The Galveston (Tex.) Fire Department.
The city auditor of Galveston, Tex., at the request of the Mayor, has just issued the following statement:
In response to a communication addressed by his Honor, R. L. Fulton, Mayor, at your request, in which he asked me to prepare a statement showing the cost of running the fire de partment of the city for the past five years, and such data on the subject as will serve as a proper basis for the claim that you propose to urge, that a reduction in insurance should be made by the Board of Underwriters, I have the honor to submit the following:
The statements here given are for the municipal year which begins on the first day of March and ends on the last day of the following month of February. The cost of running the department for the years indicated was as follows :
The paid fire department was organized in the fall of 1885. with a complement of thirty four men ; therefore, the expenditures for 1885-86 were unusually large, on account of procuring additional apparatus and equipments made necessary by the change to the paid system.
In 1886-87 there were 44 men in the department ; in 188788 there were 44 men in the department ; in 1888-89 there were 49 men in the department; in 188990 there were 49 men in the department ; in 1890-91 there were 48 men in the department; in 1891 92 there were 48 men in the department; in 1892-93 there are 59 men in the department.
Up to the time of the building of the present system of water-works the city had to depend upon the old system which pumped water from the bay and only furnished protection to the business portion of the city through 100 hydrants and a pressure very inadequate, so much so that the steam engines had to be used at the hydran’s, and the residence portion of the city depended entirely upon cisterns and street wells.
The present water-works system was completed in the year 1889 and cost $450,000, for the payment of which the city issued that amount of five per cent bonds. It consists of a pumping plant of a capacity of 5,000,000 gallons per day, the w-ater being furnished by a system of artesian wells supplying about 2,500,000 gallons per day. The works have a storagecapacity of upward of 2.000.030 gallons, giving an available supply of 4,500,000 gallons per twenty-four hours in case of emergency. Water is delivered in the mains from the standpipe under a head of 160 feet. There are 390 hydrants and thirty-five miles of mains.
The fire department has an excellent fire alarm telegraph, valued at $8000. It consists of fifty-one boxes, one fourcircuit repeater, copper wire being used throughout.
In connection with this each engine house and the pumping station of the water-works is furnished with a telephone, which places the entire telephone system of the city in the fire alarm circuit.
With the new houses now in course of erection there are seven engine houses, occupied by seven hose companies and one truck company ; two hook and ladder trucks (one light one purchased this year, and one large aerial truck); two hose carts and five hose wagons ; 10,000 feet of good and serviceable hose; twenty-five horses, and sundry apparatus used at fires, valued at $3000.
This year, as above stated, the city proposes to expend on the fire department $57,140 ; interest paid on $450,00×3 waterworks bonds, $22,500 ; the operating expenses for the ptesent year will be $18,000 ; total amount expended annually by the city for fire protection, $97,640.
The tenure of office in the fire department is dependent upon good behavior and efficiency, thus bringing it up to the highest standard. With very few exceptions the men composing it have had years of experience in the business.