THE LATEST FIREFIGHTER.
A Strong Combination of the Apparatus of Today in One Machine.
PITTSBURGH ADOPTS IT FIRST.
Pittsburgh, Pa., has added to its fire extinguishing apparatus a combination, champion, telescopic, pneumatic, elevating, aerial hook and ladder truck, chemical engine and water tower, the invention of a Prussian army officer. The length is thirty-one feet from the end of the pole to the rear of the hind wheels, and, with chemical tank charged, weighs 12,700 pounds.
The tank and ladder are turned into any position by a level gear which is operated from the rear of the apparatus. The gear is connected with the tanks under the bed of the truck, whose bed is only about eighteen inches from the ground. It is of heavy channel iron and iron plating, and is equipped with Archibald roller-bearing wheels and five-inch rubber tires; the hub of the hind wheels has friction brakes. A 100-gallon chemical tank is under the driver’s seat, and on the right and left sides of the seat are carried 100 feet of chemical hose; on the right on a small platform is a five-deck turret nozzle, with three lines of three-inch hose. The nozzle tips are one and a half-inch to two and a halfinch. On the extreme rear are carried 100 feet of three-inch cotton hose. There is, also, a complete set of tools and appliances. The elevating form for the ladder—eighty-two feet extension and in four sections, is compressed air carried in an upright tank of strong plate iron, standing five feet eight high and thirty-six inches in diameter. The pressure of the compressed air it contains is 300 pounds to the square inch. By means of a smaller tank of 100 pounds pressure it can be used on buildings on each side of the street. Two men elevate the ladder perpendicularly by turning a valve on the tanks, thereby throwing the air on to a small cylinder hinging on to the top of the tank and to the ladder by the piston rod in the cylinder. The ladder is then extended by opening another valve which throws the air into each one of the four sections through an individual tube. The ladders overlap and the outside tube is an eight-inch tube of steel. Each section is shot up singly and the extension of the ladder can be controled at any point and held there by the man at the valves. The ladder is also automatically braced and locked in any position as it is extended. It is thus prevented from slipping back. The tank always carries from 185 to 200 pounds of compressed air— enough to raise and lower it five times. It is supplied to the tank by an electric motor and air-compressor connected to the motor, which is set up in the truck’s house. The compressor connects with the tank by means of a one-inch gum hose. A man can be hooked securely to the top of the highest section, which, with hose, is sent up first; then other sections carrying the man to the full height. The truck, which was built for quick service by the Fire Extinguishing company, of Chicago, is easily hauled by two horses; it needs no tiller or steering apparatus ; nor need the horses be removed from it when raising the ladder.
The above article has been held over for some weeks owing to the pressure on our space. It may be added that the Fire Extinguishing company, of Chicago, has always acted the part of a pioneer in introducing the newest things in fire protective equipment.