WORK OF FIRE DEPARTMENT OF OAKLAND.
In view of the fact that Oakland, Cal., covers a largely increasing area of territory, it has need of increased fire protection, especially in the annexed district and the western and northeastern portions of the city. Hence, it is recommended that additional fire stations should be built and equiped: that the water mains should be enlarged; that two trucks, with chemical attachment to each be bought; that one hose company No. 3—be changed to an engine company, with a combination hose wagon and chemical engine, also, a steam fire engine; and that all the hose carts now in service he changed to hose wagons as soon as possible. During the year the fire department, under Chief Engineer N. A. Ball, did very good work, and considering the extent of the fire-area and the fact that the buildings in the city are so largely constructed of wood, it is gratifying to notice that the total fire-loss for the year amounted to $49,440.70, with an insurance of $48,330.70. The department consists of 138 members, of whom fifty are full-paid and permanent and eighty-eight call men. Thev are divided as follows: Chief engineer; assistant engineer; firemen, fifteen; engineers, nine; stokers, eight; drivers, eighteen; tillermen, two; stewards, six; drivers, stokers, etc., to relieve regular drivers, etc., when on vacation, four; extra men of engine, hose and truck companies, seventy-four. During the last year there were answered 146 box, and ninety-seven still, or telephone alarms—243 in all Sixty-five company drilis were held; 706 hours were worked by companies; the apparatus travelled 1,584 miles and a quarter to and from fires; 111,825 ft of hose were laid; 6,637 ft. of ladders were raised; 8,313 men were present at roll call and 609 were absent. The total expenses of maintenance for the year amounted to $153,527.81. Two engines were rebuilt with new Fox boilers; others will be rebuilt during the year. One old engine has been put out of commission and has been replaced by the reserve engine—leaving the department without any reserve apparatus. The apparatus at present in service is as follows: Steamers (two second-size and one third-size La France, one secondsize Ahrens, with Fox boiler, one second-size— with Fox boiler—and one third-size, Amoskeag; one third-size Metropolitan), seven; chemical engines (one double, fifty-gal. tank and two single sixty-gal. Holloway), three; hose reels (two-wheel, six, four-wheel, one), seven; hose wagons (carrying 9,500 ft. of cotton hose), four; hook and ladder trucks (with full set of portable ladders and four Babcock extinguishers), two; second-size platform truck and combination chemical, with single sixty gal. tank, set of ladders ranging from 10 to 50 ft. in length and two Babcock extinguishers; combination truck with double 35-gal. chemical tank and complete set of ladders and tools; Knowles pump on wheels, with suctions, and one new combination truck, with double, 35-gal. chemical tank and complete set of ladders and tools; hose (in addition to 9,500 ft. carried as above), 10,850 ft. —total 20,350 ft. There are fifty-two horses in service, and the Gamewell fire-alarm telegraph system is installed, with 114 boxes. The number of hydrants in use at present is 534; fire-pressure, 40 lbs.