NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT.
The Work Accomplished by it in Twelve Months.
During the year 1901 the fire department of New York, including the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Richmond, received 3,319 alarms of fire— thirty-two more than in the previous year, with over $300,000 less insurance loss. Of these alarms 1,865 were first alarms; ninety-three, second; thirty-five, third; fourteen, fourth; 358, still; 590, verbal; eighty-five, special for companies; eight, special for insurance patrol; 271, for ambulances. From street boxes there were 1,660 alarms; from private signal boxes, forty-eight; from telephone, 299. Sixty-three additional fire alarm boxes were installed during the year—making a total of 1,293 boxes on thirty-two circuits as follows: Class 1, 801; class 2, 254; class 3, 216; class 4, twenty-two. There are now 932.0296 miles of electrical conductors in operation; 6.9227 miles of wire were used for extensions; 48.4217. for repairs; 4.2239 miles were removed. The department owns and uses 3,418 poles, including 1.336. the property of the department and the New York and New Jersey Telephone company; eighteen poles were removed: and seventy-nine, reset. Of messages 111,126 were received, and 118,361 were transmitted—a total of 229,487. The personnel is divided as follows: At Headquarters—Commissioner; secretary; assistant secretary; bookkeeper; purchasing agent; contract clerk; cashier; draughtsman and mapmaker; assistant stockeeper; engineer; medical officers, three; clerks, three; stokers, three; drivers, two; watchmen, etc., ten—total, thirty-four. Bureau of chief of department—Chief; deputy chiefs, three; chiefs of battalion, sixteen; chief instructor; chief of construction and repairs to apparatus; foremen (captains), 104; assistant foremen (lieutenants), 116; engineers of steamers, 168; firemen, 1464, as follows—first-grade, 632; second-grade, 121; thirdgrade, 132; fourth-grade, 128; probationary, fortyone. Non-uniformed force—Pilots, five; marine engineers, five; stokers, nineteen—total, twenty-nine; electrical force, four. Bureau of combustibles—inspector. etc., nineteen. Bureau of fire marshal—firemarshal, assistants, clerical force, etc., eleven. Fire alarm telegraph branch—chief operator, operators and assistant operators, eleven, clerks and technical workers—total, forty-three. Repair shops, foreman, machinists, etc., seventy-seven—total, seventy-eight Building superintendent’s branch—superintendent and assistant, other employes, eight—total, ten. Hospital and training stables—trainers and drivers, two; other employes, nine—total, eleven. Grand total, 1,716. In Manhattan and the Bronx the force numbers 1,464 officers, engineers, and firemen of all grades, including probationers. The-fire-extinguishing force is as follows: Engine companies, including three fireboats (the New Yorker, the Robert A. Van Wyck—now the W. L. Strong—and the Zophar Mills), seventy-five; hook and ladder companies, twenty-five, eight being double companies. Two companies are also equipped with searchlight engines, and three with water towers. The average number of officers and men in single companies below Fifty-ninth street is fourteen; above that street, twelve; in single companies having water towers the average number is eighteen. The use of solid rubber tires has greatly lightened the wear and tear on the apparatus, and has, besides, added greatly to the comfort of the men. It is hoped every piece of apparatus will be so equipped. During 1901 hook and ladder company No. 23 and engine company No. 74 were organised and equipped with a fire engine and hose wagon and hook and ladder truck respectively. These were stationed in the West Side residential district. In West Thirty-third street, also, a new hook and ladder company was equipped, besides, with an electrical searchlight engine and water tower. On Christmas Day, engine company No. 75 was organised and placed at One Hundred and Eighty-third street and Jerome avenue, borough of the Bronx, and equipped with a steam fire engine, hose wagon, and hook and ladder truck. The following is the list of the equipment of the fire department of Greater New York:
Manhattan and Bronx boroughs—Engine companies, seventy-five (three fireboats); chemical engine companies, two; hook and ladder companies, twentyfive; water towers, three; searchlight engines, two. Brooklyn and Queens boroughs—Engine companies, sixty-three; chemical engine company, one; hook and ladder companies, nineteen; water tower, one; volunteer (chiefly Queens): Engine companies, sixteen; hook and ladder companies, sixteen; hose companies, twenty-six. Richmond borough—Engine companies, thirteen; hook and ladder companies, fourteen; hose, combination hose, and chemival, seventeen. In Manhattan and Bronx boroughs the men are as follows: Chief of department, four deputy chiefs; fifteen battalion chiefs; and 1,506 men. In Brooklyn and Queens boroughs they are as follows: Deputy chief in charge of boroughs; four deputy chiefs; twenty-one battalion chiefs; and 1,130 men. The amount of water used in extinguishing fires was 99.228,577 gallons, of which 69,552,105 gallons were river water. The water supply system failed several times during the year, and very many of the fire hydrants are of antiquated pattern, freezing very easily at the slightest approach to cold weather and requiring a large portion of the uniformed force to be continuously engaged in salting and thawing them out, as soon as the cold weather sets in. Additional men should be employed to perform fire duty at the various theatres as required by law, both in the afternoon and evening. The number so detailed has deprived companies of the services of a number of men at fires where they are most needed, and also caused inconvenience to the men in getting their meals regularly every day. It would also seem as if more chemical engines should be added to the equipment. At present in the three boroughs there are only seven in use. It may be added that there pany also two hand engines attached to engine company No. 49, for use on Blackwell’s, Ward’s, and Randall’s islands; where four of the ten engines are chemical, the number of alarms sent over the wires of the fire alarm telegraph and other details have been given above. The underground system consists of one hundred twenty-six and three-fourths miles of cable in subways, or nine hundred seventyseven and one-eighth miles of conductor. During the year 34,532 and one-half feet of underground cable were laid, 21,226 feet of which were for extending the system and 13,306 and one-half were for replacing worn-out and damaged cables. Of subsidiary duct, 1.463 feet were laid, of which 1,312 and two-thirds were for extension, and 150 and onethird, for repairs. Of aerial wire thirty-seven and four-tenths miles were put up, of which sixteen and seven-tenths miles were for extension, and twenty and seven-tenths, for repairs; fifteen and seventenths miles of old wire were taken down. An improved switchboard device of the combination circuit at the central office of the fire alarm telegraph branch is now in use, whereby the operation of arranging fire circuits has been simplified, time saved, and the possibility of error in sending out alarms for fire obviated. Another device has also been introduced by means of which the box inspector can make satisfactory local tests of alarm boxes without the necessity of breaking circuit. In this way the wire is kept uninterrupted for the operation of boxes on the same circuit, and the operators in the central office office have much more time to attend to their duties. In Manhattan circuits are greatly overcrowded with alarm boxes. The efficiency of the service should be increased at once by installing additional cables. The circuits would thus be duplicated and the number of boxes on each of the existing circuits reduced. At present all of the conductors in cables are in use, and no additional circuits can be arranged until new cables have been installed. Towards accomplishing this, it is proposed to construct cables on the Manhattan L. structure at the outset by way of Third avenue, Barclay, and Pearl street to Hanover square, connecting with the present department underground system at intermediate points, permission having been granted to do so, and to install fire alarm boxes in stations for public use. On the condemnation of the pole line one the Kinsgbridge road from One hundred and Sixty-third street to Two hundred and Twenty-second street and the removal of the poles the fire alarm wires were placed on those of the New York Telephone company. In the Bronx the New York Telephone company and the Western Union and Postal companies have rebuilt a large area of department lines, in consideration of the privilege of placing thir wires on them. This has been of great advantage to the department in every instance. All the aerial lines are in good condition, but somewhat overloaded with signal boxes. A number of new circuits must be constructed in that borough to relieve those heavily laden and to enable new signal stations to be established. The volunteer system of the borough of Richmond is made up of five volunteer departments. The North Shore department is composed of a chief engineer, four assistant engineers, twenty firemen, forty assistant firemen, eight engineers of steamers, and 839 firemen. It has five engine companies, four steamers and one hand, seven hook and ladder companies, seven hose companies, and a fire patrol company. The Edgewater department is constituted as follows: Chief; assistant chiefs, three; firemen, seventeen; assistant firemen, thirty; engineers of steamers, five; firemen, 621. Its equipment is as follows: Engines (steamers), five; hook and ladder trucks, three those companies, nine. Tottenville department—Chief; assistant chiefs, two; firemen, three; assistant firemen, six; firemen, ninety-one; engine company; hook and ladder company, two; hose company, in connection with engine company— no appropriation Krciseberville department—Foreman; assistant foremen, two; firemen, twenty-six; hook and ladder company. Pleasant Plains department—Foremen, two; assistant foremen, four; engineers of steamers, two; firemen, seventy-one; hand engine company; hook and ladder company; hose company, in connection with engine company—-no appropriation. Huguenot department—Foreman; assistant foreman, two; firemen, thirty; hand engine company; hose company, in connection with engine company—no appropriation. New Dorp department —Foreman; assistant foremen, two; firemen, twenty-five; hook and ladder company—hose wagon attached. The appropriations for this borough arc as follows: Engine companies, $1,200 each; hook and ladder companies, $1,000 each; hose and patrol companies, $800 each. The volunteer system of the borough of Queens comprises sixty-six companies, with 2,031 members. These companies are distributed as follows: Newtown, eleven, with 350 members; Far Rockaway, four, with ninety-five members; Flushing, six, with 240 members; Woodhavcn, eight, with 350 members; Richmond Hill, five, with 130 members; Rockaway Beach, ten, with 205 members; Columbia fire department, Richmond Hill, two, with fortynine members; Jamaica, seven, with 209 members; Floral Park, one, with forty members; Bayside, one, with forty-two members ;H ollis, two, with fiftynine members; College Point, three, with eighty-two members; Queens, one, with thirty-seven members; Whitcstone, four, with 109 members; Springfield, one. with thirty-four members. The bureau of combustibles reports making 1,860 special surveys to determine the fitness of premises for the storage of combustibles or explosive materials, 1,680 samples of kerosene collected and tested, turned over to the Firemen’s Relief fund $540 collected in penalties ($5) for chimney fires, and $3948.3 for licenses and special permits for storage, manufacturing fireworks, caps, and torpedoes, kindling fires (thirty-six) in the streets, etc, and 811 complaints of violations of the ordinance. In Manhattan and the Bronx there was one indictment and conviction for arson in the rst degree, Frederick Gardner, a white man, being sentenced to twenty-five years’ imprisonment in Sing Sing. The total fire loss in Manhattan and the Bronx amounted to $5,580,835; Manhattan, with its 5.112 fires being responsible for a loss of $5,406,404; the Bronx, with 404 fires, for $174431. The loss in Richmond borough, with 227 fires, was $175,000. The loss in Brooklyn and Queens, with 2,681 fires, amounted to $2,932,839. The total insurance at risk in Manhattan was $143,827,762; in the horough of the Bronx, $.33,270; in the borough of Richmond, $143,303; in Brooklyn and Queens, $23,405,410.