N. Y. City Defense Plan Reviewed
After several months of extensive study, New York City fire officials have passed the paper stage in their plan to build up the fire department to enable it to cone with any emergencies caused by air attacks. Meanwhile manufacturers cooperating with fire department experts state that no time should be wasted in getting the program under way. They warned that tooling and mechanical preliminaries require about from three to six months before production is started.
There are many detailed phases to Commissioner J. J. McElligott’s program. Foremost of these is the plan to train about 200,000 persons to act as a civilian auxiliary to the regular department and the consideration of increasing the present regular fire fighting force of 11,000 to 19,000.
There is also a plan to supplement each of the 400 firehouses with six sub-stations, each of these supplementary stations to be manned with sixty members of the civilian auxiliary supervised by a veteran. According to the plan, about 2,500 or 3,000 light mobile pumping units will be required. Department experts have designed a two-light-wheeled ladder truck and a motorcycle powered hose cart. There is also a provision for an increase in hose footage to 400,000 feet.
Pumping stations, erected at points along the East and Hudson Rivers in Brooklyn and Manhattan are so equipped that a mere turning of the valves in them will send salt water in underground mains. It is pointed out that additional sources of supply could be provided by the department’s ten fireboats, by transformed sanitation flushers, and by especially designed, canvas-bodied tank cars.
Among Commissioner McElligott’s many aides are Battalion Chiefs Frederick Wedemeyer and Daniel Deasy, and fireman George Scott. It may be recalled that these three recently returned to New York after studying the London fire fighters in action for more than three months. It is said that much of the plan has resulted from their observations.