Central Fire Station of Greensboro, N. C., Housing Four Companies In the center of the group are Chief Fred Taylor and Captain Frank Shaw, volunteer and paid firemen executives. On the right is the 75-foot aerial ladder equipped with 40-gallon chemical tank. Next is the city service truck; pumper of 750-gallon capacity; service truck company, and then the hose company.

Larger Fire Alarm System Installed—History of Growth of Fire Department

THE recent formal opening of the new central fire station in Greensboro, N. C., and the completion of a new fire alarm system discloses many improvements in the art of fighting fire in that city for the past twenty years.

Years ago there was a rule in the city that each resident had to have a ladder, and in the event of fire, the ladders were rushed to the bunting building. Enough ladders were brought to block the roads, but it was soon discovered that the ladders without the water were of little use. Leather water buckets were then placed in the corridor of the court bouse, and it was the duty of the early volunteers to rush to the corridor, seize as many buckets as they could carry and then rush to the scene of the fire.

West Lee Fire Station Which Houses Oldest Apparatus

From this nucleus developed a plan in 1849 for the formation of a volunteer fire company, and the city council was induced to purchase an end-brake hand pump; this was said to be one of the first pieces of fire apparatus in the state. Water was drafted from nearby cisterns and wells. The Civil War took all of the available men from the town and very little was done for many years along fire defense lines.

In 1884, the prohibition party who wanted to force a wedge in the new council, promised the young men of the town that if elected, they would purchase a new fire engine. The wets were elected but they fulfilled the promise made by their opponents by purchasing the “General Greene” steamer which is illustrated.

This apparatus too had to depend on the cisterns for water, and the outlying sections had practically no protection. The formation of the Greensboro Water Company quickened the development of the fire department. In 1888 the first fire station was built and it was not very long before other fire companies were formed. The old steamer can by the addition of a new boiler, still give many years of service.

The city today has four fire-fighting units in the central fire station—each unit is manned by six men. In addition there are four other fire stations. The West Lee station which is illustrated, houses an American I.a France pumper, the oldest apparatus in the department. The apparatus has been in service for fourteen years. The Westend station houses a 500-gallon White pumper equipped with chemical tanks. The Nortnside station has a 750-gallon pumper that has been in service thirteen years.

The General Greene Pumper Purchased in 1886 This was the only fire defense for Greensboro, N. C., for many years. It was first pulled by hand.

The fire alarm system which has just been completed is of Gamewell make. Where formerly the city depended on fortythree fire alarm boxes wired on two circuits, the new arrangement will consist of 123 fire alarm boxes installed in ten box circuits. There will be four gong circuits to the various stations. This system will do away with the ringing of the fire hell on the old city hall.

Originally ran in Volume 79, Issue 17.

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