FIRE DEPARTMENT IMPROVEMENTS

FIRE DEPARTMENT IMPROVEMENTS

The National Board of Fire Underwriters has issued the following supplementary reports;

Philadelphia.

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.

SPARKILL, N. Y. FIRE COMPANY NO. 1. CHIEF STEPHEN W. HARE ON FRONT SEAT, CENTER

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.

Wilmington, Del.

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.

BENICIA, CAL. ARMORY AFTER FIRE

FIRE DEPARTMENT IMPROVEMENTS

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FIRE DEPARTMENT IMPROVEMENTS

The National Board of Fire Underwriters have recently issued the following supplementary fire department reports:

Richmond, Va.

The department has been placed on a complete full-paid basis, continuous watch service is maintained at all fire stations, and a clerk has been provided for the Chief’s office. In case the surrounding territory is annexed, provisions will doubtless be made for two more assistant chiefs and 5 or 6 additional companies, including the one recommended in the vicinity of Stuart avenue. Recommendations for Station 7, Ladder Company 2 and Engine 2 will probably be considered, and the purchase of additional engines, so as to provide proper reserve capacity, is considered very necessary. Though strongly advocated by the superintendent, no definite action has yet been taken towards providing suitable fire alarm headquarters, with suitable equipment for complete manual operation of the system.

H boken, N. J.

The six men mentioned in the report of March as having been appointed, have been added, but the strength of some of the companies is still below that recommended. The chief prefers an engine company in place of the auxiliary squad. Establishing an automobile ladder company near the northerly end of the principal mercantile district will doubtless be effected within two years, and bids for furnishing an automobile combination hose wagon and a tractor for Engine 1 were to be received on June 22. No provisions have been made for an engine company near Grand and 12th streets nor for a tractor for Ladder 2. The chief is advocating the motorization of the entire department. Plans are under way, the lot purchased, and money appropriated for a new fire station at Jefferson and 2nd streets to replace present quarters of Engine 3; it is contemplated that this station will be provided with a hose and drill tower and shop. Fireproof fire alarm headquarters have been considered in connection with a new fire station; the apparatus needed at headquarters was recommended by the fire commissioners, but the council failed to provide an appropriation for it. All of the department heads realize the necessity of improving the condition of the circuits, headquarters equipment and housing, but owing to lack of proper support from the council, little improvement has been made thus far.

Atlantic City, N. J.

The new fire station at Atlantic and California avenues, which was being erected at the time of the previous inspection, has been put in service, and Engine 4 and Ladder B located there with a new 85-foot aerial ladder truck, No. 4 steamet with new boiler and tractor and an automobile combination hose wagon. A spare wagon loaded with 1,000 feet of hose and with one turret pipe is kept in reserve at Headquarters. An additional ladder pipe and one more turret pipe has been put in service, and the chief is advocating a drill tower to be erected with the next new station. It was stated that a supervisor of engines was appointed in September, 1913. In connection with the fire alarm system, it is expected that a complete semi-automatic equipment will be provided for in the September budget; it was stated that in 90 days the entire system of outside wiring will be in underground cable, and throughout the business and hotel districts, red lights would soon be placed on lighting standards close to the fire alarm boxes. The recommended telephone switchboard was installed in June, 1913, with provisions for operator on duty at all times.

Norwich, Conn.

There has been no increase in the full-paid fire force and less money appropriated for men and additional hose and apparatus than in former years. Except for purchasing one automobile combination hose wagon, none of the important recommendations made in the report of March, 1911, have been complied with, although repeatedly recommended by the chief. It is generally recognized that the efforts of a progressive and competent chief have been well directed, but political influences have resulted in his not being supported, and almost nothing has been accomplished in the way of improvements to the fire department. In connection with the fire alam system, no underground work has been put in, needed apparatus has not been provided, and the condition of the circuits has not been improved; only one additional fire alarm box has been set in four years. The funds that have been provided in recent years have been entirely insufficient to permit of proper maintenance and extension work, with the result that much needed improvements have been indefinitely postponed.