POLICEMEN, FIREMEN AND DOCTORS IN A SCRIMMAGE.
On the night of Monday, April 2, there was a general mixup of firemen, police and doctors at a fire which started in an arch of the Brooklyn bridge at Franklin square and Dover street, Manhattan, New York. The blaze was in an old junk shop, the contents of which gave off a sickening, suffocating smoke, so dense that some of the firemen were overcome and fell down in their tracks. Without consulting Chief Croker, as he claims they should have done, the police turned in a call for ambulances, and, when these appeared, the doctor in attendance on one, seeing that Fireman O’Connor was in a very critical condition, had lifted him into the ambulance and was about to drive off, when Chief Croker, leaving the fire and the firemen to go as each pleased, ran up and forbade the doctor to remove the man, adding that not one of his men should go to ‘the hospital that night. The surgeon reasoned with him; but the reply from Chief Croker was, “I am chief.” “You may be chief (said the surgeon), but I am doctor here. The man is in a very serious condition, and his life is in your hands.” “I don’t care (said Chief Croker). He don’t go to the hospital.” At that moment the ambulance driver grabbed Chief Croker, on which six stalwart firemen shoved the driver on one side. The police now took a hand in the fray, and the chief, crying out that he did not care for all the police in New York, ordered the ambulance out from (lie lines, the police with uplifted clubs and the firemen with axes glaring at each other the while. The police, however, gave way, and, after two other doctors had worked in vain over the unconscious fireman, he was taken to the nearby St. Gregory’s hospital, where he did not recover till a whole tank of oxygen had been exhausted in the operation. The local police captain said that technically Chief Croker was in the right, and that the police were technically in the wrong. Meanwhile old firemen ask why Chief Croker sent his men into an old junk shop, where the fire could do no harm to the bridge, and the flames could not spread, while, on the other hand, the lives of the men were needlessly endangered.