Fire Protection News

Fire Protection News

PHILADELPHIA, PENN.—The City Council in September received a request from the City Firemen’s Protective Association, Local 22, AFL, for an annual appropriation of $300,000 for replacement of obsolete and inefficient fire fighting equipment.

In, its resolution, sent the Council president, the union declared that more than 53 per cent of the pumpers now in service were purchased prior to 1928 and have reached the point “where their services are unreliable.”

Sixty-five per cent of the “combination wagons,” the resolution continued, are of the same vintage and are also “obsolete and unreliable.” The resolution also charged that 69 per cent of the ladder trucks now spend one to four months a year in repair shops.”

The Box 1776 Association, Quaker City buffs organization, also charged in September that three of the fire department’s water towers have been withdrawn from service, “leaving the central city without adequate protection.” Fire Chief John C. Cost, however, denied this charge, but did admit that only one tower is now in use. He also took exception to another statement by the same group criticizing the city’s purchase of a discarded ladder truck from another city.

CRESCENT CITY, CAL.—The Crescent City Council passed a motion to increase the number of the Crescent City Fire Department from 26 to 30 at the regular meeting of the Crescent City Council on October 20. Fire Chief William Marshall appeared before the Crescent City Council and told them of the need for four more city firemen. The new men will be appointed at a later date. The City Council also authorized the necessary insurance to cover the new firemen.

WASHINGTON—The press of October 9th told the story of how the harassed Federal Communications Commission “finally found a happy man” in the person of Cleveland’s Fire Chief James E. Granger.

For days the FCC had listened to people who didn’t like the way it proposed to shift radio frequencies for socalled mobile broadcasting. The tenor of the talks were pretty much the same —“we need more or better wave lengths.”

On October 8th, Chief Granger, delegated by president Frank C. McAuliffe of the International Association of Fire Chiefs to protest any move by’ the Commission to shift radio frequences presently allocated the fire service, took the floor at the Commission’s hearing and surprised everyone by saying everything is fine.

It is disclosed that the Commission’s hearings vvere held not to deprive the fire service of any previously allocated channels, but to review appeals having to do with clarification and modification of the engineering factors in the Commission’s rules and regulations. Actually the Commission proposes to allocate at least eight wave lengths for the exclusive use of the fire service, with others available on showing of need. Best of all. it is reported the Commission also proposes to facilitate the use of radio by smaller departments by making frequencies available for their exclusive use. Heretofore, exclusive radio frequencies have been available only to municipalities in the 150,000 and over population group. Fire departments in smaller places have been compelled to share their frequencies with police or some other services. Now the l’CC proposes to make volunteer departments eligible for frequencies, according to the press accounts. All of which “is just dandy,” said Chief Granger.

NEW YORK CITY—New York City’s voters ballotted on a special proposition in the recent election, proposing a change in firemen’s tours of duty. The proposition asked whether an amendment to the city administrative code passed by the 1948 Legislature should be adopted.

The change, which was favored by uniformed members of the New York Fire Department, and friendly interests, has been in use experimentally for two years and has worked out well. Under the prescribed three-platoon system, firemen worked six consecutive eighthour days on a morning, evening or night shift, followed by thirty-two hours off, then another six-day tour on another shift.

The change permits either a modification of this three-platoon system or a two-platoon system, allowing a fortyeight-hour rest between two nine-hour and two fifteen-hour days. Either way, the firemen get longer rest periods and a more regular schedule for meals and sleep.

It is somewhat unusual to submit such a referendum to the voters, details of this type usually being left to departmental regulation or local law, but since the three-platoon system in New York City is required by law it can only be changed by popular vote.

SPRINGFIELD, OHIO—Members of the local fire department were subjected to considerable name calling by an angry crowd of residents when two Springfield companies stopped at the city limits and “let two houses 200 feet away burn” on the night of October 12th, according to press reports.

Ohio fire departments, it is said, may leave their cities only if the owner of the burning building has made a contract with the city and has posted bond to cover possible injury to firemen. Springfield officials said that neither of the two owners had such contracts.

Springfield City Manager, Oscar L. Fleckner, came to the scene during the excitement and personally ordered the two companies to cross the corporation line to keep the fire from spreading to a third house.

EUCLID, OHIO—A list of fire hydrants that won’t work is said to be standard “equipment” for every piece of fire apparatus in the department of this Cleveland suburb.

There are 19 fire hydrants on the list, some of them reported defective for more than three years. According to Fire Chief Thomas Hanley, two adjacent inoperative hydrants in one section leaves the immediate area vulnerable to fire.

The Cleveland Water Department is reported to be responsible for maintaining the community’s hydrants, except when they are ruined by traffic collision or other accident, in which case Euclid pays. Euclid officials claim Cleveland quickly repairs hydrants for which the suburb will pay, but generally ignores the others.

“I’m always afraid our firemen will forget and waste valuable minutes hooking up to a useless hydrant,” said Chief Hanley. “We haven’t so far, but the problem is serious.”

Tie Clip for Firemen

Two members of the Saginaw, Mich., Fire Department have placed on the market a novel tie clip designed by themselves. They describe the clip as the “axe of recognition.”

Finished in chromium, and sturdily made, it makes a very useful and attractive clip. As indicated by the sketch herewith, it is in the form of a pike axe, hence its name “axe of recognition.”

The clasps arc available at $1.50 each, or $1.25 per unit when purchased in quantity. They may be purchased from Ray Klemtn, of 209 So. 16th Street, Saginaw, Mich., one of the firemen who developed the clip.

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