DAYTON FIRE DEPARTMENT CONDITIONS
The National Board of Fire Underwriters recently issued a report on fire conditions at Dayton, O. Relative to the fire department, the report in part says that it has been full paid since 1898, with a total membership of 149 men. The department is under the supervision of the Director of Public Safety appointed by the City Manager for an indefinite term. Chief Frank B. Ramby is in command of the department. He is 59 years of age, has been in the department 34 years and chief since 1907. His assistants are J. E. Madigan, E. J. Geisler and H. P. James. The expense of the department last year was $170,464. The chief is appointed by the Director of Safety for an indefinite term, with removal only for cause; all other appointments and promotions are made by the Director of Safety, from the certified lists ot the civil service commission Physical examinations are held; height limits are 5 feet 7 inches and 6 feet 4 inches; weight limits are 134 and 197 pounds; chest expansion 2 to 3 1/2 inches; age limits are 21 and 29 years. All appointments are probationary for six months, after which candidate must successfully pass a civil service examination to be retained; efficiency examinations are also held at stated intervals and are made the basis for promotion. Engineers must hold a license from the State Examining Engineer. No age limit has been set for compulsory retirement; no members are over 60 years of age; the majority are young men. A pension fund is maintained by direct tax, fines, statutory penalties, license fees and voluntary contributions. Members may retire for disability or after 25 years’ service, on a monthly pension of $40; smaller provision is made for dependent members of deceased pensioner’s families and for those of members killed in service or dying from injuries there received. A Relief Association provides weekly sick benefits and pays a death benefit of $300.
There are 3 combined engine and ladder, 1 combined hose and ladder, 4 engine and 8 hose companies in service, in 16 stations; 2 steam engines, 1 combination hose wagon and a water tower are in reserve. There are 9 assistant marshals (captains), each in charge of a station; in combined companies they respond with the ladder truck. There are no junior company officers; in stations having no assistant marshal a company member is designated to act as such. Members are allowed 3 hours daily for meals, 1 day off in 5, and 10 days’ annual vacation. There are seven steam fire engines, 12 horse and 3 motor combination hose wagons, one plain hose wagon, and 4 ladder trucks in service. The chief may suspend a member and prefer charges to the director of safety, who may fine, suspend, curtail leave or dismiss. The director of safety may suspend the chief, preferring charges to the city manager; other members may appeal within 10 days to the civil service commission. The fire record does not show how fires were extinguished; incipient fires are handled by chemicals whenever possible and hose is laid to back up chemical tanks. Open nozzles with 1to 1 1/2-inch tips are generally used on steamer lines. Steamers stand attached to heaters and fires are usually lighted on leasing quarters; at serious fires, lines are siamesed into turret nozzles and deluge sets; the water tower would be used is necessary. Shut-off nozzles with inland 1 1/4-inch tips, or smaller reducer tips, are used on single hose lines. Hose is carried into required. Recent recommendations of the chief include the promotion of *16 firemen to be lieutenants, appointment of a chief operator to act also as record clerk, in crease in operators’ salaries, addition of n firemen, so as to give members i day off in 4, instead of 1 day off in 5, and provide 2 additional substitutes, ex tension of the underground cable system for police and fire alarm circuits, purchase of 10 fire alarm boxes, purchase of 5,000 feet of 2 1/2inch hose each year, and the partial motorization of the fire department.
buildings, taken up ladders, or raised by ropes or hose hoists to upper stories. Hose is rolled and thrown into wagons after use at fires; dry hose is substituted on return to quarters. Ladder companies do salvage work when pos sible, spreading covers; buildings are freed of water and rubbish. Outside connections to standpipes and sprinkler systems would be used if available. Drivers and chauffeurs work at fires. One marshal supervises the laying of hose lines, use of hydrants and fire cisterns, at large fires. The first man available is sent for the fuel wagon when necessary. The ranking officer is in charge at fires until relieved by a superior. Records of alarms, causes of fires, losses and insurance involved are kept at headquarters by a detailed fire alarm operator, but information as to how fires were extinguished and amount of work done is lacking; minor records are meagre and incomplete. The chief’s annual report has not been published for several years. Monthly and annual reports front the chief to the director of safety are now
The recommendations of the underwriters in elude: That two officers be appointed for each fire station. That sufficient men be permanently assigned to companies so that the least number present at all times, including meal hours, shall be as follows: In hose companies, 3; in steam engine companies, 5; in motor engine companies, 4; in aerial ladder companies, 5; in other ladder companies, 4; in the auxiliary squad, 7, at such times as other companies are at minimum strength. That 1 additional man be assigned to hydrant work. That the following changes be made: Hose 1 to be an auxiliary squad, to respond to all alarms in closely built districts to strengthen other companies; Transfer Hose 9 to a new station in the vicinity of Salem and Grand avenues, and change to a combined engine and ladder company; Change Hose 12 to an engine company. That apparatus be provided as follows: For the proposed auxiliary squad: An Automobile with motor of at least 48 horse-power, and carrying a 40-gallon chemical tank, 500 feet of 2½inch hose, portable extinguishers and salvage appliances, including at least 3 waterproof covers. For the proposed Engine and Ladder Company 9: An automobile combination pump and hose wagon and an automobile 50foot service truck. For Ladder Companies 2 and 3: Automobile quick-raising aerial trucks. For Ladder Company 4: An automobile service truck. For Engines 3 and 4 and Truck 1: Motor tractors, Place the reserve Nott engine in service at Station 12. For the chief and marshals: Automobile runabouts. For hydrant work: A motor truck. Place plain hose wagons in reserve at Stations 2 and 3, fitted with turret pipes and loaded with 1,000 feet of 3-inch hose. Specifications for automobile pumping engines and hose wagons to require pumps to deliver 700 gallons per minute at 120 pounds net water pressure and at least 50 per cent, of the rated capacity at 200 pounds net pressure; to have divided hose body with a capacity of 1,000 feet when carrying equal amounts of 2½and 3-inch hose. Motors to be capable of attaining a speed of 30 miles an hour, and of covering 20 miles in an hour over paved or macadamized streets having such grades as the apparatus is likely to encounter in service. That each hose wagon carry about equal amounts of 2 1/2 and 3-inch hose, with a total of at least 1,000 feet; all 2 1/2 find 3-inch hose to be fitted with 2 1/2-inch couplings, properly beveled. That specifications of the National Board of Fire Underwriters for hose for city fire department will be adopted or used as a guide in framing specifications for new hose; all hose to be tested annually to 200 pounds water pressure. That the response to telephone alarms be the same as to box alarms in the same district. That the pompier tower be put in sound condition, necessary equipment provided, and men drilled in the use of all tools and appliances, including scaling ladders, in salvage work and in life saving. That candidates for appointment as chauffeur or engineer be given thorough training in their duties and be required to demonstrate their ability in caring for and runnng apparatus, and that only those fully competent be appointed or retained. That company officers inspect all manufacturing, mercantile and storage buildings in their running districts quarterly. That fire alarm headquarters be removed to a fireproof building.