Two-Platoon System at Chicago

Two-Platoon System at Chicago

A petition was filed last week with the election commissioners of Chicago containing approximately 71,000 names and asking that the two platoon system for firemen be submitted to a referendum vote. Unless objections are filed against it and upheld it will be placed on the small ballot at the April election. George B. Hargan, president of the Firemen’s Association of Chicago, filed the petition.

TWO-PLATOON SYSTEM AT CHICAGO.

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TWO-PLATOON SYSTEM AT CHICAGO.

Chief Horan will at once install the two-platoon system in the First battalion of the Chicago fire department to begin with. This will include engine companies 1. 10, 13, 93, 32 and 40 and truck companies 1, 6 and 9. In course of a very short time engine company 37 (fireboat) and engine 21 will be added to these. By the new arrangement, with the exception of engine company No. 93, all the companies will be manned by a force of eighteen men—nine to a shift, and engine company 93 will receive four extra men—making the shifts six men each under the command of a lieutenant. Before taking this step, Chief Horan sent an order to each battalion chief to secure the signatures of such of their men as favored and such as opposed the two-platoon system. All in the First battalion who are in the latter category will be transferred, and their places taken by two-platoonists (of whom there are more than enough to go around). Thus no man will be compelled to serve in the two-platoon ranks who is conscientiously against doing so. Thus every man and officer in engine No. 40 and the greater part of the men in truck 6 who voted in the negative will be transferred. No man who participates in the new system will be deprived of the furlough which is his in virtue of the council’s permission to be awarded one. The platoon companies will breakfast and sup at home, but will have to bring their dinners to their respective fire stations. Forty-four extra men will be needed. These will be taken from outlying companies, where the strength has been increased by the addition of one man. The companies so deprived will be kept on the present off schedule— one morning, one afternoon and one twenty-four hours off everv sixth day and will also have their present meal hours. It may be added that by the recent addition of 139 men to the manual force, all the non-platoonists can now have an extra off of ten hours. It is thought the two-platoon system will be universally adopted in the department.