Massachusetts Fire Department.
From a recent compilation made by the Democrat, of Boston, we are enabled to make extracts from the recent reports of Mayors in leading Massachusetts towns.
Lawrence.— This department is governed by acts of the Legislature instead of by city ordinance, as in most cities. Mayor Rutter, who has been an active fireman for many years and for three years an assistant engineer, recommends a re-organization to improve its efficiency, permanency in office, etc., the establishing of additional companies in outlaying sectiols, and the introduction of three-horse hitches.
Haverhill.—Prior to this year the chief and assistants were elected by city council; now the mayor nominates and the aidermen confirm, the term of office being increased to four years. The duties and powers of chief have been increased, and his salary increased so that he can give his entire time to the duties of that office and superintend tire alarm. No recommendations.
Gloucester.—Endorses chiefs recommendation for more hose, additional horses, and extension of fire a larm system.
Salem.—Heretofore purchases of supplies and repairs have been made by board of engineers, which power they have unwisely exercised. Recommends the changing of ordinance so that the committee on fire department shall attend to this duty. Recommends the sale of the new hook and ladder truck, which is more ornamental than useful, and with the proceeds purchase a chemical engine. The erection of a new engine station at upper end of Essex street.
Waltham.—Excellent department, and should be kept up to the highest state of efficiency possible.
FALL River.—Recommends a new truck and engine to replace old apparatus. Re-location of truck in I’ocasset street station to northern section. That a hose wagon be purchased and located in southern section of city. Several new engines and a chemical were ordered during the past year, and the captains of companies made permanent.
Chelsea.—Suggests a protective auxiliary to be carried on the hose wagons or chemical engine.
Everett.—Recommends an additional company and transference of old engine to Glendale district. A three-horse hitch for engine 1 and truck. -⅛
Marlboro.—Additional apparatus in western section of city.
Fitchburg.—Recommends a new fire station and increase of chief’s salary to not less than $1,000 per annum.
Somerville.—Recommends new central station, extension of fire alarm system and purchase of a chemical engine.
NEW Bedford.—Recommends engine and company for new Davis street station, a combination wagon to replace Hose 2, a Hayes aerial truck for Truck 2, and the purchase of a chemical engine.
Holyoke.—Endorse recommendation of fire commissioners for new horses, additional permanent men, a new and lighter engine for No. 2, a new station in Ward 6 and Ward 2, and an aerial ladder for the latter, and a new chemical company at Oakdale.
Malden.—Fire commission established a year ago a failure.
Lynn.—New station for Engine 6.
Springfield.—Radical change recently in management of department by passage of new ordinance which places it in charge of a board of fire commissioners. Change ought to be beneficial. Increase of water supply necessary. Endorses recommendations of last year’s fire committee for an additional engine and a water tower.
Chicopee.—Recommends the enlargement of the new Cabot street fire station to admit three companies. The transfer of a hose reel to Williamansett and organization of a company to man it. The exchange of the Independent company’s reel for a modern hose wagon. The purchase of four horses and appointment of two permanent drivers. That fireman be paid by the year instead of hours when on duty, and that the annual muster be discontinued and an annual inspection substituted therefor.
Woburn.—Liberal expenditure of money for fire department, is economy.
Quincy.—Recommends occupancy of the recently vacated School street station or sell it.
Taunton.—Everyone who knows anything of Chief Coleman’s excellently equipped and disciplined department will endorse Mayor Hodgman in his inaugural statement: “ We have every reason to feel proud of our fire department ; but it is when we see it in practical operation that we fully appreciate the wisdom of the expenditures which have brought it up to its present high standard.”
Pittsfield.—Recommends a better station on School street. Additional companies in outlaying districts and more hose. Opposed to adoption of a board of fire commissioners.
The mayors of Boston, Brockton and Medford make no mention of fire department, and of Worcester, Cambridge, Newburyport, Newton and Lowell, make no recommendations or suggestions. Nearly all praise their departments and compliment them on their excellent equipment and discipline.
Mannington, W. Va., had a big fire last week and burnt up $20,000 worth of property. There is no telling where the fire would have stopped but for the skilful work of Chief J. W. Haggerty and his men.