Epidemic of N. Y. Fire Apparatus Accidents.

Epidemic of N. Y. Fire Apparatus Accidents.

Two firemen dead, a score of others injured and $40,000 damage to apparatus, is the latest result of the traffic problem in New York.

Last week, Firemen Thomas W. Miller and Patrick Daly, both of Engine Co. 278, were buried with the usual honors accorded to members of the department who die in the line of duty.

There were other accidents in which no fatalities resulted, but the problem has reached the point at which drastic action is about to be taken in the form of official charges of neglect of duty against the commanding officers in charge of the apparatus at the time of the mishaps.

The New York Fire Department has been unusually unfortunate of late in the matter of responding to and returning from fires. A month ago Battalion Chief Michael Harley was killed in his official car while rolling to a brush fire near the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. Last week. Engine Company 278 and the apparatus of a neighboring company smashed one another up while responding to an insignificant blaze, although the extent of the fire was not known to the firemen at the time of the crash.

Chief Kenlon is manifestly annoyed and somewhat grieved at this state of affairs. A few months ago he issued a strong order, warning the force that the officer of the company would be held responsible.

He takes the view that no chauffeur will drive faster than the officer of the company, seated at his side, will permit him to drive. To put governors on the motors would be tantamount to inviting criminal indictment in the event of loss of life or undue loss of property, attributable to delay.

Deputy Chief Richard J. Marshall, in charge of the repair shops is beside himself, such is the amount of smashed apparatus on his hands. The estimates amounting to $40,000 in damage, are those for major repairs only. This figure does not include the every-day mishaps due to general wear, tear and useage of apparatus.

Strangely enough, not a few of the more serious accidents of recent weeks, have been between fire apparatus more than between apparatus and private vehicles. Records at fire headquarters disclose the sad fact that one-third of the firemen killed in the line of duty since the advent of motor apparatus, were killed on the highway and not at the fire.

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