Wheeling Fire Department Well Supervised
In a report on the fire protection conditions of Wheeling, W. Va., the committee on fire prevention and engineering standards of the National Board oi Fire Underwriters says that “the fire department is under generally good supervision. Methods oi appointment and promotion are unsatisfactory permitting the introduction oi outside influence. Pension provisions are inadequate. Companies are sufficient in number and fairly well distributed. Sufficient company officers are not provided; and nearly all companies arc seriously undermanned, particularly at meal times. Apparatus was mainly in good condition, except for the reserve steamers; operation of pumpers was generally only fair and some of the operators are evidently in need of training. Pumping capacity is adequate. Ladder service is generally satisfactory, except in the Woodsdale and Him Grove sections. Chemical service is adequate. Hose is mainly in good condition, fairly well cared for and properly tested; tinsupply is slightly inadequate and the benefit of the use of 3-inch hose is not taken advantage of none being provided. The supply of minor equipment is not uniform and is incomplete, being deficient in some important items. Inadequate repair facilities are provided. Several fire stations are in need of repairs or remodeling to suit the needs of a paid department. The printed rules are generally satisfactory, but all members should have copies and become familiar with them. Discipline appears to he fair, but somewhat lax in minor details. Such schools and training as are held are of little value and individual efficiency generally is low. The running card is poorly devised, calling for an excessive response and unnecessary covering in on first alarms in the congested value district; the response to telephone alarms, which constitute a large per cent, of the total, is entirely insufficient. Fire methods are generally as good as the insufficient manning and lack of training will permit. Inspections by a single member of the department are too limited in scope to have much value except in removing few hazardous conditions. Records, except of fires, are lacking.”
Edward A. McGranathan, appointed this year, is chief of the fire department and there is a fire force of 80, including besides the chief, three assistant chiefs, 11 captains. 14 drivers and 51 pipemen and laddernten; with a lineman, an automobile mechanic and an inspector of fire hazards, the total force is 83.