The New Brunswick Fire Department
The manual force of the New Brunswick, N. J., fire department consists of 42 men as follows: 1 chief of department, 1 assistant chief of department, 6 captains, 6 engineers, 28 firemen, states the report of Chief Harry J. Francis for the year 1916. The motor apparatus in service consists of: Hose Company No. 1, Robinson combination chemical and hose wagon, with two 35-gallon chemical tanks. Engine Company No. 1, Waterous triple combination chemical and hose, capacity of pump 700 gallons, with one 40-gallon chemical tank. Engine Company No. 3, Metropolitan steam fire engine, second size, capacity of pump 700 gallons, with Cross front-drive tractor attached: Robinson combination chemical and hose wagon, with one 35-gallon chemical tank. Engine Company No. 4, Clapp & Jones steam fire engine, third size, capacity of pump 600 gallons, with Cross front-drive tractor attached. Truck Company No. 1, Robinson 55foot city service truck. The horse-drawn apparatus: Engine Company No. 2, Metropolitan steam fire engine, fourth size, Capacity of pump 500 gallons; 1 hose wagon. Engine Company No. 4, one hose wagon. Engine Company No. 5, Amcrican-LaFrance steam fire engine, third size, capacity of pump 600 gallons; 1 reel hose carriage. Apparatus in reserve was: One Amcrican-LaFrance steam fire engine, third size, capacity of pump 600 gallons; one Silsby steam fire engine, third size, with rotary pump, capacity of pump 600 gallons, in service in Highland Park; one Seagrave city service truck. There is in use in the department 6,600 feet of 2 1/2-inch cotton rubber-lined hose in good condition; 2,200 feet of 2 1/2-inch rubber hose in good condition.
Classification of Alarms.
During the year the department was called to answer 166 alarms, classified as follows: Bell alarms, 60; still alarms, 106; number of fires in frame buildings, 90; number of fires in brick buildings, 30; number of fires in other than buildings, 40; pulmotor calls, 4; false alarms, 2; calls outside the city, 2. The value of property involved in fires was, buildings, $1,403,625; contents, $90,000; total, $1,493,625. The estimated insurance loss on buildings was only $8,158.53, on contents $16,706.09; total, $24,864.62. One thousand one hundred and seven feet of ladders were raised; 43,100 feet of hose were laid; 1,958 gallons of chemical were used. During the year there were 60 first alarms, two second alarms, 106 still alarms, 2 false alarms and two pulmotor calls. The fires during the year, which account for an increased loss over last year, were: The A. Wolfson fire, which occurred on the night of March 6, and the Schwartz fire, which occurred on the morning of March 7th. The total loss for those two fires alone amount to the sum of $16,836.12, which, when deducted from the total loss for the year, reduces the loss for the remaining fires to $8,026.50, which in itself speaks well for the efficiency of the department. During the year the department was called to two fires outside the city, the first being at the Howe Rubber Plant, in North Brunswick Township, and the other in the plant of the U. S. Nickel Company, in the same township. The U. S. Nickel Company paid the city $200 for the call to their plant.
Fire Prevention Bureau.
Chief Francis says: During the year we have organized a Bureau of Fire Prevention in the department, with the chief of the department as the head of same. This bureau was created for the systematic inspection of all buildings in the city by the firemen. Inspections are made to compel the owners, lessees and tenants to remove from or near buildings all accumulations of rubbish, garbage, old papers and mattresses, and to rectify any fire hazard that may be found in or in the vicinity of buildings. The inspectors also instruct the owners and tenants in the proper handling of all fire appliances. This bureau also acquaints the firemen with the layout of all buildings, so that in case of fire in any of those buildings it is easier to control and subdue the flames. The following new apparatus and equipment were purchased for the department: One Robinson combination chemical and hose wagon, with two 35-gallon tanks; also two chasses for converting No. 3 and No. 4 hose wagons to motor combination chemical and hose wagons. These chasses were furnished by the Robinson Fire Apparatus Company. The following equipment was also purchased: One Browder improved life net; two Drager smoke helmets, same as are used by the Rescue Squad of the New York Fire Department; one Eastman deluge set; three turret pipes, and 2,400 feet of 2 1/2-inch cotton rubber-lined hose.
In view of the extensive building operations, both for manufacturing and residential purposes, in the western section of our city, Chief Francis feels that more fire protection should be odven to this section of the city and savs this could be accomplished by the erection of a new fire house in the vicinity of Jersey avenue and Handy street, and the placing of a new automobile apparatus and a new company of six men in this house. Also, as there is only one ladder truck in the department this machine could be so constructed as to be a combination chemical and hose car and to carry about 125 to 150 feet of ladder, thus giving practically another truck and hose wagon in the department. He also recommends the purchase of a new motor-driven triple combination chemical and hose car, with a pump the capacity of not less than 700 gallons; that all public garages be constructed of fire-proof material and not be permitted to locate within 50 feet of any school, church, theatre or other place of public amusement, and should not be allowed in buildings that are used as dwellings or moving picture houses, and that no owner or lessee of any garage be permitted to do business in same, unless first inspected by the fire department, and a permit granted for same, and that no private garages be allowed to be less than 20 feet from any building; that an ordinance be passed to give the building inspector more power in regards to the construction mentioned; that wood shingles be entirely prohibited as roof covering in the city, and the passing of an ordinance regulating the parking of automobiles near fire hydrants and in front of places of public amusements.