CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT – Fire Engineering

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CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT

The first annual report of Chief Thomas O’Connor of Chicago, Illinois, and the fifty-seventh of the city’s paid fire department to the mayor and common council, lists the following heads of the service since its organization in 1837: Chief Engineers of the Volunteer Fire Department: Alex. Loyd, 1837-1838; A. Calhoun, 1839; L. Nicholl, 1840; A. Sherman, 1841, 2 and 3; SF Gale, 1844, 5 and 6; CE Peck, 1847 and 8; A. Gilbert, 1849; CP Bradley, 1830 and 51; UP Harris, 1852 and 53; JM Donnelly, 1854; S. McBride, 1855, 6 and 7, and DJ Swenie, 1858. Fire marshals and brigade leaders: DJ Swenie, 1858; UP Harris, 1859-1867; RA Williams, 1867-1873; Matt Benner, 1873-1879; DJ Swenie, 1879-1901; Wm. H. Musham, 1901-1904; John Campion, 1904-1906; John McDonough, (Acting Fire Warden), 1906; James Horan, 1906-1910; Charles E. Seyferlich, 1910-1914, and Thomas O’Connor, 1914. The report covers the year ending December 31, 1914, and indicates that during that year there were fifty-six alarm boxes commissioned, and three released and at the time of reporting, 2,058 boxes were in use throughout the city. The estimated value of the property used by the department is given as follows: Buildings and buildings, $ 1,835,333; equipment, $ 1,653,016. As Fire Marshal and Brigade Leader, Chief O’Connor has six assistants. They are: First, Patrick J. Donohue, second, Edward J. Buckley; third. John C. McDonnell; fourth, Arthur R. Seyferlich; fifth, Jeremiah McAuliffe; acting sixth, Martin Lacey. The second is a departmental inspector and the third is the head of fire prevention. There are twenty-six battalion chiefs. The number of captains was 159 and the total number of uniformed force members was 1,903. Four companies of volunteers are provided with supplies and devices by the department. These are the Addison Heights Volunteer Company, the Edison Park Volunteer Company, the Ashburn Volunteer Company and the Hanson Park Volunteer Company. The report says: The installation of motorized devices continues and the department is gradually acquiring machines of the most modern type. During the year 1914, the fire department responded to 14,977 alarms and the number of actual fires for the same period was 10,534. There were a few fires of considerable magnitude of a spectacular point of view and where the firefighters’ energy was strained, but the financial losses were not significant compared to, as at the US Express Stables on April 17, involving a loss of about $ 190,000 ; another, on May 27, where the approximate loss was negligible in relation to the area burned and the number of communications, and the Christmas Eve fire in the department store on 47th and Ash land ave, which, along with the the smaller building the release at, was around a loss of $ 225,000. In addition to minor improvements to the CS nec sarv throughout the department, such as overhaul and painting of devices, etc., $ 95,000 was spent on the remodeling and overhaul of the department’s buildings, which included the quarters of nine engine companies and one hook and ladder company. . Repair, painting, installation of new cement walkways and walkways, hallways, skylights, chimneys and caulking device floors were carried out on the premises of forty-one engine and motor companies. twelve hook and ladder companies and departmental repair shops; repairs and modifications ordered by the United States Government’s Steamship Inspection Service were also carried out on three of the pump boats. A 1000 gallon pump motor and a 700 gallon pump motor were purchased and put into service. Two 32-inch boilers were purchased. Seven Christie tractors were purchased and put into service at Engine Companies No.12, 45, 48 and Hook and Ladder Companies No.2, 3, 4 and 15. One tractor was purchased and put into service at the company Hook and Ladder # 11 Seventeen automobiles, for the use of deputy marshals and battalion commanders, were purchased and put into service. Seventy thousand feet of 254 inch double jacketed cotton rubber lined fire hose and 5,000 feet of 1 inch chemical rubber hose were also purchased. During the year, the redistribution of the department increased the battalion districts to 26 from 22, an increase of four battalions since 1913. A new engine company was added to the department by the annexation of Morgan Park , Engine Company # 120. The strength of the department is up to par and the sentiment among the men always remains harmonious and the discipline on the whole is gratifying. Departmental expenses for 1914 are shown as follows: Amount spent, $ 3,461,584.09; population, 2,417,978; amount per capita, $ 1.43; number of companies, 157. During the year, 294 were transmitted during the previous year,

Methods of fire.

The following statement shows the manner in which the fires were extinguished during the year: By the occupants and others before the arrival of the department, 766; by choking service, chopping with an ax, etc. 79; per department with buckets of water, 19; by department with fire hydrant stream, 333; by chemistry department, with chemistry, fire 22; by department .-. fire hydrant stream with portable r-_ and pumps, 4,201; per service with portable pumps and portable chemical fire extinguishers, 12; per service with portable chemical extinguishers, 15; per department with a chemical engine, 247; per department with two or more chemical engines, 25; per department with a steam engine, 1,480; per department with a steam engine and a chemical machine, 150; per department with one steam engine and two or more chemical machines, 14; per department with two or more steam engines, 466; per department with two or more steam engines and chemical engines, 106; chimney fires, meadow fires, garbage burning, etc. 2,599; a total of 10,534.

Pipe.

The following is a hose statement in the department: Engine # 1: Cotton hose, 254 inch SJ, 350 feet; rubber hose, 2 1/2 inches, 650 feet; chemical hose, 1 inch, 3650 feet. Engine # 10: Cotton hose, DJ 2 1/2 inches, 42,950 feet; cotton pipe, 3 1/2 inches, 41,000; in total, 51,700. Hose in service in the department: Cotton hose, 354 inches, 27,520; cotton pipe, 2 1/2 inches, 273,085; rubber hose, 2 1/2 inches, 1600; chemical hose, 1 inch, 21 310; total 323,515. total usable hosfe in the department, 375,215 feet. Pipe issued in 1914: cotton pipe, 3 1/2 inches, 920 feet; cotton pipe, 2 1/2 inches, 62,250 feet; chemical hose, 1 inch, 2,500 feet. Pipe condemned in 1914, 43,620 feet.

Device.

The department’s apparatus includes three motor pumps and 108 steam engines in service and 23 steam engines in reserve; four fire boats in service and two in reserve; 25 combined flexible wagons (23 engines) and 29 single flexible wagons in service and two combined and two single in reserve; sixteen reels in service; total ladder trucks in service, 34; in reserve, 5. There are also ten chemical engines in service and a water tower.


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