REPORT OF NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT.
The report of the fire department of New York city deals at considerable length with its condition since January 1, 1904. It shows that, owing to the demands made upon it by the establishment, growth and development of greater New York, the department is far behind the requirements of the consolidated city, Fire Commissioner Nicholas J. Hayes, therefore, recommended certain betferments as follows: The extension of the paid svsteni to Richmond borough, and that portion of Queens now covered by volunteer companies along the lines of the largest population; (2) the reorganisation of the fireboat fleet, and the addition of new fireboats; (3) the addition of new fire houses, where most needed in the boroughs covered by the paid department; (4) the repair and rehabilitation of some of the present fire houses; (5) investigation of the entire fire alarm telegraph system throughout all the boroughs, with a view to ascertaining what would be the most serviceable and effective; (6) the enlargement of the uniformed force and more time off to its members (instead of the two-platoon system. which had been tried and found wanting) ; (7) as necessary, reinforcement of the bureau of combustibles, on account of the unparalleled amount of construction, with the accompanying use of explosives—a danger which had to be minimised. These recommendations are being rapidly carried out. The problem of safeguarding the theatres, by structural and other changes has been solved, and by September 1 the paid department will be installed at Rockaway, Far Rockaway and Arverne in Queens borough. Within three months three powerful fireboats of the most modern type will be added to the seven already in use. thus affording protection to the waterfront in all the boroughs. Since January 1, 1904. twenty-one new firehouses have been built and equipped and fourteen more are now underway or are being projected, and the repair work has been pushed to the limit of time and as far as the funds have allowed. The fire underwriters have been granted permission to investigate the lire alarm system by an expert of their own selection. independently of the city’s investigation; the results of each will be collated; and the recommendation of the department on the subject will be based on the joint reports. The uniformed force has been increased to 3,500, instead of only 2.972, and fourteen uniformed men have been added as inspectors to the bureau of combustibles to watch over the points at which the greatest amount of blasting is going on, and to enforce the law rigidly. After adverting to the reinstatement of Chief Croker on February 4, 1904, the fire commissioner states that the officers and men of the department were “never more vigilant, never in a higher state of efficiency, and never working in better harmony than now.” The men today l ave the old leave of one day off in everv five and twelve additional leaves three times each month—that is, three leaves of thirty-six hours each month, and three of twenty-four hours each month, besides a yearly vacation of fourteen days. The officers of the department do not at present enjoy the same leaves, but endeavors are now being made to arrange that they soon shall. Fire Commissioner Hayes points out that “in determining the two-platoon system and substituting for it the additional leave, this departmert has saved the city a very great amount of money, and the action so taken has added much mere to the comfort and the satisfaction of the men than the introduction of the two platoons could have accomplished, for them.”