How It Impressed Mr. Murphy.
For the purpose of putting in one for Troy, The Observer says: John R. Murphy, one of the fire commissioners of Boston, attended an international congress of firemen in London recently, and since his return he has told many interesting things that he saw. He observed the fire departments of London and Paris in action; he had many interesting interviews with London firemen and insurance men. He comes back more firmly convinced than ever that the American firefighting organizations are far ahead of the best to be found in the leading cities of the Old World. Here is what he says of London’s “crack fire house.”
When an alarm comes in the men are in the rear of a three or four story building. They have to run along entries at least 100 feet long, come down three or four flights of stairs, then w’i:h great deliberation proceed to equip themselves. Each man puts on long leather boots, then a belted jacket, then they take their shining brass helmets and put them on their heads. In the meantime two other men go across a courtyard, about fifty or 100 feet wide, open the stable doors, take the horses, put the bits in their mouths, and lead them out by hand, then hitch them to the steamer, when another man goes to work and puts some material under the boiler of the steamer. They then light their fire and proceed to the fire.
I didn’t have the nerve to take out my watch to time them, but they said it took about four minutes, while to me it seemed to be nearer ten minutes.
When I contrast that with the methods here in Boston, or in any other American city,where, if a fire engine company takes more than twenty seconds in the middle of the night to be on its way to a fire, we believe they are behindhand in their duty, it is fair to say in that particular at least they are not abreast of our ideas and methods. Not only in the trivial matter of hitching up, but in every detail, from the foundation upward, the crack fire service of England, France or any other European country is no more to be compared w ith the average lire service of an American city than dross to the purest of unalloyed gold.
Mr. Murphy should visit Troy and see how our boys beat the record in getting out. In our opinion we can give London, New York, Boston, or any other place on the globe a few points on quick service, and it is so acknowledged even by the leading firemen throughout the United States.