Protecting the Fire Fighters.
The fireman who enters a burning building, even if accustomed to facing an intense heat, works under three serious handicaps. The smoke which may play all around him makes it difficult for him to get a proper supply of air for breathing, without which he must either withdraw occasionally or else run the risk of being overcome by the smoke or fumes. I he lack of light often obliges him to grope around in the dark, wasting time just when it is most needed, or perhaps stumbling and causing his colleagues, to leave their work while helping him up. Last, but not least, the general noise and confusion attending the average fire, together with the roar of the flames and the splashing of water often make it impossible for him to hear the captain s orders or to advise the latter of conditions as he finds them. Hence the logic of the new equipment built by Merryweather & Sons, Ltd., of London, which has been adopted by the city of Manchester for the use of its fire brigade when fighting fires in cellars or in heavy smoke. The steam fire engine used for this service has an air-pump mounted on the same truck with it and connected to six reels of flexible metallic hose mounted under the truck. Interwoven with this hose is a pair of wires leading to a small telephone switchboard. Each hose is easily coupled to the back of a masked smoke helmet which a fireman can slip over his head and which distributes the air around his face so as to keep the eyes and nose clear of smoke. Each helmet is also fitted with a telephone receiver and transmitter, so that the wearer can readily talk to the officer standing beside the engine, reporting to him as to the conditions inside the building and getting his orders instantly. Hooked to his belt, each fireman also carries a 32-candlepower incandescent lamp, from which a cable leads to a dynamo belted to the fire engine.
Molissa. Tex., is to have a waterworks system. Contract has been let for a 25,000-gallon steel tank.