IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED AT BROCKTON.
Chief Engineer Harry L. Marston, of the fire department of Brockton, Mass., is an intelligent and progressive fireman, for which reason the municipal authorities of that city shoul not only pay attention to his requests for certain improvements that would insure to its better protection from fire, but should at once set about making them. It is not right, for instance that the “very bad condition” of an enginehouse in which not only horses but men have to live, should be allowed to continue year after year after the fact of its deficiencies has once been brought before the notice of the mayor and city council. Nor is it in the line of commonsense that, while in ten years Brockton has grown fifty per cent, in population, in valuation fifty per cent., in buildings thirty-seven per cent, and in alarms 200 per cent., the giowth of its fire department should not have kept pace with that of the city and been correspondingly increased. Even if it costs money to make one station decently habitable (as it should be, considering that men whose lives are of considerable value to the community have to live in it), or to add a dozen or more men to the permanent force and make the positions of the two assistant chiefs permanent, surely it is better to pay out whatever money that may cost, and thus reduce the insurance rates—to say nothing of the irrecoverable, but preventable fireloss. One of the chief tilings in fire protection is to have a contented and healthy body of firemen. They can be neither, if they or any of them are badly housed or overworked and confined too rigidly to quarters as they must be, if there are not enough in numbers to enjoy a fair number of days off or to light a lire with credit to themselves, when they are so few to handle the firefighting tools. The great object of every chief is to quench a fire in its incipiency. That can often be done best by operating the chemical engines. But. if these arc insufficiently manned, they cannot be efficiently handled, and so what might otherwise be only a trilling fire may assume the proportions of a conflagration—-and all because of a cheese-paring spirit which by some is looked upon as economy. Certain improvements are imperatively called for. Two new stations are required, one to replace the dilapidated No. 3; the other in Centreville, to be equiped with an engine, wagon and all necessary appliances. Ladder No. t should be rebuilt and put into upto-date condition, or a new quick-raising truck should be purchased and ladder No. I kept in reserve. More, if not all of the apparatus, should be equiped with rubber tires; both assistant chiefs should be made permanent; a protective department should be established; the building ordinances should be made much stronger than they are and a closer inspection made of new’ buildings as they go up; another engine, with crew, should be purchased, if a high-service w’ater system is not installed. If it is. then the engine need not be purchased, and seven out of the fourteen additional men asked for can be dispensed with. The apparatus in service at present is as follows: Engines (Amoskeng, two, second-class. Silsby, one, second class, La France, extra first-class, in reserve, Clapp & Jones, one. third-class), five; trucks, three (one Babcock aerial, with a portable water tower) ; chemical engines (two double, 60-gal. tank, Babcock, one Holloway double, Oo-gal. tank), three; two-horse wagons, four; two-horse wagon in reserve; twohorse supply wagons, live; chief’s buggies, two; one light buggy tor inspection-work; sleighs, two; hand-reel at City home; hose, 3j4-in. cotton, rubber-lined, 100 ft.; 2/1–in. cotton, rubber-lined, 12,766 ft., of both of which 1,250 ft. are in poor condition, and 2,000 ft. were new. Two thousand live hundred ft. additional should be purchased this year. There are thirty-eight horses in service. The permanent force comprises thirtyseven men besides the chief and should be at once increased, as should, also, the call force, which, including the second assistant chief, should be increased by eight men. During the year the department answered 413 alarms, fhe estimated value of property where the tires occurred, including buildings and contents was $5,256,653; insurance, $4,121,425.49; loss, $146,631.31; insurance paid, $146,262.64. In forming the service the apparatus has traveled 1,341 ½ miles; laid 48,400 ft. of 2½-⅛. hose and 17,940 ft. of chemical hose; raised 3,096 ft. of ladders; charged 154 tanks on chemical engines; used 8,583 gallons ot chemical; used seventy-nine pony chemicals. 1 lie time of service amounted to 228 hours and fifty-seven minutes.