WORCESTER, MASS., FIRE DEPARTMENT
Worcester, Mass., is singularly priyileged by having a well equiped and thoroughly efficient fire department under the command of Chief G. S. Coleman, an old and experienced firefighter, and a protective department equally efficient, under Superintendent Hiram R. Williamson, who has held office since December, 1875. Each does its work effectively, and each has been instrumental in saving many lives and much valuable property. Attached to the fire department is a drill school, which was established in 1907. It is under the direct supervi sion of Deputy Chief W. N. Avery, who, at the suggestion of Chief Coleman, who realised the necessity of having his firemen subjected to a definite course of training, as opposed to that which they could pick up for themselves or at fires, arranged to send his deputy chief to the rill school of the New York city fire department, hence he returned to Worcester a finished dept in all that pertains to life-saving and ther fire-drill. The school thus established at Worcester has been modeled on that of New ork, and every member of Chief Coleman’s epartment has been trained under Deputy htef Avery, and is required to keep up his training, the results of which are officially resrded. In consequence, the Worcester fireun are all experts in the work of life-saving, nd to see them going through the pompier rill or leaping into the life-nets is one of the ghts of the city. The fire department officers re all able men, and include, besides Chief Aleman and Deputy Chief Avery. Assistant hief E. I„ James and W. B. Spooner. As ill be seen front the accompanying illustration (which, with some of the others used in this article, appeared in the columns of the Worcester Magazine for September, 1908, toother with the story of that city’s fire dearttnent written in interesting fashion by rving E. Comins), the men thus drilled are all t and well set-up, and show by their looks lat they are proud of their calling and have good reason for their bearing themselves roudly, since, like the soldier, they risk their vvn lives to save life and property, and, unlike the soldier, without human blood. As such, they, with their brother firemen everywhere, arc well worthy of the sympathy, esteem and honor shown to them by their fellow citizens. The firemen and the members of the fire patrol arc equally deserving of public recognition. They work most harmoniously together, each body assisting the other, when the occasion demands it. The fire companies number twenty—7 engine companies; 10 hose companies; 5 hook and ladder companies; 4 chemical companies. The permanent force, the callmen and the regularly appointed substitutes, number about 250, of whom considerably more than half are permanent men. Within the last two years the equipment has been considerably strengthened. To the 8 steamers has been added an extra first-class engine (one engine being in reserve)—making two first-class engines. A new combination hose wagon replaces one of the 17 hose wagons—making two in service—and an 85 ft. aerial truck, with a water-tower attachment, has been added. Of the three chemical engines one is now cquiped with two 40-gal. tanks; Deluge sets have been added to the two aerial trucks and tile reserve hose wagon, and the number of permanent men was increased, by ten. One of the great features of the city’s fire protection is the Gamewell fire-alarm telegraph system installed at headquarters. It has 1,250,000 ft. of underground wire and 50 miles of overhead. Storage batteries are employed; and the system is divided into twelve circuits, extending to all parts of the city, each being entirely independent of the other. There arc installed 239 boxes, the number of each of which is struck twice on the bells and whistles. The system is in every respect up-todate and is u n d e r the supervision of Superintendent W. H. McLitre. It may be added that in Worcester, so entirely accurate is the fire-alarm system, that a mixed alarm is nnknow n. The National Electric Code is used as the standard for all wiring. The fire headquarters—one of sixteen stations—is a handsome brick 4-story building, with a clock tower. In it are the offices of the chief and clerk, the commissioners’ room, the supply department and the fire-alarm headquarters. Attached to the building is an infirmary for sick horses, and all the sanitary arrngements are perfect. Chief Coleman joined the service in March, 1874, as a member of hose company No. 6. He became deputy chief in 1892, and was appointed chief in May. 1903. He is a member of the board of engineers, of which body lie was for ten years the clerk. Resides its fire department. Worcester, as already stated, has maintained, since 1875, a protective department, of which Hiram R. Williamson was elected as head immediately on the patrol being established, or rather reorganised. In it the “quick hitch” was used before the fire department adopted it. The city pays part of the cost of the patrol; but the greater portion of the expense is borne by the insurance companies. It acts as an auxiliary to the fire department, and, while working at a fire, is subject to the orders of the fire-chief. The above sketch of the fire and patrol departments will show the great advance that Worcester has made in the way of fire protection and equipment front the original bucket-brigade up through the ox-mobile stage and that of the old volunteers, with their antiquated machines, to its present first-class protective system. Its growth of population and extent rendered the establishment of a thoroughly efficient lire department an absolute necessity, as may be imagined from the fact that the city’s fire-area is 40 miles square, while the population is considerably over 100,000.
The water company at Berlin. Pa., has been notified by borough council that, unless better service is afforded the consumers, its franchise will be revoked.