In Annual Report Chief Yates Shows the Cost of Repairs and Upkeep of Each Unit of the Department—Other Important Features

AN unusual and interesting table is a feature of the annual report of Chief Henry R. Yates of the fire department of Schenectady, N. Y., as submitted to John E. Cole, commissioner of safety of the city. This table, which is reproduced herewith, gives, as will he seen, the cost in detail of each fire apparatus in the department. The report has some other original features, which distinguish it from the usual cut and dried documents that municipal departments are apt to put out. One of these is a list of notable occurrences during the year 1922. Among the occurances mentioned by Chief Yates is the purchase and delivery of bread to needy families by the permanent firemen, the distribution of milk from stations one to seven, liberal donations by volunteer fire departments of groceries and coal, and the distribution by Chief Yates to deserving families, after having been investigated by the permanent firemen, of 250 tons of coal, groceries and meats. The coal came from the Coal Dealers’ Association and the other articles from the people of Schenectady. This work was continued until April 1, 1922. On December 23, the fire prevention division started the investigation of persons registered with the unemployment committee for work. This was continued throughout the winter. On January 8, a night detail, consisting of one man from the fire prevention division, was on duty each night at the Ellis Hospital. Owing to heavy snow on January 12, teams and sleighs were installed in stations 7 and 8. This continued until February 6. A Dodge motor truck for supply purposes and a triple combination were added to the department during February. During Clean-up Week, from May 1 to 6, the department made 11,405 inspections of which 11,224 places were found to have complied. There were 181 violations reported. A similar work was done on Fire Prevention Week from October 9 to 14. men from nine stations making 10,513 inspections and reporting 29 places in bad shape. Such places that did not comply with the regulations were attended to by the fire prevention division. There were 32 more calls in 1922 than in 1921, the total being 413 against 381 in 1921. There were 11 false alarms against 14 the previous year. The fire losses for 1922 amounts to $268,402.80 against in 1921. $114,193.78. The largest fire during the year caused a loss of $43,644.38. During February, March, April and June, the department, according to Chief Yates, had to contend with incendiaries who were successful in many instances, involving many thousands of dollars of loss. Chief Yates continues: “On June 18, 1922, a barn, near ice houses, was partly destroyed. The fire guards were left on guard of partly destroyed barn and during the night they found two men about ice houses, which were near the partly destroyed barn. These men were put under arrest, but through the insistence of the proprietor of the barn and ice house, the men were released, much against the opinion of the guards. One of these men had lost his cap. so he stated after being put off premises by the proprietor. Later a cap was found near the river bank, which was near the ice house and barn and right near the cap was found ice coupon books. This find was made after the men had been released. The books found came from a Scotia office of an ice house nearly across the river, which had been set on fire the same evening and the ice coupon books had been stolen. Immediately after the discovery the proprietor reported the matter to the police, who for weeks endeavored to find the two individuals, without success. Since that time fires in that section have been in a normal stage. During the months stated the fire prevention division the police and every man of this department patrolled that section of the city in civilian clothes. The men of the several stations were especially cut the alert. Extra men were assigned to first call companies in that district and all business places in that section provided extra watchmen.”

Chief Henry R. Yates Schenectady, N. Y.

(Continued on page 195)

Cost of Motor Apparatus Maintenance from December 1, 1921, to December 1, 1922

Including New Parts for Repairs, Replacements of Parts, Painting and the Installing of New and Replaced Equipment, as Well as General Cost, Such as Repairing or Purchasing of New Tires, Etc., or Any New Equipment That is Added From Time to Time. Such as Boots, Coats. Helmets, Hose, Pike poles. Axes, Electric Lights, Etc.

Costs of Fire Apparatus Maintenance

(Continued from page 181)

Chief Yates recommends the purchase of an 80-ft. aerial truck and that at least five new men he appointed, two for truck No. 2, two for the proposed new truck and one for the squad car. He also recommends that all salaries in his department be increased to correspond with those of the bureau of police. He calls attention to the recommendations of the National Board of Fire Underwriters as regards the necessity of installing new mains in certain portions of the business district. as in case of a break, there would be great danger of conflagration. Chief Yates continues: “I feel this recommendation has the mark of good common sense, and although an expensive improvement, inasmuch as the water department is practically self-sustaining it could be paid for in a way that would not be felt by the property owners.” He suggests that the ordinances be changed so as to compel every tenement block or business place to be protected with a box near the inside of the main entrance providing a shut-off of illuminating gas frotn the entire building.

Included in Chief Yates’ report is that of Ira Brownell, deputy fire marshal in charge of the fire prevention division During 1922 106,296 inspections were made, 1,748 reinspections; 238 complaints answerd; 5 notices served and 1 case taken before a police justice, making the total of 108,288. This was against 121,017 in 1921. During the winter the use of inspectors as a des to the unemployment committee and the night detail at the Ellis Hospital caused a slight falling off in the number of inspections.

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