Report of Fire Chief, 1912

Report to Board of Alderman by Fire Chief Sherwood Brockwell

Since taking charge of the fire department on June 8, 1912, the department has answered five regular alarms and three still alarms.

The damage has been very slight in every instance except the damage done to the house on North street belonging to Johnson and Johnson and the loss there I estimate at three hundred dollars.

While answering box 41 on June 10, the Rescue wagon, driven by Mr. Justice, and the Victor wagon, driven by Chas. Ricks, the colored relief driver, collided at the corner of Fayetteville and Hargett streets damaging the Rescue wagon by breaking the tongue and the Victor wagon by breaking the fender and rail and the two Rescue horses were cut on the legs and bruised, but have fully recovered.

One fireman (Jas. Manly, col.) was injured about the head by being thrown from the Victor wagon, but has since fully recovered. I attribute this accident to faulty breaks on the Rescue wagon.  The defect has since been remedied.

This accident occurred at about 8:30 and immediately after extinguishing the flames at box 41 we began work on the damaged wagons and all the wagons were in service with an experienced horse in every stall by midnight and had a sprinkler on duty by 8 o'clock the following morning.

The fire department furnishes a driver and team of horses for the sprinkler each day and the said team and driver has been on duty with [the] sprinkler each day except when the streets were wet on account on rain.

Upon taking charge I inspected the fire apparatus and I have equipped each hose wagon and the truck with a sixty-five foot and three-quarter inch Manila rope.  This rope is to be used with the scaling ladders, as a life line, and is used with good effect in drawing up hose, ladders, etc.

I have had the Rescue wagon changed so that now it will lay two lines of hose at once thereby saving from three to four precious minutes in many cases where hose are to be laid.

I found packed in the hose room at the Capital hose 700 feet of new hose bought by the city in July, 1911 and have taken same out and put into service.

I have started fire drills in which all the paid firemen and all volunteers who desire participate.  These drills consist of laying hose, raising ladders, scaling walls, throwing life lines, rope climbing, etc. These drills are held once a week and, I think, will be beneficial to the fire department.

I have had the pole which was blocking the hydrant at the corner of Fayetteville and David streets removed and have had the hydrant on the corner of Glenwood avenue and Johnson street uncovered. This hydrant was covered up by recent street improvements.

I have recommended that a hydrant be placed at the corner of Tucker and Cary street as the wooden houses in that vicinity have practically no water service.

The apparatus as a whole, with the exception of the steamer and the new Rescue wagon, is in very poor wagon.

July 12, 1912

From the July 13, 1912 edition of the News & Observer

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