THE MEMPHIS TENN., FIRE DEPARTMENT
Specially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
Although Memphis, Tenn., has a well-equiped fire department of 135 officers and men—one quite up to the general average of most cities of its size, yet Chief Neely Sullivan would be more satisfied with it if certain improvements were made—another steam fire engine, an additional hook and ladder truck, 125 additional fire-alarm boxes—making the number up to 200, and rubber tires to the rolling-stock. At present the equipment of the department consists of eleven steam lire engines, three trucks, a water tower and a chemical engine. The chief’s requests should be granted at whatever cost, as the fire protection of the city is the first consideration, and to cripple it in the way either of men or apparatus would be a serious mistake—one that might some day be accompanied with disastrous results to both life and properiy. Memphis is a city of 100 great commercial importance to allow of any chances being taken with its protection. Its firearea covers about 11,000 acres, and within these limits stand many large business and manufacturing buildings, some as high as eleven stories, some, also, of wood, with wooden roofs permitted—a source of danger that should at once be eliminated, if at least the city’s first-class rating is to be retained. That cannot be so long as certain risks are permitted to continue, and, if these dangers are to be fittingly grappled with, the fire department and its equipment must be kept up to the top notch. The lesson of the big store fire of last July, which destroyed ~or badly damaged property, the value of which was at least ard kept the firemen working for three clays was warning enough on that score. The department is under the command of Chief Neely Sullivan, whose three assistant chie’s are John McFadden. Julius Vcnturini and Michael Eitzmorris—all four good men and true, experienced enough and intelligent enough to fight effectively any fire that they may have to come across. Besides these there are 131 officers and men in the service. These are distributed among the various companies, the repair shop under the care of Thomas Dulan, the fire-alarm telegraph and other offices. The headquarters building—an illustration of which accompanies this article — is solidly built of brick and affords accommodation for thirty-six men, with bathrooms, etc. Chief Sullivan has his office there, the Gamewcll firealarm system and telephone operators. Secretary W. E. Schulz and Assistant Secretary John Dolan are under the same roof. Robert Moran is city electrician, with two assistants. The list of companies and their captains follows:
Engine No. 1, Adams and Second streets. Captain John Carroll.
Engine No. 2. Main and Butler streets. Captain Thomas Meredith.
Engine No. 3, Fourth street between Beale and Linden streets, Captain John Ray.
Engine No. 4, North Main street between Chester and Market streets, Captain John Me Mahon.
Engine No. 5, at headquarters, Captain John Kehoe.
Engine No. 6, Looney and Third streets, Captain Emmett Dwyer.
Engine No. 7, Madison and Dunlap streets, Captain Bernie O’Neill.
Engine No. 8. Mississippi boulevard, near Iowa street, Captain Joint Larkin.
Attached to the fire department is the Memphis Eire and Relief association, open to all members of the department after one year’s service. The dues of the members arc supplemented by contributions from many different sources, including checks from many large firms whose property has been saved in whole or in part by the good work of the firemen. The association allows its sick or disabled members $10 per week; in case of death their families receive $150. As a rule, thanks to its firemen, Memphis is remarkably free from destructive tires, that of July 27, 1907, already referred to, being the worst that has hap petud in years. But nil the skill and bravery of the fire department will avail only to a certain degree unless the equipment is kept up to the mark and the water supply is at all times adequate. There arc set in the citv gee fire hydrau s. more or less, all of the Ludlow or Holly type. the pressure being 60 lb.