Richmond—A City Well Protected Against Fire

Richmond—A City Well Protected Against Fire

History of the Fire Fighting Forces of the Convention City of the I. A. F. E. from the Beginning—Its Present High State of Efficiency

THE following article will give an excellent idea of the efficient fire department of the convention city of the International Association of Fire Engineers. Chief Joynes, co-author of the article and the head of the Richmond fire department, was born in Hampton, Va., on October 29, 1855 and cducated in the schools of Richmond, where he moved when he was eight years old. This seas just at the close of the Civil I War when everything zvas devastated and he had to take his education on the hit and miss order. He started to work early in life, entering the painting business and remained in it until he had served his term and became a journeyman. He then went into the painting business as a contractor. Chief Joynes, from his carl i e s t childhood had always been a “fire fiend,” so naturally, when he was a young man, he became connected ‘with the Richmond fire department, acting for years as a substitute “call man” for which he received no pay. Later, on December 27, 1880, Chief Joynes teas elected a member of the department as a call man or runner, ‘where he remained until the City of Richmond put in stationed or permanent captains. As Chief Joynes had previously been selected as call captain of Engine Company No. 5, when this change was made, at a financial sacrifice, he gave up a lucrative business, and remained with the fire department as Stationed Captain of Engine Co. No. 5. Upon the death of Chief W. G. Puller, Chief Joynes was promoted to assistant chief, and within two years zvas advanced to chief engineer of the fire department, succeeding Chief Geo. C. Shaw, who lost his life from being overcome with smoke at a fire. This was in November 1908. He has been at the head of the Richmond fire department since that time, and has seen the department grozv from eight Engine Companies, and three Hook mid Ladder Truck Companies, manned principally with Call Men, to its present state of efficiency, now being fully motorized, with 17 Engine Companies, six Hook and Ladder Truck Companies, and a Water Tower Company, all having a complement of 122 men working on the two-platoon system. Chief Joynes’ family consists of his wife, two boys and two daughters, all being married, except one boy. Chief Joynes is a member of the Baptist Church, is also an Elk and a member of the Junior Order of American Mechanics. His principal hobby and pleasure is to get off in the country and lead the “simple outdoor” life, and to more completely carry out this hobby he has a nice little farm in Change County. Va,, where he goes on every opportunity.

Col. William M. Myers, Director of Public Safety, Richmond, Va.

Hunting and fishing is his “dish”; he says he doesn’t care if he doesn’t kill any game or catch fishlie enjoys the sport just the same, but from reports he generally gets his share of both. Like all old-time fire fighters Chief Joynes has had many thrilling experiences and narrow escapes during his career, and on several occasions has been seriously injured in his chosen profession, suffering with broken ribs, fractured shoulder, fractured leg, and in fact there are few bones left in him in their original condition, but he is still hale and hearty, and good for a great number of years of hard service.

In Richmond, the first record of any kind of an organization for fire protection dates from September, 1784, when an enactment was passed by the Assembly “to prevent the building a n d repairing of wooden chimneys in the town of Richmond.” Richmond was incorporated as a city in 1782, and under this dignity, in 1789 the houses bad increased to 100 and the inhabitants to 2,000, although there had been a destructive fire on January 8, 1787, which consumed “between 40 and 50 dwellings and stores, with Byrd s Warehouse, containing 70 hogsheads of tobacco.

Chief William H. Joynes, Richmond, Va.

First Richmond Fire Company

The first organized fire fighting brigade was instituted in April, 1816. and was known as “ I he Richmond Fire Society,” for the purpose of rendering

A Handsome Bungalow House. Northside Station of Richmond, Va., Housing Engine Companies Nos. 14 and 16 and Truck Company No. 16

mutual aid in the hour of peril, and to extend the influence of effective friendship.”

This society (fire company) was limited to thirty-six members. The only paid official was the secretary, who received $15 per year, and was subject to numerous fines that were said to amount to ten times the salary every year. A member was required to provide himself at his own cost with two buckets, two bags, and a bed socketkey. They were fined $2 for each alarm they missed, and many other fines and penalties added rapidly to the funds of the Society. In event of a fire the owner of the premises directed operations; in his absence the president of the Society had control. Dues were $4 per quarter.

In 1819 another fire company was organized, and so on as the city grew. It was in this year that hand fire engines were installed. We find one authority that states there were hand fire engines used in Richmond in 1812, and intimates that they had been used some years previous to that date.

Made Independent Volunteer Department

In 1855 the Richmond Fire Department was made an independent volunteer department, and was then organized with John J. Fry. Chief F2ngineer, and the companies were composed of young men between the ages of 16 and 21. Rivalry between the companies was so intense as sometimes to impede the effective usefulness of the department. The first steam engine used in Richmond was introduced in 1860. and it was built in Richmond by Ettinger & Edmunds, of Richmond. Alarms of fire were sounded by a centrally located bell and the number of the ward in which the fire was, was sounded on this large bell, which was hung in the old Bell Tower, which building is still standing and is one of the old landmarks of historic interest located in the Capitol Square.

Directly after the Civil War, under the military official of Reconstruction Days, Capt. Frank M. Mullen acted as chief engineer. The first chief engineer after the war was William Charters, who lost his life in the disaster at the State Capitol. April 27. 1870. He was succeeded by George A. Ainslie. the father of our present Mayor. Honorable George Ainslie. The Chief Engineers serving since that period were G. Watt Taylor, Arthur L. Fuqua, William G. Fuller. Geo. C. Shaw, and the present incumbent.

Great Strides in Twenty-five Years

During the past twenty-five years the Fire Department has made wonderful strides, and especial! , so in the last five years, during which period practically everything of the fire fighting world has changed. Twenty-five years ago Richmond had a mixed force of Stationed and Call Firemen—70 Stationed men and 62 Call men. All of the Captains were Call Men. Then we had eight Engine Companies and three Hook and Ladder Truck Companies, with an annual pav roll of $67,250. At the present time we have a two-platoon well paid department, consisting of 322 men. with an annual pay roll of SaOO.OOO; 17 Engine Companies, six Hook and Ladder truck Companies, a Water Tower Company, and everything of the latest and most modern motor equipment, as will be enumerated further on.

In 1904 we had advanced slightly, then having 78 Stationed men and 53 Call men. and had added one more engine company.

In 1905 the tenth engine company (No. 10) was installed on West Broad Street, near Lombardy.

In 1908 engine companies Nos. 11 and 12 were added to the department, and handsome new houses were erected for their accommodations, one in the eastern and the other in the western part of the city.

In 1910 the town of Manchester on the south side of fames River was annexed to the city, and with

Chief Joynes and His Car.Engine Company No. 4.Engine Company No. II and Truck Company No. 4

it the Hose Company, which was shortly converted into a modern engine company and known as Engine Company No. 13. Here too a handsome building was erected to provide for the Engine Company and also for a Hook and Ladder Truck Company, which has since been installed and designated as Hook and Ladder Truck Company No. 5.

(Continued on page 812)

(Continued from page 792)

First Motor Fire Engine Installed

In 1911 the first Motor Fire Engine was installed in the Richmond fire department, it being a Knox Triple Combination, of 600 gallons pumping capacity, and was placed in service in Engine Company No. 4. on Third Street.

In 1912 another Knox triple combination engine, a duplicate of the first one purchased was installed in Engine Company No. 1, 25th and Broad Streets, and at the same time three Knox Chiefs’ Cars were purchased for the use of the Chief and his two assistants. In this year an American-EaErance Motor 85 ft. Aerial Hook and Ladder Truck was installed in Truck Company No. 1.

In 1913 the fire department was further motorized by the installation of two Knox-Martin Motor tractors being installed to Trucks Nos, 2 and 3, and Hook and Ladder Truck Company, No. 5 was placed in service in its new quarters, 10th and Cambridge Streets, south side.

Paid Companies in Annexed District

In 1914 the City of Richmond annexed much new territory, embracing the towns on its suburbs, of Cinter Park, Barton Heights ami Highland Bark. Each of these suburban towns had its own fire department, and Richmond took these over, and at once installed paid companies similar to the rest oi the department, with the exception of the apparatus and buildings. Cinter Bark had a fairly well equipped house and a motor Knox Engine; the other two had practically nothing in buildings or apparatus, but all are now as well equipped as any in Richmond, and the buildings are most modern bungalow type. In this year for the first time in the history of the Fire department, all of its members were full paid or stationed, all call men having been done away with-

During the next five years a number of pieces of Motor Eire Apparatus were installed; both pumping engines and motor chassis were bought and our Combination Chemical and Hose Wagon bodies installed on the same.

From 1888 to 1919 the Fire and Fire Alarm Departments were under a Board of T ire Commissioners consisting of one member from each ward of the city, which hoard succeeded the old form of Council Committee, which had charge of the department prior to 1888.

Placed Under Director of Public Safety

In 1919 the form of City Government was again changed and the fire and lire alarm departments were also placed under the Director of Public Safety. When this change in government took place on lanttary 1, 1919, the Fire Department consisted of 208 officers and men, all working 24 hours per day with only one day off in every six. The annual pay roll was $314,000. Only six companies were equipped with Motor Fire Engines out of the 17 companies, and three Hook and Ladder Truck Companies were provided with motor tractors. ‘The Fire Alarm Department was antiquated and occupied cramped quarters on the top floor of the Cite Hall.

During the past four years, the department, under Colonel William M. Myers, Director of Public Safety.

has made wonderful strides, covering more improvement;han the entire previous history of the city, and todav is considered one of the best in the countrv. New modern Engine Houses have been erected replacing old and pouriy located buildings, especially in the >nlninx;n sections; every horse lias been displaced. and ever company is elegantly equipped with ihe mud; m Motor Apparatus, and v e now have ample reserv machines, a feature that was never known in the Fire Department before. On page 813 you will find a list of the several companies, together with the apparatus in service in each, showing its capacity and make.

1. Engine Company No. 13, Truck Company No. 5 and Reserve Truck No. 7.2. Headquarters, Housing Engine Company No. 3, Truck Company No. 1, and Water Tower Company No. 1.3. Engine Company No. 4 and Reserve Engine No. 22.4. Steamer Company No. 5

In addition to this improvement in apparatus, the fire alarm department will, in a few weeks, be installed in its new fireproof building now nearing completion in Monroe Park, where complete most up-to-na,e nre alarm apparatus will be installed by the ti m . . . re Alarm Telegraph Company, who

has the contract and has completed many intricate elccir.cai much res that will comprise this new system and wall the new system within a short time; the finishing touches are put on the

new a This move is in keeping with most of our large cities, to install their fire alarm signalling apparatus and machinery in a fireproof building built in a public park, thus to insure it against the danger of a possible conflagration, when, if such a disaster should occur, the fire alarm system will be the most important thing in the city.

Exterior and Floor Plan, Fire Alarm Headquarters, Richmond, Va.

In 1921 the entire fire department was placed on a two-platoon system, and a substantial increase in the pay of the men was also obtained, thus making the living condition of the firemen better than the most optimistic fireman had ever hoped to realize.

Apparatus of the Department

The Richmond fire department is composed of 322 officers and men, working on the two-platoon system, 10 and 14 hours per day, shifts changing every seven days.

The department is composed entirely of motor apparatus of the most modern types, consisting of 17 engine companies, 6 hook and ladder truck companies and 1 water tower; also a well equipped machine shop, wrecking trucks, service trucks, and a full equipment of officers’ automobiles, and ample reserve apparatus.

Suburban Companies

Engine Co. No. 14 Brock way 350… Engine Co. No. 15 Brockway 350… Engu.e No. lo Brockway 350. . . Engine Co. No. 17 Brockway 350…

Truck Co. No. T -85-Et. Aerial. Seagrave Truck Co. No. 2— 85-Ft. Aerial. American-1.a France Truck Co. No. 3 -85-bt. Aerial, Amcrican-LaErance Truck Co. No. 4 85-Et. Aerial. Anu-ncan-LaErance

Truck Co. No. 5 -85-Et. Hayes, Dahill Hoill. Seagrave Tractor Truck Co. No. 6— 65-Ft. Aerial. Aun t ican laErance, Mack Tractor Water lower No. 1 65-Et. Seagrave

Wrecking truck. Packard, with crane and power winch, with 10,000 pounds lifting capacity, 950 feet steel cable, and full equipment. Full equipment of officers’ cars, service trucks, etc.

Reserve Equipment

1 American-l.aErance 600 Gal. Pumper

1 Waterous 600 Gal. Triple Combination

1 Waterous 500 Gal. Triple Combination

2 Knox 600 Gal. Triple Combination

1 Knox 750 Gal. Triple Combination

Also for emergency: 5 steamers, and 2 tractors ready for service.

1 Mack Combination Hose and Chemical Wagon

1 75-Ft. Aerial, American-l.aErance Truck, with Seagrave Tractor

Full supply of extra tires, parts, etc.

Companies having two pieces of apparatus: Pumper and Combination

Hose and Chemical Wagons, also carry hose in the Pumper body.

New Central Fire Alarm Building and Equipment

The city of Richmond has erected a new building in Monroe Park to house the new fire alarm and police signalling headquarters. This structure, artistically is essentially a park house of classical architecture. The exterior is of very light gray stucco, trimmed with terra cotta of a lime stone color.

Very careful thought has been given to the planning of this structure after inspection of several plants of a similar nature.

Tiie build iig s thoroughly fireproof, having no wood of an kind or description in it. The windows are all of metal, the floors of concrete covered with rubber tile, and the stairs of iron.

On the first floor of the building are located small offices and apparatus room. In the basement will be found battery room, generator room, heating plant and shop.

There is now in course of installation the most modern type of fire alarm central office and also apparatus for the 21 engine houses. In addition, new police signalling central office apparatus is being installed.

The Howitzer Armory, in Which the Exhibits of the I. A. F. E. at Richmond Will Be Shown

Fire Alarm Headquarters

The new office is capable of being operated either semi-automatic or as a manual office. Where it is worked semi-automatic all of the signals from the street boxes are received and recorded on registers at the central office. After the first round of the signal has been received, the operator can throw a switch on the operator’s pedestal which operates the joker relay transmitter and the remaining three rounds of the box number will be automatically transmitted to such fire department houses as is desired. Control of the incoming signals is centralized at the operator’s pedestal. This contains not only the switches described above, but also two registers, time stamps and take-up reels which record the time that every signal is sent out over the joker or gong circuits. Two six-circuit multiple keys are mounted on the desk so that special and emergency signals can be sent out by hand to the engine houses if desirable.

When the office is operating on a manual base, the alarms from the 30 box circuits are received and recorded at central station. The signal is then sent out by the manual transmitter at fast time over the joker circuits to the engine houses and at slow time over the gong circuits. This gives the engine houses two separate methods of receiving the alarm. In case of emergency, the telephone can be used as an auxiliary. Each of the 21 engine houses is provided with small tapper and with a register and a take-up reel mounted on an oak shelf for the permanent record of the signals received. The loud sounding house gongs are connected to the other circuit. A switch is provided so that if the joker line breaks the register can be switched to the gong line. All the incoming wires are connected to a terminal board. This has large protector fuses on each circuit and also provides the means for cross connection of circuits and battery. A protector board protects the central office apparatus from lightning and high potential currents.

Storage Battery

Four ten-circuit and one eight-circuit storage battery switchboards have been provided together with the necessary individual cells of storage battery. Two separate sources of power are provided; one from the Richmond Traction Company, the other from the Electric Light Company. Duplicate sets of motor generators with control panels are to be installed. A switch box is provided so that current can be taken from either source.

Box signals are received over the box line relay boards, there being three of these with a capacity of ten circuits each. One board with five gong circuits and five joker circuits provides facilities for sending signals to the engine houses. Three five-circuit Nonpareil registers with accompanying time stamps and take-up reel are provided to make a record of the date and time that each box signal is received. The time stamps are all under control of one master clock so that there can be no variation. All of the apparatus is mounted in art metal cabinets with mahogany finish and white marble shelves and kick plates and the central office building has been made fireproof throughout.

A modern police signalling desk will be installed making provisions for ten-circuits of police boxes. It is also provided with twelve flashlight circuits and provisions for transmitting re-call signals to the patrolmen on their beats. This permits the official in charge of the police department to get in touch with individual members or all the members of the police force. This gives the police chief a control of the department which he could get in no other way.

In these days of high powered automobiles, the city officials of Richmond recognize that it is increasingly necessary to be able to meet emergencies with the speed that matched that of the law-breaker. Provisions are made so that each of the three stations can be reached by telephone. The desk provides the usual facilities for recording duty calls of all the patrolmen and for furnishing private telephone communication which is free front any possibility of outsiders listening in to instructions. The completion of this system will very materially increase the efficiency of the fire and police departments ol Richmond.

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