Chief Peterson Recommends Improvements at Galesburg.
In a letter to the members of the fire committee of the city council, H. J. Peterson, chief of the Galesburg, I11., fire department, advocates some radical changes in the present fire lighting equipment of that city. He suggests the building of two new substations to protect the outlying districts of the city and the removal of another to a more commanding point. The installation of motor-driven hose and chemical wagons in the central station and a distribution of the apparatus in the central station among the substations are among the proposed improvements. While the cost of the change is large, being estimated by the fire chief to he about $23,000, he offsets this with the statement that the fire loss in the city could he reduced 50 per cent, and with the recommended changes, he is of the opinion that the insurance rates would be lowered so much that the real cost of the change would be practically nothing at all. The installation of a fire alarm system in what is known as the fire district, is also among the proposed changes. Chief Peterson asserts that there should be one fireman to every 1,000 persons in a city. Following is the letter as presented to the fire committee; “While it is out of the question to get any money for these improvements at the present time, I have a few suggestions to make for your future consideration, I think you will all agree with me that they are needed. We have a good waterworks now, but what good does that do unless we improve our fire department on the same scale? They have spent $100,000, while we have not advanced any in our department. I would suggest the following improvements be made:
“Central House.—One aerial truck, three-horse hitch, four men; one motor-driven combination hose and chemical, six men ; one steam fire engine, two men ; one chief’s buggy, one man; one assistant chief, one of these men to be captain, 14 all together.
“No. 2 Company. -This company to remain as it is, hut should he moved further east on Brooks street, say about Whiteshoro street, so as to cover East Main and North street more promptly. When the tunnel is completed we should never be blocked for the east half of the present district. There should lie three men stationed here; one captain, one driver, one pipeman.
“No. 3 Company.—This company to remain the way it is. One captain, one driver, one pipeman ; three men all together.
“No. 4 Company.This new company to he located in the northeast part of the city, take the chemical engine out of the central house and place it in the new house until some future time when a motor-driven apparatus will take its place. One captain, one driver; two men all together.
“No. 5 Company.—This new company to be located somewhere in the southwest part of the city, take hose wagon out of central house and place in this district. One captain, one driver, one pipeman; three men all together.
“By having our city equipped in this manner we ought to reduce our fire loss 50 per cent., as each apparatus would have less than half a mile run to a fire in its district, with the exception of the auto in the central station, which would act as a relief wagon in all districts. Now as to cost, there should be one fireman to each 1,000 inhabitants. 25 in all. To move No. 2 station and sell old one. there should not he more than $2,500 additional cost. To build two new stations and buy lot, $0,000 each. To buy motor apparatus such as we need, $5,500; six additional firemen. $4,500; total cost of houses and apparatus, $20,000 Assistant chief, $1,100; five captains. $1,000 each: one engineer. $1,000; 18 firemen, $900 each : total, $23,300. The total is not quite $1 per capita, which, I think is a low figure when you thing of the service vou will get. I furthermore would recommend that you take up the fire alarm system in the district known as the fire limits. Now. in conclusion, 1 think if these recommendations were in good working order, our insurance rates would be lowered enough that the cost would amount to nothing. 5 ott must take into consideration that the cottage of the working man in the outlying districts is as valuable to them as the mansion on quality hill is to the richer class of citizens.”