Motor Apparatus at Hartford
The fire commissioners of Hartiord, Conn., in their annual report, for the year ending March 31, 1914, have the following to say of motor apparatus: Complete motorization of the department was urged, a year ago, because of the increased efficiency and decreased expense resultant from such a change. An allowance of $125,000 for this purpose was asked for, and that only $20,000 was granted is a misfortune to the city as a whole. The outskirt sections particularly are in need of the prompt service which only auto equipment can give, but this allowance will not provide for more than two or three houses, to say nothing of equipping companies nearer the center and providing tractors for engines or trucks. The benefit to the center as well as to the outskirts, from motorizing outlying companies which will answer second or third alarms ‘from the center, was illustrated on June 8, when No. 10’s auto equipment from Bond street reached City Hall well in advance of horbe-drawn apparatus from the stations of No. 6, Huyshope avenue, and No. 8, Park street. Plenty of other equally good illustrations of the value of motor apparatus could be given. The advantages of motorizing were gone into in detail at a public hearing January 2S, 1914. Summarized, motorization would make possible a great gain in general efficiency; would permit hose companies Nos. 10 and 11 to be made pump companies; would reduce the number of apparatus men, not now available for fire duty, from 42 to 20, would correspondingly increase the number of men from fire duty from 98 to 120; would permit the amount of pumping machinery available for emergency use to be practically doubled over what the city now has; would, according to the underwriters, mean some reduction in insurance rates; and would permit a reduction of the ordinary annual expenses of the department by an amount estimated at about $10,000, figured on the cost of the department as at present constituted. The various pieces of automobile apparatus continue to give good service and their prompt response has been responsible for keeping down the loss at many fires. There have been repeated instances where horse drawn apparatus of the nearest company have been outstripped and fires handled by automobile equipment from more distant stations. The only piece of automobile apparatus put in commission during the year is Tractor B, which was placed on Engine No. 1 January 25, 1914. It is a duplicate of the tractor placed in commission with that engine a year ago except that it is equipped with an electric self-starter. Tractor A was transferred to truck No. 1, the springs strengthened to take the greater weight of the truck, and the truck put in commission with it February 11, 1914. The first run was to box 732 on February 12. By shifting Tractor A to the truck house, where a direct current of electricity is available, it became possible to start it without cranking on receipt of an alarm by turning the direct current into the generator and causing it to act as a selfstarter. A second-hand car was obtained in exchange for horses to be used as an instruction car, and, after being overhauled, is now being assembled for service. A second-hand Buick runabout has also been bought for the use of the inspector of wires, who has been much handicapped in his work for lack of means of transportation.