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3 9999 06316 865 



[Document 11 — 1977] 


OF THE \ t^ 


FOR THE Period 
July 1, 1976, to June 30, 1977 

Boston, July 1, 1977. 

Mayor of Boston. 

Dear Mr. Mayor: 

I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the activities of the 
Boston Fire Department for the period July 1, 1976, to June 30, 1977. 

During this period, the department implemented its minority hiring 
program as set dov\/n by a decree of the federal court. The percentage of 
minorities increased from .8 percent to 5 percent, and it is expected that 
greater progress w/ill be made to attain the desired objective in the com- 
ing year. 

A pilot program was initiated to evaluate the feasibility of replacing 
conventional fire alarm boxes with a telephone-type box in the areas of 
the city where the incidence of false alarms is high. The results of this 
program were quite startling, as we found a reduction in false alarms 
from 235 to 4 on the boxes studied. A major decision has been made to 
move forward with a program of replacing 200 fire alarm boxes in the 
coming year with this new type of fire alarm box. 

During the past year, a new, high-speed fire boat was delivered to this 
department. This made it possible to change the concept of marine fire 
protection within the harbor, giving the flexibility necessary to cope not 
only with the large waterfront fire on a ship or commercial property, but 
also the ability to respond to and render assistance to the ever- 
increasing number of pleasure craft that frequent the waters of Boston 

The Boston Fire Department will continue to serve the City of Boston 
in the same manner which they have done throughout its great history. 
Respectfully submitted, 

Fire Commissioner. 

' d 

2 City Document No. 11 


Fire Commissioner, George H. Paul 

Cliief of Department, George H. Paul 

Senior Administrative Assistant, John F. O'Neil 

Medical Examiner, Richard H. Wright, M.D. 

Deputy Fire Chiief in Charge of Training and Researcti 
Division, John R. Harrison (to March 30, 1977) 

Deputy Fire Cfiief in Cliarge of Training and Researcti 
Division, Gerald P. Hart (from March 30,1977) 

Deputy Fire Cliief in Charge of Fire Prevention Division, 
Joseph L. Dolan 

Deputy Fire Chief in Charge of Planning and Logistics 
Division, John J. McCarthy 

Superintendent of Maintenance Division, Joseph M. 

Superintendent of Fire Alarm Division, John M. 

Chaplains, Rev. Msgr. James J. Keating, Catholic 
Rev. John E. Barclay, Protestant 
Rabbi Ira A. Korff, Jewish 


4 City Document No. 11 


1. Personal Services 

Permanent employees 


Total Personal Services 

2. Contractual Services 


Light, heat, and power 

Repairs and maintenance of buildings and 


Repairs and servicing of equipment 

Transportation of persons 

Miscellaneous contractual services 

Total Contractual Services 

3. Supplies AND Materials 

Automotive supplies and materials 

Heating supplies and materials 

Household supplies and materials 

Medical, dental, and hospital supplies and 


Office supplies and materials 

Miscellaneous supplies and materials 

Total Supplies and Materials 

4. Current Charges AND Obligations 

Other current charges and obligations 

Total Current Charges and Obligations 

5. Equipment 

Automotive equipment 

Office furniture and equipment 

Miscellaneous equipment 

Total Equipment 

Grand Total 

Fire Department 


1975-197fi 1976-1977 

$36,063,842.00 $32,992,713.95 

1,526,252.00 1,893,617.02 

$37,590,094.00 $34,886,330.97 

102,601.00 122,685.32 
322,884.00 321,285.80 

154,959.00 120,917.59 

276,250.00 315,631.47 

2,155.00 2,077.00 

29,257.00 58,923.14 

$ 888,106.00 $ 941,520.32 

355,820.00 315,640.73 

164,395.00 219,724.92 

23,584.00 28,840.86 

716.00 836.00 

25,883.00 30,784.86 

750,858.00 665,441.11 

$ 1,321,256.00 $ 1,261,268.48 

235,100.00 328,460.70 

$ 235,100.00 $ 328,460.70 

84,614.00 52,583.10 

5,089.00 6,776.88 

595,528.00 322,022.83 

$ 685,231.00 $ 381,382.81 

$40,709,787.00 $37,798,963.28 



M874-1876 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-Septem- 

ber 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 November 8, 

1921-April 1, 1922) 
1922 William J. Casey (Acting April 1-Au- 

gust 24) 
1922-1925 Theodore A. Glynn 
1926 Thomas F. Sullivan (Acting January 26- 

July 6) 
1926-1930 Eugene C. Hultman 
1930-1933 Edward F. McLaughlin 
1933-1934 Eugene M. McSweeney (October 16, 1933- 

January 5, 1934 
1934-1938 Edward F. McLaughlin 
1938-1945 William Arthur Reilly 
1945-1946 John I. Fitzgerald (June 7, 1945-January 7, 

1946-1950 Russell S. Codman, Jr. 
1950-1953 Michael T. Kelleher 
1953-1954 John F. Cotter 
1954-1959 Francis X. Cotter 
1959 Timothy J. O'Connor (March 2-Decem- 


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


1960-1961 Henry A. Scagnoli 

1961-1966 Thomas J. Griffin 

1966 Henry A. Scagnoli (Acting July 1-August 17) 

1966-1968 William J. Fitzgerald 

1968-1975 James H. Kelly 

1975 George H. Paul 


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. Mulllin 

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 

1936-1946 Samuel J. Pope 

1946-1948 Napeen Boutilier 

1948-1950 John F. McDonough 

1950-1956 John V. Stapleton 

1956 Edward N. Montgomery 

1956-1960 Leo C. Driscoll 

1960-1963 John A. Martin 

1963-1966 William A. Terrenzi 

1966-1967 James J. Flanagan 

1967-1969 John E. Clougherty 

1969-1970 Joseph F. Kilduff 

1970 George H. Paul (from April 1, 1970) 

8 City Document No. 11 


"John E. Fitzgerald Medal" 

Awarded to Fire Fighter James P. Manning of Engine 
Company 18 

"Walter Scott Medal for Valor" 

Awarded to Fire Lieutenant Martin J. Nee of Rescue 
Company 1 

"Patrick J. Kennedy Medal" 

Awarded to Fire Lieutenant Leo J. Fama of Fire 
Prevention Division 


Fire Fighter Paul S. Rankin of Rescue Company 1 

Fire Fighter Martin T. Glynn of Ladder Company 17 

Fire Lieutenant Joseph L. Pistorino of Engine Company 

Fire Fighter Thomas S. Lydon of Engine Company 2 

Fire Fighter Leo J. Scanlon of Engine Company 16 

Fire Fighter Paul D. Manning of Engine Company 16 

Fire Fighter Robert F. MACKEY of Rescue Company 1 

Fire Fighter Stephen T. Langone of Engine Com- 
pany 24 

"Distinguished Service Award" 

Awarded to Deputy Fire Chief Leo D. Stapleton of 
Division 1 

3n m^mnrtam 

Deaths of Active Members During 1976 

July 11 

Albert F. Sargent 

Fire Fighter, Engine Company 16 

August 2 

Francis X. O'Brien 

Fire Captain, Engine Company 1 

August 27 

Robert E. Alward 

Fire Fighter, Aerial Tower 2 

October 23 

Richard P. Sheridan 

Fire Fighter, Ladder Company 16 

Deaths of Active Members During 1977 

January 16 

John R. Manning 

Fire Fighter, Ladder Company 13 

February 20 

John F. McGrath 

Fire Lieutenant, Training and Research Division 

April 2 

Robert D. McGilveary 

Fire Fighter, Engine Company 49 

April 11 

Hugh F. O'Brien 

Fire Fighter, Ladder Company 5 

April 20 

Walter R. McGuire 

Working Foreman Lineman, Fire Alarm Division 


City Document No. 11 

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Fire Department 11 


The Civil Defense section of the Boston Fire Depart- 
ment, in addition to its normal duties, has been given the 
responsibility of maintaining and supervising the 
Emergency Medical Assistance Program. 

The following is a synopsis of the training ac- 
complishments of the Emergency Medical Assistance 
Program for the fiscal period 1976-1977: 

To date, the department has over 450 members who 
have attained the level of Registered Emergency Medical 
Technician through an eighty-one-hour, advanced train- 
ing course. In addition to this advanced course, all 1,700 
fire fighters have been trained in a twenty-six-hour, in- 
service course. This level of training is referred to as "The 
First Responder Course." The basic scope of this First 
Responder Course consists of instructional and practical 
training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and all of the 
associated elements of emergency care training, such as 
airway maintenance, breathing difficulties, control of 
bleeding, fractures, poisoning, drugs, burns, proper 
stabilization of the injured, extrication techniques, etc. 
Current progress in this program has resulted in the en- 
tire Fire Department's being trained and certified as First 
Responders, as required under General Laws, section 1 of 
chapter 111. At this time retraining will continue so as to 
maintain a hold on this valuable, emergency-care 
resource. This in-service First Responder Course allows 
also for the recertification of those Registered Emergen- 
cy Medical Technicians within the fire-fighting ranks as 
they automatically are included in the program along with 
their fellow fire fighters. 

The department has also completed the phasing out of 
its E & J resuscitators which have become outmoded and 
have replaced them with the new and sophisticated 
Rockford Para-Vent Oxygen Ventilator-Aspirator units. In 
addition to a much-improved, overall performance, it also 
is much more compatible with cardiopulmonary 
resuscitation efforts. 

The Underwater Recovery Team is comprised of eight 
carefully selected men headed by a Fire Lieutenant (Dive 

12 City Document No. 11 

Master) and a Fire Lieutenant (Assistant Dive Master). 
The members of this team work a full schedule on their 
respective fire companies and are on call around the 
clock for response to emergency, water-related incidents 
through the employment of call receivers which they keep 
on their person at all times, and are dispatched to 
emergencies via the Fire Alarm Office. 

This team of professional scuba divers are fully equip- 
ped and trained. In addition, they are provided with a Fire 
Department scuba van which was secured at no cost 
through the Civil Defense surplus property program. This 
van permits the team to effectively perform these hazar- 
dous duties during all types of weather conditions and 
over long periods of operation. During the year 1976, the 
services of the team were required on twenty-one occa- 
sions in which they saved lives, recovered bodies, and 
assisted the police in many investigations where 
submerged vehicles had to be recovered in order to effec- 
tively complete these investigations. 

Fire Department 13 


The primary function of the Training and Research Divi- 
sion is twofold: 

1. To initiate and supervise the job development of 
the fire fighter, commencing with the probationary period 
and continuing throughout his career. 

2. To become involved in research programs de- 
signed to improve fire-fighting techniques, fire-fighting 
apparatus and equipment, and protection of fire fighters; 
to prepare specifications for new fire apparatus; to test 
and evaluate newly acquired fire apparatus; to test and 
evaluate new tools and appliances before recommending 
their use in the department. 

The following summary covers in general the activities 
of this division during the past fiscal year: 

Available Facilities 

1. Training and Research Division Office, Head- 

quarters Building 

2. Fire-Fighting Equipment Stockroom and Repair 

Facility, Headquarters Building 

3. Memorial Hall, Headquarters Building 

4. Pump Test Pit, Maintenance Division Yard 

5. John A. Martin Fire Academy, Moon Island 

6. Compressed Air Tank and Fire Extinguisher 

Recharging Station, Moon Island 

7. Compressed Air Cylinder Recharging Station 

(5,000 lb. capacity). Headquarters Building 

8. Drill Tower, Engine 29, Brighton 

Department Drilling and Training Program 

This division develops, formulates, and conducts drill- 
ing and training procedures covering the wide range of 
subjects, both basic and newly developed, that must be 
taught and reviewed to insure operations at fires and 
other incidents requiring the response of the Fire Depart- 
ment. It is absolutely essential that personnel of our 
department betrained and continuously reviewed on the 

14 City Document No. 11 

necessary tasks facing them in the fire service. A manual 
of standard operating procedures, previously estab- 
lished, covering the various activities of this department 
for the guidance of personnel and for uniform operations 
of the department was used in our training programs. 
These procedures are revised as required. Forty-four 
engine, twenty-eight ladder, two rescue, two aerial tower, 
two fireboat, and two lighting plant companies (making a 
total of eighty fire companies) were instructed during the 
period covered in this report. 

1. Equipment Familiarization 

2. Apparatus Familiarization 

3. Provisional Appointees 

a. Drill School 

b. Physical Fitness Standards 

c. On-the-Job Training Program 

4. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 

5. Exhibition Drill Team 

6. Boston Gas Company 

7. Fire Science Courses 

8. State College Cooperative Plan 

Basic Fire Fighting 

This department conducted courses of instruction in 
the fundamentals of fire fighting and fire safety for 
groups in the city and within the surrounding areas. The 
facilities of the Fire Academy, as well as the classrooms, 
are used. These groups included other fire departments, 
insurance companies, security agencies, police depart- 
ments, municipal organizations, hospitals, etc. In addi- 
tion, members from the various surrounding fire depart- 
ments have attended our probationers' drill school. 

Liquefied Natural Gas 

In March of 1977, the Energy Transportation Corpora- 
tion of New York, at their expense, constructed a Li- 
quified Natural Gas Training Center at the Moon Island 
Academy grounds for training crew members of the LNG 
tankers being constructed at General Dynamics Shipyard 
in Quincy. This equipment may be used at any time by the 
department for training purposes. 

Fire Department 15 


Annual surveys, inspections, and tests are carried out 
throughout the department to determine the condition of 
the various tools and appliances used in the fire service. 
It is of extreme importance that periodic tests and checks 
of equipment be carried out to also insure the safety of 
personnel who may be called upon to use this equipment. 

Servicing and Repair Program 

In order to properly maintain and guarantee the safe 
and continuous operation of fire-fighting equipment, 
tools, and appliances, a year-round servicing and repair 
program is conducted by this division at our repair 
facilities at Headquarters and at the Fire Academy. These 
facilities avoid delay and reduce the cost to the city of 
servicing and repairing this equipment. 

Inventory — Fire Figliting Equipment 

In order to carry on our servicing and repair programs 
and to insure the efficient operation of companies at 
fires, it is necessary for this division to maintain an inven- 
tory of fire-fighting tools, equipment, and parts for same. 
This requires extensive record-keeping and constant 

Because of the energy crisis requirements, this divi- 
sion maintains records of all its issues and consumption 
of gasoline, oil, and diesel fuel. 

Grid Maps 

A program of determining response routes, classifying 
streets for still-alarm locations, hydrant locations, water- 
main size, etc. on grid maps of the city was initiated in 
1976 and is continuing. 


A very important function of this division is to conduct 
tests and experiments and thoroughly evaluate the merits 
of new equipment, materials, and appliances developed 
for the fire service. We are always alert to take advantage 
of progress made by manufacturers when the purchase of 
equipment becomes necessary, and manufacturers are 
encouraged to submit samples of their products for test 

16 City Document No. 11 

and evaluation. These responsibilities will be increased 
as the requirements for occupational safety under OSHA 
and NIOSH are put into effect. 

Following are some of the research programs con- 
ducted by this division: 

1. Protective Breathing Equipment 

2. Protective Clothing and Equipment 

3. Work Clothes and Uniforms 

4. Fire Coats 

5. Fire Helmets 

6. Fire Fighters' Work Gloves 

7. Fire Boots 

8. Miscellaneous Fire Fighting Equipment 

The following new apparatus and equipment was 
received and placed in service during the period 

Ten, 100-foot Seagrave Aerial Ladder Trucks with four- 
door cabs. 

Rescue 1 received a new Ford Rescue Van Ten, XL-98, 
Homelight Saws were issued to Ladder Companies. 

Seven, new Hurst tools, commonly called "Jaws of 
Life," were placed in service, making a total of nine 
now in use throughout the department. 

Five "Mini X," foam applicators were issued to the 
high-expansion companies — Engines 1, 5, 20, 25, 
and 41. 

The Training and Research Division of this department 
compares favorably with the outstanding setups for train- 
ing throughout the country. We have every reason to 
believe that the Fire Department will continue to be train- 
ed and maintained at its present high caliber and that pro- 
gress through teaching and training will be the forerunner 
of greater efficiency. 

Fire Department 17 



From July 1, 1976, through June 30, 1977, receipts from 
issued totaled $99,586.50. 


Permit revenue from July 1, 1976, through June 30, 
1977, amounted to $185,578.70, including miscellaneous 
permits. Total revenue from all sources for the past 
twelve months was $285,165.20. 

Plans Examiner 

During the past twelve months, the Plans Examiner has 
examined and approved a total of 466 sets of plans. He is 
also required to convey by telephone, information relative 
to applicable codes for specific occupancies. Review of 
plans are made for autonomous authorities, preliminary 
discussions are made relative to proposed structures 
with regards to requirements, and appearances are made 
at both state and local public hearings to voice 
opinions of the Fire Department. As a result of a com- 
plaint or request, on-site inspections are made of various 
projects, particularly in the area of self-service gasoline 
stations prior to their opening, to assure compliance with 
the fire prevention regulations of the state and fire 
prevention orders of this department. Research work on 
existing and proposed code changes or additions are 
also part of the Plans Examiner's function. 


Every school in the city is inspected with frequency 
and regularity by a company officer within whose sub- 
district the school building is located. A total of 6,700 fire 
exit drills were held. The Fire Prevention Division main- 
tained a program called the "Boston Junior Fireman," 
based on the Fire Marshal Plan which claimed national 
recognition since its inception in Boston in 1948. This 
plan is supported by the Sears Roebuck and Company 
and is aimed at the sixth-grade pupil of public, parochial, 
and private schools for fire prevention education. The ap- 
proximate number of pupils lectured on fire prevention 
during the school year was 22,760. 

18 City Document No. 11 

Photographic Activity 

This unit responds to all multiple alarms, accidents in- 
volving fire department vehicles or property, special calls 
for specific photographic records, fire prevention code 
violations, and fire hazard conditions for correction or 
prosecution, provide Id. card photographs, data assembly 
and lamination of Id. cards for issuance to all members 
appointed or promoted. A total of 9,566 prints were made 
in the course of the past twelve months. 

In-Service lnspectior)s 

This department continues with its routine in-service 
inspections by company units of this department. Infor- 
mation and inspections recorded are appraised in this 
division and in those instances where further action is re- 
quired, the inspection report is brought to the attention of 
Fire Prevention Inspectors for closer study of the prob 
lem. His findings are made known to the District Five 
Chief and the fire company involved with recommenda- 
tions and corrective action necessary. These inspections 
are in excess of 7,000 in the course of a year. 

Inspection Forces 

The Inspection Force of this division has established a 
program of inspection designed so that the occupants of 
the premises to be inspected can make no advanced 
preparations to circumvent the honest viewing of any 
location. The total number of inspections made by the In- 
spection Force totaled 13,646. Places of assembly were 
also inspected by this force for a total of 2,775. Additional 
inspections were made by the officers in the subdistricts 
where the places of assembly are located. In locations re- 
quiring a specialized knowledge, the inspectors of this 
division, specially trained in that field, were assigned to 
make these inspections to ascertain that no fire hazard 
existed or continued due to a lack of knowledge. All mat- 
ters concerning other city departments were reported by 
the inspectors of this division on the necessary forms to 
the departments charged with this responsibility. These 
totaled 1,135. 

Fire Department 19 

Arson Squad 

The Arson Squad is charged with the responsibility of 
investigating the cause and circumstances of every fire 
and explosion occurring within the city limits. The Boston 
Fire Department and Boston Police Department combina- 
tion Arson Squad went into effect in April, 1977, greatly 
increasing the efficiency of the Arson Squad by their 
number of arrests and convictions. Undetermined, suspi- 
cious, and incendiary fires totaled 821. Injuries reported 
and investigated totaled 130 with deaths attributed to 
fires totaling 19. Ninety-six arrests were made during the 
past twelve months and 254 Municipal and District Court 
appearances. One hundred and nine appearances were 
made before the Superior Court. As a result of these ap- 
pearances and arrests, we were able to get fifty convic- 


The night division of inspection concentrated its 
efforts in the area of high populations wherein our citi- 
zenry may be assembled for shopping, amusement, or 

Personnel has been assigned to new construction sites 
for the purpose of ensuring the available water supplies 
and the fire protection equipment, as well as seeing that 
good housekeeping is being maintained at these sites. 

The vacant building program of inspections is still be- 
ing maintained at a high level. Approximately 1,000 va- 
cant buildings have been inspected at least once. This 
allows the Fire Prevention Division to keep a close 
surveillance on demolitions and removal of all debris 
from their locations, thereby allowing for both the preven- 
tion of blight in the neighborhood and increasing the fire 
safety of the neighborhood. 

This division also keeps a close watch and supervision 
on all temporary closings of gasoline stations. This is in 
addition to the installations of Phase I and Phase II vapor 
recovery systems. 

Inspections were also conducted during this year of all 
safety devices in relation to gasoline tank trucks and ap- 
proximately 150 safety decals were affixed thereto. 

All hospitals, clinics, and schools containing 

20 City Document No. 11 

laboratories were inspected for illegal use and storage of 

Nursing Home Seminar 

Senninars were conducted which were a huge success. 
At these meetings, approximately 80 percent of the nurs- 
ing homes in the City of Boston were represented. 
Various demonstrations were held to acquaint nursing 
home personnel with proper procedures in the event of 
fire. Pamphlets were distributed in both Spanish and 
English in relation to life safety in the nursing home in ad- 
dition to two films relating to same. 

Massacliusetts Fire Prevention Association 
This seminar was held at Florian Hall with chief of- 
ficers from various parts of the Commonwealth in atten- 
dance. Guest speaker at this seminar was Mr. Richard 
Struthers of Washington, D.C. 

Target l-iazards 

In keeping with the program, the Fire Prevention Divi- 
sion is continuing on the inspections of large, industrial 
complexes and warehouse areas along with the hospital 
and school inspections. These inspections are made by 
officers of the Fire Inspection Division who are accom- 
panied by the District Chief of the fire district concerned 
and the company officer in whose subdistrict the oc- 
cupancy may be located. Some of the inspections made 
were follow-ups of last year and some are new ones that 
have been added. 

In the school inspections, a Lieutenant has been 
assigned with an inspector from the Department of 
Public Safety to perform in-depth inspections of all 
public, parochial, and private schools located within the 
confines of the City of Boston. These inspections are in 
addition to the regularly scheduled quarterly inspections 
required by law and performed by this division in conjunc- 
tion with fire-fighting officers from the fire districts con- 
cerned. The Lieutenant worked with city officials of the 
School Department and the District Chiefs in the school 
desegregation program. 

Fire Department 21 

Large Loss Fires 

During the past twelve months, large-loss fires encom- 
passed all sections of the city that taxed the capabilities 
of the Boston Fire Department. In view of these large-loss 
fires, both in material things and human life, the Fire 
Prevention Division has "beefed-up" their inspection pro- 
gram partly aimed at the minority groups located within 
our city and those who do not speak our tongue. These 
educational programs and community relations pro- 
grams have been aimed at the Spanish-, Italian-, and 
Chinese-speaking people and the black communities. 
This is being brought about by presentations and civic 
meetings of neighborhood committees and through 
educational programs in the schools. 

Fire Prevention Activity 

The Fire Prevention Division again this year continued 
its efforts with an around-the-clock program of fire 
prevention, 365 days. Financial assistance is obtained 
through funds donated by the Fire Safety Council, which 
is a citizen-sustained group that aids in the purchase of 
educational material in our fire prevention program. This 
includes various news media, prizes, pamphlets, and 
posters. Their assistance in our effort is extremely 


The Fire Prevention Division maintains a constant in- 
service training of all members assigned to this division. 
A weekly seminar is held for all members assigned to the 
Fire Prevention Division to keep them abreast of current 
changes in inspection techniques, changes in rules and 
regulations, and any changes in statute law. This in- 
cludes the explanation, use, and implementation of the 
new State Building Code with regards to changes as it af- 
fects the Boston Fire Department. These seminars also 
are extended to members of the fire-fighting force by 
holding instructional periods on the Fire Prevention Code 
with its enforcement and instructional courses for of- 
ficers of the department relative to their responsibilities 
In inspections and corrections and the issuance of all 
necessary notices ordering the correction or the ap- 
pearance of delinquents into the various district courts. 

22 City Document No. 11 

A cooperating, in-service, training program is also held 
with various other departments of city government in- 
volved in code enforcement, i.e., Building Department, 
Housing Inspection Service, and Health and Sanitation. 
Members selected to be Fire Inspectors assigned to the 
Fire Prevention Division start with a basic knowledge of 
fire fighting because of their service in the various fire 
companies of the department throughout the city. These 
men usually have a background knowledge of building 
construction, electricity, plumbing, and a knowledge of 
the various occupancies and their related fire hazards. As 
this division deals constantly with the public, these men 
must be able to portray a good example of the fire service 
to the people of Boston. They must acquire a knack of ex- 
plaining to the public how they should safely live, work, 
and play to prevent fire from taking their lives, cause pain- 
ful injuries, and destroy property. In order to get this 
message across to the general public, a man must be 
adept in public relations so that the message we have to 
give is received in a proper manner. 

Fire Department 23 


The Department Chemist is responsible for a broad 
range of technical matters relating to the operations of 
the Fire Prevention Division and the Training and 
Research Division. He also reports directly to the Fire 
Commissioner for special technical assignments. 

The responsibilities in the Fire Prevention Division in- 
clude, among other things, the performance of laboratory 
evaluations of flammability and related properties of 
materials intended for use as draperies, upholstery, and 
other miscellaneous decorative items. In addition, fire 
and related test data supplied by manufacturers is 
evaluated for use in rugs and other floor coverings, wall 
coverings, ceiling constructions, and furnishings. Evalua- 
tions are made on a variety of materials used by schools, 
hospitals, places of assembly, and various occupancies 
in high-rise buildings. In 1976, special attention was 
focused on reducing the fire hazards of upholstered fur- 
niture and the developing of criteria for the control of the 
flammability of combustible partitions used in modern, 
office-space planning. New regulations for floor cover- 
ings were developed for incorporation into the Fire 
Prevention Code and were submitted to appropriate agen- 
cies for use in statewide regulation. Responsibilities also 
include investigation of fires involving materials 
regulated by the Fire Prevention Code or the State 
Building Code. 

The Department Chemist played a major role in an ex- 
tensive investigation of a potentially dangerous construc- 
tion feature in a high-rise building. A report of this in- 
vestigation, co-authored by the Fire Commissioner, the 
Departmental Chemist, and a National Fire Protection 
Association Staff Investigator, was published by the na- 
tionally recognized Fire Journal in July of 1977. 

The responsibilities for the Training and Research Divi- 
sion include the development and implementation of 
specifications for protective clothing and equipment for 
fire fighters. Specifications currently developed are for 
fire coats, helmets, fire boots, and gloves. Specifications 
were completed for a safety, work shoe suitable for fire 
fighters. Efforts during the past year included the 

24 City Document No. 11 

development of a new, improved, fire coat. Performance 
requirements for increased puncture resistance in fire 
boots and safety shoes were identified for inclusion in 
future pro-curements. Several new helmet designs and 
constructions were considered. The traditional leather 
helmet was selected for annual procurement. Several in- 
cidents in which fire fighters were injured were in- 
vestigated to ascertain the field performance of protec- 
tive clothing and equipment. Such incidents included ex- 
posures to toxic and irritating smoke, head injuries, and 
foot punctures. A special department investigation was 
conducted for an incident involving exposure to chlorine 

Fire Department 25 


The Planning and Logistics Division, during the past 
year, has been involved in many endeavors that affect fire 
department operations. Included in its operations are the 

Response Cards 

This at times involves response changes due to a 
bridge being repaired or the more involved, continuing 
program of developing our nine-alarm, response card. 
This division represents the Boston Fire Department at 
meetings with the Metro Fire Group of the Metropolitan 
Area Planning Council, who are developing a mutual aid 
plan that goes beyond our established mutual aid plan 
with the surrounding communities. 

Pre-Planning Program 

This is continuing and being further expanded so as to 
cover all areas of the city. This year we embarked on a 
program of acquainting companies with marine, fire- 
fighting involvement. This was accomplished by taking 
the first- and second-alarm companies, assigned to re- 
spond to the South Boston Naval Annex, to the Braswell 
Shipyard where they received instructions on ship fires 
and an acquaintance tour of a large ship to show ship 
construction and fire protection. Also, arrangements 
have been made with the Coast Guard whereby when cer- 
tain ships are scheduled to arrive they will have Coast 
Guard personnel acquaint Fire Department members 
with the essentials for effective fire-fighting operations. 
Also, many varied problems are referred to this division, 
including problems involving other city, state, and federal 


Tested fire fighters' elevator key switches in some 400 
to 600 elevators. 

Conducted MBTA standpipe acceptance tests. 

Compiled high-rise building fire-fighting data on 
various buildings, following in-depth studies at the sites. 
Data was distributed to chief officers. 

26 City Document No. 11 

Drilled fire companies on-site at high-pressure 
hydrants, MBTA standpipe and emergency escape exits, 
and on familiarization with high-rise building procedures. 

Attended public hearings of the State Board of Elevator 
Regulations where recommendations were made to im- 
prove the fire fighters' elevator key switch service. 

Drained barrels of defective hydrants prior to subfreez- 
ing temperatures. 

Conducted drills, using color slides for visual 
aid, relative to fire fighters' elevator key switch and 
emergency escape procedures from stalled elevators. 

Customized procedures were set up with super- 
intendents of high-rise buildings under construction for 
the use of temporary personnel hoists. Adjacent first- 
alarm companies were instructed in their use. 

Notified appropriate elevator inspectors following fires 
involving elevators and elevator machine rooms. Tested 
fire fighters' elevator key switch upon notification of any 

Visited groups in each fire station in program of retool- 
ing all defective brass Fire Department keys. 

Inspected approximately 125, high-rise buildings under 

Drilled companies in use of new anti-tampering caps 
for hydrants. 

Held on-site drills with companies at Braswell Shipyard 
installation of salt water mains at Boston Marine In- 
dustrial Park. 

Drained over 250 hydrants with water in the barrels. 

Fire Department 27 


The Boston Fire Department responded to a total of 
54,852 incidents for the period July 1, 1976, through June 
30, 1977, involving more than 236,900 separate move- 
ments of apparatus. The Fire Alarm Office received and 
transmitted more than 661,000 separate radio messages 
in the dispatching of apparatus and for incidental depart- 
ment operations. There were 16,381 false incidents, for a 
total of 29.93 percent incidents from all sources. 

During this period there were 118 second alarms, 40 
third alarms, 14 fourth alarms, and 5 fifth alarms. There 
were 182 working fires requiring additional apparatus be- 
ing dispatched to the fire but not considered multiple 

On June 30, 1976, there were a total of 2,429 fire alarm 
boxes in service in the City of Boston. There were 20 new 
fire alarm boxes installed for a net increase of 20 boxes. 
As of June 30, 1977, there were 2,449 fire alarm boxes in 
the City of Boston. 

The Fire Alarm Construction Force installed a total of 
24,862 feet of underground cable for a total of 497,240 
feet of conductors. A total of 875 feet of overhead wire 
and cable was installed for a total of 1,650 feet of conduc- 
tors. A total of 800 feet of overhead wire and cable were 
removed. Wire and cable removed was defective or 
damaged and in most instances was replaced. 

The Fire Department Radio in the MBTA subways was 
extended to include the Green Line. 

Seven, voice, fire alarm boxes were installed as a pilot 
program in the area of Blue Hill Avenue and Quincy 
Street. These boxes connect directly into the existing fire 
alarm cable plant. A special console at the Fire Alarm Of- 
fice allows the Fire Alarm Office to talk directly to the 
citizen in the street. The console also identifies the loca- 
tion of the box and provides a permanent printed record. 

The success of the program in the reduction of false 
alarms can be determined from the two, eight-month, 
sample periods, a reduction from 235 false alarms to 4 
false alarms. The major advantage to the box is that it 
allows a citizen in need of help to be able to summon that 
help. It also allows the Fire Alarm Office to tailor the 

28 City Document No. 11 

response of apparatus according to the information 
received. A nunnber of multiple alarms, including the 
Drake's Bakery fire, were reported by the voice boxes. 

Fire Department 29 


The Maintenanace Division is responsible for all 
testing, repair, maintenance, and preventive nnaintenance 
of all fire apparatus and autonnotive equipment, and for 
the repair and maintenance of all buildings and grounds. 
The foregoing includes 237 pieces of rolling stock, con- 
sisting of 129 pieces of fire apparatus, 39 trucks of 
various description, 69 automobiles, 2 fireboats, and 42 
buildings. In addition to meeting this heavy schedule, the 
division is also responsible for the compilation of specifi 
cations, procurement of new fire apparatus and all other 
vehicles, the upkeep of fire clothing, supplies and 
materials necessary for efficient operations, and care of 
over 350,000 feet of fire hose. 

The Maintenance Division consists of the main ap- 
paratus repair shop, small vehicle shop, machine shop, 
welding and metal shop, carpenter shop, hose and can- 
vas shop, paint shop, plumbing shop, battery and ignition 
rooms, and the main stockroom. 

Personnel is comprised of fifty-nine civilian employees, 
proficient in various skills and crafts, twenty fire fighters, 
ten of which are assigned to the Emergency Motor Squad, 
which responded to over 8,000 calls of varying emergen- 
cies throughout the city. 

Three new fire stations, located in East Boston, South 
Boston, and Brighton, have been completed and opened. 

Plans and specifications have been completed to pur- 
chase four hose wagons to replace four of the thirty-year- 
old Mack wagons now in service. Three new custom 
pumps are also to be ordered. 

Ten, 1976, one-hundred-foot, Seagrave Aerial Ladder 
Trucks (four-door, cab type) were received and put into 

A new 1976 Ford Rescue Van was received and put into 

Seven aerial ladder trucks that came out of service 
when they were replaced by 1976 Seagrave ladders have 
been completely refurbished and placed in service to 
replace older ladder trucks. 

City Document No. 11 30 


During the past year the Public Information Office and 
the Office of Community Relations have been involved in 
the directing and the overseeing of the following: 

Arrangement for more than 5,000 visitors to the various 
fire stations and facilities of the Boston Fire Department. 

Acquisition and distribution of printed fire prevention 
and fire safety material to the above-mentioned visitors 
and other interested parties. 

In-depth involvement with the minority recruitment pro- 

Responded to all multiple alarm fires and unusual in- 
cidents, including fatal fires. 

Provided numerous research materials, and informa- 
tion for television documentaries, radio programs, and 
newspaper and magazine articles. 

Researched and answered fifty-seven, various type 

Participated in several Career Exhibition Programs. 

Public Information Officer represented Boston Fire 
Department on several occasions on television and radio 
programs as well as public speaking engagements before 
interested groups. 

Arranged and covered department promotional 
ceremonies and award presentations.