Devices for Bettering the Fire Service
Staten Island, a division of New York City, is a metropolitan area with some rural problems. From March 15 to May 15 the fire companies on the island are called to extinguish many brush fires. There are large open spaces in the Borough of Richmond covered with tall grass and brush, and during the brush fire season, there may be as many as fifty alarms in one day. In the outlying sections, hydrants are few and far apart. Long stretches of hose are necessary to reach the fire. Many sections of hose must be taken from the apparatus, and after it has been used, uncoupled and dried.
Deputy Chief John Spencer requested the use of sprinkling trucks used by the Department of Sanitation. Two such trucks were loaned to Staten Island. The spray nozzle was removed at the 2 1/2-inch valve, and a 2 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch male reducer connected for the Fire Department’s 1 1/2-inch hose.
These flushing trucks are used in connection with the department pumpers. The pumper draws water from the sprinkling carts and the water pumped through small size hose. Long hose stretches are avoided and water is brought to places without hydrant service.
A device for pumping out hydrants in cold weather was developed by Firemen Frederick A. Balzer and Conrad C. Schwall, of the New York Fire Department.
A compressed air tank six inches in diameter and forty inches long is tapped for a 1/4-inch hose connection. The tank is carried on the running board of the apparatus. When it is necessary to pump out a hydrant, a 4 1/2-inch cap with a 1/2-inch tap is placed on the 4 1/2-inch hydrant outlet, with six feet of 3/4-inch hose connected to the 1/2-inch nipple, and extended down through the barrel of the hydrant to the valve seat. A 1/4-inch air hose is connected to the valve at the side of the tank and to the valve on the 4 1/2-inch cap. The air valve on the tank is opened and air is forced to the top of water in the hydrant barrel. The pressure forces the water from the bottom of the hydrant through the six feet of 3/4-inch hose.
These two firemen have developed other devices for the betterment of the fire service.