Economies Caused by Reduced Fire Budget
John W. O’Hearn, Chief of Fire Department, Watertown, Mass., has had his annual budget of $127,260 for salaries and necessary expenses cut by the Finance Committee to $104,073. This city of 35,000 has a department of fortyseven permanent men, and seven pieces of apparatus housed in two stations. In a communication addressed to his men, Chief O’Hearn said:
“You may expect to be denied many things during the coming year that would add to your personal comfort and happiness, as well as your health and contentment, which after all are the essentials in the life of a fireman that go to make his work easier. Our reward has been a recommended cut in essentials and a continued cut in salaries. However, do not lose heart.”
He urged the men to go to bed earlier at nights in order to save on heat and light at the stations, and to save on supplies by not washing floors and windows or polishing brass as frequently. By filling chemical tanks and washing apparatus at hydrants, the city saves on its water bill. The use of the pool tables will have to be discontinued if they involve any expense.
In his message, Chief O’Hearn also said:
“No more cooking of your meals in the station by department gas as the town can’t afford it. Bring a cold meal with you and when indigestion overtakes you, don’t blame me.”
During the past year, firemen at the Central Station have improved conditions by repairing and redecorating the building.