Hose Situation at Philadelphia

Hose Situation at Philadelphia

The recent statement of Director Porter of the Philadelphia department of public safety that the condition of the fire department hose constitutes a menace to the safety of property brought forth a tart answer from John P. Connelly, chairman of Councils’ Finance Committee, who demanded to know why Director Porter did not buy new hose if the old had rotted and is unfit for use. He said that Director Porter was in error in charging Councils with neglect. The neglect, he declared, should be charged to Director Porter. In substantiation of this, he declared that the department had only asked $10,000 for new hose, that Councils had given it $5,000 extra, but that of this amount the department had only spent $353.40 for hose. Mr. Connelly advised Director Porter to use the remainder of the appropriation before accusing Councils of neglect. Director Porter, in reply to Mr. Connelly, said the $15,000 appropriated is only half enough to equip the department with good hose; that the $353.40 spent for hose represented only the amount for which the City Controller has received vouchers; that in reality $1,263.40 has been expended for new hose, and that an additional requisition for $8,736.60 for hose had been made, thus exhausting the $10,000 appropriation. As to the additional $5,000 appropriation, which was appropriated on July 7, the Director said this sum was not yet available, no notification to that effect having been received from the clerks of Councils. “Even when this appropriation does become available,” said the Director, “it will buy only 100 lengths of hose, or enough for only four or five fire stations. This is totally inadequate. The requirements of the city necessitate keeping 126,000 feet of hose in active service. This hose costs approximately $1 a foot. There are 83 fire stations in the citv, each using from 20 to 25 lengths of 50 feet each. That, I think, is sufficient answer to the statement of Mr. Connelly.”

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