FIRE DEPARTMENT IMPROVEMENTS
The National Board of Fire Underwriters has issued the following supplementary reports;
The lack of co-operation between the city council and the present administration has resulted in very little being accomplished towards carrying out the more important recommendations made under the various departments. Four steam engines have been provided with tractors, 8 automobile combination hose wagons, and 3 automobile high pressure hose wagons have been put in service, and 5 out of 18 ladder trucks and the two water towers in service made motor propelled. Two additional engine companies, one replacing a chemical company, one new ladder company, another water tower and 2 more high pressure companies have been established. The discipline and general efficiency is said to have been materially improved, as well as the requirements for appointment of candidates. Of the additional companies recommended, only that at Pine and 55th street was established ; the moving of two companies to new locations was not done, and, except for establishing a high pressure hose and water tower company at Lehigh avenue and 6th street, the recommended hose companies have not been provided. A chief mechanician was appointed, in April, 1913; a drill school has been recently established at Engine House 23, and an effective system of building inspection, under the direction of the fire marshal, has been regularly maintained. Many needed fire department improvements have been advocated by the director, but the necessary funds have not been provided. The High Pressure water system has been materially extended in the Kensington and Richmond corners of the high value manufacturing district, the Fairhill pumping station put in service in 1912, a superintendent appointed in 1913, and co-operation with tire fire department at fires brought about by providing two automobiles which respond to alarms with a special squad of men to operate the hydrants. Nothing of importance has been accomplished with reference to the fire alarm recommendations.
Asbury Park, N. J.
Except for the appointment of new chief officers and putting three automobile combination hose wagons in service, no important changes have been effected in the department. It is expected that another combination hose wagon will be put in service in August. Nothing has lieen accomplished with reference to the more important recommendations made with a view to establishing a full-paid fire department. In the fire alarm system most of the apparatus recommended for headquarters has been purchased and will be installed at an early date in a brick building near the water works standpipe; the alterations being made to this building, however, are not such as will make it sufficiently safe and reliable for a fire alarm headquarters, as it is seriously exposed and a large amount of combustible material is being used in construction. Much of the aerial work was badly damaged during the severe storm of March, and has been reconstructed. A separate circuit for the bell at tire department headquarters and the whistle at the pumping station has been installed. No provisions have been made for separate alarm circuits, splitting up the overloaded box circuit, or the installation of underground cable, all of which are urgent. The passage of a fire prevention ordinance, providing that the building inspector be made fire marshal, and embodying regulations governing explosives and inflammables, is under consideration at the present time. No action has been taken towards a needed revision of the building laws.
In the fire department, except for adding most of the automobile apparatus authorized at the time of issuing the March report and the motorization of the apparatus in two more of the company houses, no important changes have been effected. The newly appointed chief was noncommittal on the question of a full paid fire department, did not favor introducing the use of 3inch hose, providing the same response to telephone alarms as to box alarms, nor making any material changes in the department as at present maintained. It was stated that two of the fire companies were in favor of a paid department and that the question of having a full paid chief had recently been considered. Except for providing space for fire alarm headquarters in the new fireproof municipal building about to be contracted for, nothing has yet been accomplished towards the carrying out of any of the fire alarm recommendations. The superintendent considers the additional headquarters equipment, and the improvements in the condition of the circuits as recommended, most urgent, but no provision for same have been made thus far.