MODERN EQUIPMENT OF GERMAN FIRE BRIGADES
The accompanying illustration. Fig 1. shows the typo of a German gasoline motor fire engine of the Branddirektion of Frankfurt Brigade. It is driven by a 45-horsepower motor and is equipped with a five stage centrifugal high-pressure pump of the Sulzer type. This pump has a capacity of 1,500 liters per minute when operating at a speed of 1,000 revolutions per minute and under a pressure of 10 atmospheres. Figs. 2, 3 and 1 are sectional views of German electromobile chemical engine, electromobile hose car and electromobile steam fire engine equipped with electric motors, storage batteries, tanks, pumps and boiler, while big. 5 shows a German electromobile with an 85-foot electro-mechanically raised extension ladder. This equipment has a propelling electric motor and storage battery, a ladder elec trie motor and ladder raiser, wth telescope tube and emergency manual hoisting gear. There has been great progress made throughout Germany in matters relating to fire protection, and much forethought is being displayed in that part of the continent applying the latest system and inventions to fire service. The Hanover fire brigade has introduced a self-propelled ambulance service, and savings accrue front working the motor appliances as units of three motors housed in selfcontained fire stations, fitted solely for the purpose of maintaining self-propelled vehicles.
It is said that during the fires of three years and working three motor fire trucks at a single unit fire station meant a saving of $7,300 in that period, as compared with the cost of employing a self-contained unit of two 3-horsed machines. It is further held that an electromobile chemical engine and electromobile trap and a steam propelled steam fire engine only cost $715, while a horsedrawn unit of three similar appliances cost $2,275 for the year. It should, however, be pointed out that while the three-horsed appliances required three pairs of horses and six special men, the duties of the six special men are now done by six firemen in the ordinary course of their work, for which extra service they receive slightly higher pay. A motor car can he left unattended at a fire, while a pair of horses require the attendance of a special man. It is of interest to note that the Berlin Royal police fire brigade is being transformed into a motor fire brigade, able to attack a fire instantly on arrival, and able to work up to an 80-foot level with ample equipment and men. Each fire station has a complete unit of four electromobiles of the standard chassis and type. Each unit comprises a chemical engine, a trap, a steam fire engine and a mechanically raised 85foot ladder, manned by one officer, four foremen and eighteen firemen. Everything, as far as possible, is interchangeable, and interchangeable with any other unit, and reference books for topography, tools of all kinds, ample hose, ample powder and personnel is a feature of the Berlin working unit. It may be stated that each district station has in addition to the electromobile unit a second unit of three self-propelled appliances, including a high power steam fire engine. In 1911 there were in operation in Berlin four electromobile units (sixteen machines) in commission, and sixteen additional units, namely, sixty-four appliances, are under construction and installation, making twenty units in all. I he Berlin electromobile units comprise, as indicated, the four appliances, viz. (1) chemical engine: (2) trap; (3) stean. fire engine, and (4) 85-foot ladder. The following features regarding the Berlin electromobile units arc of interest: Chassis—”MercedesKlectrique” (Porsche) type, with straight frame for chemical engine, trap and steam lire engine, and curved frame for long ladder: wheels —hickory; tires—”Continental” solid (about 4 3/4 inches) ; motors—two electro-motors of 7.5 horsepower each, attached to front wheels, i. e., 15 horsepower per appliance; battery—”BerlinHagen” type, eighteen cells in three trays, each cell weighing about 22 pounds and costing £1 15s.; effective range—37 miles at 18miles per hour; steam fire engine—”Busch” type, 1,318 gallons per minute at 89 pounds. At No. 4 station one of these appliances got to work in two minutes thirty-one seconds after leaving station.
Long ladders—“Improved Shapler” type. At No. 1 sub-district station one of these appliances was raised and shot up and leaned against a tower in thirty-six seconds. Raised to the “Ready’ electrically by motor (fed from driving battery), and thereupon “shot up” to 83 feet high in twenty seconds by Co. 2. It is said that besides the greater efficiency and more rapid range of the electromobiles, the fire chief expects to save about $40,000 per annum in upkeep and expenses on these twenty units as compared with horse units. It is said that in a trial a unit of these four electromobiles in the modern No. 4 sub-district fire station was turned out, with twenty-four men (all ranks) in fourteen seconds, the majority of the men being on the first floor at the time of the call. The chemical engine carries about 100 gallons of water under pressure. The Berlin appliances are now about all self-propelled, and the development of the working efficiency of the individual appliance is progressing in Germany. It is said that the 80-foot mechanically-raised ladder has been particularly satisfactory, and the new telescopic, self-propelled, mechanically-raised ladders. which run up to 90 feet, are excellent in every way. From the horizontal position they are raised to the vertical position by an electric motor worked off the battery that is used for self-propulsion. Then they are extended to their full length in a short time with little aid. All the gear for mechanical raising has alternative hand gear. Two men work these ladders. It is not. however, a case ot there being a few of these 80-foot and 90-foot ladders available in different parts of Berlin, but every unit—the old horse-hauled ones as well as the new ones—have these ladders, and it is not such a very unusual thing for a dozen of these machines to he used at a warehouse fire.
Ottawa, Kan., has bought a supply of Bi-Lateral hose. Contracts have been awarded for the building of a new fire station.