THE CANTON FIRE DEPARTMENT
Chief R. O. Mesnar, of Canton, Ohio, has prepared an interesting report of the operations of the Canton fire department during the year 1918, it being Chief Mesnar’s sixteenth annual report and the thirty-third of the paid fire department. The number of fire calls during the year was 362, and the number of other calls (tearing down defective flues, searching for drowned persons, etc.) was 25, making 387 calls in all, being 108 more calls than in 1915. The fire calls were as follows: Received by telephone, 248; box alarms, 94; still alarms, 17; received over A. D. T. system, 3. Fires were located as follows: Brick buildings, 46; frame buildings, 164; buildings other than brick or frame, 9; buildings of fireproof construction, 1; fires out of the city, 4; fires other than buildings, 75; false alarms, 66; investigations, 9. Of the fires other than in buildings, 21 were grass fires, and 25 were autos in the street. There were eleven fires in rubbish, dump, etc. The number of fires in buildings was 220, as follows: In shops, factories, etc., 21; in business buildings, groceries, restaurants, etc., 34; school buildings, 3; churches, 3; dwellings, auto garages and outbuildings, 138; stables, sheds, etc., 21. The number of feet of hose laid by the department at fires was 66,350 feet. The number of tanks of chemical used (40 gallons each), 69, or 2,760 gallons; number of Babcocks used (3 gallons each), 114, or 342 gallons; total number of gallons of chemical used, 3,102. The total loss for the year was $57,536.47, of which $24,724.43 was on buildings, and $32,812.04 was on contents. The value of property at risk was $7,923,726.19, this consisting of buildings, $2,641,020.00, and contents, $5,282,706.19. Based on a population of 72,345, the per capita fire loss was 79 cents. The total expenses in maintaining the department for the year amounted to $67,031.23 1/2. There was in service at the end of the year the following pieces of motor apparatus: One Seagrave 85foot aerial ladder truck, one Robinson service truck, one Robinson supply wagon with chemical tank, one Robinson hose and chemical apparatus, one combination chemical and hose with “T” nozzle, two Robinson combination engine, chemical and hose cars, one La France combination engine and hose car with “T” nozzle, two Seagrave combination chemical and hose cars, one Robinson combination chemical and hose car, and one chief’s car. The department has three head of horses and 16,000 feet of hose in good condition. There arc 850 public fire hydrants and 105 private fire hydrants at shops and factories. Seven cisterns are available for fire service. There are 116 public street alarm boxes and 12 private alarm boxes; also, there are 37 A. D. T. telephones in connection with the fire department. In case of emergency, the basin of the Canton Electric Company would be available for water supply. Besides the central fire station, there are seven fire stations. The department has 54 men. Chief Mesnar makes a number of recommendations, urging a new building code for the city, and a code governing electrical wiring in buildings; that an ordinance should be passed prohibiting the use of oil stoves for heating purposes in automobiles; that an ordinance prohibit the parking of automobiles within one hundred feet of a theatre, moving picture house, hotel or church; that more fire hydrants are required in the city. He suggests occasional fire drills in business places where ten or more clerks are employed, and that every manufacturer in the city organize a private fire department among the employees; that the men should be drilled once a month in making hose attachments to hydrants, etc. Another recommendation is that the firemen be given better pay, and suggests that the salaries of firemen (other than officers) be: For the first six months, $70 per month; for the next six months, $80 per month; and after one year, if fully fit and capable, $95 per month. Relative to apparatus, Chief Mesnar says the department is now all motorized with the exception of the horse-drawn steam fire engine at No. 1 house, and he suggests the purchase of a motor pumping engine for that station.