NEW YORK CITY’S FIRE DEPARTMENT.
THE annual report of the operations and actions of the fire department of this city for the quarter ending December 31, 1894, has been published. The following particulars will be found of interest.
The personnel at headquarters consists of 8 commissioners, 1 secretary and 1 assistant secretary, 4 medical officers, 8 bookkeepers and clerks,1 stenographer, 1 super intendent of supplies, with Janitor and other employees, bringing the total up to 29. In the bureau of the chief of the department are the following active uniformed ein. ployees: Chief and deputies, 8; chiefs of battalions, 11; foremen, 82; assistant foremen, 95; engineers of steamers, 186; firemen, 1st grade, 610, 2nd grade, 47, 8rd grade, 98— total, 768—grand total, 1090; active uniformed firemen on probation, 16; on fire-boats pilots, 4 ; engineers, 4; stokers, 11.
Add to these 112 uniformed men relieved from active service, and the employees in the bureau of the inspector of combustibles, fire marshal, fire alarm telegraph and electrical appliances, with the attorney to the department, and those employed in the repair shops and hospital stables, and we have a grand total of 1,859 persons in the service of the city fire department.
The appropriations (includingtrangfers) and expenditures amounted to a total of $2,348,412 and $2,305,645.51 respectively. Of the expenditures, $1,701,449.46 went in salaries; $400,000 in apparatus, supplies, etc.; $176,101.05 for new sites and buildings, and $60,000 for placing fire alarm conductors underground.
The apparatus of the department consists of 98 engines and 3 fire boats; 48 hose tenders, four-wheeled, and 1 double reel for fireboat; 38 hose tenders, two-wheeled; 32 hose wagons, four wheeled; 4 water towers; 5 chemical fire engines; 24 fuel wagons; 1 wrecking truck; 2 hand engines; 1 hose carriage; 8 hose jumpers; 21 wagons for battalion chiefs; 1 portable water tank; 37 hook and ladder trucks, including 6 turn-tables, with extension ladder of the first and second sizes; 18 roller frames, with extension ladder, first and second sizes, and 5 goose-neck, without extension ladders.
The department responded to 4,341 alarms, of which 2,984 were sent over the ordinary street alarm boxes; 1,280 were verbal; 48 automatic telegraph, and 21 special department telegraph signals. Of these, 8,984 were for fires of greater or less magnitude, to extinguish which, as nearly as can be estimated, 28,822,000 gallons of water were used.
The total amount of fire losses was $439,460.00, an average of $1,056.62, at each fire; the insurance on the losses was $88,794,895; the uninsured losses amounted to $430,460. Of these losses there were six that figured up from $100,000 to $450,000 and 1,557 where the damage did notexeeed$10. There were 26 convictions for arson, the highest penalty meted out being ten years in state prison. Of these firebugs one half were Iiussiansor Kusso-Polisb; 5 were Germans; 2 were Americans; 2 Irish, and 1 Italian.
There were 20 deaths among the active uniformed force, two of two deceased being Chief-of-Battalion Bresnan and Assistant-Foreman John L. Itooney, both of whom fell martyrs at their posts during the great fire at 124-128 West Twenty-fourth street on December 29, where five of their comrades were likewise seriously injured. Three firemen, John P. Howe of hook and ladder company No. 15, Foreman Thomas O’Hearn of hook atod ladder company No. 18, (acting-chief of battalion 4’at the time), and Dennis Kyerof engine company No. 36, were reported and placed on the roll of merit for saving life at fires under circumstances involving the risk of their own lives. Of uniformed men relieved from service at fire 16 died during the year.
The equipment of the department was increased by the purchase of 5 engines, 8 hook and ladder trucks, 1 twowheel hook and ladder truck, 1 fuel and 5 hose wagons, and its efficiency added to by the formation of an additional engine company (No. 52), by the construction of 4 additional box signal circuits in the northern part of the city, the putting up of 141 miles of wire, the setting of 119 poles and the removal of 505 unserviceable ones, the extension of 12 miles of cable, aggregating 107 1-2 miles of single conductor, the construction of 3 1-2 miles of subsidiary duct, connecting with alarm boxes and apparatus houses, the extension of the underground system of telegraph, which now consists of 76 1 2 miles of general subways containing department cables, and 33 miles of department subways and subsidiaries—in all, 98 1-2 miles of lead-covered cable, aggregating 907 miles of single conductors, and connecting at the central office direct with 447 alarm boxes, 60 apparatus houses, 5 other department buildings, 4 hospitals, and 80 schools. The department has also the following alarm boxes, 859 street, 131 in schools, 27 in other public institutions, and 272 in places of amusement, hotels, etc.
New York city has reason to be proud of her fire department, and every year shows that its men form the stuff that heroes are made of. Chief Bonner sets the pace; his subordinates run him a neck-and-neck race.