Meeting of New Jersey Fire Chiefs.
As was briefly mentioned last week, the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ association held its semi-annual meeting in the commissioner’s rooms, city hall, Newark, on Wednesday, April 21. It proved to be one of the best meetings ever held. There was a good attendance, and there ensued a general and very interesting discussion on several topics.
After the regular routine of business had been disposed of, with Chief Allen, of Trenton, in the chair, under the head of new business, Chief Doane stated that he had been troubled with escaping gas from broken pipes in burning buildings, which, mingled with the smoke, made it much harder to enter the building in consequence of its making the firemen sick. He had complained to those in authority and requested that a stop-cock be placed in the pipe-line outside of the building and so accessible to the department as to enable the firemen to shut off the gas. The authorities refused to move in the matter, and Chief Doane wanted to know if any other member had met with trouble of the same kind; and what they did about having stop-cocks put in.
Some chiefs said that, while it is not the custom to put in a shut-off in gas pipe-lines, it was conceded that there should be one, and the following resolution on the subject was unanimously carried: “Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that a shut-off should be placed in the gas pipe-line outside of building in some convenient place so as to be accessible to the firemen.”
The secretary asked if it were advisable to put a chemical on a ladder truck, when there was other apparatus in the department, and if better results would not be obtained, if a combination chemical and hose wagon were used, and still better, if it were an automobile. It was the general opinion that the chemical should first be placed on the hose wagon, as that is much lighter and can be more quickly handled; while the ladder truck is often compelled to stop short of the fire, owing to the difficulty of approach.
As to the automobile: Chief Astley said it had come to stay and in a short time would supersede the steam fire engine. In which case there will be a lot of secondhand steamers for sale.
Chief Allen, of Trenton, who has been foremost in investigating automobile lire apparatus, made a lengthy speech in favor of the auto. He said he had corresponded with some of the Western chiefs, where such apparatus is used almost exclusively, and he bad found that in deep snow :l was the cheapest and most reliable kind of apparatus, and added that he had placed an order with the Webb Motor Fire Apparatus company for an automobile fire engine, to be built in Trenton, with the addition of some of his own improvements.
Chief Gerstttng, of Elizabeth, gave a description of a severe test made in his city, which proved that the auto fire apparatus is the coming thing, as it is much quicker and more economical and can do just as good work as a steamer.
It was generally conceded that all pieces of fire apparatus should have rubber tires, the use of which had proved a great saving. Some of the chiefs present thought that the automobile apparatus should have pneumatic tires.
Chief Russell, of Glen Ridge, asked which made the best hose wagon body—one made of steel or one of wood. It was shown that as both had points in their favor it became a matter of choice; but that kiln-dried wood should not be used for the purpose.
‘The following chiefs were present: Wm. Astley, Newark; John Stagg,Paterson; John Conway, Jersey City; D. J. O’Neill, Ridgewood; Robert Kiersted (former chief), Newark; Aug. Gerstung, Elizabeth; C. S. Allen, Trenton; C. S. Mount, Red Bank; T. O. Doane, Plainfield; H. F. Wolston, North Plainfield; James Sheehan, West Orange; D. K. White, Long Branch; Charles E. Knoor, Bordentown; Ernst Behr, Union Hill; Fred. E. Williams, Montclair: Wm. M. Higgins. Lindhurst; Elmer C. Hains, Remington; David E. Benedict (former chief), Newark; Jacob Gcrnert, Somerville; J. C. Wright, Broad street Park, Trenton; Wm. Irvine, Port Reading; Mi chael I). Dunn, Hoboken; Arthur Russell, Glen Ridge; Ben. J. Whitaker, Dumont; Robert Cox. Pompton Lakes; Charles Becker, Halcdon; Rob ert A. Horner, Woodbridge.