Two Platoon Report at Seattle

Two Platoon Report at Seattle

Chief Frank L. Stetson, of Seattle, Wash., in his annual report for 1913, has the following to say relative to the two platoon system, which went into operation in that department April 2, 1913: In view of the fact that the platoon system has been subjected to considerable inquiry, principally due to the necessary increase in the manual force required and to the deviation from established custom, it seems advisable that the results of eight months of experiment should be brieflly summarized. The platoon system so far as it serves the purpose for which the additional privileges were granted, serves its purpose admirably, and has proven possibly a greater success than was anticipated under the circumstances, of its inception. There are, it is true, complications which have arisen under this system, and not considered to objectionable or so prevalent under the old, which cannot be overlooked in any excess of enthusiasm over the present system. These, however, we seek to correct by such measures as are from time to time deemed necessary or expedient, and hope that our experiences in the future will offer themselves the proper solution of present difficulties. By far the greatest trouble experienced has been tardiness of members in reporting ifor duty to their respective stations. It cannot be said with any degree of pride or satisfaction, that since April 2nd last, 230 instances of tardiness have been reported. Tardiness in many cases is justifiable, but the majority are such that the exercise of reasonable precaution would have prevented any delay in reporting for duty on time. Some members are inclined to forget that the protection offered in this service is no ‘fancied security against the abuse of privileges which would not be tolerated by any private corporation. These, however are strictly departmental problems, the remedy for which lies in the liberal application of disciplinary measures. It is gratifying to state that in cases where fires of greater than ordinary magnitude require the services of large numbers of firemen, the members of off shifts have responded promptly and in goodly numbers. The protection offered at these times by the placing of companies and apparatus in service with complements of off shift men is deserving of mention. Members of the department as a rule have maintained an active interest in the service. To those members exerting earnest efforts to promote the welfare of the platoon system and the department in general, credit is due, but the negative influence of those whose interest is limited merely to their time off and pay days is deserving of censure.”

CHIEF FRANK L. STETSON, OF SEATTLE, WASH.

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