January 16, 1913

Visit to the Firemen, The New Quarters of the New Department

Last evening a reporter for the Times went with Chief Brockwell and Assistant Chief Farmer, of the new paid department, to headquarters.  The moment the reporter entered the door Chief Brockwell sounded the alarm.  Upstairs, in the men's recreation room, the music of a piano was heard.  There was a quick change.  At the clang of the big gong out dashed the horses and the men came with a run, sliding down the big brass rod to the first floor, harnessed the horses and got on the seats-- all in 27 seconds.  'All right,' said the chief.  The firemen gave The Times man a smile, unhitched or rather unsnapped the horses, who went back to their stalls, looking very knowing indeed.  Chief Brockwell: 'The horses know it was not an outside alarm.  They are well-posted.  They saw me hit the gong.' 

Upstairs The Times reporter went and found that, in the recreation room the men had installed an automatic piano, such as are in use in fire houses all over the country.  There is an arrangement by which each fireman has a card in the Raney library, so that books are always on hand.  In the sleeping room of the men the beds were neat.  In the electric room is the apparatus which transmits the alarms from each of the districts into which the city is divided, strikes the city bell and the gong in each fire house.  The apparatus in this electric room, now on the second floor, front, is to be removed to a specially constructed room on the first floor, of reinforced concrete, in the new addition of the building now under construction.  There is to be a machine shop, for repairs, etc.  In the basement will be the heating plant, since as the new apparatus will be gasoline-driven it must not be exposed to freezing temperatures.  There will be a new recreation room for the men.  The exterior of the present building will not be changed, but many changes of the interior will be made.  The tower will be made higher and will be used not only for drying hose, but also for fire drills, as there will be ladders inside on which the firemen will practice.  The firemen are studying all sorts of fire problems under the chief's direction. 

The fireman are now 'on probation' to use the technical phrase, they are on this 30 days.  Then they are affirmed they get their uniforms.  The old volunteer fire department has passed out of existence; its men are no longer on duty of any sort and, of course, answer no calls.  However, it will be formally disbanded by the action of the board of aldermen, in a few days.  Chief Brockwell says the men of the new department behaved admirably at their first fire, that at Giersch's Sunday morning, and that he is much pleased.  The Times man was asked to say a word to the men last evening and did so.

Source: January 16, 1913 Raleigh Times

Home / Reset Frames

This page was last updated on 02/22/06 08:27:07 PM