JERSEY CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT INSTALLS TWO SALVAGE TRUCKS
Of Three Apparatus Reconstructed, Two Have Been Placed in Commission— Credit Due to New Safety Commissioner
A NEW Salvage Division has just been formed in Jersey City, N. J., which it is confidently expected will materially reduce the fire losses of the city. Two Salvage trucks were commissioned on May 23 and the other is nearing completion. One of the trucks just commissioned has been stationed in the firehouse of Engine CompanyNo. 9 at Bergen and Duncan Avenues, and the other has been placed in temporaryquarters at the house of Engine Company No. 7, at Summit, near St. Paul Avenue. When the extensive alterations being made to the house of Engine Company No. 6, on Henderson, between Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets, the second truck will be permanently assigned there. The third truck, under construction, is to be used as a replacement unit.
Credit for the establishment of the Salvage Division of the Jersey City Fire Department is given to the new Commissioner of Public Safety, Thomas J. Wolfe. With Deputy Director Edward A. Flaherty, who has charge of the Fire Department, and Acting Battalion Chief Myles Burke, in charge of the Repair Shop, Commissioner Wolfe discussed the practicability of the new branch. Immediately the trio set to work making the necessary preparations, and within a few weeks actual construction was under way.
The Salvage Corps
Each of the salvage trucks is to be manned bya trained crew, with members picked because of their knowledge of the work to be performed. The corps will work under a two-platoon basis, and each truck will have a complement of three men on each tour of duty.
The department first purchased three used Reo chasses. Upon these the bodies of three hose wagons, purchased in 1915, were placed. In addition to the salvage features of the trucks, they can be used as turret wagons at fires. In the center of each is placed a four-way turret, mounted on a swivel, with l 1/2-inch nozzle. One of the apparatus was tested at the recent large fire at Lindhurst, N. J.. and did excellent work in keeping the blaze from spreading any further.
Naturally, the principal duty of the Salvage Corps is to keep damage at a minimum at fires, by the spreading of tarpaulins on arrival at fires, the salvaging of goods, etc., pumping water from buildings after fires, and all other tasks that come within the range of such duties.
Equipment of the Trucks
An innovation in the construction of the apparatus is the enclosed cab. which protects the driver and captain from the elements. The windshields are of shatter-proof glass. This plan originated with Commissioner Wolfe. Each truck is capable of a sixty-mile speed and carried the following equipment:
Complete set of motor tools; fire gun; two axes: an acetylene tank; three bale hooks; four Burrell gas masks: an asbestos blanket; a woolen blanket; four hand extinguishers; three crowbars; a one-car tool; two Draeger helmets; two Foannte extinguishers; an electric hammer; an electric saw: 600 feet of rubber insulated cable; four twist drills; two inhalators; two electric lanterns: two 10-ton jacks; two life belts: three searchlights: a tank of oxygen; a plaster hook; an electric drill; a wire cutter; 500 feet of rope; six tarpaulins; four sets of rubber gloves; a splint for a broken leg; two shovels; four spanners: a step ladder: a sling chain; three hanks of sash cord; a tripod: three pairs of wading: trousers; a complete surgical outfit: two stretchers: a set of acetylene cutters; three pairs of goggles; oight steel helmuts: two scaling: ladders: lath and tar paper: palls, mops and brooms, and 1,000 feet of 3-inch hose. The trucks are painted fire red, with appropriate marking’s to distinguish them from other apparatus of the department, and are relieved with gold trimmings.
The Career of Commissioner Wolfe
Director of Public Safety Thomas J. Wolfe, who was responsible for the formation and success of the Jersey City Salvage Corps, was 28 years of age when he joined the police force of that city, with the rank of patrolman His promotions arc as follows: Rounds Sergeant. January 28, 1909; Lieutenant, March 8, 1911: Captain. April 1. 1915; Inspector. February 14, 1919; Deputy Chief, August 22. 1922, and Chief of the Police Department. March 1, 1932. From November 30, 1932, to March 1, 1933. Mr. Wolfe served as Director of Public Safety, during the illness of Commissioner Beggans Last December 6, Director Beggans was again stricken, and is still on the sick list. Mr. Wolfe again assumed control of the department and was permanently appointed Commissioner by Mayor Frank Hague on February 15.