St. Louis Fire Department Improvements
The National Board of Fire Underwriters on November 2 issued the following in a supplementary report on the St. Louis, Mo., fire department: The following fire department improvements have been made very largely as recommended in the 1012 report: The number of members over 62 years old retained on active fire duty has been materially reduced and the present policy is to appoint younger men as fast as practicable; an ordinance recently passed provides for the appointment of 8 additional firemen; except for 1⅛ hours twice a day, companies in high value districts now have a mimimum force of 7 men and other companies not less than 6; an assistant master mechanic, skiller in the maintenance of motor propelled apparatus, has just been appointed; an engine and ladder company with motor propelled apparatus has been established at Newstead and Duncan avenues and plans have been prepared for a similar station at Taylor and Margaretta avenues in 1915; an automobile combination pump and hose wagon has replaced the horsedrawn apparatus in Engine Company 10 and in a few days old Ladder Truck 12 will be replaced with an automobile combination city service truck; Hose Wagon 10 is equipped entirely with 3-inclt hose. The department heads are favorably disposed toward the recommendations and feel that motor apparatus, standard engine tests and the establishment of an organized training school are those most urgent to the present needs of the department. In connection with the fire alarm system, practically all wood work has been removed from the fire alarm operating room, which has been equipped with chemical extinguishers; the headquarters equipment, except for the batteries, which act only as equalizers in connection with a motor generator set, has been entirely remodelled with additions essentially as recommended; 75 additional fire alarm boxes have been recently installed and the general distribution has been well maintained; except that circuits are heavily overloaded with as high as 40 interfering boxes on one circuit, the recommendations under circuits are being complied with as far as possible, and improvements in operation have been made essentially as recommended. Protecting the wire shafts and a general rearrangement of the box circuits are improvements justifying immediate attention. Except for an increase in the force employed and the establishing of an efficient system of building inspections by members of the fire department, little has thus far been accomplished with reference to the building depart-‘ ment recommendations.
The per capita cost of the department in 4912 was $1.53, which placed it 87 in a list of 195 cities with a population of 30,000 and over., In 1913 its per capita fire loss was $2.38, which placed it 108 in a list of 298 cities with a population of 20,000 and over