FIRE PROTECTION FOR SMALL COMMUNITIES.
Redfield, a town in South Dakota, with about 3,500 population, has artesian wells as its chief source of water supply, and these did not deliver a flow of sufficient pressure for fire protective purposes. A gasoline pump mounted on a cart served as a fire engine and water was taken from the regular supply in case of fire, and this is still done in case of fire in the residential section. However, if the pumping is continued for a long period of time mud and sand are drawn into the pipes in considerable quantities, and so this method was found to be inadequate for combating large fires in the business district, and this brought about the installation of a special system which has been found successful there, and at a nominal cost, and which might be taken as a model for other small communities situated similarly. The system adopted was this: A small concrete pumping station was built on the bank of a creek at the foot of the main business street and a motordriven centrifugal pump installed. An intake pipe was run out to the center of the creek and a ten-inch main laid for a distance of some four blocks, beneath the business street. The system cost approximately $8,200, and when fire occurs a call is sent to the local electric power plant, where the pumping plant circuit is controlled. Water with a pressure of 110 pounds is available as soon as the town’s firemen can be assembled. In this way the business district has been given protection and illustrates how small communities where similar conditions exist can protect their property economically. While not all towns are situated so that the Redfield method can be followed there are many that can and the enterprise shown in the South Dakota town demonstrates that any community can provide itself with adequate fire protection if there is a real desire to do so.