THE FIRE SERVICE OF SOUTH AFRICA
Great Progress Made in Fire Protection in Its Large Cities.
Specially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
PRETORIA, S. AFRICA, Feb. 26, 1903.
Since peace has been restored in South Africa and business interests have been put on a secure basis, and commercial and manufacturing buildings are being erectpd in all the large cities. Among the other improvements on the way are those relating to fire protection. Before the Boer war such protection existed; but, in the course of the protracted struggle, many of the firemen went to the front or moved away from lower to higher paid fire departments, and, in that way, the service temporarily worsened. Now, however, a great change has taken place, and the work of bettering the waterworks system in Capetown, Durban, Johannesburg, and elsewhere is being grappled with in earnest. In the same way the various fire brigades are being strengthened both in man and material. In this work not only British, but American apparatus is being utilised, and the various chiefs, all of whom are British by birth or extraction, are showing sufficient broadmindedness to adopt American appliances as freely as British. At Durban, for instance, as well as elsewhere, the firemen are familiar with the use of the Vajen-Bader smoker-protecting helmet, and in the larger cities have installed the Gamewell fire alarm telegraph system. To take this city, Pretoria, the capital of the Transvaal, for instance: It now possesses a most up-to-date fire brigade. Though the youngest in South Africa, no other fire brigade has made the advances that it lias made in the same period. Chief Bennington was appointed chief officer in November, 1902, when there was practically no brigade. He started in to create one, and has succeeded to admiration. The fire station is the largest and best appointed in South Africa, a fine building, as will be seen from the accompanying front view. In it there is accommodation for twenty-four firemen and two officers’ cottages, and. in addition, a large recreation room and a reading room for the men. The brigade uses the Gamewell fire alarm throughout the city, and it lias also just been supplied by the General Fire Appliances Co., Ltd., of Johannesburg, with a Holloway two thirty-five-gallon cylinder chemical engine. The brigade has also in use Hales harness, Eastman nozzles, Vajen-Bader smoke helmet, Holloway hose wagon and two English Wm. Rose & Co.’s steam fire engines, together with a fire escape manufactured by Merryweather’s, London. It will thus be seen that Chief Bennington is not prejudiced to any country in bis selection of apparatus, but buys where he thinks the best article is to be obtained. We reproduce a photo of this popular officer. Capetown is well supplied with steamers, hose reels, hose wagons, manual engines, and a force of nearly 210 firemen, with American quick-hitching, quick-opening door arrangements, sliding poles, etc. Durban, in Natal, is demanding through Chief T. W. Lambert, that, like Capetown, Pretoria, and Johannesburg, it shall be supplied with the Gamewell fire alarm system and other American devices.
It may be added that about a year ago the Gamewell company, of New York, appointed the General Fire Appliances company, Ltd , of Johannesburg, its agents for South Africa Since that time Johannesburg, Pretoria,Kimberley and Capetown have bought the Gamewell fire alarm signaling apparatus, and its agents have recently reported that Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth are considering the installation of Gamewell plants.
Portsmouth, Va., has awarded a contract to the Nott Fire Engine company for one of its steamers, to be equipped with the new spiral water-tube boiler.
MEETINGS TO COME.
TENNESSEE.—Chattanooga, International association of Fire Engineers, convention. Sept. 13, 14, 15, 16.
VIRGINIA.—Alexandria, State Firemen’s association, tournament, August 17, 18, 19.
ILLINOIS.—Chicago. American Society of Mechanical Engineers and institution of Mechanical Engineers of Great Britain, joint convention. May 31, June 1, 2, 3,
MARYLAND.—Cumberland, State Firemen’s association, convention and tournament, June 8, 9, 10.
ALABAMA.—Anniston, Georgia and Alabama Firemen’s association, tournament, May 18, 19.
WISCONSIN.—Portage, State Firemen’s association, convention and tournament. June 15, 16. 17.
OHIO.—Toledo. Central States Waterworks associatlon, convention. August 16, 17, 18, 19.
NEW MEXICO. Las Vegas. New Mexico Volunteer Firemen’s association, convention, etc., August 20, 21. 22.
MINNESOTA.—Pipestone, State Firemen’s association, convention, etc., June 14, 15, 16.
PENNSYLVANIA.—Lansford, Four County Firemen’s association, convention, etc., June 17. 18.
NEW YORK.—Saugerties, Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen’s association, convention, etc., June 22.— Whitehall Tri-County Firemen’s association, convention. etc., July 3, 4.—Minetto, Owego County Firemen’s association, convention, etc., July 15.—Gowanda, W. N. Y. Volunteer Firemen’s association, convention, etc., July 26, 27.—Dunkirk, State Firemen’s association, convention, August 15, 16.
SOUTH DAKOTA.—Canton. State Firemen’s association, convention, etc., June 22, 23, 24.
MISSOURI.—St. Louis, American Water Works association. convention, June 6, 7, 8, 9.—National Firemen’s association, convention. August 22. 23, 24, 25, 26. 27.—International Association of Municipal Electricians. convention, September 13. 14.
TEXAS.—Waco. State Firemen’s association, convention, etc., May 11, 12, 13.
OHIO.—Coshocton, N. E. Volunteer Firemen’s association. convention, etc., June 29, 30.
Andrew W. Scoble. superintendent of waterworks, Fort Worth, Tex., since 1889, died on the 14th ultimo. He was master mechanic of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado railway, and served in a similar capacity with the Houston & Texas Central Railway company. Mr. Scoble was a member of several societies, among which was the American Water Works association.
James Barnett succeeds George H. Holmes (resigned after long and faithful service) as chiefof the Provincetown, Mass., fire department.