Standing of the Two Platoon System
As there is a general tendency to discuss the merits of the two-platoon system in the fire service, some data concerning the action that has been taken in certain cities in the Unietd States in relation thereto, as compiled by this journal will be appropriate at this time. The information, which is given in a concise form, shows the places where the system has been tried and those where it is in operation at the present time.
Chief James W. Dickinson of Cleveland. O., who died in 1902, was the father of the twoplatoon system idea for fire departments. He read a paper on the subject and advocated its adoption by full paid fire departments at the annual convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers, held at Minneapolis, Minn., August 14-17, 1888. Since that time it has been agitated in many cities and proposition for its adoption have been defeated by many state Legislatures and city councils of the United States and Canada. It is now in operation in eight fire departments, Omaha, Neb., Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City, Kan., Seattle and Spokane, Wash., Great Falls, Mont., Yonkers, N. Y., and Pueblo, Col. The city council of Youngstown, O., on September 15, last, voted to place it in the fire department of that city on January 1, 1915, and the Nebraska Legislature has ordered the Lincoln fire department to adopt it and it will do so when it obtains the money necessary therefor, which it expects to have next September. The first trial of the two-platoon system in the fire service was in the third battalion of the New York fire department, from December 5, 1904, to March 5, 1905. Its next trial was by Engine Company No. 40 and Truck Company No. 6, both in the same station in Chicago, commencing October 22, 1905, and continuing for about 50 days. Chicago gave it another trial in all the stations of the first battalion from August 2, 1906, to April 15, 1907. Omaha, Neb., was the first city to permanently install the two-platoon system in its fire department, on March 23, 1907, by a special mandatory act of the state Legislature. Kansas City, Mo., followed on July 21, 1912, by order of the city council. The other fire departments which have since adopted the system are as follows: Seattle, Wash., April 1, 1913, by a vote of the city, which was 32,473 for and 18,498 against it; Great Falls, Mont., (18 men), May 1, 1913, by a unanimous vote of the city council; Yonkers, N. Y., July 5, 1913, by a vote of the city council, which ordered it on trial; Kansas City, Kan., January 1, 1914, by a vote of the city, 16,610 voting for, and 4,618 in opposition to its adoption; Pueblo, Col., January 1, 1914, by a vote of the city, 2,741 voting for, and 2,498 in opposition, and Spokane, Wash, January 2, 1914, by vote of city, 7,002 for and 5,762 in opposition to its adoption. The crew of the Milwaukee, Wis., fire boat was placed under the two-platoon system on January 6, 1914, because there is no suitable sleeping accommodations for the crew and will not be until new headquarters is constructed.