Box 1, Folder 14, Document 9

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Box 1, Folder 14, Document 9

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Metropolitan Cities That Do Not Operate a Fire Department Shop.
The f ollowing question was a s ked of each nrunici pal i ty that is
covered by this survey. "As the Chief of your department, would
you give your candid opinion as to which method is more efficient?"
Cincinnati, Ohio
Chief B. A. Lugannani
Comment: There are good a rguments pr o and con on both meth ods of
ma intaining equipment. Howev er 1 all factors bei ng equal, I think
t here c an b e l i t t l e qu es tion that when th e repai r s ho p is part
of the Fire Department , the qua lity and quantit y of the work
are far s uper ior to that obtained f r om an agency responsibl e
for the ma i ntenance of a wi de variety of automotive equi pment.
A comparison of Fire De partment maint en ance shops i n Cincinnati
and Columbus, Ohi o readily demonstrat es this. The Columbus shops
a re well maintained, with me chan i cs tra ined i n th e ser vicing of
f ire ~quipment ·only, wh o devot e thei r entir e time to meeting the
needs of the Fire Servic e a nd wh o a r e subject to Fire Depart ment
discipline. In Cin cinnati t h e area designated as t h e Fire Division
s hop is shared with s t reet s weep er s 9 a tire shop and a wash rack.
The general ap pearanc e i s more t h at of a truc k junkyard than of
an effi ci ent, well maint ained repair shop . Alt hough me chani cs
are su pposed t o b e a s signed to Fire apparatus, t h ere is frequ ent
transferring of pers onnel so t hat some men whose ma jor me chanical
ex perience is tha t gained i n t he lawn mower and small car s hop
are assign ed as Fire equ ipment me chanics und er supervisor s wit h
little more experienc e . Over the yearsj the Fire Division has
l ost pra cti cally all e ff e ctive control over t his agenc y . The
situation in general is far from satisfact ory.
There is an area , howev er, which a Fire Chief cannot ignore
in evalu ating a centrali zed maint enan ce sh op . This is the
area of economy t o the municipal operation. Unquestionabl y
the maintenance of separate repair agencies--personnel,
equipment, buildings, etc.--for each Cit y department cannot
help but be more costly than when they are centralized, taking
advantage of the economies that are achieved through the consolidation of pers onne l , equipment and buildings. Although th e
centraliz ed agency will probably never serve an individual
department or division as effectively as one of its own, I
believe it can be operat ed with a degree of efficiency 'that
would be acceptable» if a City Administration establishes control s that restrict the maintenance facility to a serv ice
organ iz ation and insure the operating agencies of supervisory
control over their own work and f u ll cqnt,.rol over selection and
approval of their equipment
For a
is an
Fire Department that f or years has maintained a high
of efficiency and discipline, and recently attained a
One A. I.A. rating , our present maintenance facility
eyesore and a disgrace . City Administrat ion is becoming
aware of th isj and it is anticipated that some corrective
action will be forthcominga
�It may be of some value to r elat e so me of our background in
this area. Until shortly after the end of World War II, the
Fire Division did have its own r epai r sh op ~ with most personnel
being part of the uniformed ran kso At that t ime, i n an economy
move, the City centralized the mainten an ce sh ops und er one
J\fu nicipal Garag e operation. Ho wev er, the Fire Di vision retained
a supervisory position in the Municipal Garage with supervisory
authority over the mechanics wor ki ng on Fire apparatus and with
some voice in the transfer of men in and out of the Fire Department repai r section. This man , under the Fire Chief, had full
control over practically all matters concerning Fire equipment.
His position carried the ti·t l e of Sup ervisor of Fire Apparatus
and Equipment and had rank equal to a Battalion Chief.
· ·,
In January, 1966, over strenuous objection of the Fire .Division,
this position was abolished, and all operational control over
t he repai r facilities -by the Fire Divisi on was take n away.
Since then, we have be en able to show the need for filling the
vacated position, but it has be en r eestablished at the rank of
Lieutenant. The new position , however, has no supervisory
authority and little control over th e s hop work related to
Fire Department equipment and as to other duties and responsibilities assigned to the f nrmer. posi t i on at the Municipal
Garage . There has been strong opposi t i on from t he man i n charge
of municipal f a c i l i ties to the presen c e ,o f any Fire Division
personnel in his operation.
San Francisco, California.
Chief William Murray.
Comment: I f we had our own mai nt enanc e shop i t woul d b e more
effi cient .
J a cksonvi l le, Fl ori da.
Chie f J. J. Hubb a rd.
operated our own ma int enance sh op unt il Novemb er 1968.
is now u nder t h e Ci t y Motor Pool . I t is my opi nion that
we had our own s hop und er Fire Department Supervision
would be mor e effi c ient .
Fairfax Count yj Vi rginia.
Chi ef Wa Ha Burtonj Jr.
Comment: Cent ralized repair shop for alr ..the municipalit y may
wor k efficiently for t h e Fire Servicej but I do not believe t h is
would be possibl e without cl os a control b y the Fire Service.
Su ch contro l wi l l ne ces sit at e a well qua lified Superint endant
of Fir e Equipment and other personnel , al l under the control
of the Fire Chief .
�Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Chief K. W. Hall.
Comment: Our Maintenance of Fire Apparatus is conducted by the
Equipment Division of the Department of Public Works. We are
satisfied with the service and fe el that it is more efficient
and economical than it was when under the Fire Department.
This is partly due to having to use the shop to employ various
disabled fire fighters whereas this is not possible now.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chief Harry J. Keller.
Comment: No, we do not operate our Maintenance Shop. It is
my opinion it would be better under the Fire Department Supervision.
Newark , New Jersey.
Chief J.M. Redden.
Comment: I find that c entralized maintenance, as opposed to
a Fire Department operated shop, to be a severe detrement to
Fire Department operations.
Cleveland, Ohio.
Comment: A separate and. complete maintenan ce would be more
New Haven, Conn ecticut .
Chief Frank Sweeny.
Comment: No Department takes c are of its equipment like the
Fire Service. You will not be satisfied with a City operated
repair complex.
Jersey City, New Jersey.
Chief R. A. Gibney.
Comment: A central garage maintained by the Department of
Public Works maintains our equipmente This arrangement has
been in existence short period of time., _ JJnable to say which
method is more efficient.,
New Orleansj Louisiana
Comment: A shop operated by the Fire Department for Fire Department e qu ipment is the only way a large Department can keep equipment rolling • .

�Salt Lake City, Utah.
Comment: Public Safet y Garage comprises: Fire Department,
Police Department, and Boa~d of Health, all under the direction
of the Fire Department Master Me chani c. We think our system
of public safety works very well. We always have our fire
apparatus under our supervision.
Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Chief E. s. Hawkins.
Comment: We had our o~m sho p for some 50 years, but for many
reasons--cost, help, etc., we joined a Central City Maintenance
Shop. A Fire Department Shop is more efficient ' when adequate
quarters and personnel can be providedo Most cities are growing
so rapidly that a Central Garage is a must. We have a firm
understanding that our emergency equipment co mes first.
Richmond, Virginia.
Chi ef Sherry .
Comment: I think a separate Maintenance Shop is more efficient
and more economical.


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