FIRE PROTECTION AT LANSING
The city of Lansing, Ingham county, Michigan, located on Grand river, which furnishes power for many of the important industries in which a large proportion of its population—16,485, according to the census of 1900—is engaged, has one of the best equipped and most efficient fire departments of any city of its size in the country. The territory the department is called upon to protect is 8 3/4 square miles, about 500 acres of which is fairly covered with 2 and 3-story brick and stone buildings_____, used for mercantile and industrial purposes, the buildings in the residence section being 2 and 3 stories high, of brick, stone and wood; wooden roofs not being permitted. The personnel of the department, besides the chief, Hugo R. Delfs, and his assistant, George B. Andrews, consists of 25 firemen, including three who are trained chauffeurs and operate the automobile apparatus and the chief’s auto. Executive administration of the department is in the hands of a board of police and fire commissioners, a portrait of the present board being given herewith, Chief Delfs, in whom is vested the supreme operative command of the department, being shown standing on the right According to the report of the chief covering the year ending April 30, 1910, the department, during that period, responded to 163 fires or alarms of fire, an increase of 22 as compared with last year. The value of the buildings involved was $573,430, of the contents at risk. $987,637, a total value of property involved of $1,561,067. The total loss on buildings and contents was $25,297.42, a proportion small enough to demonstrate the efficiency as well as the expedition with which the fires were handled. The fact that all fires were confined to the place of origin is further evidence in the same direction. That the excellence of the apparatus at the command of the Lansing firemen and the perfectly “fit” condition in which it is kept were factors in the attainment of these highly satisfactory results is also unquestionable.
Chief Delfs is nothing if not progressive, alike in his methods of handling fires and in the class of appliances he selects for the work. The equipment of the Lansing fire department is as follows: One 60-horsepower Webb automobile fire engine, 650 gallons per minute capacity, with extension and roof ladders, two hand chemical extinguishers and full outfit of tools; a 60-horsepower autmobile chemical engine, with two 60gallon Champion chemical tanks, two 3-gallon hand extinguishers, 250 feet of 1-inch chemical hose, ladders and minor tools; a 40-horsepower chief’s automobile, with two 3-gallon hand extinguishers, axes, lanters, tools, etc.; one Seagrave 65-foot hand extension hook and ladder truck with Browder life net and full outfit of auxiliary tools; a chief’s buggy, in reserve and a fire alarm telegraph wagon, all the above apparatus is housed in the central fire station, the value of the entire outfit at this station being $18,865. At No. 2 station there is a combination chemical hose wagon with a 50-gallon chemical tank, 200 feet of chemical hose, two 3-gallon chemical extinguishers, ladders, etc., and a hose wagon in reserve, with a capacity of 1,200 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose. At station No. 3 there is a combination chemical and hose wagon, with a capacity of 100 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose, a 50-gallon chemical tank, 200 fet of chemical hose, ladders and two 3-gallon hand extinguishers, and a hose wagon with a capacity of 1,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose, in reserve. At station No. 4 there is a combination chemical and hose wagon, with a capacity of 1,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose, 200 feet of chemical hose and a 50-gallon chemical tank, with ladders and two 3-gallon extinguishers, and a hose wagon, with a capacity of 1,000 feet of hose in reserve. The total value of the property of the department, including real estate, buildings and all apparatus and the fire alarm system, is figured in the chief’s report at $80,218.42.
That Chief Delfs is modern in his ideas will be evident from the foregoing list of equipment; his report, moreover, shows him to be an enthusiastic advocate of automobile fire apparatus. Of the automobile fire engine, of which an illustration is given herewith, he speaks in warmest commendation. It is a Webb engine, with Olds chassis, 6 cylinders, of 60-horspower, the pump having a capacity of 650 gallons per minute. The hose body has a capacity of 1,000 feet of 2 1/2inch hose, and the machine carries a 24-foot extension and a 12-foot roof ladder, two 3-gallon hand extinguishers, 24 feet of 4-inch stiff suction hose, and a full complement of axes, lanterns, tools, etc. Commenting on the serviceability of the engine, Chief Delfs describes how, in response to a call for help from Bath, it made the run to that place, 10.5 miles, in 28 minutes, carrying 1,200 feet of hose and five men, the weight of the load being 7,300 pounds; although the roads were very bad the machine made easy work of them. On reaching Bath the suction was dropped into a well, and although three business blocks were on fire when the Lansing firemen arrived it was soon under control. Concerning the cost of maintenance the chief speaks equally well, it having been for one year as follows: Gasoline, cylinder oil, grease, spark plugs, recharging storage batteries, etc., $44.49, or an average of 12 1-6 cents per day; add to this cost of repairing damage caused by two mishaps, resulting through no fault of the machine, $290.77, and we have a total of 93 3/4 cents per day, including mishaps. Of the auto-chemical the chief also speaks favorably. A report of its service for five months ending with April 30, the close of the last fiscal year, shows that the machine in that period responded to 76 alarms, besides making 7 exhibition runs, traveled to and from fires 127 5-6 miles and on exhibition runs 20 miles. It discharged 2,676 gallons of chemicals and cost for maintenance during the five months $21, or an average of 14 cents per day. This outlay covered gasoline. cylinder oil, grease, spark plugs, recharge of storage batteries, etc. During the same period the chief’s automobile responded to 121 alarms, visited substations almost daily and performed all other duties required of it in connection with the department routine, traveling, it is estimated, a distance of 3,475 miles and cost for all items of maintenance and repairs, $120, or an average of 32 1/2 cents per day. In the course of their work, during the period covered by the report, the firemen stretched 42,700 feet of 2 1/2inch hose and 7,960 feet of 1-inch chemical hose, used 4,789 gallons of chemicals, raised 1,507 feet of ladders, traveled 1,039 miles going to and from fires and put in 397 hours 36 minutes at fire work. The automobile apparatus was used in responding to 101 alarms of fire, the distance covered, going and returning, being 160 miles. The actual pumping time at fires was 18 hours 24 minutes. In addition to this, 31 miles were traveled and 4 hours and 45 minutes pumping work done in making 31 exhibition runs.
It would be thought that the actual work of the department might have been sufficient to have kept everything in practice, but Chief Delfs evidently did not think so, for horses and men were regularly drilled each day and all automobile apparatus tested out daily. Weather permitting there are bi-weekly drills in the open, in which climbing ladders, laying and hoisting hose, etc., are practiced, so that the men have a chance to become practically acquainted with the use of all the apparatus they are expected to handle. The equipment shown in the background in the illustration of the fire engine was designed for use on these occasions. Chief Delfs personally inspects business blocks, basements, etc., to see that they are kept free from refuse and inflammable material. The proper placing of fire escapes also comes under his supervision as likewise the moving-picture shows, which he reports as complying strictly with the law. The recommendations the chief makes are further evidence of his ambition to keep Lansing to the front in fire protection. He advises providing a new fire station for the better protection of the southern portion of the city, in which he would install the combination chemical and hose wagon now at station No. 2, with a crew of firemen, moving the motor engine from station No. 1 to station No. 2, and providing station No. 1 with a new machine, of not less than 900-gallons per minute pumping capacity. The appointment of two firemen and of two cadets, to be located at the central station and trained to take the place of a regular fireman in case of vacancy; the purchase of 1,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose and the sale to the hoard of works, at 40 cents per foot, of a similar quantity of fire department hose, which, while no longer trustworthy for fire purposes, is capable of excellent service for streetwashing, sewer flushing, etc., the burying of wires; the placing of more fire hydrants. The enactment of a stricter fire escape ordinance and of an ordinance regulating the storage and handling of gasoline are also urged bv this upto-date commander of a thoroughly up-to-date department, which has furnished in the results it has accomplished and in its excellent condition, the best evidence of efficiency and competent leadership.
The Fire Department of Duluth.
With a fire area of 64 square miles, well built up with business buildings, mainly brick, 1 to 10 stories in height and a residence section composed chiefly of 2-story structures, of brick and wood, sheltering according to the census of 1900 a population of 52,996, Duluth, Minn., at the head of navigation on the Great Lakes, an important railroad centre and the seat of a flourishing shipbuilding industry, with great mining and agricultural interests tributary to its wealth and commercial prominence, ranks with the leading cities of the Northwest. Both city and population are growing rapidly and it seems hardly in keeping with its wealth and prosperity to find Chief Engineer Joseph Randall complaining that the fire department is not keeping pace with the city’s development. In his last annual report he urges the board of fire commissioners to profit by the costly experience of other cities and increase the fire protective force and its equipment, proportionately to the increased work expected of it.
At present the department consist of a chief, first and second assistants and 66 men, including drivers and engineers. They are organized into four engine companies, equipped with steamers of the American-La France, Nott and Ahrens makes, the remaining apparatus including an aerial truck, three city hook and ladder trucks, five hose wagons, five chemical engines, four hand hose reels and four chief’s buggies in service, two hose wagons, a hose cariage and a village truck in reserve and a complete outfit of sleighs for the apparatus for winter use. In addition to the engine, hose, chemical and hook and ladder companies, Duluth has also an electric car company manning an electric car furnished and operated by the street railroad company, which is equipped with 1,500 feet of hose, ladders, extinguishers and a full outfit of fire tools. The electric car and chemical companies and one engine company are volunteers, the balance of the force being full paid. During the year ending December 31, 1909, the department answered 343 alarms of fire, of which 255 were received by telephone. The total loss on buildings and contents was $249,921.57; the property at risk was insured for $1,212,900. Chief Engineer Randall recommends the replacement of house No. 6. which he describes as beyond repair, with a new building, also the horse hospital, blacksmith shop and woodwork shop and the West Duluth engine house, the addition of ten more men to the fire force and a new house, engine and combination wagon and crew, also a fireboat, the necessity of which, with Duluth’s valuable waterfront and shipping property, will be selfevident. The report closes with tabulated details as to the actual work performed during the year by the department, which show that Duluth’s firemen do not have the easiest time. The department was at work at fires for 939 hours, traveled 1,811 miles, stretched 168,750 feet of hose, raised 6,192 feet of ladders, and used 5,343 gallons of chemicals. Of the fires attended, 254 were in buildings, 200 in frame and 54 in brick and stone structures. Chemical engines or pails of water put out 101 fires, 239 fires were confined to the place of origin, 67 to the buildings in which they originated, 4 extended to adjoining buildings and none extended beyond the adjoining buildings. Duluth also has an efficient salvage corps, maintained by the local board of underwriters and consisting of eight men, with two up-to-date wagons and all the necessary equipment. During the year they responded to 186 alarms, worked 130 hours, traveled 324 miles, spread 474 covers and used 35 bags of sawdust. The fire alarm system, in charge of City Electrician F. E. Hough, consists of one Gamewell six-circuit automatic repeater, with the necessary switches and testing instruments, 290 cells of storage battery, six circuits of No. 10 B. & S. gauge hard drawn copper wire, 150 Gamewell fire alarm boxes, 122 of which are owned by the city, 13 by the board of education and 15 by other parties, and over 157 miles of wire.
Georgia State Firemen’s Convention.
The Georgia State Firemen’s Association will hold its annual convention in Savannah on April 1, 2, 3, and will be the largest gathering of fire chiefs ever held in the state since the Georgia chiefs were organized. The Order of American Firemen, Savannah Council No. 1, has donated $200 to the convention for entertaining the visiting chiefs and their friends. Many visiting chiefs from South Carolina, Alabama and Florida will attend. The first day June 1, will be held the annual picnic of the Order of American Firemen, Savannah Council, No. 1, at Tybee, Georgia’s famous seashore resort. The second and third days will be devoted to business and pleasure. There will also be a parade of the Savannah department and exhibition drills and runs. The new auto combination chemical and hose wagon being built by the American-LaFrance Co. of Elmira, N. Y., will also be an addition to the parade, which will be the first machine of its kind delivered in the South from the American-LaFrance Co.
Irvington, N. J., will receive their hook and ladder truck from the Woodhouse Mfg. Co. this month.
The Fire Department of Franklin, Pa.
The report on the work of the fire department of Franklin, Pa., for the year ending April 30, submitted by Chief Frank D. Grimm, sustains the claim of the department to recognition as one of the most efficient in the state. According to the report the deparment during the period in question responded to 31 alarms, laid 8,770 feet of hose, used 70 gallons of chemicals and raised 260 feet of ladders. The value of the property at risk at fire to which they were called was $208,750. The total loss amounted to $9,504.40, of which $5,153.02 was on buildings and $4,351.08 on contents. This is practical evidence of good work and an agreeable comparison with the figures of last year s report, when the loss amounted to $28,343.21, or to $26,963.25 for 1908. Chief Grimm urgently recommends the improvement of the fire alarm system by the addition of more alarm boxes, and would increase the efficiency of the fire service by the purchase of an automobile combination apparatus, 500 feet of hose, an oxygen helmet and resuscitating apparatus. He also, in his report, emphasises the importance of the enactment of an ordinance to regulate the storage and handling of gasoline. Chief Grimm believes in keeping a fire department up to date as the best means of ensuring its efficiency and inspiring the proper spirit in its members, and if his views are favorably acted on by the city authorities Franklin will have no trouble in retaining its place as one of the most efficient fire department in the state.
Fire Department Elections.
Annual elections in the fire departments of various municipalities throughout the United States have resulted in the selection of the following fire chiefs:
Ahmeek, Mich., Richard Collins.
Akron, N. Y., J. C. Jones.
Albuquerque, N. M., John Klein.
Allegan, Mich., Clark Collins.
Asbury Park, N. J., Arthur H. Hope.
Ashland, Neb., C. C. Chapman.
Avoca, N. Y., J. E. Walker.
Alma, Mich., Charles Fishbeck.
Belvidere, I11., William Richardson.
Bismarck, N. D., Harry Thompson.
Bound Brook, N. J., G. F. Bonney.
Bowman, N. D., R. H. Herzig.
Brockport, N. Y., Frederick Schlosser.
Canandaigua, N. Y., William Townsend.
Charlotte, Mich., D. J. Donovan.
Cleveland, Ohio, C. W McGuire (battalion chief.)
Clifton Springs, N. Y., George Muskett.
Cranford, N. J., T. M. Hess.
Dedham, Mass., Wm. E. Paternande.
De Pere, Wis., W. E. Kidney.
Elizabeth City, N. C., C. G. Pritchard.
Elkhorn, Neb., B. B. Baldwin.
El Paso, I11., R. W. Gough (appointed).
Excelsior Springs, Mo., w. R. Anderson
Franklin, Pa., F. D. Grimm.
Franklinville, N. Y., John Beebe.
Fredonia, N. Y., John M. Zahm.
Grafton, Mass., C. W. Wood.
Greeley, Colo., A. Paterson.
Gowanda, N. Y., John Kehrer.
Hawthorne, Kan., C. A. Hill.
Hazleton, Pa., Thomas Burkhardt.
Homer, N. Y., Harold Andrews.
Kalamazoo, Mich., Charles Russell.
Kyle, Tex., D. W. Benner.
L’Ause, Mich., Octave Sicotte.
Larned, Kan., A. N. Wedge.
Libertyville, I11., J. P. Blanck.
Litchfield, Minn., Peter Meisenburg.
Luvernc, Minn., G. W. Cottrell.
Macedon, N. Y., H. M. Littel.
Marshall, Mich., Frank Kraus.
Mechanicsburg, Pa., J. R. Echternacht
Monson, Mass., D. B. Needham.
Monticello, Wis., H. J. Jungst.
Niles, Mich., John Barbour.
Oacoma, S. D., Frank McManus.
Oelwein, Iowa, Robert King.
Palmyra, Wis., C. W. Bonnett.
Redsburg. Wis., William Zech.
Shawano, Wis., Frank Ashten.
Shelbourne Falls, Mass., W. P. Ricket
Snohomish, Wash., G. O. Stryker.
South Omaha, Neb., John McHale.
South Orange, N. J., Patrick McCahery (appointed).
Tecumseh, Neb., C. M. Shaw.
Ventnor, N. J., William Kuhl