Fire Drill Tower at Butte.
A seven story drill tower, erected under the direction of Chief Fred Martin of the Butte, Mont., fire department, for the purpose of training the city’s firemen to become proficient in ladder climbing and other work a fireman may be called upon to perform when fighting a fire above the ground floor, is illustratel on this page, this journal being indebted to Mr. J. I. Gardiner, manager of the Seattle branch of the Sewell Cushion Wheel Company, for the photograph. Drills in the tower take place regularly and have attracted a great deal of favorable attention. Flying Squadrons, which will compare, favorably with those of any department in the United States, have been installed in the Quartz, and Arizona Street Fire Stations. These answer all calls from the heart of the city, and from the warehouse and more thickly populated residence section. The squadrons are all equipped, with the latest improvements, and arc prepared to cope with fires of any proportion. Chief Martin believes in keeping every unit of the department up to maximum efficiency. He contends that the average city does not have a sufficient number of fires to keep the men in practice and good physical condition, so they evolved the idea of requiring daily exercise and built this tower for the men to work on. The tower illustrated, herewith, is seventy-eight feet high, and was built by the department. Mr. Gardiner writes very interestingly about the Butte, Montana, Fire Department, and its efficient Chief, Mr. Fred Martin. He was impressed with their method of doing things, as no effort is spared to secure maximum efficiency. Daily exercise is required from every man in the department to promote strength, and keep every man fit to do his duty when called upon to perform any extraordinary task calling for steady nerves, a level head, and plenty of reserve strength. The men are required to attain proficiency in the art of ladder climbing, and other features of the work of a fireman, which an emergency is apt to demand. Chief Martin and his assistants examine every building within the city limits, and make whatever demands arcnecessary to rid the city of unnecessary fire hazards, and in that way the origin of many treacherous fires is eliminated. Chief Martin believes in having a fire department capable of successfully combatting any fires that take place, but he is more enthusiastic over bringing about conditions that will prevent fires. Officials in charge of the department are as fol’ows: Chief, Fred Martin; Assistant Chief, P. F. Cleary; Secretary, Ed. Land; Electrician, James Keefe, and Machinest Jeff Kelly. At the present time they have four stations—South Side Station. West Side Station, Arizona Street Station, and Quartz Street Station. Chief Martin entered the department in May, 1898. He was soon promoted to the captaincy of the department, at the Old City Hall Station, and served in that capacity until appointed chief on October 13th, 1915.