. I would, therefore, recommend that that matter be taken up by the fire committee and investigation be made and a report rendered to the council upon the subject.”
NORTH ADAMS, MASS.
During the past year the firemen of North Adams, Mass., answered sixty-two alarms of fire, lhe value of the property endangered was $225,000, insured for $218,000. The whole loss for the year did not amount to more than $7,000, of which over $6,000 worth was insured. That the loss was so trifling was due in great measure to the efficiency of its fire department and the means of fire-protection adopted at North Adams. Chief W. W. Byars is a veteran firefighter and takes good care that his men shall not fall below the mark. He has a fire area of between 6,000 and 7.000 acres to look after, and to cover this he has between seventy and eighty men, of whom a little more than one-twentieth part is paid; a little over half is part paid; and about one-third is volunteer. The equipment consists of a chemical engine, some chemical extinguishers, two hook and ladder trucks, three hose carriages, one hose wagon, add about 5.000 feet of cotton hose, of which some four-fifths is good. The Gamewell fire alarm is installed, with over thirty boxes, and the water pressure is from ninety to 100 pounds. Chief Byars recommends that an aerial ladder be purchased, as there are now several buildings in the city too high to be effectively reached by the water pressure. He also recommends that all the left-handed hydrants be taken up and that new and improved hydrants be set in many of the streets.
FORT SMITH, ARK.
T he city of Fort Smith, Ark., has a nopulation of over 11.ooo, and it is fast coming to the front as one of the most progressive business centers in the West. Its waterworks is in excellent condition, under the superintendence of S. J. Rosamond, and its fire department has made a fine record for the past year. In his report Chief J. W. Rice states that the number of alarms for 1902 was ninety; total loss on buildings and contents, $16,724.68; insurance paid. $14,947.03. The total expense of maintaining the department was $7,098.11, which is a very small amount for a city of the size of Fort Smith. Chief Rice requests that the hook and ladder truck now in reserve be placed in commission, and that another fire company be formed at a cost of $2,390 per year. These are verv moderate demands, and. considering the efficient fire service rendered the city last year, night to be complied with at once. The fact that the chief says he has apparatus for equipping the new station makes the proposition the more feasible. The equipment of the department is as follows: One’ third-class steamer; tw’O hose wagons; two hose reels; one hook and ladder truck; eight horses; 1.350 feet of rubber hose, and 1,150 feet of cotton hose.