Troy May Have a Paid Fire Department.
There are indications that the volunteer fire department in Troy, N. Y., will soon be placed on an entirely paid basis. The population of Troy is nearly 80,000, and its fire department has a membership of approximately 1,200 volunteers. The change has been brewing for several years, but it received little or no encouragement until Cornelius F. Burns was elected Mayor last fall. Certain conduct on the part of a few members of the Washington Volunteers which has been in existence about 100 years, caused Mayor Burns and Public Safety Director Cahill to begin reorganization measures in respect to this company, and it is now conducted on a part paid basis. If an ordinance providing for a fully paid municipal department were to be introduced into the common council of Troy there is no doubt that it would be unanimously passed. Fourteen of the seventeen aldermen who were interviewed on the subject expressed themselves as being in favor of the change. That action along these lines will he taken gradually was admitted by a well posted administration official. It is known that before the end of the present year another volunteer company is to be disbanded ana a paid company installed in its stead. In the opinion of the officials of the Burns administration the best manner in which to bring the change about is to install one paid company at a time until the entire city is protected by a fully paid department. The aldermen believe the time has come when Troy should have a fire department composed of men whose sole business it would be to fight fires. The matter was given new impetus recently when Mayor Burns went on record as being heartily in favor of a paid department. Commissioner of Public Safety Cahill has said the time must soon come when the volunteer system will be abandoned, but the change would have to come in a gradual manner in order that the city would not be saddled with so much extra expense. It has been pointed out, however, by business men that a decrease in insurance rates would go a long way toward paying for the needed improvement. Chief Byron is already on record as being in favor not only of a fully paid department but automobile apparatus as well. Marshall L. Barnes, the newly elected president of the Troy chamber of commerce, has added his voice to the agitation in favor of a fully paid department and has said that he will work for the change. He is also in favor of automobile appratus.