Work of the Seattle Fire Department
Following is the substance of the annual report of Chief Frank L. Stetson, of the fire department at Seattle. Wash.: During the past 12 months the department has responded to 1,102 alarms of all kinds as follows: Box, 323; telephone, 630; still. 96; special, 17; second alarms, 6; of this number 158 were false alarms. The department has traveled to and from tires a distance of 87,887 blocks, or approximately 6.113 1/3 miles. Total amount of fire duty performed, 959 hours, 4*» minutes. The loss by tire was as follows: Buildings. $159,277. 55; contents. $287.754! *9; total, $447,010.54. Insurance on buildings involved, $2,842,410; insurance on contents involved. $1,285.ti 10; total insurance on buildings and contents, $4,705.29.59; value of contents involved. $2.359.025.51; total valuation. $6,805,;152.70. The loss by iire during the year 1912 was $290,520.40 less than that of the year previous, and is very low when the great area of the city and vast amount of property to he protected is taken into consideration. The loss. per capita U somewhat less than $1,50 The apparatus of the department consists of the following, housed in 28 stations: Fifteen steam tire engines and 2 in reserve 21 horse-drawn hose wagons and *1 in reserve; 7 combination horse-drawn hose and chemical wagons, 2 automobile hose wagons. 5 automobile hose and chemical wagons, 7 horse-drawn hook and ladder trucks, I auto aerial truck. 2 double liO-galloti horse-drawn chemical engines. 1 double 80-gallon auto chemical engine. 1 water tower, 2 firebnats. 2 chiefs’ buggies and 1 in reserve. -1 supply wagons, 0 automobiles, 7.7.594 feet of 2’a inch hose. 6,000 feet of Finch hose. 6,400 feet of 3 1/2inch hose, 5,900 feet of 2 inch hose. 4,007 feet of 1-it ch chemical and 2,250 feet 3/4-inch chemical hose. The department consists of 42 regular companies as follows: Fifteen engine companies. !5 hose comp anies, 8 truck companies, 5 chemical companies. 1 water tower and 2 fireboats. There were no new companies or stations placed in service during the year, although three new automobile hose wagons were received. These latter took the place of horse-drawn apparatus. The department received 20,000. feet of 2%-inch hose. Valuation of fire department equipment. $445,770; tire alarm. $101,500; real estate. $087,050; improvements. $300,900; total. $1,491,220. There is available approximately $90,000 fur the purchase of fire apparatus, which was levied during 1910, 1911 and 1912. In 1910 and 1911 this was levied for horse-drawn apparatus, but for the good of the service and th? efficiency of the department in protecting the property of the city, the chief respectfully recommends that the money he used for motor propelled apparatus. It is an unfortunate condition that the city charter provides that in contracts 1st for supplies and equipment for the city only the lowest bidder can be considered. Sections 14 and 15 of article 8 provide that if any hid is to he considered it must be the lowest. More especially in the purchase of lire apparatus the b:d should not he accepted which is the lowest, hut that which is the best, in accordance with flic requirements of fire apparatus for service in this city. In purchasing apparatus under these sections. the board of public works can only consider the lowest bid, regardless of its merit coinpared to those who hid upon apparatus that is more costly hut much better in the material used, mechanical construction, equipment, etc. The voters of the citv of Seattle having ratified the ordinance establishing a two-platoon svstci’n in the fire department, to he effective April 2. 1915. definite rules and plans will he formulated for its operation. Whether or not the efficiency of the service will he increased is. of course, problematical. This can only be determined through its actual operation. The cost of running the department for the year was $570,000, of which amount $408,100 was paid out in salaries. The manual force consists of ‘id 1 officers and men.
Whether owing to incendiarism or In some other cause, the Windham high school, which cost $150,000 and stood on a hill in the center of WiMimantic, Conn,, was recently destroyed by a fire that broke out at 2 :5o a. m. The water pressure was inadequate and the watchman at the water works station was so sound asleep that he could not he awakened by the telephone.’ A special messenger was dispatched in an automobile to arouse him, hut meanwhile the fire was having it all its own way. The insurance on the building was only $80,000.