PROPOSED FIRE CUT AT MINNEAPOLIS.
The proposed cut of $44,000 in the appropriation for the Minneapolis. Minn., fire department for 1913 means that 40 firemen would have to be discharged. And that, according to Chief Engineer Ringer, means that the department will be badly crippled. “The situation is serious, more serious, perhaps, than the people understand.” said Chief Ringer this week. “We have none too many firemen just now And it is the men who must suffer because of this cut. We cannot reduce our office force; it is too small now. ‘We cannot lose a single man from the shop force, for they are absolutely necessary to keep apparatus in good order. We’ll have to discharge firemen—forty of them, and that will mean the crippling of the entire department. What shall we do then if we have a fire such as at the Brucr Lumber Co. the other night, accompanied by a high wind? What shall we do if we have such another as that of April, 1911, when a carpenter shop caught fire on a windy day and we had to call out every piece of apparatus to prevent it spreading? If the department is to be efficient, we must have apparatus, motors, horses and men—men above all things. There are only two ways we can cut down expenses; by eliminating some of the stations or by reducing the units in each station. We won’t be permitted to eleminate any stations, because the communities thus endangered would not tolerate it. So we’ll have to reduce the men in each station and we won’t have enough men left to operate the apparatus properly. If this reduced appropriation goes through, the people of Minneapolis will have to accept the risks it will involve without complaint against the department. And the risks will be big.”