New York Fire Department.

New York Fire Department.

Commissioner Waldo has issued a report giving a review of the year in the New York fire department. Its perusal shows that the commissioner has given a business administration and eliminated improper political influences from the force. In making promotions, he has advanced the men in numerical order, as certified by the civil service commission, and he has applied the same method to the appointment of firemen. In this way it did not require political pull for a worthy fireman to be promoted, or for a man to be appointed to the uniformed force of the department. As Chief Croker testified before the legislative investigating committee the other day, “the fire department at present is in the highest state of efficiency.” The growth of New York has necessitated twenty-seven new fire houses, which Commissioner Waldo has planned for the outlying sections and newly developed manufacturing districts in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In order to reduce the material cost of this wholesale number of buildings, a model plan of a fire house has been adopted, and the same materials are to be used in all buildings. The houses are to be of concrete and thoroughly fireproof throughout. This additional fire protection will he in service by July 1. Commissioner Waldo has saved $150,000 on repairs and supplies from the budget allowance, and another $125,000 goes to the city’s credit by his eliminating unnecessary positions. The board of estimate and apportionment raised fire department salaries as follows: 248 foremen from $2,100 to $2,500 per annum: 368 assistant foremen from $1,800 to $2,100 per annum, and 213 firemen from $800 to $1,000 per annum. This involved an additional expediture of $117,000 in the fire department, but Commissioner Waldo met this, without receiving any revenue bonds, from money he saved on repairs and supplies. The bureau of repairs and supplies of the fire department was organized by Commissioner Waldo. A strict accountability system is maintained, and open competition to all business men was invited. The commissioner has plans under way to put the fire department on a motor apparatus basis. One steam pumping, gasoline propelled automobile fire engine; two gasoline pumping and propelled engines, eight hose carts and several hook and ladders will soon run through the streets of New York without being drawn by horses. The motor apparatus affects a great saving in the cost ol maintenance. The high pressure automobile hose wagon now in the fire department costs for maintenance and fuel for one year less than $100.

The Fifty unnecessary sinecures were abolished by the commissioner in the civilian force, and as many uniformed firemen, who were doing clerical duty, were sent back to engine companies. During the year 1910, six new fire companies were formed in The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. With the men relieved of detail. Commissioner Waldo manned these houses, without any additional cost to the city. An item of importance is the purchase of bituminous coal at $5 per ton for the use of pumping engines, in place of imported cannel coal heretofore used, which cost the city $12 per ton. The commissioner has not asked tor any revenue bonds, or any money not called for in the budget during his first year of office, and leaves a balance to the credit of the city. The fire alarm telegraph bureau is being placed on a more efficient basis. Wires are being placed under ground in Brooklyn, and in the suburban districts keyless doors lor fire boxes are being installed as rapidly as possible in all boroughs. Commissioner Waldo is responsible also for the fire laws in 1,150 theatres and other places of public amusement during the past year, and no loss of life by fire has occurred in any of these places. Commissioner Waldo has recommended that the highpressure service be extended as rapidly as possible throughout the entire borough of Manhattan south of 155th street and in the business sections of Brooklyn and Long Island City. The number of fire alarms in 1910 was greater than m 1909. The average loss per fire has been reported as less by the fire marshal. Another feature in the fire department during this year will be the introduction of its own horseshoeing department The commissioner expects to save $50,000 on this innovation. A strict record of the hose purchased in the department has been established. Each length of hose has a number and in the centre of each length is vulcanized in red rubber the month and year of purchase. This eliminates trickery and rascality in the hose question. The record card of each hose shows when it was purchased, where the hose performed service, how long it has been in the department and the cost of its repairs. The long desired training arrangement for officers has been accomplished in organizing the fire college of the department. In this college men becoming firemen will receive a thorough instruction from men of vast experience in firefighting. Engineers will be given a thorough course of instruction in the care of boilers and pumping engines. Firemen eligible for promotion to officers and the under officers eligible for promotion to captains and battalian chiefs will also receive a practical education in the fire college, which is presided over by the oldest and most experienced firefighters in the world, thereby the knowledge of firefighting gained In officers of the department in years of fighting thousands of fires and their experiences will be preserved and the city benefited instead of dying with the individual.

NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT.

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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.

CHIEF EDWARD F CROKER, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT, PRESIDENT INTERNATIONAL ASSN. OF FIRE ENGINEERS,