Fire Department of Decatur, Ill.
Chief Fire Engineer Devore, of Decatur, I11., presents his annual report and recommendations, from which it is learned that the depart ment during the year responded to 25 box alarms, 146 telephone alarms, 47 still alarms and 12 false alarms—making a total of 230 alarms for the year, as against 146 for the year ending April 30, 1908, and many more than in any year in the history of the department. A distance of 838 miles was traveled in going to and returning from these fires, and 65,000 ft. of hose used and 1,298 ft. of ladder raised. The total amount of insurance involved was $547,560; the total loss, $24,937, and the total loss to insurance companies, $23,501.44.
The force consists of 1 chief, 2 captains, 2 engineers, 2 stokers, 2 truckmen, 8 drivers, 13 hosemen—a total of 31 men.
Enginehouse No. 1 is a 2-story brick building, equiped with one first-size Metropolitan steam fire engine, one hose wagon and one single tank 80-gal. chemical engine. Enginehouse No. 2 is a 2-story brick building, equiped with one second-size Ahrens steam fire engine, one hose wagon, one hook and ladder truck, one single tank, 80-gal., chemical engine, and one hose wagon, held in reserve and used as alt exercise wagon. Hose house No. 3 is a 2-story brick building, equiped with one combination chemical and hose wagon.
Other information as to equipment shows that the department now has on hand twentyone head of horses, and that during the past year the No. 2 engine was rebuilt and furnished with a new boiler, and is now practically a new engine. All the other apparatus, with the single exception of the No. 1 engine, has been overhauled and put in first-class condition, and repainted, most of the work being done by the members of the department, among whom there arc some first-class mechanics in a variety of trades.
In making his recommendations Chief Devore says that the territory lying in the northeastern part of the city is becoming a very important one in a manufacturing way, and on account of the distance from any of the present lire stations, is very badly protected in case of fire, and that, therefore, he recommends a new house be built on the lot owned by the city in that section, and that it be equiped with a combination chemical and hose wagon, and manned by live men.
This recommendation should carry an extra appropriation of $4,500 dollars to equip and maintain the station for the current year.
It is further recommended that the bell tower on the No. 1 station, which is in a dangerous condition, be torn down, and the bell disposed of. That a skylight and veil tilator be placed over the recreation and toilet rooms and that the exterior of the building be painted. Also, that 1,000 ft. of 2j4-in. cotton, rubber-lined hose be purchased for the use of the department, and that there be purchased and installed seven additional fire alarm street boxes.