Galveston Fire Department Report.
The amount of fire insurance paid out in Galveston, Tex., during the past year, as shown in the annual report of Chief J. H. Gernand, of the fire department, was $79,254.20. This compares well with the previous year, the amount paid out for insurance for 1909 being $129,330.48. The greater part of the loss for the past year was also by reason of one big fire, the time when Pier C and the cotton-seed mill thereon were burned, adding $66,731.25 to the amount of insurance paid out. I he loss in the city, $12,522.95, is the smallest in many years. Chief Gernand s official report for the past year was received and filed. There were 271 alarms sent in during the year, in which the insurance involved amounted to $183,527.50, and the insurance paid, as stated, $79,254.20. The estimated value of the property at risk comes to $715,825, and the estimated loss of property not insured is taken at $1,038. In the case of the biggest single loss of the year, the Pier C fire, where the loss totaled $66,731.25, it is worthy of note that there was no possible way for the department to reach the pier with their apparatus at the time, and under no circumstances no fight could be made. Of the 271 alarms, there were received 182 by phone, 54 by city box, 32 still alarms, two responses were caused by the reflection of the fire and one came through the A. D. T. system. There were 136 chimney fires. The time expended on the average fire was ottehalf an hour, but the total number of hours during which the department worked on fires was 153½ hours; 1,614 feet of ladder were used, 389 gallons of chemicals and 21,600 feet of hose. Of the burning structures to whose aid the department came, 220 were of the frame variety and 21 of brick. Chief Gernand, in presenting the report of his department, the manual force of which consists at present of 64 members, chief and assistant chief included, listed the items of improvement, whose adoption he strongly recommended. These recommendations arc specified as follows: That the salaries of this department be increased so as to enable us to keep good men at all times, and in order that the department should have the very best men. The changing of the fire alarm repeater and switchboard from a four-circuit to a six-circuit. Building laws and building inspector and a fireboat for reasons set forth in my previous reports. I again call your attention to the necessity of a central fire station, and also to the recommendations made by the inspectors that were sent here by the National Board of Insurance Underwriters, one of their recommendations being that if we move the fire alarm apparatus in a building that was near fireproof, they would give a reduction in insurance rates of 3 per cent. 1 would also recommend an extra first size steam fire engine, a combination w’agon, a small truck and five more men; also a practice tower. This 1 recommended some years ago. I have deemed it necessary to call your attention to some of the needed improvements in the department and an estimate of the cost of same; I have endeavored to he as conservative as possible in making my estimate, and I have asked only for what 1 consider to he absolutely necessary.