Carrying the Hydrant to the Fire
A novel and effective device is described in the August number of Insurance Engineering, in connection with an article on the Baltimore high service fire system. The invention is the Ross portable hydrant head, manufactured by the Ross Valve Manufacturing Company, of Troy, N. Y., and invented by William Ross and his brothers, who are associated with him in the company. The invention consists of a bronze hydrant head weighing 110 pounds, and with five openings which are adjustable to any type of hydrant. At Baltimore the hydrant head is used in connection with the joint invented by Chief Engineer Banks, of the water works system of that city. The use of the hydrant head in the high service fire district obviates the existence of hydrants above the street level, the location of the hydrant being covered by a cap level with the surface of the street and instantly removable. The hydrant head is kept on the apparatus in the fire department house, so that it is not subject to the action of the outside elements and is always under supervision and ready for use. It is carried to the fire with the apparatus, and experience has shown that it can be taken from the middle of the street and connected with the hydrant pipe, ready for the water to be turned on, in 18 seconds. The hydrant head combines different streams in a way to increase the efficiency of the application of water to a fire. In this way the use of short hose lines is permitted and the loss caused by the resisting friction of long lines of hose is obviated. At a fire recently in the high service zone in Baltimore, the fumes from a burning chemical factory drove the firemen from the immediate vicinity, but after they had placed the fire-quenching apparatus, it took care of itself without their presence, and the flames were extinguished. There are 15 of these hydrant heads in operation in Baltimore. The portable hydrant head is in use in other cities also.
The Firemen’s Building Association, of New Orleans, La., has outlived its usefulness, and by unanimous vote will no longer exist as an organization.