FIRE DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH BEND.
With a population estimated at 50,000 and a fire area of 4,000 acres, South Bend, Ind., requires an efficient fire department. Whether it is safe altogether to dispense with steamers and to depend altogether upon a hydrant pressure of ninetysix pounds may be questioned. There are certainly no high buildings in the city—the highest business structures being only three or four stories. There is, however, always the possibility of the pressure giving out at the critical moment and of the department lteing left to fight the flames as best it can with its two chemical engines and such streams as the diminished pressure may admit of, Be that as it may, the department as at present situated is in very good shape, and is rated as first-class by the underwriters. It consists of sixty three officers and men, all full naid the lowest wages paid being $67.50 a month. These, with the twenty-eight horses in service and their equipment occupy eight houses. Of these the central station has a frontage of seventysix feet: it is 100 feet deco and thirty-five feet high. The station it may he noticed, senes not only as a house for the firemen, hut, also, as modem clubhouse, inasmuch as it is fitted tin with pool and billiard tables, bowling allevs. a gymnasium and the like. In it are housed thirty men. fourteen horses, hook and ladder truck No. t. chemical engine, some of the nineteen hand chemical extinguishers and chiefs wagon. The remaining thirty-three men and the balance of the apparatus and chemical extinguishers, namely, chemical engine No. 2, hook and ladder truck No. 2. seven hose wagons, are distributed over the other six stations. The amount of hose in service is 13.875 feet. The Gamewell fire alarm telegraph svstem is installed, with uo boxes and 54 miles of wire. During the first six months of this vear the department turned out for 197 calls, the loss at which was onlv $17,000 -1111 average of under $87 a fire. That the loss was kept down to such a low figure sneaks well for the efficiency of Chief W. Grant and his firemen. It may be added that the horses of the department are kept in good health and etmally good running condition, owing to the fart that no other stable bedding but peat moss has been used in their stalls for the past two years.