Saskatoon and Its Fire Department.
Saskatoon, Canada, with a population of about 20,000 is numbered among the most rapid growing cities in the Dominion. Ten years ago there were less than 300 inhabtants. but since then the city has forged ahead with great rapidity, and to-day the population exceeds 20,000. Like all cities in their infancy, little attention was given by Saskatoon to the matter of fire prevention and fire protection, and up to 1903 the fire apparatus was of the most antiquated type; but the people were not slow in recognizing the fact that growth in population means as a matter of necessity also development of its fire-fighting machinery.
Thomas E. Heath, who was called to that city nearly two years ago to take charge of the fire department, is a young man of exceptional energy as well as being a thorough fire-fighter. Admitting that Saskatoon was not behind other cities of its size in the matter of fire department equipment, he realized that there was still room for improvement, and he lost no time in impressing upon the city officials that money should be ex pended along thtis line if the city were to be properly protected. The reader will notice by the illustrations accompanying this sketch that a radical improvement has been made in the past ten years, and the work is still going encouragingly on. These illustrations were taken expressly for this magazine and forwarded by Chief Heath, wdio writes as follows: “You will notice that the machine drawn by the yoke of oxen is one of the old type of gasoline fire engines, which was the only thing we had in the shape of firefighting apparatus up to 11103. The other apparatus we are very proud of. It is a motor combination chemical and hose wagon built by the W.
E. Seagrave Company. We have had it in service for about three months, during which time we have answered over 40 fire alarms with it, and we have never failed to reach the fire far in advance of the horse-drawn apparatus. In fact, we are so well satisfied with the machine that we have placed an order with the Seagrave company for another of the same kind. I am forwarding to you these photographs to show the readers of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING in other parts of the country that, although we arc in the cold climate, we are now thoroughly up to date in the fire-fighting business. Our city has a population of 20,000, although in 1903 there were only 300 people within its borders. You can, therefore, gel some idea of how the Canadian west is filling up.
Our building permits this year so far amount to almost $1,000,000, which means that I have a job on my hands to keep the fire department abreast with the growth of our city” Chief Heath is not a novice in fire-fighting. He entered the service of the Hamilton, Canada, fire department, of which A. B. Teneyck is the head, in the year 1888. He served as captain in various stations until October. 1909. when the opportunity tire sented itself for him to go farther west. This he accepted, and went to Saskatoon, the hub of the wheat country, and assumed charge of the fire department in that city. The department at that time consisted of 13 permanent men, one Waterous fire engine of 500 gallons capacity, one Seaerave service truck, one 1,500 2 1/2-inch hose and one 60-gallon ehemical wagon. Since that time t hief lloath has in stalled a Gamewell fire alarm system with 25 boxes. one horse-drawn combination w a Ron anil one motor combination wagon. There are three tire stations ami the permanent fire-tighting force now numbers 25 full-paid men. Saskatoon will spend this year $50,IHHI in building and equipping two more tire stations. One of these is to lie a four-door station and the other a two-door station Only recently Chief Heath was empowered to order an So toot Seagrave aerial truck One might ask why Saskatoon needs an aerial truck, but the very fact that the city is following the practice of much larger municipalities and building tall structures, answers this question. The city has a first-class waterworks system (direct pumping) and standpipe. The capacity of the pumps is about 0.000,000 gallons per day. The water mains are from 8 to 12 inches and art* laid in the gridiron style. There is a standing water pressure of 70 pounds, which can be raised immediately to 125 pounds. The fire department uses an Eastman Simaesc deluge when necessary. In has most recent report, Chief Heath says that the department answered” loo alarms last year, and the aggregate loss from all fires during that period was less than $80,000. This certainly speaks well for the efficiency of the department, especially when it is considered that the greater part of the buildings in Saskatoon are frame. Much gasoline is used, a great many automobiles being in use, and consequently there is a lanre number of garages.