Greater Pittsburg Fire News.
Public Safety Director Lang has just announced the appointment of forty-two new firemen to be stationed in the various North Side (Allegheny City) enginehouses, to put the North Side stations on the same basis with those in the old city. The firemen were authorised by councils some time ago, when a bill was passed providing for an increase in the fire department up to seventy men. The original intention in passing the ordinance for the seventy additional firemen was to allow the reinforcement of the companies in the old city, so as to allow the firemen six days a month leave of absene ■ instead of four. There is much comgreater city the 6-day-a-month leaves of absence, now that the entire department is on the same basis, if the city will provide the funds, but (he adds) it would require no more men to make the change effective in both the old city and the North Side.—The matter of the merging of the Pittsburg and North Side fire-alarm system into one system, controled entirely from the Public Safety building on Sixth avenue, has been held in abeyance by Director Lang. It is doubtful if the change will be ordered this year. With the possibility of a new municipal building in the near future, the director thinks it better to wait before incurring an immense expenditure in the practical reconstruction of the two systems. There arc also a number of experts in the bureau of fire, who argue that the entire greater city fire-alarm system should not be centralised, arguing that the smaller circuits have been found to work to better advantage in the very large cities. For instance, Boston and East Boston have never consolidated their separate systems, and Greater New York has one system for Brooklyn, another for Jamaica, another for lower Manhattan and still a fourth for Harlem and The Bronx—all connected by a ticker-system with headquarters. It is argued that the efficiency of the Pittsburg system would be increased as the city grows by keeping separate the North Side system, and, in years tq come, giving the South Side and the East End separate headquarters, all connected with headquarters by a fire-alarm telegraph.
plaint, as a consequence, among the firemen of the old city over the director’s action in utilising the extra men to bring the North Side companies tip to the same proportionate strength as the companies in the old city. The director, however, defends his action by saying that the increase in firemen was voted by councils before Allegheny came into the greater city, and that the strengthening of the firefighting force on that side cf the river is the first duty of the department. Alt would be manifestly unjust (said Director ‘Lang) fous to give the old city seventy new men, in order to increase the number of 24-hour leaves of absence each month for each man to six, instead of four, when the North Side districts are improperly manned, and the men there are not given the three hours a day for meals that all firemen in the old city are allowed. The increase of the North Side force by forty-two men will place the companies on both sides of the river on the same basis, and allow the North Side firemen their regular meal hours. At present some of the companies on the North Side are manned by from four to nine men. while in the old city from six to thirteen men are provided for the same apparatus.” The new men went to work at the North Side enginehouses on June 1. The other twenty-eight of the seventy new men provided by councils will be used during the summer as substitutes while the regular firemen are on vacation. There is a waiting-list of 140 men who have passed the civil service examinations, from which the director may choose his forty-two regular men and twenty-eight substitutes. The director says that he will lie very glad to give the firemen of the