Tacoma to Motorize Its Departmeat.
With eight pieces of automobile fire apparatus in service, and several new pieces contemplated by the city of Tacoma, Wash., Fire Chief George McAlevy is recommending to the city commission that it make haste in “motorizing” all of the central part of the city. He declares the apparatus already in use has proved satisfactory away beyond the hopes of the fire department, both in efficiency and in saving of expense. He considers it probable that several new pieces will be purchased next year, among them being auto chasses for some of the fire engines in the central stations. Among the apparatus now in use are two Stoddard-Dayton roadsters for the use of Chief McAlevy and Assistant Chief Otto Schlegel. These machines have proved themselves worth many times the original outlay, says the chief. They have made it possible for the heads of the department to hasten to fires in the outlying districts and arrive almost simultaneous with the suburban apparatus, he declares. There arc a chemical engine and hose wagon at the central fire station, South Ninth and A streets: a 90-horsepower automobile pneumatic book and ladder truck at company No. 1, together with a combination hose and chemical; a combination set at company No. 8, and an automobile hose wagon at company No. 5. The combination wagons have proved the most efficient, for besides carrying the same amount of hose as the old horse-drawn hose wagons they carry two tanks of 50-gallons of fire extinguishing chemicals. “The one crying need in the Tacoma department at present,” said Fire Chief McAlevy, “is automobile fire engines. All that is needed is an automobile chassis to take the place of the horses and forward trucks of the steamer. We only need them in the downtown stations, however. As it is now, the other automobile apparatus arrives at the fire away in advance of the engines and must wait for the horse-drawn engines to arrive.” Tacoma also has an automobile police patrol, with a good record. it is said. The patrol was purchased in 1908, and placed in commission in October of that year. Up to date it has only been out of service fourteen days, and has traveled approximately 34,000 miles. The machine has carried loads of as many as fourteen passengers. It has climbed the steepest hills in the city and has traveled many miles into the country on rough roads in emergency cases.
The way will be paved for the installation of water meters in any premises in Philadelphia if an ordinance introduced in Select Council recently by Mr. Byram, of the 23d Ward is passed. He said that he presented the request of Director Cooke, of the Department of Public Works. The ordinance repeals an ordinance which in turn repealed an ordinance of July 27, 1901, which authorized and directed installation of water meters. There was no discussion of the measure, and it was referred to the Water Com mittee.