Condition of Fire Apparatus in Philadelpia

Condition of Fire Apparatus in Philadelpia

That 34 engines of the Philadelphia fire equipment were no longer fit for service, that 50 per cent, of the apparatus was under 50 per cent, of efficiency, and that $1,500,000 would be required to put the department on a proper footing, was asserted by Director of Public Safety George D. Porter, at a luncheon of the Philadelphia Credit Men’s Association a few days ago. He said he frequently had urged Councils to make appropriations for new equipment and the modernization of some of the old, hut the money was not forthcoming, and in 1913, while Philadelphia spent $166,000 for improved fire service, Baltimore expended $2,225,000. Forty per cent, of the engines, Director Porter said, were of old design. One engine had been in service 50 years, and was among the best in the city, he added. Thirty per cent, of the fire hose, he continued, should he discarded at once. The service hose is being tested under the supervision of an expert. At one firehouse every section of hose burst under test. Philadelphia firemen, the Director asserted, covered more territory, and with fewer engines, than did those in any other American city. Philadelphia is short of aerial trucks. With only 16 of these apparatus, those nearest to the congested business section, are housed at 21st and Market streets and 3rd street and De Lancey place. Firehouses, too, were condemned. Director Porter said that the city’s machine shops, at 11th and Wharton streets, completed in July last at a cost of $125,000, was one of the best planned in the United States. “Yet,” he continued, “while it is full of fire apparatus awaiting repairs, not a dollar’s worth of machinery with which to do repair work has been installed.” The way to get modern fire equipment, the Director said, “was for the people to get after Councils.”

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