LATEST FIRE DEPARTMENT ITEMS
The estimated losses by fire in the United States and Canada, reported for the week ending May 8, amounted to $2,431,000.
Davenport, Ia., has purchased a Buick car for use by the chief.
Lee Stewart has been appointed chief of the Keota, Ia., fire department.
The fire department of Pittsfield, Ill., has elected William Johnson chief.
John Mueller has been chosen chief of the Billings, Mont., fire department.
Williamsport, Pa., has re-elected J. P. Shanahan chief of the local fire department.
The civil service law under which members of the Alton, Ill., lire department is appointed will be attacked by the new city administration.
The Fountain Hose Company, of South Bethlehem, Pa., has received a new steamer from the Ahrens-Pox Fire Engine Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The newly appointed officers of the Herkimer, N. Y., fire department are Harry Vincent, chief; W. F. Metzger, first assistant chief, and William Greiner, second assistant.
The International Power Company, Providence, R. I., has been awarded a contract by the city of Tacoma, Wash., for furnishing a new third size Amoskeag steam fire engine.
Fire Marshal Sullivan, of Louisiana, has been called to Alexandria by Chief r. Neff to investigate numerous incendiary fires which have occurred during the past few weeks.
Coroners from Eastern and Middle Western states will hold a convention at Milwaukee, Wis., during May for the purpose of securing uniform legislation in regard to protection against fire and industrial accidents.
The Jackson (Miss.) Street Railway Company has served official notice on the members of the local fire department that hereafter they must pay fare just as other people do. Heretofore they have been carried free.
Chief Geo. F. Fonda, for thirty years head of the fire department of Boulder, Colo., has failed reappointment to that position. Change of city administration is said to be the cause. Assistant Chief Win. W. McAllister has been given the berth.
John C. Bebb, who has the distinction of being the chief longest at the head of any fire department in Montana, has been re-elected to that position in Lewiston. The department is composed of forty members and is equipped with the most up-to-date apparatus.
Mayor-elect Parks, of Aberdeen, Wash., favors a plan to have the chief of police also run the fire department and consolidation of the offices of water superintendent and city engineer. He will name F. R. Archer chief of police and C. W. Ewart city engineer.
The western office of F. A. Wilkinson, general manager of the Nott Fire Engine Company, has been changed to 20 Wall street, room 63, New York City, Telephone, Hanover 6442. The manager expects that his many friends will visit him at his quarters, where they will be gladly welcomed.
As a result of the new state law which places the fire departments under control of police and fire commissions, the Watertown, Wis., fire department, which has been considered one of the best volunteer companies in the state, has voted to disband. It has given the city thirty days’ notice and a reorganization will result. A similar happening has occurred at Stoughton.
The additions and improvements to the Gamewell fire alarm system at San Antonio, Tex., provided for in the budget adopted in June, 1010, at a cost of $ 11,300, are well under way under the direction of O. P. Crocker, of Cincinnati, general agent of the Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company for the Southern district, and C. F. Maiden, of New York, a superintendent for the district.
A fire occurred in a moving picture outfit in the Lyric Theater in New Orleans a few days since, caused by the operator stumbling and falling against the film, bringing it in contact with the light of the apparatus. Being in a fireproot booth, the damage was comparatively slight, but shows the necessity of careful handling of these dangerous exhibitions and the absolute necessity of having all moving picture apparatus installed in entire compliance with underwriters’ requirements.
A movement has been started by a St. Louis, Mo., business club for the establishment and maintenance of fire drills in St. Louis mercantile and industrial establishments in which forty or more persons are employed, the better to insure the escape of the imprisoned workers in time of fire. It has been suggested that the legislature be appealed to, and that an effort be made to have an ordinance passed requiring such fire drills. The matter was referred to the legislative committee.
Using a fireman in place of a dummy is the method which has been adopted by Fire Chief R. F. McLaughlin, of the Norfolk, Va., department, in practising his men in the use of fire ladders and life nets. A fireman climbs up in the hose tower at headquarters until he reaches a distance equal in height to the third story ot an ordinary building. He stands in the window, and another fireman, using a scaling ladder, goes to the rescue. Grabbing the man out of the winnow in his arms, the fire-fighter descends in the life rope to the net below.
A plan of gradual improvement in the fire alarm of Sioux City, la., has been begun by R. S. Whitley, superintendent of public safety, which in a few years will result in the perfection of the system. Five new alarm boxes are to be added yearly to the present supply. There are now forty public fire alarm boxes in the city and about the same number are used in factories and private buildings, where they are connected with the public alarm system. This number is about 20 per cent, of what is required to give Sioux City proper protection.
J. J. Strapp has been re-elected chief engineer of the fire department at St. Paul, Minn., for the ensuing two years by the unanimous vote of the fire board recently. Other department officers re-elected for the same period are as follows: First assistant chief, Henry Devlin; second assistant chief, William Rodecker; third assistant chief, Miles McNally; assistant electric wire inspector, Forest D. Varnam. The salaries of all these positions will remain the same, although an effort was made by Commissioner F’reeman to have the chief’s salary raised from $3,GOO to $4,000 annually.
The St. Louis (Mo.) Times says: “Announcement of the suspension of nine members of the East St. Louis fire department Friday revealed that a total of sixteen firemen have been separated from the department payroll since a count of the ballots at the recent election showed that Charles S. Lambert had been elected Mayor. Many of the men under suspension are known to have been supporters of M. V. Joyce, defeated candidate for Mayor. Formal charges have heen preferred against each, according to Fire Chief Anthony Bruchs, and they will be tried by the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners.”
Chief Thomas Ballentyne, Secretary Patrick Curry and former City Attorney Judge Samuel B. Adams and son A. Pratt Adams, prominent members of the bar of Savannah were each presented with a handsome gold-headed umbrella as a token of remembrance from the firemen of Savannah fire department for securing the increase in their salaries. The presentation was made by Second Assistant Chief Toshach. Foreman Arthur J. Toshach, of Truck Company No. 1, who has been a member of the department for twenty-four years, has been promoted to second assistant chief.
Failure on the part of the city to provide adequate fire-fighting equipment in the Beechview district of Pittsburg, Pa., is held responsible for a large loss in the residential district Although for two years there has been a new engine house in that section, it has not yet been placed in commission, and the fire had done all the damage by the time Engine Company No. 17, the nearest available fire company, could get to the scene. As soon as the fire was discovered the old volunteer fire department, composed of citizens of that section, brought out their apparatus, but found that their hose would not fit the new fire plugs.
Start has been made by the Newark (X. J.) F’ire Board in gathering information relative to the organization of a training school for firemen. Charles S. Smith, clerk in the department, has been detailed to obtain all data possible for the guidance of those who will establish such a course of instruction. The need for men trained in the use of modern apparatus for saving lives at fires has been recognized for a long time, and the necessity was brought more forcibly to tne attention of the public by the High street factory disaster last fall. The Newark school will be designed along lines followed by the New York fire college.
Fire Marshal Sullivan has declared war on the defective flues in Louisiana. The defective flue problem is one which has confronted the insurance interests for a long time and all aid in coping with it is welcomed by underwriters. This official recently made an examination of many Hues in Lake Charles and found a large proportion of metal flues. He has called the attention of the mayor of that city to the need of correction and stringent legislation covering the flue problem. He expects to extend this good worn as fast as the resources of his department permit and will bend every effort toward improving the Louisiana conditions in this regard.
It is difficult for the mind to realize the wonderful speed attained by Bob Burman when he made a mile in 25.40 seconds at Daytona with Firestone tires on his Blitzcn Benz. This is a new world’s record that is likely to stand for a long time and means a speed of 141.73 miles an hour. It again shows that the motor car has no serious rival as a speed agent. The new mark is just 10 miles an hour better than Barney Oldfield’s best record and is the fastest speed yet attained by man. At this rate Burman and his Firestone tires would cover the route from Chicago to New York in six hours and fifty-three minutes, compared to which the eighteen hours of the Twentieth Century Limited looks slow indeed.
Live electric wires killed one fireman and seriously burned another in a fire which destroyed a merchandise house at Evansville, Ind, recently. Street lights feed wires broke as soon as the first water was thrown on the flames. Capt. John Schnabel was dragging a ladder into an alley behind the burning building when the wires dropped. The supposition is that he stumbled from the first shock of the falling wires and fell face downward on a clump ofothers. His death was instantaneous. It.was several minutes afterward before any of his crew reached him or realized what had happened because of the smoke and darkness. Assistant Chief Charles Wilder discovered him and attempted to drag him away from the wires.
Superintendent Smith, of the Norfolk, Va., fire alarm telegraph system, has ^received the tapper auxiliary system equipment and is now installing the set. The auxiliary system will connect with the three engine houses—Chamber’s, Independent’s and Park View’s—and will enable the firemen by its operation to instantaneously inform all of the other engine companies of their departure from headquarters on “still” alarms, a tapper system of indication pounding in all of the houses when the firemen are called out on other than alarms over the fire telegraph system. When the apparatus returns to any one of the houses from the “still” calls, it will be possible to immediately inform the other companies that the apparatus is back, and ready again to cover its territory. Hitherto, it has been necessary for the firemen to inform those in other stations of their activity on “still” alarms by use of the telephone.
Mayor Fuhrmann, of Buffalo, N. Y., has disapproved the proposed increase in salaries for members of the fife department. The mayor’s feelings were voiced after he had listened for more than two hours to arguments presented in behalf of the increase. His honor’s office was thronged with supporters of the fire-fighters and included some of Buffalo’s most influential business men. The disapproval came after the delegation of firemen from the Dauntless Club presented a petition containing about 45,000 taxpayers. The mayor made it plain that he had suggested to the fire commissioners an increase this year for only the officers of the department. The suggestion had been ignored, he contended, when the other members were brought into the salary schedule. He declared that while he believed he owed the firemen a duty and felt proud of them, he couldn’t allow their raise owing to the circumstances.