FIRE-SERVICE NEEDS AT AUGUSTA.
Chief Frank Reynolds, of the Augusta, Ga., fire department is insistent upon bettering the fire protection of the city. A new steamer is absolutely necessary, only one new engine—a second-class La-France dating back to December 15, 1886—having been purchased since the paid fire department was organised, while a third-size Silsby has been in continuous service since 1862, anti is now beyond repair. At least another engine is, therefore, required, all the more that the growth of Augusta is so marked. The overhead wires, also, which form a continual menace to the safety of the men while working at a lire should be placed underground in the business districts. At present it is nearly impossible to use the aerial truck as, under the present -conditions, not only the front of some of the most valuable property is obstructed, but the cornice work, roofs and alley-ways arc crossed back and forth with all kinds of wires, running in every direction without any system at all. During a lire at night these wires are a perpetual source of danger to the firemen, who have no protection whatever from high-tension wires. The whole inside wiring, as well as the outside construction, Chief Reynolds would have placed under an officer appointed by the council to inspect it constantly. In the city there is a large amount of defective wiring. Attention should also be paid to the subject of fire-escapes. These, it apnears, contrary to the city ordinance, are wanting on many buildings where the law orders they shall be found, while many are of a cheap—and, therefore, dangerous kind. As Chief Reynolds points out, from a fireman’s standpoint, a properly constructed and conveniently located fire-escape is equivalent to an aerial truck, since, as a rule, if the fire is above the first floor the fire department sends its first line into a building by h. While the fire-alarm system is in good order, Chief Reynolds would have as many as possible of the wires buried, so as to avoid grounds, and all the boxes glass-fronted and equiped with a hood-protecter of iron. This would obviate the necessity of carrying a release-key and prevent the loss of keys. Four men should also be added to the present force; another hook and ladder truck purchased; a new and modern enginehouse built for No. 3 engine company; and “Cotton row”—a continual source of dangershould be constantly patroled from 8 p. ni. to 6 a. m. Chief Reynolds is most emphatic not only about extending the water mains, but, also, of so increasing the pressure as to keep tm with such extensions and the waste of w.-tn n the city. The construction of an auxiliary main would serve each purpose. To one particularly valuable plant a main should be extended and hydrants set on it as there are none west of that plant. One other 4-in. main connecting with a 12-in. should be replaced by an 8-in. or 10-in. main and connect ’also with two other mains, one an 8 in., the other a 10-in. From a certain 4-in. main all the hydrants should be removed and connected with an 8-in. lino on the same street. Another 6-in. main should he made to connect with a 6-in. main on Turknctt Springs road and another elsewhere extended. Many additional hydrants should be set, especially 011 one residental street, where there should be one bali-way each block. All the hydrants of the obsolete Sylvester tvoe should be taken up and replaced by others of a modern type. During the year the department answered 306 alarms, of which five were out of the city, only three fires gained much headway, and eighty per cent, were chimney alarms. The new book and ladder truck has proved of great service, as has, also, the Mart ladder-pipe placed on the aerial truck and the weekly inspection of buildings, cellars, basements, etc., in the business sections of the city. Chief Reynolds’ report is full of useful suggestions.