How Fire and Water Departments Co-operate
Water Works Men Respond to Fire Alarms and Give Fire Fighters All Help Possible—Fullest Harmony Prevails Nearly Everywhere
If is gratifying to note how well fire and water departments the country over work together—the splendid wholehearted spirit of co-operation that has woven these allied forces into a solid unit of constructive destruction against the common enemy —fire. With the advent of scientific methods of fire fighting and water works operation, with the firefighter as an expert in hydraulic matters thoroughly familiarizing himself as part of his everyday work with the distribution layout and technical capabilities of the water works system, and the water works man on the other hand with a full knowledge of the water requirements of the fire department pumping apparatus, we no longer see even a faint trace of the petty squabbles about pressures, adequate supply, and fire hydrant maintenance that bobbed up years ago after nearly every serious fire, the result more or less of a lack of knowing each others’ problems.
Today we see the fire chief and water works superintendent working hand in hand. Before any extensive water works improvements are undertaken that might affect the supply of water for fire purposes, the Fire Chief is usually called in for consultation and his ideas and advice given every consideration. On the other hand, when new fire apparatus is to he bought, the Fire Chief calls the Water Works Superintendent into conference and together usually determine upon a type of pump, if pumping equipment is needed, that would best fit in with the distribution layout of the water works system. The perfect cooperation of these two experienced minds makes possible flawless judgment in the selection of new equipment and practically eliminates the kind of mistakes that at one time caused all sorts of misunderstandings, and, incidentally, mistakes that sometimes turned what might ordinarily have been an incipient blaze into a fire of conflagration proportions.
How They Work Together in Some Cities
A good idea of how Fire and Water Departments co-operate can he gleaned from the following replies to a questionnaire sent out by FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING to the Water Works Superintendents:
Cleveland, Ohio—We are subject to call for assistance if desired.
Milwaukee, Wis.—Have water department men at all second alarm fires.
Dansville, N. Y.—The superintendent or assistant are present to see that the hydrants are properly handled and Rive every assistance needed. All hydrants are inspected every three months to assure perfect working condition.
Red Lion, Pa.—Allow fire department to test engines and drain hydrants free of any charge.
Whiting, Ind.—We have a fire gong located in pumping station and pressure is increased 75 pounds per square men immediately upon receipt of alarm.
Faribault, Minn.—A member of the water department answers all alarms and if serious fire pumping plant is notified. We inspect, repair and maintain all hydrants.
Clinton, Pa.—By telephone to increase pressure by additional pumps.
Douglas, Ariz.—Keep storage tanks full at all times.
El Dorado, Kans.—Have a gasoline fire engine to use during fire.
Nutley, N. J.—Meter foreman attends fire.
Hastings, Neibr.—One water works man present during any serious fire.
Lincoln, Ill.—One competent man always goes to the fire.
Holland, Mich.—Foreman and one other man members of volunteer fire department.
Clinton, Mass.— By reporting at fires and keeping hydrants efficient by inspection.
Hopkinsville, Ky.—We are notified by fire department of all fires.
Steven s Point, Wis.—Have men at all fires.
Salisbury. N. Y.—Have one attend all fires, adjust pressure to suit, and keep up with the situation.
Little Balls, N. Y.—Always have one man in attendance and look over hydrants used afterwards.
Winthrop, Mass.—A member of the water department attends all fires.
Decatur, Ill.—Hoad of water department remains at a certain telephone where he can be had when needed.
Ft, Atkinson, Wis.—Trouble truck to fire; extra men reporting for emergency duty.
Brookhaven, Miss.—Fire station phones water plant, and pressure is raised.
Carrollton. Ga.—Superintendent attends all fires.
Reynoldsville, Pa.—All the aid possible, free water and fire engine.
Greenfield, Ohio—Industrial plants curtailed. Pressure increased at point of fire.
Abiline, Kans.—Standpipe opens automatically when booster pump is turned on.
Providence, Ky.—Work together.
Osavyatomic, Kans.—See that the pressure is O. K.
Danielson, Conn.—Stand ready to help in any way we can.
Bartow, Fla.—We own the fire department and the cooperation and co-ordination is perfect.
San Benito, Tex.—The manager and some other employee are on the job ready to help and see that good pressure is maintained.
Wilmington, Ohio—Man with light truck covers all fires. Pressure is increased at once.
Menomonie, Wis.—By shutting off stand pipeand pump direct into main.
Waterford, N. Y.—By having a member of the water department attend, and starting pumps if necessary. .
Union City, Ind.—Boosting pressure to 70 pounds. Assistant superintendent at the plant to assist and superintendent at the plug.
Charlotte, N. C.—Keep ready at all times to boost pressure or put on another delivery pump. Superintendent and two foremen subject to phone call to help in emergencies.
Lansing, Mich.—Fire alarm is installed at main pumping station, and pressure can he raised 15 or 20 pounds if necessary.
Brockton, Mass.—Emergency team and two men to all alarms.