Savannah Fire and Water Service.
The annual report of Mayor John J. McDonough, of Savannah, Ga., has just been issued. It is a bulky pamphlet, and contains the reports of all the city departments. Those of the chief of the fire department and of the superintendent of water works, are of interest to readers of FIRE AND WATER,
Chief William B. Puder’s report shows that the city’s force now comprises fifty-seven men, divided into five engine companies. two hook and ladder companies and one chemical engine company. Nine men were dismissed during last year. The total value of property owned by the department is$n6,200. The expenses for the year amounted to $55,958.93.
There were in use, January 1, 1893, 7,500 feet of hose, and during the year 1,500 feet were purchased. A portion of the old hose has since become unfit for use. The department now has 7,000 feet in use. Thirty-one horses are owned by the department. Among the additions to the equipment last year were one eight-circuit repeater, one Gleason & Bailey double hose wagon, 1,500 feet of fabric hose, five fire alarm boxes, two three-gallon fire extinguishers, one horse.
Chief l’uder, speaking of the danger from overheard wires says:
“ I earnestly appeal to you to make some effort towards protecting the lives of the men in this service, by recommending an ordinance regulating the stringing of overhead wires. This danger is increasing daily; wires of high and deadly current are strung up from post to post, up and down and across our streets, in close proximity to telegraph, telephone and other commercial wires with an absolute disregard of the dangerous current they convey. The owners of these wires, in their efforts to operate economically, show no disposition towards protecting the lives of the people, and the firemen are deeply concerned in a safe and proper regulation, I earnestly appeal to you to give this your serious and early consideration.
He further urges the necessity for a fire boat for the assistance of the department in extinguishing ships and river front fires. He also asks that new quarters be provided for several companies.
Another point that Chief Puder makes and one that is worthy of notice is the necessity for inaugurating a system of examinations into the qualifications of the applications for appointment to the force. He asks that the board of aldermen inaugurate a system of examinations by which the department will secure the services of the most efficient men.
1 he fire loss during last year is the smallest, in proportion to the property involved, in many years. The total loss fqr the year amounts to $172,986.39, or about 7.7 per cent, of the property involved. Of this amount $106,811.97 was the result of the Lindsay & Morgan fire in February, and the John Flannery & Co., cotton fire in December. For the other ten months of the year less than three per cent, of the property involved was destroyed.
I he report of Superintenderit James Manning of the water works, is also of interest. It shows the service to have been satisfactory and the outlook good.
One of the new Gaskill pumping engines was put in operation on the 9th of December, 1892, as mentioned briefly in the report of that year, and during the 12 months ending on December 8, 1893, the new pumps have been in operation three hundred and sixty-two days, during which time there has been pumped 2,257,941,295 gallons of water, an average per day of 6,237,508 gallons.
The new Gaskill pumping engines were built by the Ilolly Manufacturing Company of Lockport, N. Y. The engines and boilers were run upon a duty test on the 27th and 28th days of March and came fully up to the requirements of the contract.
The total quantity of coal consumed has been 2,027 tons for which was pumped 1,113,933 gallons of water per ton of coal. The total cost of fuel has been $6,500, which, compared with the cost of fuel at the old works, is very favorable, the annual cost at the old works having been about $10,000.
The whole number of the artesian wells not having been completed or connected when the new pump was placed in operation, and when completed the bulkheads inside conduit having to be removed in order to obtain the use of the wells, it became necessary to shut down the pumps and return to the old works for furnishing the supply of water during the progress of the work. As soon as this was completed the new pumps were again placed in service and have been at work continuously since March 26.
Mr. Manning recommends that an appropriation be made for an electric light plant to light the engine and boiler rooms. He also recommends the extension of the city’s water mains.