The Fire Department Wrecker
On the first page cover of this issue is illustrated a very important and comparatively new departure in fire department practice—the motor wrecker. The ease with which this powerful unit picks up the smashed car, as shown in the picture, and carries it away is an example of the necessary and useful work that the machine can perform. This particular wrecker is in use in the fire department of New York City. It weighs approximately seven tons, is equipped with a fire department Mack A. C. motor, and carries all kinds of wrecking equipment, such as jacks, bars, shovels, chains, ropes, repair tools, oil and 50 gallons of gasoline to supply motor pumping engines at fires when necessary. In reality it is a travelling machine and repair shop. It has a power winch and derrick on the rear that can lift ten tons. It picks up a heavy automobile and swings it around as if it were a baby carriage. It can even lift the end of a street car, if necessary, to release the victim of an accident. The towing of an 85-foot extension ladder truck is mere play. A possible speed of 40 to 45 miles an hour can be attained. This type of wrecker was originally designed by Charles E. Stewart, supervisor of motor apparatus in the Boston fire department, and was first built for that department by the International Motor Company of New York. It has since been adopted by leading cities in every part of the United States. New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Baltimore and many others now have wreckers as part of their standard municipal equipment.