Refuses Petition for More Officers
Fire Chief John Kenlon of New York in a recent statement made to the members of the Board of Estimate in the City Hall, declared that it was not additional chief officers that were needed but additional firemen that were needed, when Mayor Walker asked him if he approved the petition of ten Captains for promotion to Battalion Chief.
The petitioners had been seeking promotion for several months on the ground that some of them were acting as Chiefs of Battalion and that there were always sufficient vacancies due to illness, vacations and special leaves, to warrant the appointment of ten additional battalion chiefs.
Chief Kenlon declared that if the Board of Estimate was disposed to grant additional strength to the lire force that it do so by adding more firemen. He said the department could very easily use three hundred or five hundred firemen right away. The Board of Estimate thereupon ordered “filed” the jietition for more chief officers. Nothing, however, was done with the Chief’s suggestion for more firemen.
The New York Department loses the services of approximately five hundred firemen a day, so far as fire duty goes. There are two hundred firemen daily detailed to the theatres in New York at night time and on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. To this could be added about two hundred more out of quarters on company district inspections and surveys in the day time only. There is another hundred otherwise detailed, due to illness, light duty, injuries or other infirmities which make them a loss to the fire fighting force.
Proportionately, the ranks of the blueshirts are badly out of step with other ranks, as to gains in numbers during the past eight years. For instance:
Chief of Construction was lost as to title only, the incumbent now being carried in the ranks of deputv chiefs.