Rock Island Eire Department.
One of the most remarkable years in the history of the Rock Island. Ill , fire department closes on Dec 31. according to the report of Chief George Newberry. The total fire loss in that city of almost 25,000 people was hut $15.944.50. the lowest mark which has been attained for several years although the amount of property subject to loss has increased steadily. The loss is much lower than for several years. The record of but $28,000 damage in 1910 was considered very low, but last year the amount was cut almost in half. In 1909 the fire loss reached into the hundreds of thousands. During the year, a total of 200 alarms were responded to by the company and 15 of these were false. Disregarding these and using the actual 191 instances when the department was called to a genuine blaze, the average loss per call was $83.49. The total loss was but 3.5 per cent, of the estimated value of the property risked in the flames, which amounts to $564,875. On the property there was a total insurance of $370,750 In March, 1911. the Gamewell tire alarm system of boxes was installed and this has been in operation since. The system has proved satisfactory in every way and since the installation of the boxes, almost all of the alarms have come through them. There are at present 53 boxes in the city well scattered throughout, so there is a box within a few blocks of every point. Aside from the work of keeping the apparatus and stations in order which takes much more time than the outsider thinks, the department has been lazy as but 119 hours or less than 15 eight-hour working days were spent in actual tire lighting. During the year 18.250 feet of hose was laid by the company. There were 282 gallons of chemical extinguisher used in fighting the blaze and 832 feet of ladders were raised.