WASHINGTON TO HAVE BETTER FIRE PROTECTION.
Chief Parris, of the Washington, D. C., fire department, in his estimate of the amount required for the conduct and support of the District of Columbia, calls for an increase of $280,634 over the appropriation of $306,220 for the current fiscal year. Of this amount $31,850 is needed for the salaries of two assistant chief engineers, a fireman, fifty-four privates, and other helpers; $16,800 for four steam fire engines; $4,400 for four hose carriages; $7,000 for two trucks; and $187,000 for the purchase of eight lots for, and the furnishing of seven firehouses and a stable for the department. In his report on the proposed increase in salaries. Chief Parris says that he does not see why the fire department should be the poorest paid department under the District government.
The salary of the highest paid member of a company (he says) is but $1,000 per annum, which averages $84 per month [and] does not compensate a man for the great risk of life and limb, while going to or performing a service at a fire. Should the de mauds for this increase be ignored, it will be only a question of time when it will be a matter of serious thought how to obtain and retain good, reliable, able-bodied men. The increase amounts to only $31,858.
He adds that better protection should certainly be given to property in Southwest Washington, where there are so many storehouses, shops of all kinds, schoolhouses, railroad and freight houses, warehouses, and steamboat wharves. An engine and a truck company both should be located in this part of the city. An engine company (he claims) should also be established in the northern part of West Washington. Chief Parris also recommends that the present firemen’s pension law be so amended as to authorize payment of such money as maybe required to supply any deficiency which may occur in this fund out of the revenues of the District of Columbia, instead of police court fines. In a short time the fines collected in the police court will be insufficient to meet the demands that will be made upon it. He would have the scale of benefits as follows:
Chief engineer, $100 per month; assistant chief engineer, $75 per month; foremen $60 per month; engineers, $50 per month; firemen. $50 per month; hostlers, $50 per month; privates. $55 per month; but nothing in this amendment shall be construed to prevent the allowance now authorized for funeral expenses.
During the past year there were 393 alarms for fire, and 246 local, or still alarms, which were answered by the department, making a total of 639 calls during the year. Compared with the preceding year, the bell alarms were the same, and the local alarms were decreased by twenty-eight.
SOME PROMINENT CHIEF ENGINEERS.
SOME CHIEF ENGINEERS OF IMPORTANT CITIES.