WATERTOWN FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Chief Henry C. Bundy, of Watertown, N. Y., states in his report for the year 1915, that the organization of the department is practically the same as the previous year except that four extra men have been appointed temporarily to replace men doing duty at the New York Air Brake Company’s plant, the company having requested the detail of four experienced men to guard against fire hazard and temporary leave of absence was granted four men upon their request. William E. Gaffney is first assistant chief and superintendent of the fire alarm telegraph system and George K. Wood is second assistant chief. The department received and responded to 163 alarms in the past year; of this number 29 alarms were unnecessary. The department was on duty at fires 271 hours and 30 minutes. 2,950 gallons of chemical. 486,845 gallons of water and 2,718 feet of ladders were used. 33,850 feet of delivery hose were stretched. The department traveled 1.1.32½ miles. The causes of most of the fires were careless use of matches, oil stoves overfilled, curtains against gas jets, children playing with matches, dirty and defective chimneys, automobiles backfiring, smoking in bed, overheated stove pipe, lamps exploding and careless use of gasoline. The kind of buildings in which fires occurred were: Brick, 42; wood, 70; cement, 8; stone, 2; dwellings, 61; garages, 3; business buildings, 46. Balance of fires consisted of telegraph poles, sheds, kettles and rubbish. Fifty seven and one-half per cent, of these fires were put out with chemicals and the balance with water. The total loss on buildings was $10,251.31 and on contents, $22,721; total, $32,973.16. Chief Bundy says in ihis report: “To get at the correct loss of all fires that have occurred in the city: There were 28 fires in the past year department did not receive alarms. The local underwriters report the loss on buildings and contents of the same $754.45, aggregating an actual loss in the city of $33,727.61.” The amount of serviceable delivery hose in the department is 11,200 feet. There are four companies as follows: Engine Company No. 1. Engine is a first size Metropolitan (three horse hitch). Two horse, two 30-gallon tank combination chemical engine and hose wagon. Engine Company No. 2. Apparatus is motor triple combination chemical hose and pumping engine, built by the American-LaFrance Fire Engine Company and consists of a second size pumping engine and one 35-gallon chemical tank. Chemical and Hose Company No. 3. Two horse, thirty-gallon tank combination chemical and hose wagon. Engine Company No. 4. Engine is a second size Silsby (two horse hitch). Two horse, two 35-gallon tank combination chemical engine and hose wagon, built by the Holloway Chemical Engine Company. Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. Truck is a city service motor truck built by the Seagrave Company. Apparatus in reserve includes: One second-size Metropolitan, put in service June 26,1906, located at No. 4 Engine House. One 75-foot Hayes Aerial Hook and Ladder, three horse hitch truck, with truss ladders. This truck is located at No. 1 and ready for instant use. Chief Bundy says, in his report, that the installation of two pieces of motor apparatus, the American-La France Triple Combination at the Factory Street Station in the year 1912, and the Service Hook and Ladder Truck at the Arsenal Street Station in the year 1914, was a long stride toward economy, and the following summary will show the cost of maintenance for the same number of horses and pieces of apparatus necessary to do the work of motor apparatus against the cost of maintaining motors, in one year. Horse drawn: 1 Chemical Combination Hose Wagon drawn by two horses. 1 Steam Fire Engine drawn by three horses. The actual expense of horse feed, bedding, repairs on harness, harness dressing, doctor bill, sponges, chamois, oil, grease, steamer coal, steamer heater coal, steamer wood and metal polish, $997.86; 1 Hook and Ladder Truck drawn by three horses. Expense of same, $545.80; total, $1,543.66. Motor apparatus, $218.14; difference, $1,325.52, an actual saving in the cost of maintenance, by installing these two motors, in one year. Motor driven: 1 Triple Combination Chemical, Hose and Pumping Engine. Actual expense of gasoline, oils, grease, sponges, chamois, repairs, such as traction chains, spark plugs, electric lights and metal polish, $140.55; 1 Service Motor Hook and Ladder Truck; expense of same, $69.59, total $218.14. Chief Bundy recommends a new building to replace the engine house on Curtis street. That a new combination chemical and hose, wagon, motor driven, be purchased. That a tractor, run by gasoline, be purchased and installed on the first size steamer, R. P. Flower; that at least three self-rescuers be purchased and installed in each company’s apparatus; that a pulmotor be purchased and installed on one of our pieces of apparatus; that at least four first aid cases be purchased and installed on each company’s apparatus; that a combination welding and cutting gas torch be purchased and installed on the hook and ladder truck; that two cellar pipes of the improved type be purchased and installed on our apparatus; that two Ford chasses with American-LaFrance chemical tanks, and bodies, be purchased and equipped for the use of my assistant chiefs; a number of concrete platforms along Black river to set fire engines on to pump from in case of fire.