Underwriters’ Report on New Haven, Conn., Fire Department

Underwriters’ Report on New Haven, Conn., Fire Department

The National Board of Fire Underwriters has just issued a report on the fire conditions of New Haven, Conn. That city has a population of about 143,000 and covers about 17 square miles of territory. The total loss for the past five years varied from $151,997 in 1909, to $492,171 in 1910. The number of alarms varied from 469 in 1909, to 609 in 1910. The average loss per fire was $607. The average annual loss per capita was $253. The department has had a full paid force since 1893, except in the suburban sections of Westville, Fairhaven East, and in Ward 15, where there are 203 volunteer and two paid men. The paid force consists of 170 men, including the chief, and three assistant chiefs, a superintendent of fire alarm and five assistants. The department is under the supervision of five fire commissioners and under the direct command of Chief Rufus R. Fancher, who has been in the department 29 years, and chief of the department 16 years. His assistants are W. B. Perkins, P. F. Redmond and Isaac Isaacs, all veterans of the service. Appointments are made by civil service. There are 12 engine, 4 ladder and one hose company. The apparatus in service consists of 9 steam fire engines, 2 motor pumping engines, one gasoline engine, 4 ladder trucks, one of them an aerial; two motor hose wagons, and 12 horse hose wagons. The cost of maintenance last year was $235,997. The department possesses many modern appliances and minor equipments. Two hose wagons carry turret nozzles, and nine carry ladders. The motor squad wagon, which is operated by a ladder company and responds to all first alarms, carries hose for filling chemical tanks, ladders, extinguishers, etc. All the chiefs have motor cars. Ladder trucks carrv deluge sets. Minor equipments armade at the department repair shop. The old drill tower has been abandoned, pending the construction of a new one. Captains inspect tenements, factories and mercantile buildings. “The department.” the report says, “is commanded by a competent and progressive chief with able assistants, and most matters affecting the department are properly left to the chief, the commissioner exercising general supervision.” The alarm system, under the care of Superintendent James Grant, is of the Gamewell pattern, installed in the new fire-proof headquarters building of the departmen, in 1913, and is one of the most complete and perfect of modern fire alarm systems. The State police, as State fire marshals, investigate the cause of fires, etc. The volunteer company at Westville has a combination motor pumping hose-chemical wagon, at Fairhaven East, a motor hose, chemical wagon and the other two companies have a hand-drawn hose carriage and a ladder truck and minor equipments. The conflagration hazard is ordinary. The recommendations of the report for the department are: Retirement of members at 62 years of age, a master mechanic appointed, chauffeurs to be thoroughly trained, change Hose 14 to a combination engine and ladder company, provide Truck Company 2 with a 75-foot aerial truck equipped with ladder pipe, a hose wagon at headquarters to carry 1,000 feet of 3-inch hose, equip several engines with tractors and replace others with combination pumping engines and hose wagons, the pumps to have a capacity of 700 gallons a minute, to carry equal amounts of 2 1/2 and 3-inch hose; all hose wagons to carry equal amount of 2 1/2 and 3-inch hose, and a lot of minor equipment, and that the squad wagons carry salvage covers, and that all engines be tested annually by underwriters’ rules.

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