Cost of Operation and Maintenance of New York Fire Department
The report of the expenses of the New York Fire Department prepared by the Department of Finance contains some interesting figures for the years 1914, 1915 and 1916 which are well worth reading as showing the great organization the department is, how it is managed and equipped and the low per cent, fire tax in recent years. On July 1, 1916, the uniformed fire fighting force of the department with the salaries paid was as follows:
The $1,000 initial salary of a fireman becomes $1,200 after two years and $1,450 from the fourth year onward, the maximum having been increased by $50 at the beginning of 1917. The general organization of the department on December 31, 1916, was at Headquarters: 19; Fire extinguishment; uniformed, 5.060; civilian, 76; fire prevention, 246; fire investigation, 33; fire alarm telegraph, 200. and repairs and supplies, 280, a total of 5.914.
The figures for the different departments for the year 1916 were:
The following figures show the number and cost of the companies:
Eng. Cos…. 187—Av. cost per year. $26,511 H.&L. Cos…101—Av. cost per year. . 23,379 Fire Boats.. 9—Av. cost per year.. 47,816
The average membership per company was:
Hook and Ladder Companies: Average cost per member in city, $1,503, and average cost per member of hose companies in the city was $1,594.
The total number of pieces of apparatus in service in 1916 was 874, of which 337 were motor driven. The fire relief fund had a total of $1,216,294, an increase of $150,000 over the year 1914. The number of beneficiaries for the year was 1,920, leaving a cash surplus of $6,288 after years’ disbursements. The finance department reported the result of an investigation by which it determined that motorization effects a saving of $934.96 in a single engine company; $498.30 in a single hook and ladder company, and $1,658.12 with a combined engine and hose wagon. In addition to the saving in cost there is added efficiency through speed of response to alarms. This gain in rapidity of travel would have permitted greater consolidation of fire houses and companies but for the special precautions necessitated by war conditions, even while this country was nominally at peace.
The total expenses for operating the Telegraph Fire Alarm System for all boroughs was $260,333.