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| AN N UAL R EPORT 193 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Boston Public Library 



http://www.archive.org/details/annualreport1938boston 




FIREMAN MAKES INSPECTION OF DWELLING 



EVERY HOME VISITED DURING 1938 

OF CITY 



FIRST TIME IN HISTORY 



ANNUAL REPORT 



FIKE DEPARTMENT 

AND WIRE DIVISION 



CITY OF BOSTON 



YEAE ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1938 




CITY OF BOSTON 

PRINTING DEPARTMENT 

1939 



/£ 



[Document 12 — 1939. 




ANNUAL REPORT 

OP THE 

FIRE DEPARTMENT 

FOR THE YEAR 1938. 



Boston, January 5, 1939. 

Hon. Maurice J. Tobin, 

Mayor of the City of Boston. 

Dear Sir, — I have the honor to submit herewith a 
concise report of the activities of the Boston Fire 
Department and the Wire Division for the year ending 
December 31, 1938. 

Respectfully submitted, 

William Arthur Reilly, 

Fire Commissioner. 



HISTORY. 



FIRE COMMISSIONERS. 

*1874-1876. Alfred P. Rockwell. 

1877-1879. David Chamberlain. 

1879-1883. John E. Fitzgerald. 

1883-1885. Henry W. Longley. 

1885-1886. John E. Fitzgerald. 

1886-1895. Robert G. Fitch. 

1895-1905. Henry S. Russell. 

1905. Patrick J. Kennedy. 

(Acting February 17 — March 20.) 
1905-1908. Benjamin W. Wells. 

1908-1910. Samuel D. Parker. 

1910. Francis M. Carroll. 

(Acting May 27— September 16.) 
1910-1912. Charles C. Daly. 

1912-1914. Charles H. Cole. 

1914-1919. John Grady. 

1919-1921. John R. Murphy. 

1921-1922. Joseph P. Manning. 

(Acting Nov. 8, 1921— April 1, 1922.) 
1922. William J. Casey. 

(Acting April 1 — August 24.) 
1922-1925. Theodore A. Glynn. 

1926. Thomas A. Sullivan. 

(Acting January 26 — July 6.) 
1926-1930. Eugene C. Hultman. 

1930-1933. Edward F. McLaughlin. 

1933. Eugene M. McSweeney. 

(October 16, 1933— January 5, 1934.) 
1934-1938. Edward F. McLaughlin. 



1938. 



William Arthur Reilly. 



CHIEFS OF DEPARTMENT. 

1826-1828. Samuel D. Harris. 

1829-1835. Thomas C. Amory. 

1836-1853. William Barnicoat. 

1854-1855. Elisha Smith, Jr. 

1856-1865. George W. Bird. 

1866-1874. John S. Damrell. 

1874-1884. William A. Green. 

1884-1901. Louis P. Webber. 

1901-1906. William T. Cheswell. 

1906-1914. John A. Mullen. 

1914. John Grady. (1 day.) 

1914-1919. Peter F. McDonough. 

1919-1922. Peter E. Walsh. 

1922-1924. John O. Taber. 

1925-1930. Daniel F. Sennott. 

1930-1936. Henry A. Fox. 

1936- Samuel J. Pope. 



* Previous to 1874, the Boston Fire Department was in charge of the Chief Er 



(2) 



PRESENT DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS. 



William Arthur Reilly, Fire Commissioner. 
William D. Slattery, Executive Secretary. 



Samuel J. Pope, Chief of Department. 
DEPUTY CHIEFS: 
Fire Prevention. Thomas H. Downey. 

* Division I. Louis C. Stickel, John J. Kenney. 
t Division II. William F. Quigley, John F. McDonough. 
J Division III. Frank A. Sweeney, Dennis J. Coughlin. 

DISTRICT CHIEFS: 

District 1 (East Boston). Napeen Boutilier, William F. Donovan. 

" 2 (Charlestown). Philip A. Tague, John P. Walsh. 

" 3 (Waterfront). William A. Donovan, Charles D. Robertson. 

" 4 (North and West Ends). Michael J. Aylward, Franklin B. 
Sanborn. 

" 5 (City Proper). John F. Watson, Daniel Crowley. 

" 6 (South Boston). Edward G. Chamberlain, James J. Kane. 

" 7 (South End and Back Bay). Michael F. Minehan, William J. 
Mahoney. 

" 8 (Back Bay and Roxbury). Daniel Martell, Charles H. Mc- 
Donnell. 

" 9 (Roxbury). William H. McCorkle, John J. O'Brien. 

" 10 (Dorchester). Daniel J. Hurley, Edward N. Montgomery. 

" 11 (Brighton-Allston). Thomas H. Andreoli, Joseph W. Shea. 

" 12 (Roxbury-Jamaica Plain). Timothy F. Donovan, Thomas F. 
Ward. 

" 13 (Roslindale-West Roxbury). Charles A. Donohoe, Edward F. 
McCarthy. 

" 14 (Dorchester). Walter C. Glynn, James A. Gagan. 

" 15 (Hyde Park). William Hart, Allen J. Jar vis. 

FIRE ALARM DIVISION: 



George L. Fickett, Superintendent. 
William N. Bonner, Assistant Superintendent. 
John Galway, Chief Operator. 

MAINTENANCE DIVISION: 



Edward E. Williamson, Superintendent. 

John D. Buckley, General Foreman. 

James W. Ryan, Engineer of Motor Apparatus. 

WIRE DIVISION: 

Bernard B. Whelan, Superintendent. 

MEDICAL EXAMINER: 

Martin H. Spellman, M. D. 



* Districts 1-2-3-4-5. t Districts 6-7-8-11. X District 9-10-12-13-14-15. 

(3) 



RECIPIENTS OF HONOR MEDALS. 



Year. 



Roll of Merit, t 



Walter Scott Medal.f 



John E. Fitzgerald Medal.* 



1880. 



1882. 

1883. 
1897. 
1898. 



1900. 



1901. 



1902. 

1903. 

1909. 

1917. 

1918. 
1922. 
1923. 

1924. 



1927. 



1929. 

1932. 
1933. 
1934. 
1935. 
1936. 
1938. 



(E. B. Smith. 
-j George F. Griffin. 
(T. E. Simonds. 
(Nathan L. Hussey. 
\Edwin H. Sawyer. 
Edwin H. Sawyer. 
James F. Bailey. 
Eugene Rogers. 
(Peter Callahan. 
I Joseph A. Kelley. 
j Timothy J. Heffron. 
[ James E. Downey. 
Frederick F. Leary. 
Florence Donoghue. 
James J. O'Connor. 
James F. McMahon. 
■ Martin A. Kenealy. 
[Dennis Driscoll. 
William H. Magner. 
Thomas J. Muldoon. 
Dennis McGee. 
Joseph P. Hanton. 
Michael J. Teehan. 
Charles W. Conway. 
Michael J. Dacey. 
Patrick E. Keyes. 
Thomas H. Downey. 
(Edward McDonough. 
[John J. Kennedy. 
Henry J. Kelley. 
Carl S. Bowers. 

(Carl V. Anderson, 
j James G. Buchanan. 
[Arthur A. Ryan. 

Dennis M. Condon. 

Gilbert W. Jones. 

Walter P. Corbett. 

Edward J. Murphy. 

WiUiam O. Cheswell. 

John J. Martin. 

John A. O'Connor. 

William C. Jeffers. 

James F. Sheehan. 
Dennis J. McLaughlin. 



Dennis M. Condon. 
James H. Curran. 

[Edward J. Crowley. 



Gilbert W. Jones. 



John J. Boyle. 



John J. Leary. 
Daniel J. O'Bxien. 

Thomas F. Kilduff. 



Dennis M. Condon. 
Joseph P. Hanton. 

Patrick J. Flaherty. 
John J. Crehan. 



* Highest award for the most meritorious act performed during year, 
t Award for special valor in performance of duty as a fireman. 

j Distinguished service in the saving of life. Prior to 1922 the "Roll of Merit" was the highest 
award given. 

(4) 



IN MEMORIAM. 

"All honor unto gallantry 

In reverence we pay — 
That others might have days to be 

These gave their lives away. 
Now glory shall enshrine each name 

And time their deeds defy — 
Since humble men who sought no fame 
Have taught us how to die." 

Henry Gillen. 



BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT HEROES WHO SACRIFICED 
THEIR LIVES FIGHTING FIRES. 



1872. 


Thomas Young. 


1902. 


Daniel L. Shea. 




William Farry. 


1906. 


William T. Cheswell. 




Daniel Cochrane. 


1907. 


Cornelius H. Tagen. 


1873. 


Brown P. Stowell. 


1909. 


James B. Akerly. 




James Sturks. 


1910. 


Patrick W. Lanegan. 




John Prince, Jr. 


1912. 


Phillip T. Smith. 


1874. 


William S. Hill. 


1914. 


Joseph A. Hackett. 


1875. 


John H. Kelley. 




William H. Hughes. 


1878. 


Fred A. W. Gay. 


1915. 


Charles Willett. 


1881. 


Thomas J. To bey. 




Dennis A. Walsh. 


1884. 


Joseph Pierce. 


1917. 


Alexander F. Mitchell. 




James Quigley. 




Frank A. Lailer. 


1886. 


William H. Flavell. 


1919. 


Thomas J. Stevens. 


1889. 


Michael Murnan. 




George Layhe. 




J. J. Brooks. 


1922. 


William J. Swan. 




F. P. Loker. 


1925. 


Owen T. Norton. 




D. J. Buckley. 


1926. 


Michael J. Travers. 


1890. 


Patrick M. Crotty. 


1927. 


Joseph M. Donovan. 


1893. 


John M. Powers. 




James Gavagan. 


1896. 


William H. Chapman. 


1928. 


Martin J. Callahan. 


_ 

1897. 


Joseph F. Collins. 


1929. 


Florence J. Sullivan. 


1898. 


John F. Egan. 




William E. Emmel. 




James H. Victory. 


1930. 


George J. Corcoran. 




George J. Gottwald. 


1931. 


Michael A. Riley. 




Patrick H. Diskin. 


1932. 


Henry J. Power. 




John J. Mulhern. 


1935. 


Albert F. Mitchell. 




William J. Welch. 




Michael J. Gilligan. 


1899. 


Martin F. McDonald. 




Frank J. Parkes. 


1900. 


Patrick J. McCarthy. 


1937. 


John T. Murphy. 




Herbert Pierce. 




Edward R. Lynn. 


1902. 


Solomon P. Russell. 


1938. 


Cornelius Noonan. 



(5) 



SECTION I— THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. 



GENERAL STATEMENT. 

Because of the character of the City of Boston with 
its narrow crooked streets, large areas of old wooden 
buildings (93,966 in which 1,822 fires occurred in 1938), 
authorities agree that this city is faced with problems 
not experienced by any other fire department in the 
country. That fires in Boston have been confined 
to their point of origin during the past few years reflects 
great credit on the fire-fighting force. 

The possibility of an emergency arising from simul- 
taneous alarms is ever present as it can be readily 
visualized that the dilapidated condition of the water 
front might engage the entire resources of the depart- 
ment under certain conditions. 

The mutual aid system* would offer some security 
if, for example, a serious fire broke out in an outlying 
district during operations at a conflagration on the 
water front. This was brought home when, on June 
16, 1938, two three-alarm fires took place simultaneously. 
At that time it was necessary for the department to 
rely upon outside help to protect certain suburbs. 

The necessity for reduced expenses in city govern- 
ment is obvious and the Fire Department has cooperated 
to the fullest extent in the laudable program of the 
Mayor to relieve the taxpayers' burden. No new men 
were appointed; no new uniforms were purchased 
during 1938; no new apparatus was purchased; and 
various other economies were effected. Obviously, 
however, we are only postponing the day when a large 
amount of fire apparatus must be purchased to provide 
adequate protection for the city. 

The high average age of members of the department 
at the present time is a source of concern to the Com- 
missioner. Until the new contributory pension system 
offers inducement to elderly members of the depart- 
ment to retire, a major reduction in the expense of 
personnel in the fire-fighting force cannot be safely 

* Mutual Aid System. Agreement between neighboring cities and towns to fill in for 
one another when called upon for help. 

(7) 



8 City Document No. 12. 

accomplished. Under the old retirement system the 
city is obliged to compensate retired members at one- 
half pay during the period of their retirement, and this 
amount is made available by direct appropriations. 

If a continuation of the downward trend in fire losses 
is to be experienced, additional legislation must be 
secured permitting the authority of the Fire Depart- 
ment to be strengthened through participation in the 
establishment of a new building code and enforcement 
of penalties for certain violations as discovered by the 
Fire Prevention Bureau. As most fires are caused by 
carelessness it is not unreasonable to believe that the 
present fire losses can be reduced by at least 50 per cent 
within the next ten years, just as they have been re- 
duced by 50 per cent during the past ten years. Au- 
thority to order the installation of sprinkler systems in 
certain old buildings on high valued land will do much 
to make this reduction possible. Prohibition of the 
use of fireworks except in supervised formal public 
displays will likewise contribute in making a reduction 
in fire losses possible. The demolition of ancient 
third-class wooden construction in the city should be 
accelerated as far as is possible. For some years it 
has been noted that the upper stories of five and six 
story buildings in certain sections of the city have been 
found unprofitable and these buildings have been razed 
either completely to provide parking spaces for auto- 
mobiles or such buildings have been replaced by modern 
two-story structures. This trend will be helpful in 
reducing fire losses also. 

New hazards are coming onto the horizon through 
the development of air-conditioning equipment, new 
electrical appliances, and the use of certain chemical 
properties in foodstuffs, apothecary supplies, and mis- 
cellaneous merchandise for use in the home. The Fire 
Department is well acquainted with these through 
lectures by recognized authorities in various fields at 
the Fire College and by attention to the findings of 
various research bodies. Oil-burning equipment for 
heating purposes offers a problem which is quite differ- 
ent from that offered by the old coal-burning equipment 
in various stores and residences. The development 
of all of these articles and appliances is consistent with 
the trend of modern living. The Fire Department, 
however, must be equipped to meet these conditions 
and given authority to regulate the conditions sur- 
rounding storage and sale of such objects. 



Fire Department. 9 

Continued attention to fire prevention education is 
of the utmost necessity and as far as is possible, under 
the limited financial resources of the department or 
the legal restrictions on the operations of the depart- 
ment, these conditions will be met in the future. 

Some significance may be placed upon the fact that 
during 1938 there were fewer alarms sounded than in 
1937. Nevertheless, the 1938 loss was approximately 
the same as in 1937. A substantial increase in the 
number of false alarms was noted,* but a solution to 
this problem seems to have been found in the installa- 
tion of sirens on certain boxes of the city. The invest- 
ment of the taxpayers in the past for Fire Department 
equipment may be appreciated from the following facts : 
Motorized fire fighting apparatus cost over $2,000,000; 
hose, extinguishers, and equipment is valued at over 
$144,000; uniform service to firemen cost over $76,000 
(this figure applies only to uniforms now in use); an 
inventory of the stock in the Maintenance Division 
shows material on hand valued at over $78,000 based 
on cost prices; the value of trucks and machinery in 
the Maintenance Division is over $46,000. 

We have 52 fire engines in service and 9 in reserve; 
48 hose wagons in service and 10 in reserve; 31 ladder 
trucks in service with 13 in reserve. In addition, we 
have three fireboats, 3 rescue wagons, 3 water towers, 
35 chiefs' automobiles, 1 fuel wagon, 14 supply auto- 
mobiles, 2 smoke ejectors, 2 portable light plants, and 
1 foam wagon. We have 502 short ladders in service 
and 303 portable fire extinguishers with approximately 
200,000 feet of hose of various sizes, with 20,000 feet in 
reserve. There are 49 fire stations in the city exclusive of 
the fireboats, high pressure stations and other buildings. 

There were 1,012 privates in the department as of 
December 31, 1938, distributed among the 31 ladder 
companies, 53 engine companies, high pressure stations, 
fire alarm station, Maintenance Division and Head- 
quarters. 



1938 ACCOMPLISHMENTS. 
Fire Loss. 

The total fire loss for the City of Boston estimated 
by the insurance companies amounted to $2,360,552.83. 
This total includes marine losses of $132,675. This 

* Yet Boston's false alarm record was the best of the large cities in the United States 
for 1938. 



10 City Document No. 12. 

loss is approximately 6 per cent below the total losses 
for 1937. The total loss for all land fires is $2,227,887.83. 
This amount is $23,521 higher than for the previous 
year. 

Expenses. 

Expenses of the department decreased from the year 
1937 by $65,346.92. The total amount expended during 
the year 1938 was $4,018,980.62. On page No. 22, a 
graph shows the trend of expenses during the past few 
years. 

Income. 

The income for the year showed an increase over the 
previous year. Total income from all sources was 
$37,252.57 as against $32,219.87 for 1937. The table 
on page No. 38 shows the trend of revenue for the past 
ten years. 

Personnel. 

The following changes in personnel of the fire fighting 
force occurred during 1938: thirty (30) retirements and 
ten (10) deaths. The promotions were: one (1) district 
chief, four (4) captains, one (1) first engineer, three 
(3) second engineers, one (1) third engineer, one (1) 
master and two (2) aides to commissioner. These 
promotions were necessary to increase the operating 
efficiency of the fire fighting force. There were no 
new appointments to the rank of private. 

Promotions from the Civil Service list were made 
strictly in accordance with the standing of the various 
candidates on the lists, as certified by the Civil Service 
Commissioner. 

A recreational program was commenced in which 
approximately one third of the department now partici- 
pates. 

A physical examination of all men engaged in special 
details was held and a special survey was held to deter- 
mine latent talent among the various employees of the 
department. 

Housing. 

Four fire houses were abandoned and the Fire 
Department garage was razed during the year 1938. 
In addition, two stations formerly occupied by double 
companies were reduced to single companies, thus 
eliminating the need for upkeep on one half of each 
double house. 



Fire Department. 11 

Apparatus. 

Apparatus of the department is undergoing a general 
rehabilitation by means of a repainting program and 
a schedule in operation calling for the installation of 
booster brakes on ladder trucks, windshields on all 
old apparatus, and the installation of portable lighting 
equipment on at least one ladder truck in each district 
for aiding in fighting night fires. Additional gas 
masks have been purchased for use by members of the 
department. The latest type spray nozzles have been 
likewise adopted for use at fires and several of the 
latest type life nets have been purchased for greater 
safety in rescue work. 

Fire Prevention. 

Highly commended and publicized were the public 
exhibitions of ladder, drill and rescue work, which 
were held at various sections of the city during the 
month of October. Boston was awarded first prize 
among the cities of the United States and Canada as 
the city showing the greatest improvement in fire 
prevention work during the year 1938. This prize is 
awarded annually by the National Board of Fire 
Underwriters. 

In addition to this award, the United States Chamber 
of Commerce placed Boston among the honor cities 
of the country for its fire department record during 
the year 1938. This is the first time in the history of 
the city that either of these organizations have so 
honored the department. 

To make possible these public exhibitions the Main- 
tenance Division constructed a forty-six foot portable 
drill tower; dismantling, moving and erecting this 
tower for each exhibition. 

Seasonal fire prevention signs were displayed on 
fire houses throughout the year. Thirty-four of the 
most prominently located fire stations were designated 
for display of these signs. Twenty thousand especially 
prepared flyers and folders were distributed in all the 
mail of the various departments in the City of Boston 
during Fire Prevention Week. Fire prevention mes- 
sages were distributed to suburban papers and to various 
trade papers throughout the year. Fire prevention 
broadcasts were given regularly from the major radio 



12 City Document No. 12. 

stations of the city. District chiefs visited all the 
schools of the city addressing the pupils and conducting 
fire drills and home inspection blanks were distributed 
to twenty thousand children. 

Two twenty-minute fire prevention motion picture 
films were furnished to the public schools for showing 
in every public school building. Over one hundred 
lectures were given to organizations of the city on fire 
prevention matters and our regular department 
35 t m.m. film was shown at each of these lectures. 

Church announcements were secured, fireboat dis- 
plays, parades, Boy Scout demonstrations, meetings of 
watchmen, and various trade associations were con- 
ducted this year to a greater extent than ever before 
in the history of the city. 

During the year 1938, 194,000 inspections were made 
by Fire Prevention inspectors, and 36,000 conditions 
were corrected. These conditions consisted of minor 
hazards, such as accumulated rubbish, obstructed stair- 
ways, fire escapes, unlicensed fires in the open, dangerous 
storage of materials, etc. 

Lectures were given in all the public schools of the 
city and home inspection blanks were distributed to the 
children. Many radio addresses were made and various 
articles written for trade papers dealing with specific 
problems in various industries. 

Arson Squad. 

272 fires were investigated by the Arson Squad 
during the year. 4 cases were presented to the District 
Attorney and later presented by him to the Grand 
Jury with 3 indictments returned. 12 persons were 
arrested, suspected of setting fires. 

Maintenance Division. 

During 1938, 1,233 various jobs were performed at 
department buildings by department mechanics at a 
cost for material of $992.12. 102 jobs were performed 
by outside concerns at a total cost of $1,702.54. Oil 
burners in all Fire Department stations were inspected 
and repaired as needed during the year and three new 
oil burners were installed. Three heaters were salvaged 
from abandoned fire houses and placed in other locations. 

1,940 repair jobs were performed on various pieces of 
furniture throughout the year. 



Fire Department. 13 

49 pieces of apparatus were completely painted and 
lettered at a cost for material of $1,322.89. 200 partial 
paint jobs were performed at a cost for material of 
$1,685, while 366 miscellaneous small painting jobs 
were performed at a cost for material of $1,275. 1,035 
fire alarm boxes were painted by Maintenance Division 
painters at a cost for material of $121.35. 

Motor mechanics gave a general overhaul to 18 
pumpers, 13 hose cars, 16 ladder trucks, 1 rescue wagon, 
and 1 lighting plant. Repairs on passenger cars and 
department trucks were in addition to the above work. 
Due to the extreme age of the Fire Department appa- 
ratus a considerable amount of repair work is neces- 
sary and this amount of work will naturally be increased 
as years go on. The total number of repair jobs per- 
formed on apparatus by department mechanics was 
4,753, at a cost for materials of $4,989.32. The amount 
of repair work performed by outside concerns totalled 
388 jobs at a cost of $3,233.57. Outside work is done 
where proper facilities are not existing at the Mainte- 
nance Division Repair Shop; for example, repair of 
springs, fenders, carburetors, certain radiator repairs 
and replacement of solid tires. 

4 passenger cars and 2 small trucks were turned 
over to the Co-ordinator of Motor Vehicles for use in 
other departments. Engine 41 pump was dismantled 
as the result of an accident after usable parts had been 
salvaged. 

11,849 feet of hose were condemned during the year, 
and at the present time we have 189,744 feet of hose in 
service with 8,356 feet in reserve. 

High Pressure Service. 

High Pressure Station 1 responded to 250 alarms of 
fire during the year, being in operation approximately 
78 hours and 38 minutes. The Venturi meters record 
the pumping of 176,000 gallons of water for this period. 

High Pressure Station No. 2 responded to 254 alarms 
of fire during the year, being in operation approximately 
52 hours and 15 minutes. The Venturi meters recorded 
the pumping of 151,500 gallons of water for this period. 

Fireboats. 

Each one of the three fireboats in operation in the 
Fire Department was repaired in conformity with the 



14 City Document No. 12. 

requirements after the annual United States inspection, 
and practically all of the repair work was done by the 
Maintenance Division. The cost of outside repairs on 
these boats would have been approximately ten times 
the cost to the department were not the facilities of 
the Maintenance Division available for this work. 
The probable cost of the work done in a commercial 
shipyard on one boat alone would have been $8,129, 
according to current prices. Our department performed 
the work for approximately $872.51, including labor and 
material. 

In the National Board of Fire Underwriters' report 
No. 158 of December, 1936, there was a recommenda- 
tion that early consideration should be given to the 
replacement of one of our fireboats which is "old, in 
poor condition, and unable to deliver one half of its 
capacity." Recommendations concerning this are con- 
tained in another part of this report. The fireboat 
"Angus J. McDonald" now in service at Engine 31 
was built in East Boston in 1895 and is therefore 44 
years old. This is the boat to which the National 
Board referred. 

W. P. A. 

Labor Projects. 

At an expense of approximately $8,000, 12 labor 
projects were conducted under the W. P. A. at the 
following locations: Engine 47, Engine 43, Engine 42, 
Engine 50, Engine 44, Engine 16, Engine 7, Engine 18, 
Engine 34, Fire Alarm Headquarters, Engine 13, Head- 
quarters, 60 Bristol street. 

This work consisted of miscellaneous repairs to roofs, 
walls, shingling, skylights, flashing and ventilators. 

Clerical Projects. 

A law project employing 3 lawyers and 15 clerks was 
inaugurated for the purpose of codifying all laws, 
statutes and ordinances relating to the Fire Department. 

Another clerical project commenced the work of cross- 
indexing fuel oil permits. Five typists and one super- 
visor are engaged in this undertaking. 

A mapping project was inaugurated, employing 3 
supervisors and 80 employees, at the completion of 
which the department will have available for each 
fire house a map showing the location of buildings in 
the region covered by the men quartered at the fire 



Fike Department. 15 

house. In addition, the location of hydrants, sprinkler 
connections, stairways, windows with shutters, fire walls 
and other information necessary to proper fire fighting 
will be available for use of the Fire Department. This 
information will enable a new officer to become familiar 
with his district quickly and in the case of a large fire 
enable a man on the outside of the fire to "size up" the 
condition and to plan operations. 

Followed up by personal inspections of the property 
these maps will provide the department with equipment 
superior to that of any department in the country for the 
intelligent fighting of fires and establishment of fire 
regulations. 

N. Y. A. Projects. 

At no expense to the city employment was given 
to an average of 25 young men enrolled in the N. Y. A. 
by means of which these men were given experience 
in office work, in motor vehicle repair and care, in 
carpentry, painting, electrical work, and the various 
trades connected with the department Maintenance 
Division. This department received the benefit of the 
services rendered, and the young men thus employed 
themselves received a training which qualified them for 
private employment as experienced assistants in the 
various trades. 



1939 OBJECTIVES. 

1. Coordination of all educational activities into 
one central administration of the Fire College. 

2. Organization of the special parade team to appear 
with the Fire Department Band and Drill Team in public 
processions and exhibitions. 

3. Commencement of a program of installation of 
two-way radio communication in all chiefs' cars. 

4. Commencement of a program placing all over- 
head fire alarm wires underground. 

5. Establishment of a card index of all addresses 
in the City of Boston showing an analysis of the condi- 
tion of the premises and a census of the number of 
persons housed at each address. 

6. Investigation by the Arson Squad of all fires 
where the loss exceeds $5,000. 

7. Extension of military drill, gymnasium or athletic 
activities to every company of the Fire Department. 



16 City Document No. 12. 

8. Sponsoring of legislation calling for reduction 
in the age limit of applicants for positions in the fire 
fighting force (based on the findings that the present 
average age of privates in this department is forty- 
seven). 

9. Support of other legislation concerning the use 
of fireworks and installation of sprinklers. 

10. Reinspection of all old electric wiring work in 
the City of Boston. 

11. Replacement of heating equipment in ten 
stations. 

12. Acquisition of one and one half inch hose for 
certain locations and uses. 

13. Acquisition of new type inhalators and re- 
suscitators for use by the Rescue Squad and various 
ladder companies. 

14. Study of loss ratio to premiums for drive to 
obtain lower insurance rates in Boston. 

15. Continuation of program inaugurated in 1938 
for the rehabilitation of old apparatus; fire prevention 
activities, etc. 

16. Installation of an enlarged multiple type switch- 
board at the Fire Alarm Office in the Fenway. 

17. Establishment of an improved system for the 
summoning of the off-platoon in case of an emergency, 
disaster. 

18. Installation of sirens on fire alarm boxes in the 
City of Boston to eliminate the increased number of 
false alarms. 

19. Study of present district lines with possible 
reduction in view. 



Recommendations. 
Housing. 

(A.) At the present time High Pressure Station 
No. 2 is on rented land, on Atlantic avenue. Engine 8 
is on Salem street, in a most congested section, where 
the response of the apparatus is seriously impaired by 
traffic conditions. It is the Fire Commissioner's recom- 
mendation that on Hanover street, on city land, a new 
fire station be erected to house Engine 8 and Ladder 1 
now located at Bowdoin square. This will give in- 
creased protection to the North End and business 
district of the city. At the same address it is recom- 



Fire Department. 17 

mended that the High Pressure Station be established 
and transferred from its present Congress street location. 
This will make possible a saving of $2,300 a year and 
plus the saving effected in twenty years will pay for 
the cost of erecting the house on Hanover street. 

(B.) Engine 3 and Ladder 3 formerly quartered 
at the corner of Harrison avenue and Bristol street has 
for a period of almost a year and a half been temporarily 
located in a garage at 60 Bristol street. These 
temporary accommodations are inadequate and are of 
a makeshift nature. A new firehouse should be erected 
on city-owned land on Harrison avenue, halfway be- 
tween Bristol street and Northampton street. Erec- 
tion of this new firehouse would permit the transfer 
of Engine 3 and Ladder 3 to the new quarters and make 
possible the elimination of Engine 23 now located on 
Northampton street. This district is surrounded by 
hospitals, rooming houses, schools, and institutions 
where fire protection is most necessary, and adoption 
of this recommendation is urged immediately. 

(C.) A new firehouse, located in West Roxbury, 
in the vicinity of Washington and Grove streets, is 
necessary due to the increased population in the south 
side of the city. A new station in this section will be 
sufficient to house equipment that can cover apparatus 
responding to alarms in West Roxbury, Hyde Park, 
Mattapan, and the Franklin Park section of Roxbury 
and Dorchester, as well as the Forest Hills and Jamaica 
Plain sections. In spite of the increased population 
of West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Dorchester during 
the last 25 years no additional Fire Department facilities 
have been established in these sections. 

(D.) A two-story addition is recommended to con- 
nect the present Maintenance Building and Head- 
quarters Building on Bristol street. Construction of 
this building will replace the garage which was razed 
during 1938 and permit the removal of the Fire Alarm 
Repair Shop from a building which will soon be con- 
demned by the Building Commissioner according to 
present indications. This addition will permit of the 
consolidation of all maintenance activities under one 
roof and unless this addition is authorized within two 
years the department will have to rent space for the 
storage of cars and the operations of the Fire Alarm 
Repair Division. As an alternative to this the fire- 



18 City Document No. 12. 

houses abandoned during 1938 might be restored to 
the department by use as department garages. 

(E.) In view of the fact that one of the fireboats 
now in service is over 40 years old, plans should be 
prepared for the replacement of a fireboat in the near 
future. Future boats should be Diesel operated. Use 
of Diesel motors in the fireboats would eliminate, prac- 
tically, the expense now borne by the city for fuel 
during the hours when the fireboats are not in actual 
operation at fires. Some one of our three fireboats is 
out of service for repairs during 6 months of the year. 
With Diesel motors this lost time would not be neces- 
sary and it is thus possible that two Diesel-operated 
boats might do the work of the present three oil and 
coal burning boats, at a tremendous saving in expense. 
The number of boats to be used in the future depends 
upon the future business in the harbor. At the present 
time the possibility of an oil fire flowing down from the 
Chelsea creek and the present condition of waterfront 
property and wharves militates against any reduction in 
marine equipment. 

High Pressure Service. 

The development of the Copley square section of 
the city and the proposed new construction planned 
by the neighborhood, makes obvious the need for 
extending the High Pressure Service to Copley square. 
At the present time this service ends at Church street, 
adjoining the Public Garden on the Park square side. 

Personnel. 

During the year 1939 it is recommended that because 
of the reduced quota and the high average age of privates 
in the department, that no further reduction in man- 
power be permitted. Until the average age of fire 
fighters is lowered at least one replacement for every 
two men retiring should be made. In later years when 
members of the contributory pension system commence 
to take advantage of that plan the city will be saved 
the expense of the present old pension system and men 
will be induced to retire at an earlier age. At the present 
time, however, because of the high average age of 
privates it is necessary to consider the condition of the 
men on duty as well as the number of men on duty. 



Fire Department. 19 

Fire Prevention. 

(A). Establishment of a chemical research laboratory 
at headquarters for use by the Arson Squad in analyzing 
the causes of fires at various addresses to enable the 
department to keep pace with the present trend towards 
scientific methods of fire analysis and fire prevention. 
Fire prevention inspectors would be aided in making 
industrial inspections by access to such a laboratory; 
the relative merits of various extinguishing agents 
could be quickly determined and by specializing in the 
subject of chemistry in fire, Boston would be taking a 
lead in an essential activity just as it did when it 
installed the first electric fire alarm system years ago 
and commenced to convert its radio system into two- 
way communication in the latter part of 1938. Men 
are now in the department and coming into the depart- 
ment with education in chemistry. 

(B.) It is recommended that the Building Commis- 
sioner be provided with sufficient funds to raze all 
third-class buildings in the City of Boston which are 
abandoned, unoccupied for a period of over a year, 
or unsafe for occupancy. Such buildings are unsightly. 
They give cause for reduction of assessed valuations of 
neighboring pieces of property and they are fire hazards. 
The Fire Department at the present time has a list of 
such buildings. 

(C.) It is recommended that legislation be peti- 
tioned for the right to order installation of sprinklers 
wherever cost will not exceed 5 per cent of value of 
land occupied by a building. The present law permits 
orders where cost does not exceed 5 per cent of land 
and buildings. 

(D.) It is recommended that legislation be peti- 
tioned for the prohibition of the sale of fireworks except 
for supervised displays, thus eliminating the present 
hazards of small fireworks in hands of children or 
adults. 

FIRE ALARM DIVISION. 

During the hurricane in September a great many fire 
alarm circuits went out of service because of damage 
from the storm. Therefore, during the year 1939 it is 
recommended that a section of overhead wires of our 



20 City Document No. 12. 

Fire Alarm System be placed underground and that 
each year henceforth additional sections be placed 
underground. 

A survey should be made for the purpose of devising 
ways and means of reducing the present load on the 
telephone switchboard at Fire Alarm Headquarters. 

Preparations should be made for the transmission 
and reception of two-way radio messages between fire- 
boats, chiefs' cars and Fire Alarm Headquarters. 



STATISTICS. 



(21) 



22 



City Document No. 12. 



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(23) 




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Fike Department. 



27 



TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRE ALARMS. 

(To which Apparatus Responded.) 





1936. 


1937. 


1938. 


First alarms 

Automatic alarms 

A. D. T. alarms 


5,239 

4,069 

117 

68 


5,520 

4,154 

3 

1 


5,368 

4,130 

1 

4 


Totals 


9,493 


9,678 


9,503 


False alarms 

Accidental alarms 

Needless alarms 

Multiple alarm fires: 

Two alarms 

Three alarms 

Four alarms 

Five alarms 


1,369 
245 
666 

54 

12 

4 

3 

service . 


1,442 

247 
583 

54 

16 

5 

1 


1,658 
262 
699 

42 
8 
5 



Total number of fire alarm boxes in 


1,708 



Fire-resistive 
Second class 
Frame . 
Other types 

Total . 



ANALYSIS OF FIRES IN BUILDINGS. 
Construction of Buildings. 



Point of Origin, 



Basement . 
First floor . 
Second floor 
Third floor . 
Above third floor 
Roof . 
Outside 

Total . 



Extent of Fire. 

Confined to point of origin 

Confined to buildings .... 

Spread to other buildings 



156 
1,774 
1,527 



3,465 



1,107 
996 
448 
291 
147 
76 
400 

3,465 



2,857 

547 

61 



Total 



3,465 



CAU5E5 OF FIRES IN BUILDINGS 

CARELESS SMOKIN G 1,000 

ECTIVE,SOQT&SPARKS 5 IS 

OIL BURNERS 352 

ELEC. APPLIANCES 6c MOTORS 208 

DREN AND MATCHES I 98 

I 7 I 
\NEOUS KNOWN CAUSES I 7D 
HEATERS &RUBBI5H 15 1 
US IGNITION I 37 

LAMABLE LIQUIDS I 2D 

OTHER CARELESS USEOF MATCHES I I I 



3 



f 



DEFECTIVE WIRING 

INCENDIARY OR SUSPICIOUS 

HOT ASHES 

CITY GAS AND APPLIANCES 

CLOTHES TOO NEAR FIRE 

FIREWORKS 

SPARKS FROM MACHINES 
THAWING WATER PIPES 



93 
6 I 

54 
30 

29 
25 

22 
15 



1933 TOTAL 3,455 



(28) 




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RUBBISH (NEAR BUILDING) 


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DUMP 

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72 
24 



1938 TOTAL 2820 



2 



RESCUES (EMERGENCY CALLS) 538 
OUT OF CITY CALLS 61 



(29) 



REGU 


LAR ALARMS FDR PA51 


" YEARS 


NUMBER 


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9,400 

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8,800 
8,400 


































































































































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2,000 
1,800 
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1,400 
1,200 
1,000 
800 
600 
























































































































NUMBER 


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FALSE ALARMS FOR PAST YEAR5 



(30) 



Fire Department. 



31 



SUMMARY— SERVICE REPORTS, 1938, ENGINE COMPANIES. 



Unit. 



Alarms 
Attended. 


Working 
Fires. 


424 


131 


204 


83 


530 


175 


526 


176 


365 


140 


425 


179 


355 


165 


367 


222 


352 


132 


370 


128 


207 


111 


742 


216 


876 


253 


889 


193 


552 


138 


365 


148 


537 


158 


472 


195 


474 


246 


346 


138 


613 


227 


707 


273 


841 


193 


676 


250 


316 


160 


549 


123 


219 


102 


415 


121 


372 


143 


233 


148 


120 


10 


213 


109 


464 


240 


301 


107 


461 


128 


239 


122 



Hose 
Used, 
Feet. 



Hours 
Work. 



Pump 
Hours. 



Engine 1. 
Engine 2. 
Engine 3 . 
Engine 4. 
Engine 5. 
Engine 6 . 
Engine 7. 
Engine 8. 
Engine 9 . 
Engine 10 
Engine 11 
Engine 12 
Engine 13 
Engine 14 
Engine 15 
Engine 16 
Engine 17 
Engine 18 
Engine 19 
Engine 20 
Engine 21 
Engine 22 
Engine 23 
Engine 24 
Engine 25 
Engine 26 
Engine 27 
Engine 28 
Engine 29 
Engine 30 
Engine 31 
Engine 32 
Engine 33 
Engine 34 
Engine 35 
Engine 36 



34,800 
20,950 
44,950 
39,650 
58,100 
26,325 
36,600 
45,650 
30,900 
30,950 
29,450 
51,450 
50,200 
28,450 
41,500 
31,200 
25,250 
24,300 
42,200 
37,300 
37,250 
89,550 
46,950 
62,750 
24,950 
30,000 
18,200 
23,550 
18,250 
37,150 
1,850 
17,950 
43,400 
22,200 
22,000 
25,650 



47.22 
35.27 

206.53 
71.24 
68.20 
99.15 
76.00 

155.20 
70.20 
82.48 
54.10 
82.29 

104.26 
54.52 
58.50 
54.54 
55.40 

118.45 
79.00 
69.38 

122.51 

104.26 
75.33 
78.17 
75.16 
63.30 
73.30 
39.70 
68.60 
64.24 
14.45 
33.00 
94.00 
62.58 
86.00 
49.27 



3.00 

2.53 

15.00 

3.80 

38.15 

10.18 

9.00 

27.30 

30.55 

25.00 

35.28 

13.37 

63.17 

16.32 

3.19 

5.39 

8.59 

21.16 

8.35 

13.13 

30.27 

18.00 

11.31 

5.41 

0.40 

21.50 

13.12 

8.10 

6.54 

12.35 

10.45 

8.00 

47.00 

6.51 

19.00 

10.43 



32 



City Document No. 12. 



Summary — Service Reports, 1938, Engine Companies. - 

Concluded. 



Unit. 



Alarms 
Attended. 



Working 
Fires. 



Hose 

Used, 
Feet. 



Hours 
Work. 



Pump 
Hours. 



Eng 
Eng: 
Eng: 
Eng 
Eng: 
Eng: 
Eng: 
Eng 
Eng 
Eng: 
Eng 
Eng 
Eng 
Eng: 
Eng: 
Eng 
Eng: 



ne 37 
ne38 
ne39 
ne40 
ne 41 
ne42 
ne43 
ne 44 
ne 45 
ne 46 
ne 47 
ne 48 
ne49 
ne50 
ne 51 
ne 52 
ne 53 



522 
233 
270 
215 
392 
614 
533 
132 
301 
546 
150 
278 
168 
470 
184 
431 
330 



266 
156 
180 
122 
196 
191 
114 

32 
118 
131 

13 
147 

75 
160 

79 
192 
107 



46,100 
20,700 
21,050 
24,550 
30,600 
45,650 
27,700 

3,950 
25,600 
26,700 

6,300 
37,380 
20,650 
44,600 
17,600 
32,000 
21,000 



92.41 
102.57 
91.42 
64.00 
90.45 
71.21 
45.47 
26.19 
65.31 
145.37 
60.25 
50.40 
85.14 
101.35 
40.55 
63.41 
31.32 



21.55 
34.00 
30.00 
15.00 

8.40 
42.80 

6.55 
14.00 
31.56 

6.58 
48.45 
17.25 
49.23 

9.33 

2.16 
16.32 

8.25 



Fire Department. 



33 



SUMMARY — SERVICE REPORTS, 1938, LADDER COMPANIES. 


Unit. 


Alarms 
Attended. 


Working 
Fires. 


Ladders Used, 
Feet. 


Hours 
Work. 




476 
295 
499 
935 
464 
419 
664 
458 
299 
423 
414 
855 
710 
443 
416 
407 
537 
202 
179 
580 
178 
301 
745 
456 
228 
455 
403 
298 
510 
615 
348 


231 
183 
200 
263 
136 
136 
253 
225 
157 
92 
148 
271 
355 
206 
265 
169 
158 
128 
114 
163 
110 
130 
270 
266 
143 
197 
134 
121 
203 
177 
191 


8,722 
4,195 
4,656 
5,268 
2,105 

534* 
1,702 
6,526 
1,740 
1,413 
2,437 
5,777 
12,894 
2,832 
9,225 

689* 
5,837 
3,296 
1,037 
1,745 

287 
1,317 
3,667 
7,792 

578* 
4,206* 

781* 

875* 
1,976* 
1,715 
1,929 


126.13 




36.50 




226.43 




91.53 




47.40 




47.37 




84.40 




190.10 




91.13 




35.30 




73.55 


Ladder 12 


102.26 




108.44 




109.13 




109.54 




64.51 




93.13 




70.49 


Ladder 19 


40.00 


Ladder 20 


77.80 




46.50 


Ladder 22 


66.00 


Ladder 23 


98.54 




127.33 




49.48 




71.20 




111.30 


Ladder 28 


51.00 


Ladder 29 


59.50 


Ladder 30 


50.16 




74.28 







* Also used hose. 



34 



City Document No. 12. 



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35 



ARSON SQUAD ACTIVITIES. 
Personnel: 6 Fire Prevention Inspectors; 2 Police Inspectors. 





1938. 


1937. 


1936. 


I93S. 


1934. 


Number of investigations: 












Number of suspicious fires 


40 


44 


64 


48 


73 


Fires reported, cause undetermined 


206 


103 


128 


78 


198 


Others 


26 


94 


72 


182 


33 


Totals 


273 


241 


264 


308 


304 


Hearings held 


17 


13 


14 


22 


27 


Persons interviewed 


18 


24 


43 


28 


37 




4 


7 


7 


13 


16 




3 
1 
5 


3 
4 
4 


3 

7 
3 


12 
6 
6 


10 


Trials 


16 




7 







2 


4 


3 


14 




5 


4 


2 


12 


9 




12 


8 


9 


24 


23 







(January to June.) 



SUMMARY OF DEPARTMENTAL EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES — 

1938. 

Fire College: 

Capt. John J. Crehan, Drill Master 
Number of sessions 
Number of lectures 
Number of lectures each session 
Attendance: 

All sessions 

Total department members 

Total outside department 

Total officers 

Total privates 



2 

54 
27 

85 
81 
4 
42 
39 



Drill School: 
Lieut. F. A. Nicholson, Drill Master. 

Number of company drills (supervised by officers) . 104 

Number supervised by Drill Master .... 55 

Number of new men drilled 18 

Number of public exhibitions ...... 10 



36 



City Document No. 12. 



Pump School: 
James W. Ryan, Engineer of Motor Apparatus. 
Number of classes conducted 

Certificates issued 

Total attendance 



4 
26 
26 



Chauffeurs School: 

James W. Ryan, Engineer of Motor Apparatus. 
New chauffeurs granted licenses 
Licenses renewed 

Telegraphers School: 

James J. Callahan, Instructor. 

New men certified 

Total new men trained .... 



28 
1,247 



21 
30 



COMPARATIVE FIGURES — MAN POWER. 



Year. 


Total Fire 

Fighting 

Force. 


Total 
Number of 
Privates.* 


Total 
Number of 
Lieuten- 
ants. 


Total 
Number of 
Captains. 


1934 


1,403 
1,367 
1,339 
1,409 
1,371 » 


1,050 
1,023 
990 
1,043 
1,0212 


108 
104 
102 
115 
106 3 


75 


1935 

1936.. . 


72 
74 


1937 

1938 


79 
77 < 







* As of December 31. 

Average age (1938): * Entire force, 46 years; 2 privates, 45 years; 3 lieutenants, 49 
years; 4 captains, 54 years. 



DONATIONS TO WORTHY CAUSES BY MEMBERS OF 
BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT DURING YEAR 1938. 



1938 Community Fund 
Salvation Army . 
American Red Cross . 
Mayor's Field Day 
President's Birthday Ball 



$9,595 04 

381 25 

650 00 

2,688 00 

1,464 00 



Total 



1,778 29 



Fire Department. 



37 



MOTORIZED APPARATUS — SUMMARY OF PURCHASES. 



Yeah. 


Number of 
Units Bought. 


Net Cost. 


1911 


1 
1 

6 

18 

13 

10 

25 
None. 

19 * 

14 2 
9 

10 

24 
6 3 

11 

20 

11 

13 

12 

14 

14 

3 

None. 

None. 

None. 

4 
None. 
None. 


$5,500 

5,500 

33,400 

105,997 

73,063 


1912 

1913 


1914 

1915 


1916 


50,750 
121,970 


1917 

1918 


1919 

1920 


220,706 
135,317 
103,900 
122,780 
261,908 
73,204 
124,930 
223,463 
112,154 


1921 

1922 

1923 

1924 


1925 


1926 


1927 


1928 


160,567 
134,105 
138,243 
122,587 


1929 


1930 

1931 


1932 


41,467 


1933 


1934 





1935 

1936 


57,500 


1937 


1938 


— 


Total . . > 


258 


$2,429,011 





1 2 pieces still in service. (20 years.) 

2 6 pieces still in service. 

3 35 pieces still in service bought previous to 1924, not including an equal number now 
held in reserve. 



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(39) 



Fire Department. 



41 



SECTION II— THE WIRE DIVISION. 



Mr. Bernard B. Whelan, Interior Inspector, was 
promoted to Superintendent to take effect October 
26, 1938. 

Regular inspections of electrical installations in 
theatres, places of amusement and public halls were 
made during the year, together with inspections of new 
and old installations and changes in electrical work 
throughout the city, and thorough investigations were 
made of all fires and accidents reported as due to 
electrical causes, and reports of the same are on file 
in this Division. 

During the year there were 129 
reported as due to electrical causes, 5 
8 pole troubles, 11 miscellaneous 
accidents, none of which was fatal. 

The annual underground district was prescribed in 
accordance with chapter 110 of the Acts of 1936. 

The income received from permits to perform electrical 
work was $37,910.15. 

Following is a summary of the work of the Interior 
Division of the Wire Division for the year 1938: 



fires in buildings 
manhole troubles, 
troubles and 10 



Notices of new work received 
Number of permits issued to turn on current 
Number of incandescent lamps inspected 
Number of motors inspected 
Total horsepower of motors inspected 
Number of arcs inspected . 
Number of inspections made 
Number of inspections made of theatres, places of 
amusement and public halls .... 



12,322 
10,646 
2,127,148 
16,401 
58,504 
2,526 
34,836 

1,540 



Exterior Division. 

The underground district for the year 1938, as 
prescribed under authority of chapter 110 of the Acts 
of 1936, comprised the following streets: 

Roxbury District. — Vale street, from Thornton street to 
Marcella street. 

Dorchester District. — Gallivan Boulevard, from Neponset 
avenue to Hallet street; Minot street, from Neponset avenne 
to Carruth street. 



42 City Document No. 12. 

South Boston District. — M street, from East Broadway to 
East First street; Hamlin street, from East Ninth street to 
East Eighth street; Douglas street, from East Ninth street 
to East Eighth street; Vinton street, from Dorchester street 
to Preble street; Tuckerman street, from Middle street to 
Dorchester street; Middle street, from Dorchester street to 
Dorchester avenue; Ward street, from Dorchester street to 
Preble street; Rogers street, from Dorchester street to Preble 
street; East Seventh street, from G street to Farragut road; 
Springer street, from East Seventh street to East Eighth 
street; Columbia road, from G street to I street; Dorchester 
street, from East Broadway to East First street; Emerson 
street, from East Third street to East Broadway; East Third 
street, from Dorchester street to M street; Preble street, 
from Dorchester avenue to Old Colony avenue; Hardy street, 
from East Eighth street to Marine road; Mohawk street, 
from Preble street to Gen. William H. Devine way. 

Making a total distance of four miles as prescribed by 
law. 

In these prescribed streets from which poles and 
overhead wires were to be removed there was standing 
on January 1, 1939, 210 poles and 284,120 linear feet 
of wire. 

In side or residential streets, special underground 
construction for light and power purposes (115-230 
volts) of the type known as " Split Fibre Solid Main 
System/' has also been installed. 

The ducts used for underground conduits of the 
drawing-in system are of the following types: 

1. Vitrified clay (laid in concrete). 

2. Fibre (laid in concrete). 

3. Wood. 

4. Iron. • 

During the past year the inspectors of this division 
have reported 79 poles decayed at base, and 17 poles 
leaning or a total of 96 poles which were replaced or 
reset by the various companies. 

The Boston Elevated Railway Company removed 
81 iron poles. 

Also, 125 accident reports received and investigated, 
consisting of reports on poles knocked down, manhole 
explosions, gas in manholes, and fires in manholes, 
also wires broken by wind and trees falling, and burn- 
outs on transformers. 



Fire Department. 



43 



The following table shows the overhead work for 
the year of 1938, from January 1, 1938, to December 
31, 1938, inclusive: 



Number of new poles set in locations 

Number of poles removed 

Number of poles replaced, reset, or straightened 
Number of poles standing in public streets 
Number of defects reported .... 
Number of defects corrected .... 

(Other defects in process of correction.) 
Number of notices of overhead construction 
Number of overhead inspections 
Number of overhead reports .... 
Amount of overhead wires removed by various 

companies 

Number of underground electrical approvals . 
Number of inspections of underground construction, 



19 

29 

528 

17,023 

503 

263 

2,964 
10,718 
14,996 

255,582 
1,712 
4,614 



TABLE SHOWING UNDERGROUND WORK FOR 1938. 



Company. 


!3 
-3 

a 
o 
D 

o 

CD 
CD 
PR 




Q 
o 

CD 


CD 

o 

o 

CD 
CD 


""a 
Is* 

Is 


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Boston Consolidated Gas Com- 
pany. 

Boston Edison Company 


203 

53,027 
3,000 

414 

3,026 
60 


203 

120,381 
24,472 

414 

3,348 

60 


12,856 

297,854 
18,205 


112 
11 


5 

778 

4 


Department). 




8 
1 


19 


graph Company. 

Police Signal Service (Boston 
Police Department). 

Western Union Telegraph Com- 


7,672 
1,856 


4 


pany. 










59,730 


148,878 


338,443 


132 


810 







44 



City Document No. 12. 








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45 



INDEX 



Accomplishments .... 
Alarms : 

Comparative Chart 

False — Accidental and Needless 

Summary for 1938 

Apparatus 

Arson Squad 

Chiefs of Department (1826-1938) 
Department Officials 
Donations to Worthy Causes 
Educational Activities : 

Chauffeur School . 

Drill School . 

Fire College . 

Pump School . 

Telegrapher School 
Equipment 
Finances : 

Expenditures . 

Revenue . 
Fire Alarm Division 
Fireboats 

Fire Commissioners (1874-1938) 
Fire Loss: 

Classified 

Comparative . 

Summary 
Fire Prevention 
Fires : 

Buildings (analysis of) . 

Causes : 

Buildings 
Outdoor . 

Extent . . . 

Origin .... 



PAGE 

9-15 

30 

27,30 

39 

11,37 

12,35 

2 

3 

36 

36 
35 
35 
36 
36 
24 

10, 22 

10, 38 

19, 27, 30, 39 

13, 14, 17, 18 

2 

25 

26 
. 9, 10 
, 9, 11, 12, 18, 19, 34 

27 

28 
29 

27 
27 



46 



City Document No. 12. 



General Statement 

High Pressure 

Honor Medals 

Hose 

Housing .... 

"IN MEMORIAM" . 

Maintenance Division . 

National Youth Administration 

Objectives — 1939 

Personnel .... 

Recommendations 

Service Reports: 

Engine Companies 
Ladder Companies 

Stock (Maintenance Division) 

Wire Division: 

Exterior inspections 
Income — permits 
Interior inspections 
Underground work 

W. P. A. . . 



10, 11 
12, 13 

9, 10 



PAGE 


7-9 


13, 


18 




4 




9 


,16, 


17 




5 


,23, 


24 




15 


15, 


16 


,18, 


36 


. 16- 


-19 


. 31, 


32 




33 




23 




43 




41 




41 


. 41 


-43 


. 14 


15 



CITY OF BOSTON PRINTING DEPARTMENT 



*{