Threatens to Overrule the Chief
William Glass, finance commissioner of Fresno, Cal., criticized an increase asked for by Chief Baird, of the fire department, in considering the annual budget of the city. He declared heatedly that the fire underwriters have had the city under their thumb long enough and he is about ready to call their “bluff.”
A finance expert, called in by a taxpayers’ association claimed that Fresno is spending more money per square mile of protected area and more per capita than any other city of similar size in California. Chief Baird had to answer a battery of questions because of the budget increase of $8,825 that he asked to run his department. A large amount of the money was required for a new fire hose and automobile replacements. The taxpayers’ committee favors a decrease in the amount of the budget, and a suggestion was even made by the finance commissioner that one of the fire stations be abandoned. Chief Baird agreed with the latter suggestion but stated that the company should be installed in another part of the city. The chief warned that any cut in the department or appropriation would probably increase the fire insurance rates. This caused Commissioner Glass’s assertion that he is ready to call the “bluff” of the Pacific organization to sec if they can increase the insurance rates.
Sacramento, Cal., Raises Firemen’s Pay—Beginning January 1, the pay of the members of the fire department will be increased. The chief’s pay will be increased §25 a month, first assistant chief, §25 a month, second assistant chief, §35 while the firemen will receive an increase of §7.50 and will receive a like increase the following year.
Chicago Fire Apparatus Stolen—Three men clad in firemen’s raincoats approached the lone watchman in Engine Company 39, a new fire station in Chicago, and said that there was a fire and that they were going. They bound the watchman and carried him to the cellar. They picked out the largest apparatus before they started on their way. About an hour later, the watchman freed himself and notified Chief Seyferlich, and after a lengthy search the apparatus was found at the rear of another station. It is believed that this is the result of some firemen’s prank.