New Waltham Fire Alarm Headquarters
Waltham, Mass., recently placed in service a new fire alarm headquarters which is a model structure with the latest Gamewell equipment.
The building is of brick and fire resistive construction throughout, it is situated on Church Street and has the battery and supply room in the basement and the oil heater in a separate section of sub-basement. The first floor contains the large operating room with the switchboards and recording instruments mounted upon panels of blue Vermont marble with frames and pedestals of mahogany finished art metal. The switchboard has eight trunk lines and there are six mutual aid circuits.
Mayor Duane, Chief George L. Johnson, of the Waltham Fire Department, and Inspector of Wires Arthur L. Holbrook are very proud of this new building.
The Waltham fire alarm system was established in 1881, moved to the Moody Street Fire Station in 1891, and was destroyed when this station was burned in 1900. The alarm office was put back in its old location on Spruce Street and in 1903 was moved to the new wire building. About nine years ago replacement of old equipment began and in 1930 the sum of $42,000 was appropriated for a new building and $32,000 to complete the installation of the Gamewell system. There are 230 outside alarm boxes and the new system allows for 500 with provision for expansion of the system to 1,000 boxes.
The alarm equipment was all furnished by the Gamewell Company of Newton, Mass., and is of the very latest type. It consists of three 20-circuit storage battery switchboards, one battery cross connecting and terminal board, one 50circuit protector board, four 5-circuit box line operating boards, one 4-circuit primary alarm operating board, one 4-circuit secondary alarm operating board, one mutual aid board, one low current alarm outfit, one New England transmitter for primary and secondary circuits, one primary and secondary recording set consisting of two 4-circuit Nonpareil registers, two Excelsior time stamps, two Nonpareil take-up reels; one mutual aid and master recording set; one recording set consisting of one 2-circuit Nonpareil register and one Nonpareil take-up reel; 1,500 cells LCO battery mounted on a metal battery rack, and two 550-volt motor generators.
Over 65,000 feet of wire was used inside the building in connecting up the different pieces of equipment and circuits. A separate transmitter is used for notifying the different stations of the return and dispatch of apparatus.
The building is of brick and steel, the floors being covered with rubber tile.