Innovations in Chicago’s Department
Chicago insurance underwriters and civil service people are endeavoring to reorganize the fire department of that city. They propose a system of several bureaus under different heads, instead of one responsible head as now. The scheme provides for three bureaus in the department, an active bureau in command of the first assistant chief, which will have jurisdiction over the work of fire extinguishing; a fire prevention bureau in charge of the second assistant chief, and a maintenance bureau, which will keep the records, purchase the apparatus, equipments, etc. This is a new position which, if adopted, will be filled by some one outside of the uniformed force, and who would practically manage the department. It is proposed that all matters not directly connected with fire extinguishing and prevention shall come under the supervision of the maintenance bureau, which would be divided into four divisions—clerical, shop and repair, purchasing and horse. It is estimated that this bureau, the only new one, would cost $15,500 a year. The other bureaus now practically exist, so there would be no additional fund required for them. The proposed department manager would receive a salary of $5,000 yearly.