The Wheeling Fire Department
The total membership of the Wheeling, W. Va., fire department, which is commanded by Chief Edward T. Rose, is as follows: One chiet, three assistant chiefs, who are also captains of their respective companies, seven captains, three engineers, one chiet engineer, fifteen drivers, nineteen pipemen, one lineman and one auto repairman. The companies are: Eleventh Street Hose Company No. 7, which is the headquarters, Aerial Truck No. 1, Vigilant Engine Company No. 2, Niagara Engine Company No. 3, Eighth Ward Engine Company No. 4, Alert Hose Company No. 5, Aerial Truck Company No. 6, Atlantic Engine Company No. 8, Fort Henry Hose Company No. 9 and Fort Kalbitzer Hose Company No. 10. The annual report of the Wheeling Fire Department, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1916, has recently been issued by Chief Rose and shows that during that period, 224 alarms were turned in. Of these, 124 were still alarms and in the remaining 100 cases, boxes were pulled. Thirty-nine false alarms were turned in. During the year 75,150 feet of 2J4-inch hose was laid, 36,350 feet of which was used; 13,400 feet of chemical hose was used, 3,964 gallons of chemicals w’ere used, 2,872 feet of ladders were raised. Seventy of the fires which occurred during the year were in brick buildings; 80 in frame buildings ; 35 fires occured at places other than buildings; 73 fires were extinguished by the use of chemicals; at 36 fires engine or plug streams were used ; 44 fires were out upon the arrival of the department; 6 gallons of Pyrene was used in fighting fires; 5 calls were from outside of the city. The buildings damaged during the year were valued at $1,332,950, and the loss on these amounted to $29,502.48. The contents of these buildings was valued at $633,620 and the loss amounted to $40,518. The total value of the buildings and contents involved amounted to $1,966,570, and the total loss was $70,020.48. The sum of $69,223.64 was appropriated for the maintenance of the department for the year.
The department possesses the following apparatus: One American-La France motor combination hose and chemical car, two 600-gallon Ahrens-Fox steam engines, one chief’s car, one 85-foot aerial truck, one 600-gallon Silsbv steam engine, seven combination hose and chemical wagons, five tucl wagons, one Seagrave service truck, one Boyd 65-foot aerial motor truck, one 900-gallon Ahrens Fox steam engine, one Packard motor combination hose and chemical car, one fire alarm repair wagon and one reserve engine.
Recommendations of Chief Rose
Chief Rose, in his report says, in part, tinder the heading of recommendations: “I will again call your attention to our weakness in regard to numping power and the shortage of men. Otir pumping capacity should be increased at least 50 per cent. Our manual force is very weak, especially at meal hours. A motor piece or two should be added each year to the department to take the place of the horse-drawn apparatus. If possible, an increase should be allowed the men of this department, as the cost of living has advanced to such an extent that the wages paid the firemen are not sufficietit to allow him to feed, clothe and educate his children properly.”
The Alarm System.
During the past year the alarm system of Wheeling has been improved. Six miles of No. 10 overhead wire has been placed, taking place of old material that has been uo for years. No new boxes have been installed. The alarm system _____ow consists of the following: 1 10-circuit charging and switchboard, 244 chloride accumulators, 112 fire alarm signal boxes, 10 14-inch gongs, 9 7-inch gongs, 9 register indicators, 2 tower hell strikers, 9 automatic trips, 59 miles of overhead wire, 6 miles of No. 14 rubber covered wire, 150 feet of 20 conductor cable. 1 10circuit automatic repeater, with 6 local circuits.