The Fire Department of Norwich.

The Fire Department of Norwich.

The report on the condition and work of the fire department of Norwich. Conn., for the year ended June 30, 1908, recently made by Chief H. L. Stanton, admirably illustrates the excellent work that can be accomplished under efficient direction by a fire-fighting force of comparatively limited proportions and resources, where a large extent of territory has to be covered. The equipment of the department comprises two Metro politan steam fire engines of the third and fourth size, a 65-foot extension aerial truck with 312 feet of ladders, a Seagrave 45-foot extension truck with 212 feet of ladders, a combination chemical wagon with 25-gallon tank, a single 25-gallon tank combination chemical wagon, three hose wagons, one fully equipped, the others used temporarily as supply wagons; two exercise wagons, a four wheel horse-drawn hose carriage, fourteen threegallon fire extinguishers, 9,800 feet of hose and chemical hose, of which five 17-foot lengths are 3 inch and 600 feet of rubber chemical. The department has fourteen horses in service. The personnel of the department comprises 20 permanent and 36 call men, which, with two volunteer companies, each of 15 men, who respond to alarms, makes a grand total of 86 men. The equipment of the apparatus, as well as the apparatus itself, is always in the best possible condition, as might be expected from the fact that the chief himself is an expert mechanic and an authority on the mechanism of valves, etc., having been specially assigned on account of this know) edge to a position on the committee on hydrants and valves of the National Fire Protective Asso ciation, although not a member of that organiza tion. Some idea of the magnitude and importance of the work assigned to Chief Stanton and his little army of firefighters may he gathered from the fact that with his men and apparatus he may be bidden by the mayor and fire commissioners of Norwich to proceed to any point within ten miles of that city, provided a fire litis communicated to any other building than that in which it broke out. This means, in view of the inefficient fire protection possessed by most villages that a considerable number of the Norwich fire force are liable to be called away .at any time, leaving the proportion at home almost inadequate to cope with tut ordinary fire, let alone a serious conflagration. It is consequently necessary that the apparatus, the equipment and the service are always fttllw up to standard as to efficiency, and bespeaks the maintenance of a firstclass signal service between, the outlying villages and Norwich fire headquarters. I he best evidence of the efficiency of this well conducted de partment is furnished in the record of its services for the period covered by the chief’s report. One hundred and thirty two alarms of tire were answered, as against 145 the preceding year, and one was a general alarm. Seventy three alarms were received over the telephone. 34 were “still alarms and 3 came from outside the city. The fires were in 22 brick and 65 frame buildings, ranging in height from V/j to 10 stories. I he total fire loswas $313,180. and the total loss over insurance $97,130. In fighting these fires the department traveled 226 miles, was in service a! fires 260Vj hours, laid 24,000 feet of 2⅛ inch and 3,700 feet of chemical hose and raised 1,473 feet of ladders; 112 three-gallon and 28 twenty-five gallon tanks of chemicals wore used. Among the recommendations embodied in the chief’s report are: That an additional steamer be purchased and a continuation chemical engine; that all apparatus be equipped with rubber tires, and that some pieces of automobile apparatus be installed that would lie especially valuable for long runs out of town, lie also recommends that the engine companies he .ill made part-paid companies and that in the business sections and industrial districts, four and six-inch mains he replaced with larger sizes. It is altogether an excellent report, reflecting credit on the chief, the men under him and their use of the apparatus at their command.

CHIEF H. L. STANTON, NORWICH. CONN

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