More Battalions Needed in Rochester.
Chief Fire Engineer Charles Little, of Rochester, in submitting his annual report to the commissioner of public safety takes occasion to recommend the redistricting of the city into four districts instead of two at the present time, and that a battalion chief be placed in charge of each district. This would necessitate the appointment of two battalion chiefs. Chief Little’s reasons in the matter are as follows:
“The work involved upon the battalion chiefs include the attendance at all alarms of fire in their district, making inspection of company quarters, inspection of buildings, etc., and rendering reports thereon, and considering the increase in the number of alarms and the growth of the city, the territory as now divided, one-half the city for each battalion chief, takes them continually from the central fire district, where their services are greatly needed in case of fire, thus causing a valuable amount of time to be consumed and great distances traversed before reaching fires. One of the principal adjuncts in the successful handling of fires, is the knowledge of the various locations of entrances to buildings, the details with reference to contents and the surroundings of buildings, which thorough inspections accomplish, and the amount of time cannot at present be given’to the battalion chiefs, to familiarize themselves with the detail of this work. The assistant chief must be on duty at headquarters, to allow the chief of department to transact the outside business that occurs from time to time, supervising the condition, discipline and welfare of the department, and have an officer in command at headquarters at all times. The department for ten years prior to the year 1903, employed four battalion chiefs, when the city had considerable less population and the department was much smaller than now consti tuted. I would respectfully refer you to cities with less and with the same population as Rochester, where you will find that at least four and as high as six battalion chiefs are employed in their departments.”