Commissioner Drennan Compliments His Men
General Order No. 26, signed by Commissioner Thomas J. Drennan, of the New York City fire department, reads as follows:
The record of achievements made by the members of the uniformed force of this department for the year 1919 is worthy of much praise. Their work in the extinguishment of fires has never been more hazardous or trying, and their success in overcoming fires despite the extraordinary difficulties and perils fully maintained the reputation of the department as the best fire fighting force in the world.
Among the notable successes of the department was the extinguishment of the fire in the Standard Oil Works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This fire lasted seven days and nearlv one thousand firemen were actively engaged in subduing it. This caused such wide and merited comment at the time that it is unnecessary to speak of it any further now.
During the war approximately five hundred members of the uniformed force were in the service of the United States Government. Four of these heroes made the supreme sacrifice. It is marvellous to note that among those who returned to the service of the department there was hardly a man who had not been appointed a commissioned or non-commissioned officer. The records of the army, navy and marines show that not a man in any of these three branches of the service who enlisted or was drafted from New York Fire Department was ever tried for any violation whatsoever while doing his part in carrying on the world war.
The greatest step in the promotion of efficiency in the department in the year 1919 was the installation of the two-platoon system. By making the living conditions better, this system has greatly increased the comfort, happiness and effectiveness of the force. I hope within a very few days to have this system installed in about 70 per cent, of the entire department and as quickly as possible to increase the zone so as to cover the whole city.
I desire to congratulate the members of the department for the splendid record they made during the year 1919 and wish to each member a Happy and Joyous New Year.
THOMAS J. DRENNAN,
The fire department of Bessemer, Ala., with nine members, has asked for additional men and a 12-hour day. The men declare that the report that they contemplated striking was absolutely without foundation, but that it is their intention to endeavor by every peaceable means, to persuade the council of the justice of their request. Chief Reeder is at the head of his department in its action and has conducted the matter for them. The men have asked the board of trade to assist them with its influence and it is thought that the claims of the department will receive favorable consideration from the council.