OPERATION OF MOTOR FIRE APPARATUS IN WINTER
Testimony of Chiefs is Positive Proof of Efficiency.
Owing to the severe winter through which the fire departments have just passed, and in order to learn definitely the results of the Operations of motor-driven apparatus under most trying conditions, FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING obtained some reports from chiefs, which are given in a condensed form below. Those opinions will, no doubt, be interesting to those about to equip their departments with motor apparatus but who have had no positive information relating to their operation during the months of winter.
Chief C. W. Ringer, of Minneapolis, Minn., states that the winter in his section has been an exceptionally hard one, but the motor apparatus was able to negotiate the congested districts of his city at all times.
Chief W. W. Bridgeford, of Albany, N. Y., says: “I am pleased to say that our automobile apparatus has proved its superiority to the horse. We had snow on the ground from the latter part of November up till the end of March. Twice the fall was more than 12 inches, and we have responded to every alarm and reached the fires without much difficulty. Some of our chauffeurs were afraid they might not get along, so I told them to get out and try, and they drove through the drifts all right. Hook and Ladder No. 2, which has a 75-foot aerial ladder with a tractor, has made some wonderful runs through deep snow. After my experience I will say that I am greatly in favor of motor apparatus.”
Chief B. J. McConnell, of Buffalo, N. Y., writes: “We have had excellent results with motor apparatus here and find even with adverse road conditions we can make better time and, consequently, reduce fire losses with the motor apparatus. Our experience has been such as to warrant this city in making provisions to purchase $125,000 worth more and which will be available by July 1, 1916.”
In Duluth, Minn., Chief Joseph Randall says: “The past winter was a very severe one, very heavy snow and much cold; however, we were not ‘stalled’ at any time, but there were times during the winter when there were places to which the motors could not have reached because of deep snow.”
Chief Howard S. Rodgers, of Jamestown, N. Y., says: “We have experienced very little trouble during the past winter, although it has been the most serious we have had since the motor apparatus was installed. The streets have been in very bad condition, due to the heavy snowfalls, especially on the streets where the street cars run. Outside of some tire trouble, I will say that the past winter has been very successful from the motor apparatus standpoint.”
From Grand Rapids, Mich., Fire Marshal Baughncr says: “We experienced no trouble during the exceptionally bad conditions we were forced to contend with. As to the superiority of motor-driven apparatus we have no doubt, and expect to finish motorizing our department the coming year if our budget goes through as recommended.”
Chief Hugo R. Delfs, of Lansing, Mich., writes as follows: “Replying to your letter, will state that all of our motor trucks went through the winter in excellent shape and, in my opinion, they are always superior to horsedrawn apparatus at all times of the year. We have five stations in this city and motors in every station. We still have three horses, but expect a motor aerial truck this year. After an experience with motor fire apparatus of over seven years, to make a long story short, we could not run our fire department without it.”
Chief P. Byron of Troy, N. Y., says the motor apparatus in his department worked very satisfactorily during the winter, and Chief D. J. Sulivan of Utica, N. Y., writes that athough “we had some very severe snow storms the past winter, have had no trouble whatever with our motor apparatus. I do believe motor apparatus is far superior to horsedrawn.”
Chief T. C. Collin of Cohoes, N. Y., reports as follows: “Our experience with the motor apparatus during the past winter has been very satisfactory. The machines stood up well under the exceptionally severe conditions and we expect to dispose of the last of our horses during 1916, which we would not contemplate doing if the motors had failed to make good.”
At Elmira, N. Y., Chief John H. Espcy says that during the severe snow storms he made many runs with motor apparatus without experiencing any trouble, and Chief T. F. Ryan of Syracuse, N. Y., also reports that our motor apparatus has rendered satisfactory service during the past winter.”
From this testimony it will be seen that motor apparatus has proved its reliability and efficiency under circumstances of exceptional severity. Of course there are conditions under which no apparatus can be used, and to these motor machines make no exception. The general opinion, however, is that under fairly reasonable trials for all around work in summer and winter, motor propelled machines have established a record of unbroken success.