Troy to Have a Paid Department
Abolition of the volunteer fire department and an entirely new fire alarm system in Troy, N. Y., are urgently needed, according to J. H. Howland, an engineer of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, who was in Troy a few days ago. Mr. Howland conferred with Mayor Burns, seeking to learn what steps the city officials are going to take toward putting the fire department on a paid basis and toward replacing the antiquated alarm system, now in use, with a modern system. Mr. Howland said that he had been sent to Troy to follow up the work of investigation and report on the city’s fire fighting facilities that was made by the National Board of Underwriters in 1912. He declared that the recommendations made by the board, if followed out to the letter, would place Troy near the top of cities of the United States as far as fire departments are concerned. Mr. Howland said further:
We find that in several respects Troy has accomplished much, more particularly in the water department, but there are two recommendations—to put the fire department upon a wholly paid basis and the complete installation of a new fire alarm system—which should be carried out at the earliest possible date. Your fire losses in recent years are considerably above the average, and your fire hazard in the principal mercantile district is so great as to justify a much higher rate for insurance protection.
Mr. Howland expressed himself as greatly pleased when he learned that the city had already started to build the pipe line from the Tomhannock reservoir to the city and told Mayor Burns that he was certain that with the completion of the pipe line the city will be in no danger of a lack of water, in case of fire. Mayor Burns assured Mr. Howland that a paid department is certain to come, but that his administration _ could not turn over the whole department immediately on account of the great number of bonds that are now maturing and he took the same position in regard to a new fire alarm system.