31: Fire Department

31:1 Equipment and Fire Fighting Force
31:2 City's Fire Department Is Up-To-Date
31:3 Reports Firemen Too Few
31:4  Summary of Survey Finding
31:5  Pension Law Passed For Police, Fireman
31:6  Fire And Police Needs
31:7  Recommendations Of Underwriters Provide Safeguards From Fire
31:8  Fire Underwriters Complete Probe of Local Conditions
31:9  Speddy Says Only Miracle Saves Homes
31:10  Speddy Asks More Men, New Station
31:11  Lack Of Firemen Blamed For $15,000 Loss In Clifton Park
31:12  Fire Laddies Run 335 Times In Year
31:13 What The Fire Laddies Did In Lakewood Last Year
31:14  Another Argument
31:15  Recommendations Made By Chief To Bring Improvement
31:16  An Economy Of Folly
31:17  Residents Can Now Learn Why Lakewood Has Little Loss By Fire
31:18  Establishing A Reputation
31:19  Fire Chief Is Praised
31:20  Chief Jos. H. Speddy Appeals To People To Help To Make City Fireless
31:21  Value Of Property Detroiyed In Fires In Lakewood For 1927 Was $11,168,552
31:22  Lakewood Fire Record Is Lauded
31:23  Laud Work Of Firemen
31:24  Lower Fire Insurance Rate Here
31:25  Fire Department Brings Lakewood National Honor
31:26  Joseph H. Speddy's Fire Fighters Do So Well That Rates Are Lower
31:27  Lakewood Winds In Fire Waste Contest
31:28  Delaney Named New Fire Chief
31:29  Fire And Police Protection
31:30  Lakewood Fire Boxes
31:31  History Of The Lakewood Fire Department 1902 - 1963









31:1
EQUIPMENT AND FIRE FIGHTING FORCE
LAKEWOOD PRESS March 7, 1918, Pg. 32

Until the new fire house at Kenilworth and Detroit is completed, there will be only one fire station in Lakewood, being the central headquarters on Warren Road. When one considers that this fire fighting force must guard the city as well as Rocky River and West Park, it will be apparent at once that if a fire should occur of such proportions as to require the entire department, the balance of the city would be menaced. At present the central department, with all its efficient force as well as modern equipment, cannot guard Lakewood alone, to say nothing of Rocky River and West Park.

True, Lakewood’s fire fighters are among the very best in the state, they are not only loyal, but fearless in the discharge of their various duties, the equipment is modern, but the territory, which they are supposed to guard is entirely too large for one department and it is for this reason that the new station is being built.

The central station at present contains the following equipment: one fifty-five city service truck of the American-La France type, having sixty horsepower engine, and is equipped with ladders from fifty-five feet down to eight-foot ladders. Two hundred and eighty feet of ladders are carried. There are plaster hooks, six gallon extinguishers, axes, block and tackle, smoke helmets, grappling hoods, and all other modern equipments. City service hook and ladder truck is manned by the following firemen:

Earnest Bindernagel, captain; John G. Capener, lieutenant; William G. Curry, Reeves H. Peeples, John G. Dooley, William J. Mornick, Howard Conant, Marvin H. Young, Howard Parks, Robert Klietz.

HOSE COMPANY NO. 1 -- This department of the service has a hose and chemical fire fighting machine equipped as follows: Sixty horsepower engine, carries 35 gallons chemicals, 200 feet one-inch hose, with shut off nozzles, 650 feet two and one-half inch hose, 50 feet one-inch hose, 24 extension ladders, 12 roof ladders, three play pipes with shut-off nozzles, various sized tips, Bresnan distributors, axes, crowbars, as well as pulmotor for all occasions. There are two three-gallon extinguishers. The following are the personnel of this company:

Frank Grigolet, captain; Sheldon McIntyre, driver; Bernard McInnes, second driver; Frank Brooks, Jerome Sheppard, Frank Rokoshi, Charles Delaney.

ENGINE COMPANY NO. 1 -- This machine is also of the American-La France type, and is a combination pumper and hose. It carries 850 feet of two and one-half inch hose, has rotary gear pump, has three outlets, throwing three streams of great deluge; 833 gallons of water can be thrown per minute. There are 50 feet and one-half suction pipe, and the machine has 109 horse-power engine. The three-play pipes have various sized shut-off nozzles. There are axes, 24 foot extension ladder, roof ladder and plaster hooks. A first-aid equipment is also carried. The following is the force of its company:

Jay Redmond, Lieutenant; Louis Slavic, engineer; Otto Ohlrick, second engineer; Lessel Capell, fireman.

AUXILIARY ENGINE NO. 2 -- This is the machine which will be moved to the new engine station when completed and is a duplicate of engine No. 1. This machine will be manned by a competent crew when it is placed in the new house.

Fire Chief J.H. Speddy has a forty horse power Cadillac machine at his disposal and the driver in charge is John Dooley.

Fire Chief Speddy is recognized all over the state as one of the most efficient fire fighters as well as directors of men in this part of the country, and he has received high compliments from many high authorities.

The Gamewell fire alarm system is used, and there are 63 boxes.
 
 

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31:2
CITY'S FIRE DEPARTMENT IS UP-TO-DATE
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD 1920

In probably no other instance does the efficiency of modern methods count for so much and are the lives and property of citizens more dependent than is the case with the city's fire department. Lakewood has, in her fire fighting organization, a group of men, selected and trained for their tasks, devoting their lives to the service, of which she may be proud.

Lakewood’s fire record is one which her citizens may point to with pride. Owing to the constant vigilance of the chief, J.H. Speddy, who is everlastingly working for the prevention of conflagrations, and the quick response and effective work of the department when an alarm is sounded, Lakewood has been singularly free from disastrous fires.

Few people realize the qualifications demanded of a fireman. He must be of a high caliber, as he is subject to civil service. He must be thorough and painstaking, as everything must be ready at all times for an instant run; he must be continually on the job, 24 hours of the day, with only one day off out of every seven, and he must be absolutely fearless, subjecting himself to all manner of discomforts and danger when a serious fire has gained headway.

While the population of this city has grown, the fire force has not been increased in proportion. With a population of 40,000, there should be according to the recognized ratio of one fireman for every thousand residents. Lakewood now has considerably less than half this number. But the men have been faithful and conscientious in their service to the city, and when the call for them to respond to the alarm, they have always been on the job, ready whether in daytime of the middle of night, to jump on their wagons and do their duty. It is a hard life they lead, and it is hard for persons not familiar with the department to realize their arduous duties. When they go to bed in their dormitory above the fire station, they never now when they are to be called out. If the weather 100 degrees fahrenheit, or ten degrees below zero, whether 'tis beneath a pouring rain or under a hot and blistering sun, wherever in this city you find destruction by fire, there you will find our laddies right on the job.

They are allowed one day off in seven, which they may call their won, and in this weekly twenty-four hoses they must include all their various personal business and social affairs. Recently they were allowed a fifteen day vacation annually. Which all goes to show that the city officials may some day partly appreciate in a small way just how important and faithful a work the boys of the fire department are performing, and recompense them accordingly.

EQUIPMENT AND FIRE FIGHTING FORCE
Until the new fire house at Kenilworth and Detroit is completed, there will only be one fire station in Lakewood being the central headquarters on Warren road. When one considers that this fire fighting force must guard the city as well as Rocky River and West Park, it will be apparent at once that if a fire should occur of such proportions as to require the entire department, the balance of the city would be menaced. At present the central department, with all its efficient force as well as modern equipment, can not guard Lakewood alone, to say nothing of Rocky River and West Park.

True, Lakewood’s fire fighters are among the very best in the state, they are not only loyal, but fearless in the discharge of their various duties, the equipment is modern, but the territory, which they are supposed to guard is entirely too large for one department and it is for this reason that the new station is being built.

The central station at present contains the following equipment:
One fifty-five city service truck of the American-LaFrance type, having sixty horse-power engine, and is equipped with ladders from fifty-five feet down to eight-foot ladders. Two hundred and eighty feet of ladders are carried. There are plaster hooks, six gallon extinguishers, axes, block and tackle, smoke helmets, grappling hooks, and all other modern equipments. City service hook and ladder truck is manned by the following firemen:

Earnest Bindernagel, captain; John G. Capener, lieutenant; William G. Curry, Reeves H. Peeples, John G. Dooley, William J. Mornick, Howard Conant, Marvin H. Young, Howard Parks, Robert Klietz.

Hose Company No. 1
This department of the service has a hose and chemical fire fighting machine equipped as follows: Sixty horsepower engine, carries 35 gallons chemicals, 200 feet one-inch hose, with shut-off nozzles, 650 feet two and one-half inch hose, 50 feet one-inch house hose, 24 extension ladders, 12 roof ladders, three play pipes with shut-off nozzles, various sized tips, Bresnan distributors, axes, crowbars, as well as pulmotor for all occasions. There are two three-gallon extinguishers. The following are the personnel of this company:

Frank Grigolet, captain; Sheldon McIntyre, driver, Bernard McInnes, second driver, Frank Brooks, Jerome Sheppard, Frank Rokoshi, Charles Delaney.

Engine Company No. 1
This machine is also the American La France type and is a combination pumper and hose. It carries 850 feet two and one-half inch hose, has rotary gear pump, has three outlets throwing three streams of water, has a deluge set making it possible to center all the outlets in one great deluge; 833 gallons of water can be thrown per minute. There are 50 feet one-inch hose, carries two eleven-foot four-inch hard suction pipes, also one two and a half inch suction pipe and the machine has a 109 horsepower engine. The 3-play pipes have various sized shut-off nozzles. There are axes, 24-foot extension ladder, roof ladder and plaster hooks. A first aid equipment is also carried. The following is the force of this company:

Jay Redmond, lieutenant,; Louis Slavick, engineer; Otto Ohlrick, second engineer; Lessel Capell, fireman.

Auxiliary Engine No. 2
This is the machine which will be moved to the new engine station when completed and is duplicate of engine No. 1. This machine will be manned by a competent crew when it is placed in the new house.

Fire Chief J.H. Speddy has a 40 horsepower Cadillac machine at his disposal and the driver in charge is John Dooley.

Fire Chief Speddy is recognized all over the state as one of the most efficient fire fighters as well as directors of men in this part of the country, and he has received high compliments from many high authorities.

The Gamewell fire alarm system is sued and there are 63 boxes.

Fire Alarm Boxes
 
 
No. Place
9112 Madison and Wagar
9113 Madison and Alameda
9114 Plover, corner Robin
9131 Franklin, corner Cordova
9132 Franklin, corner O. Grove
9133 Franklin, corner Grace
9134 Franklin, corner Coutant
9151 Detroit, corner Riverside
9152 Sloan, corner Edanola
9153 Detroit, corner West Clifton Boulevard
9154 Detroit, corner Cordova
9155 Detroit, corner Woodward
9156 Detroit, corner Lakeland
9158 Detroit, corner Belle
9159 Detroit, corner Robinwood
9161 Detroit, corner Wyandotte
9162 Detroit, corner Clarence
9163 Detroit, corner Lakewood
9164 Detroit, corner Highland
9171 Clifton boulevard, corner Granger
9172 Clifton boulevard, corner Westlake
9173 Clifton boulevard, corner French
9174 Clifton boulevard, corner Warren
9175 Clifton boulevard, corner Manor park
9176 Clifton boulevard, corner Nicholson
9177 Clifton boulevard, corner Thoreau road
9178 Clifton boulevard, corner Fry
9179 Theodore Kuntz yards
9191 Lake avenue, corner Forest road
9192 Lake avenue, corner Summit

 
 
 

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31:3
REPORTS FIREMEN TOO FEW
National Board of Fire Underwriters Urges More Men, Better Water Supply
1922

The following recommendations are termed "urgent" and their prompt adoption by the city of Lakewood for fire protection is recommended by the National Board of Fire Underwriters in a report just made public on conditions in the city:

That for immediate improvement to the Low service a 12-inch line be laid on Riverside Road from Madison avenue to Crest lane, and a regulating valve be installed on the 12-inch West Clifton boulevard line at Detroit avenue, set to open when pressures drop 5 pounds on the Low service.

That protection be improved by supplying the entire city on the High service; or by installing duplicate pumps of at least 2,000,000 gallons capacity each on the Low service at point where supply is taken from Cleveland mains, and by maintaining the standpipe full at all times.

That sufficient men be permanently assigned to companies so the least number on duty at any time, including vacation time, will be as follows:
 
         Least No. of men on duty in each company
Day Night
Engine 1 and a Recommended Engine Company 6 8
Engine 2 4 6
Ladder 1 and Recommended Ladder Company 7 9

That mutual aid response be arranged with Cleveland to provide fire alarm response to districts along the boundary and second alarm response to any part of the city.

That the following equipment be installed: Repeating mechanism, including an automatic control board or repeater, arranged for 12 box circuits and 2 alarm circuits; a slate battery-charging-and-testing-board; a slate terminal board with approved lightning arresters, heavy current fuses for each circuit; a break-wheel transmitter with a separate wheel for each box location, and provisions for receiving and transmitting alarms to and from Cleveland for mutual aid.

That the reliability of service be increased by: Placing circuits underground wherever possible, using No. 16 rubber insulated copper wire in lead sheathing.

That additional street boxes be installed so that a box shall be within 500 feet of every building in high value districts and elsewhere within 800 feet of every building in closely built sections.

These recommendations concur for the most part with those which have been repeatedly made by Fire Chief J.H. Speddy himself. They differ from those heretofore discussed by the city council in that no mention is made of the proposed 20 in or 24 inch main in Clifton boulevard. Instead, it is advised that the entire city be supplied from the high service, which, apparently, is believed will give adequate pressure with present mains. It does say that if the high service plan is not adopted a new 12 inch main should be placed on Detroit avenue.

All of this opens up an opportunity for a debate between councilmen and Water Superintendent Peltz about friction loss in the mains and other matters which have held the boards in this regard before and have caused serious consideration to be given new mains in the boulevard and Warren road.

Recommendations, other than those listed above, which are deemed less urgent by the fire underwriters, are as follows:

Records
That records be improved by preparing card index records of valves and hydrants with records of operation, inspection and repairs.

Supply Works
That an additional 8-inch or larger meter be installed in the supply connection at Berea Road and at Detroit avenue.

Mains
That the distribution system be strengthened by the installation of the mains given in the table below, and of such other mains as are necessary to furnish fire supply as follows:
 
a. In the principal manufacturing district, 6,000 gallons a minute.
b. In the principal mercantile district, 3,000 gallons a minute.
c. In residential districts from 1,000 to 2,500 gallons a minute

Recommended Mains
 
Diameter Along From To
inches
20 N.Y.C. and St. L.R.R. Highland W. Clifton Blvd.
12 Nicholson Clifton Detroit Ave.
12 Summit Clifton Detroit Ave.
12 Riverside Madison Crest Lane
12 Heights Alger Warren Rd.
12 Lakewood Kyle Carabel Ave.
8 As shown on accompanying plan

That the following be adopted as the standard minimum size of mains used for hydrant supply for all future construction.

a. For residential districts, 8-inch; 6-inch to be used only where it completes a good gridiron, and in no case in blocks 600 feet or more in length.

b. For mercantile and manufacturing districts, 8 and 12-inch; the former to be used only in localities where they complete a good gridiron and the latter for long lines not cross-connected.

That dead ends be eliminated wherever practicable; if the services are not combined as recommended under 3, a 12-inch High service main should be laid on Detroit avenue, connecting to all High service mains on cross streets.

Gate Valves
That additional gate valves be installed so that no single break will necessitate shutting from service a length of main greater than the side of a single block, or a maximum of 500 feet, in high value districts, or a length greater than the side of two blocks, or a maximum of about 800 feet, in other districts.

That all valves be inspected yearly and large valves more frequently, and that records be kept of inspections, operations and condition.

Hydrants
That all hydrants with 4-inch connections to main, or with small barrels or foot valves, be replaced by hydrants having at least on 4 1/2-inch and two 2 1/2-inch outlets, not less than 6-inch barrel, 5 1/4 inch valve opening, and 6-inch gated connection to street main. This substitution to be made immediately in important districts and elsewhere according to a plan by which all will be replaced within a reasonable time.

That the threads of hose outlets on hydrants be adapted be adapted to the National Standard, which is as follows:
 

Nominal Size of connection
Outside Dia. male thread
Threads per inch
2 1/2 inches
3 1/16 inches
7 1/2

Fire Department
Organization
That an assistant chief be appointed.
Apparatus
That the following additions be made:

a. Establish an engine company at a new station in the vicinity of Madison and Magee avenues, using one of the reserve pumpers; pumper to be equipped with chemical tank of at least 40 gallons capacity.

b. Establish a ladder company at the recommended new station, equipped with a motor service truck.

c. Eventually replace Engine 1 with one of the reserve pumpers; pumper to be equipped with a chemical tank of at least 40 gallons capacity. Engine 1 then to be placed in reserve.

Equipment
That equipment be furnished as follows, where not already provided:

A. to each pumper in service: Open smooth-bore nozzles from 1 1-8 inch to 1 1-2 inch, 2 axes, modern gas roller, hose clamp, hose jacket, 2 nozzle holders and rubber gloves.

b. To the ladder truck: Hose roller, hose jacket, 2 marine torches or por-life belts, squeeges, rubber gloves and 4 waterproof covers.

c. To Engine 1: A turret pipe.

Operation
That a suitable drill tower and necessary equipment be provided, where members, especially new men, may receive more effective training in the use of appliances and tools, including the handling of hose on stairs, salvage work and life-saving; these drills to be in charge of a competent officer who shall have been sent to some city which maintains a drill school to obtain experience in modern fire methods.

That systematic and frequent inspections of buildings be made by company and department officers to acquaint them with local conditions and records of such inspections to be kept both by notes and sketches.

Fire Alarm System
Headquarters
That headquarters be located in a fireproof building, or in a fireproof addition to a fire station, especially constructed to reduce as far as possible all liability to interruption of service, and with all exposed openings properly protected. All apparatus to be or incombustible mountings and no unnecessary combustibles permitted in the building. A separate, well ventilated room to be provided for the storage batteries. Sand pails and extinguishers to be provided in the operating and battery rooms.

Apparatus
That the following equipment be installed:
At Headquarters:
Two reliable sources of energy to be provided for charging batteries. Charging current not to exceed 250 volts, and each set of batteries to be capable of furnishing current for the system for at least 60 hours.
At Fire Stations:
A punching register and a tapper on a box circuit and a gong on an alarm circuit.

Circuits
That the reliability of service be increased by:
A. Installing a separate closed alarm circuit to connect gongs at fire stations and elsewhere.

B. Arranging box circuits to carry only boxes and tappers and registers at first stations and not more than 20 boxes on each; all going and other alarm devices to be attached to alarm circuit.

C. Removing circuits from poles carrying high-tension wire and improving general condition of overhead wires.

D. Remodeling wiring in fire stations.

Boxes
That boxes be mounted conspicuously on street corners. Those in districts where underground duct is available on substantial posts, with approved cable terminals; elsewhere, poles carrying other than high-tension circuits may be used; boxes and a portion of the supporting pole to be painted red; in high value districts, box locations to be indicated by red lights.

Operation
That circuits and batteries be tested for voltage, current and grounds twice daily, circuits examined monthly and boxes be tested monthly and after every electrical storm tests to included visual inspection, operation, cleaning and repairing.

That a complete record be kept of all tests, trouble, and inspections, and a map showing headquarters wiring and the location of all boxes and circuits be provided.

That cards giving location of boxes and instructions how to operate be printed and distributed throughout the city, and that the public be urged to use the firm alarm boxes.

That a trunk line be reserved for fire alarm, and for telephone alarms, the nearest box number be sent over the fire alarm system by the breakwheel transmitter, after notifying the nearest company by telephone.

Building Department
That the building code be amended to conform to modern requirements for construction and fire prevention, with special attention given to the limitation of areas, protection to openings in floors and external walls, thickness of walls, and requirements for private protection.

That the building inspector be appointed for an indefinite term with removal only for cause.

That incombustible roof coverings be required throughout the city on all new or repaired roofs.

Explosives and Inflammables
That the existing regulations be supplemented by ordinances dealing with hazardous chemicals, carbide, nitro-cellulose, combustible fibres and matches, so as to form a complete code governing the manufacture, sale storage, use and transportation of explosives and inflammable substances the chief of the fire department to be held solely responsible for its enforcements, and that members of the fire department make frequent and effective inspections of all buildings and premises in their respective districts, filing complete records of each inspection. It is recommended that the suggested ordinances on these subjects promulgated by the National Board of Fire Underwriters be used as a guide in framing new regulations.

Electricity
That a suitable qualified electrician be appointed as inspector, and the regulations be rigidly enforced.

That a complete reinspection of old work be made at an early date, defects corrected and subsequent reinspections made at least annually.

That all overhead wires, except trolley wires, in the streets and alleys of the closely built sections be placed underground.

That systematic tests be made for electrolysis and any dangerous conditions eliminated.

Conflagration Hazard
That owners of existing defectively constructed buildings, which are so located as to form conflagration areas, be required to suitable protect floor, party wall and exposed window openings.

The recommendations end at this point.

The report comments very favorable upon a number of features in connection with the department and safety conditions and sums the situation by saying that the probability of a serious conflagration in either mercantile or manufacturing district is remote.

The conclusion are as follows:

"The fire department is a well organized force, under the control of experienced and progressive officers, but is deficient in men. Methods of appointment and promotions are good, but there are no provisions for retirement and pensions. All of the men are young. Companies are fairly well located, but are insufficient in number. Engine capacity and ladder service are deficient. Chemical equipment extensively used, but somewhat inadequate. There is a good supply of 2 1-2 inch hose and a fair to good supply of minor equipment. The advantages of the use of 3-inch hose apparently not been recognized, none being provided. Fire stations and fire apparatus are in excellent condition. Discipline is good. Drills are of value, but no drill tower is provided. Response to alarms is inadequate. Fire methods used in handling small fires are good, but are only fair for large fires due to lack of men and equipment; this deficiency is somewhat offset by the powerful outside aid quickly available. Building inspections are of little value. Records are well kept.

"The fire alarm system is essentially one over-loaded circuit, only fairly well maintained. Headquarters is located in a non-fireproof building, with moderate internal hazards. Circuit protection is mainly adequate. Batteries are of good type, in good condition and are suitably mounted in a well ventilated room; no duplicate source of charging current is provided. Boxes are of good type, generally in good condition and, except for red light indication, conspicuous. Box distribution in the high value districts is only fair, and elsewhere very poor. The speed of alarm transmission is fast. The entire system is jeopardized by the aerial circuits of poor construction, supported in many instances on poles carrying high potential circuits. Because of the very poor distribution of boxes and poor condition of the aerial system, chief dependence is placed upon the telephone system as means of transmitting alarms of fire. Wiring in fire stations is fairly well installed. Tests are inadequate and record are lacking.

"The building code is comprehensive, and deals with nearly all features pertaining to fire prevention; it is, however, too liberal in some features, and deficient in a greater or less degree in several other important features. The laws are apparently enforced except for the provisions pertaining to fire escapes. The fire limits are not sufficiently extensive to properly protect the principal mercantile district.. incombustible roof covers are required only in the fire limits. Construction in general from a fire prevention standpoint is poor.

"The laws contain good features, but in some respects are inadequate or lacking. Local conditions apparently are good, but control of these hazards would be improved by maintaining suitable records of such inspections as are made.

"Laws and regulations governing electrical wiring are somewhat deficient. Inspection work, has recently been undertaken by the city, prior to which good supervision had been maintained by the underwriters' bureau for some time. The new work is in good condition, but the old work is in need of reinspection.

"No supervision is given outside work, but the construction is in fair to good condition. Overhead wires in the principal streets form a moderate obstruction to the fire department operations. Damage due to electrolysis has been reported, but with the new construction of the street railways and systematic inspections and tests, it is believed that its danger will be minimized.

"Under the present condition of the municipal fire-fighting facilities, the large proportion of frame buildings and the weak construction and protection of brick buildings, in the principal mercantile district, and the large unsprinklered areas and frame areas, the unprotected floor and exposed window openings and the weak wall construction in parts, in the principal manufacturing district, render serious individual and group fires probable. But the probability of a conflagration involving either entire district is remote."
 
 

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31:4
SUMMARY OF SURVEY FINDING
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD (?) 1922

CITY IN GENERAL
Population about 44,000. Mainly residential; suburb of Cleveland. Surface slightly sloping. Streets of moderate width; principal streets paved; others, improved; all in good condition. High winds frequent; winter temperatures moderate. Number of fires, high; loss per fire and loss per capita, very high.

FIRE-FIGHTING FACILITIES
WATER SUPPLY -- Municipal system; management efficient. Supply from Cleveland barely adequate. Consumption moderate. Distribution in two services; main arteries in High service, deficient in Low service. Gridiron system poor. Valves in good condition, spacing wide. Hydrants in good condition, distribution mainly good.

FIRE DEPARTMENT -- Full paid, on two-platoon basis; too few companies and undermanned. Chief able and experienced. Appointments and promotions under civil service. Apparatus in good condition. Hose supply good; no 3-inch hose. Fair to good supply of special appliances. Discipline and personnel good. Drills valuable, but no drill tower provided. Response to alarms inadequate. Fire methods fairly good; department inadequate to prevent large fires. Building inspections of little value. Records good.

FIRE ALARM SYSTEM -- Single circuit system; overloaded. Supervision only fair. Headquarters in non-fireproof building. Apparatus inadequate. Boxes of satisfactory type; distribution only fair in important districts and poor elsewhere; no red lights to indicate locations at night. All aerial construction; in poor condition. Tests infrequent and inadequate. Records lacking.

FIRE DEPARTMENT AUXILIARIES -- State fire marshal with ample authority. Police cooperation good. Public service corporations render little assistance. Telephone service widely distributed and much used for transmitting alarms of fire. Private protection of value to individual establishments only. Powerful outside aid available in 30 minutes.

SUMMARY -- Water supply inadequate; Low-service system very weak and at times almost fails to deliver water for domestic consumption. Fire department too weak to prevent large fires. Fire alarm system inadequate and unreliable.

STRUCTURAL CONDITIONS AND HAZARDS

BUILDING DEPARTMENT --  Laws comprehensive but deficient in several important features; mainly well enforced. Fire limits not sufficiently extensive. Combustible roof coverings permitted outside of fire limits. Structural conditions weak.

EXPLOSIVES AND INFLAMMABLES -- Laws contain numerous good features, but are inadequate in some essential features. Local conditions good.

ELECTRICITY -- Municipal control recently inaugurated. Laws deficient. Local conditions fair to good. Overhead wire obstructions moderate. Recent damage from electrolysis; tests made.

CONFLAGRATION HAZARD -- Weak structural conditions, frequent high winds and seriously inadequate fire-fighting facilities make group fires probable in many parts of the city but, with powerful outside aid, fires should be prevented from spreading beyond blocks of origin.
 
 

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31:5
PENSION LAW PASSED FOR POLICE, FIREMAN
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, 1922

The Lakewood City Council Monday night passed ordinances creating pension funds for both fire and police departments.

These ordinances provide that rules for the distribution of the funds shall be adopted by a board of trustees for each fund to be chosen by each department. The director of public safety will be the chairman of each board and there will be five other members elected by the department of one year each.

All funds now in hand for pension purposes shall be turned over to these trustee. The city will levy necessary funds for the support of the pension matter and will not be required to pay longer into the state workmen's compensation. fund. The maximum which may be levied is .3 mills.

Just what percentage of the salaries of the police and firemen will be paid into the fund will be covered in the rules adopted by the trustees which must be approved by the council. The sums to be paid in pensions will also be determined by these rules.

Councilman Harry S. Hart suggested that the rules provide that no pensioner could hold another city job or any other job by which he should draw as much or more salary than while a member of the department. "For instance," said Hart, "Mayor Kohler in Cleveland draws a pension as former chief of police and gets his $10,000 salary from the city besides. We don't want any of that in Lakewood."

Mayor Hill said his idea of a pension plan was similar to that in the army where the pension is given at a certain age or after a certain period of service and is based on past performance, not on the future. It is expected that the pension will not be enough to live on but will help piece out other work and enable the pensioner to continue to live in respectable fashion.

It was stated that there was now $2,000 in the firemen's pension fund and $800 in the police pension fund.
 
 

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31:6
FIRE AND POLICE NEEDS
1920--SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD

The map of Lakewood, showing the location of the 66 fire alarm boxes of the city will be found elsewhere. Experts estimate that at least a hundred more boxes are required to give adequate protection to all sections of the city and to give some protection to the sections of Lakewood that have been built up since the present system was installed.

We are not printing a map showing the location of the police patrol boxes because there is no police patrol system in Lakewood.

We propose to print next week two more maps, one showing the proposed location of the 166 fire alarm boxes that are needed to make a complete system, and the other showing the proposed location of the 35 police patrol boxes.

There is not much chance for argument as to the absolute necessity for the immediate installation of a proper system for the fire and police departments, whereby alarms of fire can be sent in and police calls can be transmitted to headquarters. It is such poor economy to take chances with fire, life and property that ultimately we believe Mayor Hill will be forced to the came conclusions we have reached after careful investigation of conditions and costs.
 
 

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31:7
RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNDERWRITERS PROVIDE SAFEGUARDS FROM FIRE
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, 1922

Recommendations marked with a star(*) are deemed of most importance and their early adoption is urged.

WATER SUPPLY
1. That records be improved by preparing card index records of valves and hydrants with records of operation, inspection and repairs.

*2. That for immediate improvement to the Low service a 12-inch be laid on Riverside road from Madison avenue to Crest Lane, and a regulating valve be installed on the 12-inch West Clifton boulevard line at Detroit avenue, set to open when pressures drop 5 pounds on the Low service.

*3. That protection be improved by supplying the entire city on the High service; or by installing duplicate pumps of at least 2,000,000 gallons capacity each on the Low service at points where supply is taken from the Cleveland mains, and by maintaining the standpipe full at all times.

4. That an additional 8-inch or larger meter be installed in the supply connection at Berea road and at Detroit avenue.

5. That the distribution system be strengthened by the installation of the mains given in the table below, and of such other mains as are necessary to furnish fire supply as follows:

a. In the principal manufacturing district, 6,000 gallons a minute.

b. In the principal mercantile district, 3,000 gallons a minute.

c. In residential districts from 1,000 to 2,500 gallons a minute.
 
 
Diameter Inches Along From To
20 N.Y.C. and St. L. R.R. Highland Ave. W. Clifton
12 Nicholson Ave. Clifton Blvd. Detroit Ave.
12 Summit Ave. Clifton Blvd. Detroit Ave.
12 Riverside Rd. Madison Ave. Crest Lane
12 Heights Blvd. Alger Rd. Warren Rd.
12 Lakewood Ave. Kyle Ave. Carabel Ave.

6.  That the following be adopted as the standard minimum size of mains used for hydrant supply for all future construction:

a. For residential districts, 8-inch; 6-inch to be used only where it completes a good gridiron, and in no case blocks 600 feet or more in length.

b. For mercantile and manufacturing districts, 8- and 12-inch; the former to be used only in localities where they complete a good gridiron and the latter for long lines not cross-connected.

7. That dead ends be eliminated wherever practicable; if the services are not combines as recommended under 3, a 12-inch High service main should be laid on Detroit avenue, connecting to all High service mains on cross streets.

8. That additional gate valves be installed so that no single break will necessitate shutting from service a length of main greater than the side of a single block, or a maximum of 500 feet, in high value districts, or a length greater than the side of two blocks, or a maximum of about 800 feet, in other districts.

9. That all valves be inspected yearly and large valves more frequently, and that records be kept of inspections, operation and condition.

10. That all hydrants with 4-inch connections to main, or with small barrels or foot valves, be replaced by hydrants having at least on 4 1/2-inch and two 2 1/2-inch outlets, not less than 6-inch barrel, 5 1/4-inch valve opening, and 6-inch gated connection to street main. This substitution to be made immediately in important districts and elsewhere according to a plan by which all will be replaced within a reasonable time.

11. That the threads of hose outlets on hydrants be adapted to the National Standard, which is as follows: Nominal size of connection, 2 1/2 inches; outside diameter, male thread, 3 1-16 inches; threads per inch, 7 1/2.

FIRE DEPARTMENT
12. That an assistant chief be appointed.

*13, That sufficient men be permanently assigned to companies so the least number on duty at any time, including vacation time, will be as follows:
 
 

Least Number of Men
on Duty in each
Company


Day Night
Engine 1 and a Recommended Engine Company 6 8
Engine 2 4 6
Ladder 2 and Recommended Ladder Company 7 9

14. That the following additions be made:

a. Establish an engine company at a new station in the vicinity of Madison and Magee avenues, using one of the reserve pumpers; pumper to be equipped with chemical tank of at least 40 gallons capacity.

b. Establish a ladder company at he recommended new station, equipped with a motor service truck.

c. Eventually replace Engine 1 with one of the reserve pumpers; pumper to be equipped with a chemical tank of at least 40 gallons capacity. Engine 1 then to be placed in reserve.

15. That equipment be furnished as follows, where not already provided:

a. To each pumper in service: Open smooth-bore nozzles from 1-1/8-inch to 1 1/2-inch, 2 axes, modern gas mask, modern smoke helmet, hose roller, hose clamp, hose jacket, 2 nozzle holders and rubber gloves.

b. To the ladder truck: Hose roller, hose jacket, 2 marine torches or portable electric searchlights, pompier life belts, squeegees, rubber gloves, and 4 waterproof covers.

c. To Engine 1: A turret pipe.

*16. That mutual aid response be arranged with Cleveland to provide first alarm response to districts along the boundary and second alarm response to any part of the city.

17.  That a suitable drill tower and necessary equipment be provided, where members, especially new men, may receive more effective training in the use of appliances and tools, including the handling of hose on stairs, salvage work and life saving; these drills to be in charge of a competent officer who shall have been sent to some city which maintains a drill school, to obtain experience in modern fire methods.

18. That systematic and frequent inspections of buildings be made by company and department officers to acquaint them with local conditions and records of such inspections to be kept both by notes and sketches.

FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
19. That headquarters be located in a fireproof building, or in a fireproof addition to a fire station, especially constructed to reduce as far as possible all liability to interruption of service, and with all exposed openings properly protected. All apparatus to be on incombustible mountings and no unnecessary combustibles permitted in the building. A separate, well ventilated room to be provided for the storage batteries. Sand pails and extinguishers to be provided in the operating and battery rooms.

20. That the following equipment be installed:

At Headquarters:
*a. Repeating mechanism, including an automatic control board or repeater, arranged for 12 box circuits and 2 alarm circuits; a slate battery-charging-and-testing board; a slate terminal board with approved lightning arresters, heavy current and sneak current fuses for each circuit; a break-wheel transmitter with a separate wheel for each box location, and provisions for receiving and transmitting alarms to and from Cleveland for mutual aid.

b. Two reliable sources of energy to be provided for charging batteries. Charging current not to exceed 250 volts, and each set of batteries to be capable of furnishing current for the system for at least 60 hours.

At Fire Stations:
c. A punching register and a tapper on a box circuit and a gong on an alarm circuit.

21. That the reliability of service be increased by:
a. Installing a separate closed alarm circuit to connect gongs at fire stations and elsewhere.

b. Arranging box circuits to carry only boxes and tappers and registers at fire stations and not more than 20 boxes on each; all gong and other alarm devices to be attached to alarm circuit,

*c. Placing circuits underground wherever possible, using No. 16 rubber insulated copper wire in lead sheathing.

d. Removing circuits from poles carrying high-tension wires and improving general condition of overhead wires.

e. Remodeling wiring in fire stations.

*22. That additional street boxes be installed so that a box shall be within 500 feet of every building in high value districts and elsewhere within 800 feet of every building in closely built sections.

23. That boxes be mounted conspicuously on street corners. Those in districts where underground duct is available on substantial posts, with approved cable terminals; elsewhere, poles carrying other than high-tension circuits may be sued; boxes and a portion of the supporting pole to be painted red; in high value districts, box locations to be indicated by red lights.

24. That circuits and batteries be tested for voltage, current and grounds twice daily, circuits examined monthly and boxes be tested monthly and after every electrical storm; tests to include visual inspection, operation, cleaning and repairing.

25. That a complete record be kept of all tests, trouble, and inspections, and a map showing headquarters wiring and the location of all boxes and circuits be provided.

26. That cards giving location of boxes and instructions how to operate be printed and distributed throughout the city, and that the public be urged to use the fire alarm boxes.

27. That a trunk line be reserved for fire alarm, and for telephone alarms, the nearest box number be sent over the fire alarm system by the break-wheel transmitter, after notifying the nearest company by telephone.

Building Department

28. That the building code be amended to conform to modern requirements for construction and fire prevention, with special attention given to the limitation of areas, protection to openings in floors and external walls, thickness of walls, and requirements for private fire protection.

29. That the building inspector be appointed for an indefinite term with removal only for cause.

30. That incombustible roof coverings be required throughout the city on all new or repaired roofs.

EXPLOSIVES AND INFLAMMABLES
31. That the existing regulations be supplemented by ordinances dealing with hazardous chemicals, carbide, nitro-cellulose, combustible fibres and matches, so as to form a complete code governing the manufacture, sale, storage, use and transportation of explosives and inflammable substances; the chief of the fire department to be held solely responsible for its enforcement, and that members of the fire department make frequent and effective inspections of all buildings and premises in their respective districts, filing complete records of each inspection. It is recommended that the suggested ordinances on these subjects promulgated by the National Board of Fire Underwriters be used as a guide in framing new regulations.

ELECTRICITY
32. That a suitably qualified electrician be appointed as inspector, and the regulations be rigidly enforced.

33. That a complete reinspection of old work be made at an early date, defects corrected and subsequent reinspections made at least annually.

34. That all overhead wires, except trolley wires, in the streets and alleys of the closely built sections be placed underground.

35. That systematic tests be made for electrolysis and any dangerous conditions eliminated.

CONFLAGRATION HAZARD
36. That owners of existing defectively constructed buildings, which are so located as to form conflagration areas, be required to suitably protect floor, party wall and exposed window openings.
 
 

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31:8
FIRE UNDERWRITERS COMPLETE PROBE OF LOCAL CONDITIONS
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD (?) 1922 (?)

REPORT PRINCIPAL MERCANTILE AND MANUFACTURING DISTRICTS OF CITY SUBJECT TO GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL FIRES.

PRAISE FIRE-FIGHTERS

DEPARTMENT DECLARED UNDERMANNED AND NEW COMPANIES NEEDED.

The probability of a serious conflagration involving either the principal mercantile or manufacturing district in Lakewood is remote and fire hazards in dwellings are largely mitigated.

That is the outstanding and reassuring conclusion of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, published in a survey of Lakewood made under the direction of the committee on fire prevention and engineering standards by E.R. Townsend, engineer.

Serious individual and group fires are rendered possible, however, the report states, "under the present condition of the fire-fighting facilities, the large proportion of frame buildings and the weak construction and protection of brick buildings in the principal mercantile district, and the large unsprinkled areas and farm areas, the unprotected floor and exposed window openings and the weak wall construction in parts in the principal manufacturing district."

Low water pressure is another finding of the investigation which heightens the fire hazard here, the report recommending improvements to increase pressure of water both for ordinary consumption and fire uses.

While having nothing but praise for the members of the Lakewood fire department, whose fire methods, personnel and discipline are highly commended, the report states the department is inadequate to prevent large fires because of too few companies an men. The easy availability of powerful aid from Cleveland reduces the danger of this undermanned condition.

The report covers a period of five years, but the investigation was conducted here last summer. The results were approved by the national board and published, copies becoming available this week to city officials and newspapers. Upon this report, the fire insurance rates of Lakewood will be affected by the findings of the investigator. He summarizes fire losses in the period under investigation as follows:

The gross fire loss for the past five years, as given in the fire department records, amounted to $812,404, varying from 131 in 1916 to 280 in 1920, with an average loss per fire of $777, a very high figure.

Based on an average population of 37,700, the average annual number of fires per thousand population was 5.54, a high figure; the average annual loss per capita was $4.31, a very high figure.

The fire-fighting facilities of the city are described under the separate heading of water supply, fire department, fire alarm system, and fire department auxiliaries.

In regard to the water supply the investigator concludes:

"The methods of supervision and operation of the system are good except that there are no emergency provisions. Plans and records are incomplete but are being improved.

The supply works at Cleveland are adequate and reliable; but the mains which supply the Lakewood system are inadequate in carrying capacity, especially those of the Low service, to supply the required fire flow in addition to maximum consumption.

The standpipe is of value as an equalizer and provides a moderate amount of storage for emergency use at the very low pressure.

The consumption is moderate; all services are metered.

Pressures are very low in the low service and are very poorly maintained, varying from 24 to 50 pounds at Detroit and Highland avenue where the principal supply is received. At the time of inspection the pressure on the Lakewood side of the meters in Detroit avenue was one pound lower than on the Cleveland side at normal rate of consumption. Pressures in the high service are mainly satisfactory.

Fire flow tests indicate that the mains of the Cleveland system cannot deliver adequate quantities for fire protection, in addition to maximum consumption requirements, in the high value districts, although fair to good quantities can be provided for residential sections, especially in the high service.

The main arteries of the Lakewood low service are of insufficient capacity but are adequate in the high service; secondary feeders, to support the long length of 6-inch pipe between supply mains, are entirely lacking in both service. Practically all of the minor distributors are 6-inch, very poorly grid ironed. Dead ends are numerous along the service limits. Mains are apparently in good condition except for some trouble from electrolysis.

Gate valves are widely spaced on all lines; no regular inspections are made.

The majority of hydrants have small barrel and good valve and small connection to mains; all hydrant branches are gated. The average area served is mainly satisfactory. Hydrants are regularly inspected and in good condition.

An account of the organization, equipment and fire-fighting methods of the Lakewood fire department is given. Chief Joseph H. Speddy is described as "an experienced and competent officer." Summarizing, the report states:

"The fire department is a well organized force, under the control of experienced and progressive officers, but is deficient in men. Methods of appointment and promotions are good, but there are no provisions for retirement and pensions. All of the men are young.

"Companies are fairly well located, but are insufficient in number. Engine capacity and ladder service are deficient. Chemical equipment extensively used, but somewhat inadequate. There is a good supply of minor equipment. The advantages of the use of 3-inch hose have apparently not been recognized, none being provided. Fire stations and fire apparatus are in excellent condition.

Discipline is good. Drills are of value, but no drill tower is provided. Response to alarms is inadequate. Fire methods used in handling small fires are good, but are only fair for large fires due to lack of men and equipment; this deficiency is somewhat offset by the powerful outside aid quickly available. Building inspections are of little value. Records are well kept."

The fire alarm system is a part of the fire department, under the supervision of the chief, and maintained by the electrician, E.H. Hoffstetter, a regular member of the department. It is described by the report as follows:

"The fire alarm system is essentially one over-loaded circuit, only inadequate or lacking. Control of hazards from inflammables can be strengthened by maintaining suitable records.

Laws and regulations governing electrical wiring are somewhat deficient, the report states, adding:

"Inspection work has recently been undertaken by the city, prior to which good supervision had been maintained by the underwriters' bureau for some time. The new work is in good condition, but the old work is in need of reinspection.

"No supervision is given outside work, but the construction is in fair to good condition. Overhead wires in the principal streets form a moderate obstruction to fire department operations. Damage due to electrolysis has been reported, but with the new construction of the street railways and systematic inspections and tests, it is believed that its danger will be minimized."

The conflagration hazards found by the investigation are:

"The National Carbon company plant, in the southeastern section of the city, comprises 23 frame, 27 brick and 10 fireproof buildings, forming a district covering 22 acres, 59 per cent of which is built upon. Fifteen per cent is frame, 76 per cent brick, and 9 per cent, fireproof construction. The frame buildings are 1-story; the brick buildings are about equally divided between 1-story and 2- and 3-story; and one of the fireproof buildings is over 3 stories in height.

Thirty-nine per cent of the area of brick buildings and 57 per cent of the fireproof buildings are sprinklered. Protection to wall and floor openings is slight. Accessibility is good; the section is mildly exposed on the north and west. Serious fires are imminent at this plant, but considering the sprinklered portions and the fireproof sections of the plant and the fairly good water supply, it is unlikely that a conflagration involving the entire section should occur.

"Extending west from the principal mercantile district along Detroit avenue for a distance of about three miles, several small mercantile districts, mainly of brick construction, 1 to 2 stories in height, interspersed with detached frame and brick dwellings and open spaces. They are generally isolated and subject only to group fires.

"The city is principally residential. Dwellings are mainly frame and in parts congested, but about 85 per cent of the buildings are covered with fire-resistive roofings thereby mitigating the flying brand hazard.

"The district is located in the east-central portion of the city and consists of 2 blocks and 1 part block, covering 7.2 acres. It is practically level; streets are paved and in fair to good condition.

"Values are moderate. Occupancies are mainly grade floor mercantiles, with offices or residences above; most of the buildings are old and several have frame additions. The district also contains a large lumber yard, three garages, one motion picture theatre, and one dry cleaning establishment.

"Twenty-six per cent of the area of the district is in street or open spaces. Building congestion is slight; only 46 per cent of the block area is built upon. There are no alleys, but accessibility is good through numerous passages to interior of blocks. Streets are from 50 to 80 feet in width.

"The district is moderately exposed on the east, and mildly exposed on the west; it is unexposed on the other sides.

"The joisted brick buildings, which cover 53 per cent of the built-in area, are mainly low, but seriously deficient from a fire prevention standpoint. The remaining construction is frame and adds materially to the conflagration hazard. The spread of fire would be greatly facilitated by the lack of protection to the many exposed openings in the brick buildings, large areas ,thin walls and low parapets. Interior conditions of buildings are fair to good. Over head wires would form moderate obstruction to fire department operations. High winds are frequent.

"The fire department is under-manned and is lacking in pumping capacity and the water supply is inadequate. Serious group fires are probable in parts of the district, but with substantial aid from Cleveland, the probability of a conflagration involving the entire district should be remote."
 
 

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31:9
SPEDDY SAYS ONLY MIRACLE SAVES HOMES
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD 1922 (?)

Advocates New Engine House, Two Engine Companies, and One Hook and Ladder Crew to Man Present Apparatus and Eliminate Danger.

Only a miracle will save Lakewood in case of a fire in a congested district that for any reason was not reached, due to the undermanned and underhoused condition of he fire department, Chief Joseph H. Speddy warns the people of Lakewood in his annual report.

The report, which was made to Mayor Louis E. Hill, has been placed in the hands of the committee on police and fire of the city council, made of up of Councilman Harry S. Hart and Councilwoman Maude C. Waitt, who will decide what legislation, if any, shall be introduced to translate any of the recommendations into facts.

Chief Speddy is emphatic in his warning. He says: “I want to lay great stress on the very large number of frame buildings in our city. In fact, it is a veritable lumber yard.

“There is absolutely no question that if a fire occurred on any of the congested streets and for any reason whatever there was a delay it would only be a miracle that will save Lakewood from a very serious conflagration.

“Not only are we insufficiently manned and equipped to properly take care of our own fires but very frequently we are called upon for assistance from rocky River, Goldwood, Avon and Bay Village, which invariable leaves our forces taking care of our city very much weakened.”

The city is also warned of higher insurance rates, as a result of the present conditions. Chief Speddy says that “from information coming form a reliable source, we understand that any fire insurance rewritten or new insurance taken out this coming year will be at a very much more increased rate.”

This is on account of fire losses last year totaling $144,355. The fires involved property valued at $1,480,940, on which there was a total insurance of $825,950. The total insurance loss was $140,290, leaving $4,045 lost to individuals.

The danger is three-fold, the chief says.

1. The department is undermanned and underhoused.

2. Water pressure is insufficient and has often placed the city at the mercy of fires.

3. Fire alarm wires and boxes are outworn because of lack of attention due to man shortage.

The fire alarm system is in such poor condition because of lack of attention due to the man shortage, that when ever there is a windstorm the system is out of condition and practically every fire box is made useless. It is then necessary to take crews away from the fire houses to locate the trouble and make repairs.

The chief proposes that the wires be put underground, away from the menace of winds and storms. He points out that conduits of the telephone company provide for fire alarm wires which have not been installed.

For hours at a time in the past year, chief Speddy says, the city was practically without water, which placed it at the mercy of fire. He urges sufficient pressure be secured to give Lakewood enough water for fire purposes at all times.

A condition in the present personnel of the department which the chief deplores and says should be remedied is the keeping of men at posts of official responsibility without the permanent grade and pay of the office. He says it is almost impossible to keep up discipline and interest when promotions are only temporary and without added salary.

Some acting captains, lieutenants, engineers and drivers have had the responsibility of their positions, without grade or pay, for as long as eleven years, the chief says. He asks that examinations be held and the money provided for these positions.

In addition, the chief asks that the state law permitting pensions for firemen be invoked in Lakewood. He also asks for free medical attendance for the men. As an innovation to keep them in good physical condition and to teach them methods of life saving, he asks that a drill tower be erected near headquarters.

There should be not less than four engine companies and two hook and ladder companies in the city of Lakewood, properly manned, Chief Speddy declares, after comparing Lakewood’s fire fighting forces and equipment with those of cities of about its own size, and with districts in Cleveland of the same kind of housing conditions.

There are now two engine companies and one hook and ladder company in Lakewood. In addition, there are two reserve engines, but no men to man them regularly. All equipment is motorized.

To put the chief’s recommendations into effect, two new engine companies and one hook and ladder company would have to be added. Tat means six officers and twenty-four men. At the present rate of pay, that means an outlay in salaries of $62,160 a year. That allows for the pay of officers, too.

Engine house No. 2 was built at a cost of     in and can be duplicated now for engine company No. 3, which it is urged be created and housed in a new building.

The reserve engines were purchased when the people authorized a bond issue of $60,000 to buy equipment and provide houses for it, in order to expand the department. The equipment was purchased but no houses were ever provided for it.

All the equipment is now at fire headquarters on Warren road, off Detroit avenue, except Engine No. 2, which is housed in its own quarters an manned by a company at Kenilworth and Detroit avenues. The rest of the equipment is manned by one engine and one hook and ladder company at fire headquarters.

The reserve equipment is used in emergencies, but when it is needed at fires, it is necessary to call men away from their homes when they are off duty to run it out of the engine house and operate it, or to call on the police for help.

The reserve apparatus has stood at headquarters for three years. No provision has ever been made to house or man them separately.

Chief Speddy advocates the construction of one new engine house, and the division of the city into three fire districts, keeping two engines for the present at headquarters, or the first district. Roughly, the districts are:

District 1. Approximately from Fisher road on the south, the lake on the north, Northland avenue on the west and Wyandotte avenue on the east. In this district, as described, No. 1 engine company responded to 112 alarms last year.

District 2. West of Northland avenue and extending to Rocky River. In this district, engine company No. 2 responded to 85 alarms last year.

District 3.  East of Wyandotte avenue and W. 117th street, in which there were 92 alarms last year.

With a population of about 50,000, Lakewood had 302 fire alarms, answered by only two engine companies, in 1921. For comparison, Chief Speddy cites the following statistics: Elyria, population 30,000, had less than 100 fire alarms with four engine companies; Lorain, population 40,000, had less than 200 fire alarms with seven engine companies; East Cleveland, population 30,000, had 158 fire alarms with two engine companies.

Chief Speddy points out that in Cleveland, there are never less than two engine companies and one hook and ladder company that answer an alarm, a force equal to the entire Lakewood fire department. In Lakewood, one engine company and one hook and ladder company can be allowed to answer an alarm. If the fire is serious, and the other engine company is called, it leaves the city with the two reserve engines but without anyone to man them except men off duty.

Building of a new engine house in the southeast section of the city, to be know as No. 3 and to be equipped with an engine company and hook and ladder company, and the creation of an engine company, No. 4, to be quartered at headquarters, and the purchase of a new city service truck to be located at the present headquarters are urged as immediately necessary.
 
 

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31:10
SPEDDY ASKS MORE MEN, NEW STATION
LAKEWOOD COURIER 1922

More men and a new fire station in the east end of Lakewood, together with a better fire alarm system are the outstanding spots in the annual report of Fire Chief J.H. Speddy, made public this week by Mayor Hill.

These recommendations have been made for several years by the chief but have not been acted upon because of lack of funds.

Here is the report:

      January 3, 1922

Hon. Louis E. Hill, Mayor,

City of Lakewood.
 

Dear Sir:

Referring to the report for the past year of 1921 in regard to the operation of the fire department would respectfully call your attention to the fact of the increased number of actual working fires as compared with the years 1919 and 1920.

According to the statistics of the National Board of Fire Underwriters the loss for 1918 was $1.34 per capita, 1919 was $6.14 per capita and in 1920 was $12.22 per capita. The underwriters figures for 1921 will not be available before next May.

About the year 1912 when the present No. 1 engine house was built, it was located on the present site, that being about in the center of the city and with the idea of erecting another house about one mile and one-half west and another house about one mile and one-half east, having in mind that it was just about one and one-half mile from Cleveland’s nearest engine house, also in the event of Lakewood being solidly built up, it would never be necessary to build any more engine houses if the fire houses then in mind were properly equipped and manned.

The thought was also in mind that in the event of future annexation to Cleveland the nearest fire house in the eastern part of the city would be in harmony with the location of the nearest Cleveland house.

Dividing our city up into districts as originally planned number one district would be approximately from Fisher Road on the south, the lake on the north, Northland Avenue on the west and Wyandotte Avenue on the east and in this district number one engine company responded to 112 alarms during the past year 1921.

Number two district, west of Northland Avenue and extending to Rocky River, Engine Company No. 2 responded to 85 alarms.

Number three district, east of Wyandotte Avenue and to W. 117th street Engine Company No. 3 responded to 92 alarms.

For matter of comparison in 1921, Lakewood, population about 50,000 had 302 fire alarms and with but two engine companies.

City of Elyria, 30,000 population, had less than 100 fire alarms and with four engine companies.

City of Lorain, population 40,000, has less than 200 fire alarms and with seven engine companies.

East Cleveland population of about 30,000, has 158 fire alarms with two engine companies.

Cleveland Heights had 68 fire alarms with two engine companies.

Shaker Heights had 97 fire alarms with two engine companies.

Comparing Lakewood with Cleveland with all their engine companies, consisting of about 36, only the following six engine companies, Nos. 7, 9, 14, 16, 17, 18, made more runs than Lakewood and they are located in the congested tenement house district.

Engine Co. No. 32 and Hook and Ladder Co. No. 12, located on W. 112th St., a similar district to Lakewood, only made 70 runs as compared to our 302 runs.

Engine Co. No. 33, located on Lorain Ave. Near W. 101st Street., made 115 runs.

Engine Co. No. 23, located on Madison Ave. And W. 85th St., made 162 runs.

Engine Co. No. 10, located on E. 105th St., near Euclid, made 218 runs.

Engine Co. No. 11, located in Newburg, made 196 runs.

Engine Co. No. 19, located on E. 55th St. only made 172 runs.

Engine Co. No. 24, located on W. 255th St. only made 146 runs.

Engine Co. No. 29, located on E. 105th St. only made 194 runs.

Engine Co. No. 31, located in the Collinwood district, only made 174 runs.

Engine Co. No. 34, located on Amesbury Ave., only made 189 runs.

The above mentioned engine companies are all in similar districts in Lakewood.

In the entire city of Cleveland there are never less than two engine companies and one hook and ladder company responding to every fire alarm, as compared to one engine company and one hook and ladder company in Lakewood.

The best authorities on this subject advocate one engine company to every 10,000 population and one hook and ladder company to every two engine companies.

Not only is it the writer’s opinion from actual experience here is Lakewood, but also from the best information obtainable, there should be not less than four engine companies and two hook and ladder companies in the city of Lakewood, properly manned.

With that idea in mind, the mayor and the council in 1917-18 and the citizens of Lakewood approved a bond issue of $60,000 to purchase the necessary equipment and build buildings to house same.

The apparatus purchased consisted of tow pumping engines and the hose for same and were delivered in the year 1919.

After these engines were delivered no provision was ever made wither to build the houses or man these new engines.

Only two days have elapsed in the new year and we have had four fires, any one of which would have been the start of a serious conflagration had there been any delay for any reason whatever of only a few minutes.

From information coming from a reliable source we understand that any fire insurance rewritten or new insurance taken out this coming year will be at a very much more increased rate, owing to the facts as stated herein.

One important thing must be borne in mind, that the insurance companies do not pay any insurance for the time that you are out of business or out of a home pending such time as you can rebuild.

I wish to lay great stress on the very large number of frame buildings in our city; in fact, it is a veritable lumber yard, and there is absolutely no question that if a fire occurred on any of the congested streets and for any reason whatever there was a delay it would only be a miracle that will save Lakewood from a very serious conflagration.

Not only are we insufficiently manned and equipped to properly take care of our own fires, but very frequently we are called upon for assistance from Rocky River, Goldwood, Avon, and Bay Village, which invariably leaves our forces taking care of our city very much weakened.

In view of the above facts, I urge that the most careful consideration be given the recommendations contained herein and some action taken toward manning either all or in part our present equipment.

These recommendations are based on the opinions and experience of the best authorities well versed in fire department matters.

That Engine No. 3, at present not in service, be housed in with a permanent or temporary building and located somewhere in the Carbon Works district and at least be manned with enough men to operate same.

That Engine No. 4, a present out of service, be located in the present quarters on Warren Rd. and manned with sufficient men to properly operate same.

Engine N. 3 to take care of district No. 3, together with Chemical No. 1, Engine no. 4 to take care of district No. 1 in connection with Chemical No. 1.

That the present hook and ladder truck, owing to its age, be placed in the Carbon Works district with Engine company No. 3 and a new city service truck be purchased and located at the present engine house on Warren road.

That the present hook and ladder company No. 1 be manned with sufficient men to properly operate same.

That examinations be held for captains and appointments made and money provided for their salaries.

That examinations be held for lieutenants and appointments made and money provided for their salaries.

That examinations be held for engineers and appointments be made and money provided for their salaries.

That examinations be held for drivers and appointments be made and money provided for their salaries.

These men have been acting in these positions for the past eleven years, and it is not fair to ask them to assume the added responsibility year after year and not receive any added compensation other than the regular firemen’s salary.

The only officers drawing salaries at present are some of the lieutenants and some of them are acting as captains. It is almost impossible to keep up the interest, discipline, etc., when the promotions do not mean anything in the way of salary. Drivers of the various apparatus are held responsible for the condition of their machine, and not only take care of them but do fire duty as well and yet do not receive added compensation.

That arrangements be made for the city physician to take care of any illness or injured firemen.

That a shop of some kind be erected and a competent man put in charge to take care of all the repairs.

That arrangements of some description be made to take care of our alarm system, which is fast becoming demoralized on account of lack of attention on account of the shortage of men.

That a drill tower be erected somewhere in the vicinity of the present engine house on Warren road, not only for the familiarizing of the men with the various life saving appliances, but to keep them in good physical condition.

That in accordance with the present city charter that the fire department in reality be in charge of the fire hydrants and to be properly notified of any changes in water mains and the shutting off and turning on of same.

That the present crew in the water works department who are in charge of these hydrants be held accountable for their time and expense while on this work, as we understand that this time is charged to the fire department.

That the present fire alarm system be extended to take care of the portions of the city now being rapidly built up and who need this service, and that some arrangements be made to place the alarm system wires underground. Space has been provided in the conduits by the telephone company for this service, and for the reason that whenever we have a windstorm the system is put out of commission and practically every fire alarm box is useless, and in these cases it is necessary to send out the crews to find the trouble, thereby causing the engine companies and the hook and ladder company to be improperly manned.

That at least four Cooper hose menders be purchased at a cost of about $30 each.

That some action be taken toward securing a greater water supply, as on numerous occasions during the past year we were practically without water for hours at a time, leaving the city at the mercy of a serious fire.

Also that an ordinance be passed creating a fireman’s pension fund, authorized by a state law.

Trusting you will give this matter your careful consideration, we are,

Very truly yours,
LAKEWOOD FIRE DEPT.,
JOSEPH SPEDDY, Chief.
 
 
Total number of times apparatus left quarters 302
Total number of fire alarms 280
Total number of inspections, suburban calls 10
Total number of of emergency calls 22
Total number of false or unnecessary calls 43
Total number of of fires in---
   Frame 63
   Brick 13
   Reinforced concrete 1
   Fireproof steel frame 0
   Ironclad 0
   Concrete block  0
   Unclassified 0
Other than building fires 91
Confined to floor or origin 237
Confined to building 237
Adjoining building 0
Beyond adjoining building 0
Out on arrival 21
6 or 3 gal. tanks      58-3 4 - 6
Citizens or employes 0
35 gal. tanks 31
Auto sprinkler 0
Number of lines laid 94
Chemicals 62
1-inch line 5,050
Number feet of hose 28,000
Number feet ladder 1,074
Hydrant streams 20
Hours engine worked 70
Engine streams 33
Total value of property involved $1,480,940
Total insurance on property involved 825,950
Total loss property involved 144,335
Total insurance loss on property involved 140,290
Total losses adjoining property 0
Total losses where fire originated 144,335
Chief's car responded to 138 calls
Engine No. 1 responded to 243 calls
Engine No. 2 responded to 57 calls
Engine No. 3 responded to 21 calls
Hook and ladder responded to 188 calls
Cadillac responded to  33 calls
Engine Co. No. 2 91 calls

 

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31:11
LACK OF FIREMEN BLAMED FOR $15,000 LOSS IN CLIFTON PARK
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD

Lack of enough firemen to man the fire-fighting apparatus now in the possession of the city was blamed by Fire Chief J.H. Speddy this week for extensive loss in a new residence in Clifton Park when fire broke Tuesday night while firemen were battling another blaze.

The Clifton Park fire, causing a loss of $15,000 to a $70,000 home being constructed by William Cupper, 1241 Belle avenue, contractor, originated from a blaze inadvertently, left in the grate of the building by workmen. It was discovered at the time both Engine Co. 1 from the Warren road station and Engine Co. 2 from the West End station were engaged in subduing flames at 1287 Edwards street. Engines 3 and 4 were in the Warren road station but there were no firemen to man them and they could not go to the Clifton Park fire. Delay ensued until one of the engines on Edwards street could disengage itself and get to Clifton Park. This delay proved costly.

The chief explained that not always do both existing engine companies respond to a single blaze, one frequently being kept in reserve, but the Edwards street fire had possibilities of becoming a bad one on account of location and unfavorable weather conditions, and he ordered both companies out as he does under such conditions.

Chief Speddy said this week he had made a survey of more than 30 cities of equal size to Lakewood in the country and of them all Lakewood has the fewest firemen and the smallest amount of fire-fighting equipment.

"We have had 75 fires so far this year," said the chief, "and it is a miracle we haven't had more serious losses. The situation is too much for our manpower."
 
 

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31:12
FIRE LADDIES RUN 335 TIMES IN YEAR

The Lakewood fire department made 335 runs in 1922, according to the annual report of Fire Chief Jos. Speddy, which was made to Mayor L.E. Hill. This number exceeds that of 1921 by 33.

The total loss from fire during the year was $20,702, as compared to $13,096,370 as the total value of property involved. This shows efficient work of the department in fighting fires.
 
 

Chief Speddy's report is as follows:
Times apparatus left quarters 335
Fire alarms 302
Emergency calls 25
Suburban inspections 7
False calls 10
Fires in frame buildings 85
   Brick 15
   Concrete block 1
   Ironclad 1
Other than building fires 166
Confined to floor or origin 267
Confined to building 267
Adjoined building 1
Out on arrival 65
Total value prop. involved $13,096,370
Total ins. prop. involved 8,597,095
Total ins. loss prop. involved 28,312
Total loss prop. involved 30,702
Total losses where fire originated 30,202
Total losses adjoin. prop. 500
Chief's car responded to 130 calls
Engine No. 1 responded to 225 calls
Engine No. 2 responded to 115 calls
Engine No. 3 responded to  17 calls
Engine No. 4 responded to 12 calls
Hook and Ladd responded to 170 calls
Ford responded to 11 calls

 
 
 

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31:13
WHAT THE FIRE LADDIES DID IN LAKEWOOD LAST YEAR
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD

The following annual report of Joseph H. Speddy, chief of the Lakewood fire department, has been submitted by him to Mayor Ed. A. Wiegand:

Total number of times apparatus left quarters, 377; total number of fire alarms, 340; total number of emergency calls, 32; total number of inspections, 284; total number of suburban calls, 6; total number of false alarms, 12.

Building fires: Frame, 145; brick 30; ironclad, 0; re-enforced concrete 1; fireproof steel frame, 2; concrete block, 1. Other than building fires: Auto fires, 22; grass, 104; dump, 4; fence, 16; bridge, 0; car, 1; lumber, 1; pole, 1.

Fires confined to origin, 327; confined to building, 327; extended to adjoining building, 1; beyond adjoining building, 0;

Fires out on arrival, 2; put out by citizens or employes, 0; by automatic sprinklers, 0; number of six or three gallon tanks used 48-3; 6-9; 35-gallon tanks used 29; number of lines of hose laid, 77; one-inch line, 3,3350 feet; two and one-half-inch line, 27,550 feet; number of feet of ladder used, 1005; number of fires extinguished by chemicals, 72; number of hydrant streams thrown, 32; number of engine streams, 28; hours engine worked, 42 1/4.

Property involved: Buildings, $11,098,145; contents, $15,212,470; total, $26,310,615,00. Insurance on same: Buildings, $6,716,300; contents, $9,944-$7,700; total, $19,556.00. Total loss adsame; Buildings, $11,856; contents, $7700; total, $19,556.00. Total loss adjoining, $2.

Runs: Engine Co. No. 1, 296; Engine Co. No. 2, 108; Engine Co. No. 3, 2; Engine Co. No. 4, 0; Truck Co. No. 1, 190; chief's car, 152; Ford, 17.
 
 

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31:14
ANOTHER ARGUMENT
1923

To those Lakewoodites who last week read the annual report of Fire Chief J.H. Speddy, there must have come considerable comfort that Lakewood is still Lakewood and not the tail end of Ward 1 of Cleveland.

Here, with 335 fire alarms in a year, practically one per day, the fire loss was only $30,000, or less that $100 per alarm, and in only one instance, and then at a cost of only $500, was fire loss occasioned outside the structure in which the blaze originated.

That means a fire loss of about 60 cents per capita for Lakewood during the year. It means a loss of only $1 to every $400 worth of property involved in the places of origin of fires. It is the best record ever made by the Lakewood department, a better record than many if not all other cities of like size can hope to show, and one which deserved the commendation of every Lakewood citizen.

It shows that the Lakewood department is adequately equipped with modern apparatus which is kept in the pink of condition. It shows that the department, even if under-manned, has an excellent personnel. And, most of all, it shows how great would be Lakewood’s loss should this high-grade equipment be transferred to down town Cleveland and replaced with inferior and old-style apparatus as would surely happen in the event of annexation.
 
 

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31:15
RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY CHIEF TO BRING IMPROVEMENT
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, 1922

Recommendations of Chief Speddy for bringing the fire department up to the requirements for a city of this size, in men, equipment and housing, and to eliminate the risk of an undermanned and under housed department, are summarized as follows:

1.  That engine No. 3, at present not in service, be housed in either a permanent or temporary building, located somewhere in the carbon works district, and manned with enough men to operate it.

2.  That engine No. 4, at present out of service, be located in the present quarters on Warren road and manned with men to properly operate it.

3.  That the present hook and ladder truck, owing to its age, be placed in the carbon works district with engine company No. 3, in charge of enough men to operate it, and a new city service truck be purchased and located at the present headquarters on Warren road.

4.  That examinations be held for captains, lieutenant, engineers and drivers, appointments to these grades made, and money provided for their pay.

5.  That arrangement be made for the city physician to take care of sick or injured firemen.

6.  That a repair shop be built and equipped to take care of all repairs.

7.  That the alarm system, "which is fast becoming demoralized on account of a lack of attention due to the shortage of men," be taken care of ,and extended to newly-built districts.

8.  That a drill tower be erected near headquarters to familiarize the men with life saving and keep them in good physical condition.

9.  That fire hydrants be placed in charge of the fire department in accordance with the city charter.

10.  That action be taken to secure a greater water supply, as on numerous occasions during the past year, "we were practically without water for hours at a time, leaving the city at the mercy of a serious fire."

11.  That an ordinance be passes creating a fireman's pension fund as authorized by state law.
 
 

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31:16
AN ECONOMY OF FOLLY
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, 1922

Chief Speddy's report to Mayor Hill is a clear indictment of the folly of the economy which buys two fire engines three years ago and fails to provide suitable quarters or adequate men to put them to the use for which they were bought -- the protection of the city from fire.

Three years ago the citizens of Lakewood authorized the issuance of bonds for the purchase of new equipment for at least one new fire house. Two engines were purchased, sites for the new engine house discussed, and every official support was apparently enlisted to complete the development.

Difficulties in the way of managing the city's income to fit its varied works, which are usual and constant everywhere, set in. The new fire station was shelved and the two engines kept at engine house No. 1, which also serves to house engine No. 1, Lakewood’s lone hook and ladder company and truck and the fire headquarters.

The result is that one engine company, three engines, or rather, two engines are without crews to man them. When they are needed, it is necessary to call men who are off duty back to fun them, or to appeal to the police, which is itself shorthanded, for help.

The situation is deplorable. Chief Speddy's warning that the city is in serious danger because of its failure to maintain permanent forces to operate these engines at all times, is sound. It must not be allowed to go unheeded by those in authority, and indications are that it will not.

Mayor Hill has placed the report before the fire and police committee of city council and members Hart and Waitt may be expected to report it out with recommendations that at least the minimum requirements to insure the city adequate protection from fire, the construction of a new engine house, and the creation of two engine and one hook and ladder companies, be met.

One other wrong ought to be corrected in the fire department. Certain members have been acting in positions of responsibility, as captains, lieutenants, engineers and drivers, for years. They have rendered good enough service to hold their temporary appointments. They deserve permanent rank and pay.

In their case, the city has simply traded on their willingness to serve without reward. As a matter of good discipline and encouragement to the morale of the force, the city ought to promote them and pay them for their work, if not as a matter of good faith.
 
 

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31:17
RESIDENTS CAN NOW LEARN WHY LAKEWOOD HAS LITTLE LOSS BY FIRE
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD or LAKEWOOD COURIER, 1924

FIRE CHIEF JOSEPH SPEDDY HAS REAL ANNUAL REPORT FOR MAYOR WIEGAND

Fire Chief Jos. A. Speddy presented the annual report for 1924 of the Lakewood fire department to Mayor E.A. Wiegand, this week.

In the chief's report there are many interesting facts concerning the property loss, total value of property involved in fires and the total loss, which was insured.

The complete report is:
Population -- 60,000
Area, square miles  -- 6 1/2.

Number of buildings -- Reinforced concrete, 10; fireproof (steel frame) -- 83; brick and stone -- 1075; iron clad -- 27; frame -- 11,651; concrete block -- 63; not classified above -- 124. Total -- 13,033.

Total number of fire alarms -- 415; number that were false or unnecessary --23.

Number of fires -- In reinforced concrete buildings, 2; in fireproof buildings (steel frame). 1; in brick and stone buildings, 51; in iron-clad buildings, 6; in frame buildings, 211; in concrete block buildings, 0; in buildings not classified above, 124; other than building fires -- 79; total -- 376.

Number of fires -- confined to building or place of origin -- 376; extending to adjoining buildings, 0; extending beyond adjoining buildings, 0; total -- 376.

Number of fires confined to the floor on which originated --

Buildings........$12,674,935.00
Contents........   7,163,530.00

  Total .........$19,837,465.00
  Total insurance thereon:
Buildings........$ 5,604,800.00
Contents...........4,674,800.00

  Total..........$10,278,913.00
  Total loss (insurance)—
Buildings........$    50,754.00
Contents.........     11,387.00

  Total..........$    62.141.00

  Total losses on buildings
  and contents in
  which the fires
  originated     $    62,141.00

Total losses on buildings and contents in which the fires did not originate – None.
 
 

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31:18
ESTABLISHING A REPUTATION
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD (?) 1925

Last week we commented editorially on the prestige obtained and the reputation established by Lakewood through its school system -- the habit of both educators and students to emblazen the name, "Lakewood" on page one of metropolitan newspapers throughout the country as the aftermath of their efforts. Inadvertently we overlooked another department functioning within the "City of Homes" whose activities and accomplishments have been of such calibre as to merit national publicity. We refer to the Lakewood Fire Department headed by Chief Joseph H. Speddy.

The local "fire-fighters" have won reknown not on the basis of bravery superiority, as that in itself would be a voluminous task to determine since bravery is the "watchword" of every successful group of flame extinguishers, but rather on the system adopted in quelling a blaze and its modern equipment.

The ability to distinguish adequate equipment from that which acts as a deterrent in the activities of the department has won for Chief Speddy and his men considerable praiseworthy comment in the November issue of "Fire," a magazine published in Chicago, the specific aim of which is to further enhance the prevention program of fire throughout the United States. Under the caption, "The Use of Small Hose Line," appears quite a lengthy article on the speedier response of motorized apparatus and its relation to smaller streams as a preventative to greater water damage as written by Chief Speddy with specific recommendations for adoption. The fact that his magazine saw fit to publish the Chief's article intact proves its informative value and tends to show that the department to a man is on "its toes" ever alert to the demand of efficient service.

The fire alarm system as adopted by Chief Speddy and his aides is so productive of results as to win wide recognition from municipalities far larger in population than Lakewood. It is so complete even to the numbering of the boxes that a two-wire connection on unit number twenty at West 117th street would immediately connect the entire systems of Cleveland and Lakewood. That is the result of forethought and careful planning by department heads of which the Chief is the essential component part.

The recent appointment of Chief Speddy as Assistant State Fire Marshall again advertises Lakewood and proves the stability of the department.

All in all, the Lakewood Fire Department is daily becoming a civic booster of no mean proportions. Chief Speddy has placed the department among the top-notchers of his division overcoming obstacles in the matter of finances and equipment that only super-human effort could attain. It is not surprising that the department is nationally known and recognized when one observes the versatility of its members who are possessed of every essential requisite to the hazardous business in which they are engaged and above all have faith and confidence in their leader, Chief Speddy.
 
 

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31:19
FIRE CHIEF IS PRAISED
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, 1926

STATE FIRE MARSHAL LAUDS WATCHFUL SPIRIT SHOWN BY CHIEF SPEDDY

"Chief Speddy of Lakewood is one of the most wide-awake fire chiefs in the state of Ohio," said W.J. Murphy, assistant state fire marshal, this week. "He called our office and asked that an inspection of the schools be made, so that any desirable changes could be completed before the opening of school next month."

A request of that sort is practically unheard of, according to the marshal. Inspections are a matter routine, and the chief deserves much credit for his act, which is a form of fire prevention. Otherwise, the inspection might not have been made for another six months.

The schools were found, with a few minor exceptions, to be unusually free from fire hazards, and the chief is to be commended for his own inspections, which were a means of securing such excellent conditions, the marshal stated. Incidentally, the few minor changes recommended will all be concurred in before school opens.

Chief Speddy has earned a remarkable reputation throughout the state for his work in fire prevention, a comparatively recent study for fire departments. No longer is it sufficient for a department to be on the jump when an alarm is sounded. They must bend their best efforts to keeping fires from starting in the first place. This, of course, is not easy, since no law provides inspection of homes for fire hazards. The only means available, outside of inspection of public buildings and business places, is a system of education whereby Mr. and Mrs. Property Owner will earn the fundamentals of what makes a fire hazard.

Mr. Murphy also commended assistant fire chief Connelly for his help while the inspection was being made.

"Co-operation such as I found in Lakewood is as commendable as it is rare," the marshal said.
 
 

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31:20
CHIEF JOS. H. SPEDDY APPEALS TO PEOPLE TO HELP MAKE CITY FIRELESS
LAKEWOOD COURIER, 1927

"Fire Prevention Week activities in Lakewood during Oct. 9-15 will have a big part in the national fire prevention campaign. Every organization in Lakewood has pledged support and co-operation, every individual will have a part in this event.

"The nation's yearly loss of 15,000 lives and $570,000,000 in property are frightful facts! Those who have suffered loss of dear ones or the ruin of their homes or business by fire, have a story to tell that can never be forgotten. It makes every citizen of Lakewood resolved to work for a better fire record from now on.

"Begin Fire Prevention Week by cleaning out all useless material and rubbish. They clutter up space and invite fire.

"Clean out the chimneys, flues and pipes filled with soot from last winter's use. You will get better operating satisfaction and avoid danger from fire.

"Don't do your own electric wiring or overload the lines because you need more base plugs. A professional electrician's service is cheapest in the end. Always use proper fuses in electrical currents -- fuses are the safety valves.

"Watch disposal of matches and smoking materials -- they cause the largest number of fires. Keep matches and electric devices out of the reach of children. Inspect your radio wires, keep them heavily insulated. Insulation wears off. Have a good safety ground and standard lightning arrester. Turn off electric current on all electrical devices -- even when left for a moment.

"Gasoline and other volatile liquids are dangerous cleaning fluids. Use only safe compounds. Hunt gas leaks with a flashlight -- never with a flame light. Soap suds when applied to the "suspected" place will reveal the leak by bubbles.

"Walls, ceilings and partitions should be shielded from stoves, furnaces and their pipes. Open fire places should always be screened and gas lights turned off tightly when not in use.

"Make a list of these and all other fire possibilities on your premises, then determine to make your home safe and sound against fire for your family. 'An ounce of prevention is 5worth a ton of cure."
 
 

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31:21
VALUE OF PROPERTY DESTROYED IN FIRES IN LAKEWOOD FOR 1927 WAS $11,168,552
Suburban News & Herald, 1928

TOTAL LOSS ON BUILDINGS AND CONTENTS WAS LESS THAN $30,000

Now is the time for all the citizens of Lakewood to take their hats off to the members of the Lakewood Fire Department

They have more than earned that increase in annual pay that was voted them at he municipal election on Nov. 8, last.

There was a goodly number number of fires in Lakewood in the year 1927.

Hundreds of runs were made by the "boys."

That they know how to fight fires is conclusively proved by a few figures which are here printed.

Chief Joseph H. Speddy will hand his annual report to Mayor Edward A. Wiegand this week and it will be one that His Honor and the city council members may point to with considerable pride and gratification.

During the past year buildings and their contents to the combined value of more than $11,000 were in danger of destruction by fire.

But the Fire Fiend failed to reckon with the boys who man the apparatus in the three fire stations in the city, for the loss on structure and their contents was less than $30,000.

That looks like a record for the best fire department in the State of Ohio.

The National Board of Fire Underwriters has time and again heaped praise without limit on the modest brow of Chief Joe and his gallant crews.

The men should have every dollar voted by the citizens added to their present wage. It is coming to them. It isn't a gift. It is nothing but their just due and recognition for duty well performed.
 
 

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31:22
LAKEWOOD FIRE RECORD IS LAUDED
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, Dec. 28, 1928

PUBLICATIONS TELL OF FINE WORK OF LOCAL DEPARTMENT CHIEF JOSEPH SPEDDY IN LOWERING INSURANCE RATES

By R.E. Porter

Lakewood city officials, in particular Fire Chief Joseph L. Speddy, were given a boost this month in official fire fighters' publications as the local fire department was lauded for its records and methods of operation.

The magazine, "Fire Protection," one of the two official publications of the national organizations of fire chiefs, commended Chief Speddy's work in securing lower fire insurance rating for the city of Lakewood. It told the story of how Lakewood had, through a committee of citizens, headed by Speddy, asked and obtained a reduction of the rating.

The magazine, "The Modern Fire Chief," tells the story of Lakewood’s fire department and its unique record. This is a signal honor, inasmuch as the only cities previously written up in the publication were Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.

The magazine commends the work of both Mayor E.A. Wiegand and Fire Chief Speddy.

The article continues:

"Having been in business, Chief Speddy brought to this department the business man's point of view. He contends that a fire department should be operated on the same basis as a public utility or any other business, for the service it renders to the community governs its growth and success.

"That Chief Speddy has been successful in his endeavor is substantiated by the 1928 report of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, who reported great strides toward better fire prevention methods and more effective fire fighting in Lakewood. The report shows that the annual loss per capita during the last five-year period was the lowest for any city of Lakewood’s size on record in the United States. The discipline of the department was reported 'good', and Chief Speddy was praised for his competence and control of the department. 'Both the Chief and Assistant Chief Donnelly are experienced and competent officers,' the report reads.

"It is of interest to note that in a survey made by the Municipal Administration Service of New York city and Syracuse University of 32 cities having an assessed valuation of from 100 to 300 million that Lakewood ranked the lowest in fire loss computed on the basis of both property value and also per capita loss. This is outstanding in view of the fact that many homes in Lakewood are actually valued, with their furnishings, at over a quarter of a million dollars, and yet many only represent a population of two to five persons.

"The chief believes that his low fire loss has been due to the building up of a department with efficient equipment and a strong personnel well trained and disciplined and properly compensated.

"Educational work relative to fire prevention plays an important part in the work of the Lakewood fire department, and Chief Speddy believes that it is highly desirable to carry on such educational propaganda throughout the entire year. During Fire Prevention Week special programs are always arranged and have brought about improved conditions each year in Lakewood’s residential and business districts."
 
 

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31:23
LAUD WORK OF FIREMEN
SURBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, 1929

LETTERS OF STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES COMMEND LOCAL DEPARTMENT

Letters made public this week by Earl D. Bacon, secretary of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, show that the Lakewood fire department has recently won the plaudits of state and local authorities on fire protection.

Letters commending the record of the Lakewood department have been received from C.S. Magruder, Ohio representative of the National Board of Fire Underwriters and former assistant state fire marshal; Lee E. Skeel, president of the Cleveland Safety council, and T.B. Sellers, manager of the Ohio Inspection bureau.

Magruder wrote Bacon that he was thoroughly familiar with every fire department in Ohio and continued, "I have no hesitancy in referring to the Lakewood fire department as the best in Ohio."

Magruder commended the Lakewood department for the education campaigns on fire prevention which it has conducted, for its efforts to prevent loss of property by water as well as by fire, and for the leadership shown by Chief Joseph L. Speddy.

"I don't think there is a city in the country," writes the former state fire marshal, "that can point to such a an exceptional record so consistently maintained for such a length of time."

Sellers wrote to Bacon commending the record of the local department and complimenting Speddy for his contribution to the success of the fire fighters.

Skeel's comment was particularly directed to the work which Chief Speddy has done as a member of the Cleveland Safety council.

Chief Speddy became a member of the committee in 1928, Skeel said, "He has been most untiring and unselfish in his efforts in furthering the interest of fire prevention and protection."

Skeel pointed out that the Lakewood chief had helped to organize all over the country programs of education in fire prevention and school programs modeled after the Lakewood scheme.
 
 

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31:24
LOWER FIRE INSURANCE RATE HERE
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, 1929

OHIO INSPECTION BUREAU PUTS CITY IN SECOND CLASS; ONLY ONE IN NATION THERE; FOLLOWS VICTORY IN CONTEST

A reduction in fire insurance rates for Lakewood achieved this week will save the owners of business property from $50,000 to $100,000 a year in insurance premiums.

The Ohio Inspection Bureau announced the first part of the week that Lakewood had been raised from the third to second grade of cities in fire insurance rates, thus receiving the lowest rates in the country. No city in the nation has been placed in any higher position in  this respect.

The change comes as the result of a campaign conducted since November, 1927, by Mayor E.A. Wiegand, Chief Joseph H. Speddy of the Lakewood Fire Department, other city officials and the local Chamber of Commerce.

Improvements in the physical fire fighting equipment of the city, and fire prevention work are responsible for the high rating.

The reward follows close on the heels of Lakewood’s victory in the national fire waste contest in which the city was ranked first among cities of its size throughout the nation.

Lakewood has always had low rates on residence property but this is the first time business property has been so benefited.

During the last year and half improvements have been made in the fire department, fire equipment salaries of firemen have been raised, more fire hose has been added, fire alarms, water mains and fire hydrants have been installed. In October of last year the Chamber of Commerce staged one of the eight best fire prevention week programs in the country.

During the present month engineers of the National Board of Fire Underwriters made a re-examination of Lakewood fire hazards and ended by recommending that Lakewood’s fire classification be raised to the highest that is possible.

In a letter to Chief Joseph H. Speddy notifying him of the improvement, H.J. Manning, chief engineer of the Ohio Inspection Bureau in Columbus, congratulates the chief and Lakewood for the accomplishment and expresses his appreciation of the cooperation shown by Lakewood officials and citizens.

Mayor Wiegand, in commenting on the change said, "I am delighted to learn of this accomplishment which we have worked so hard to attain. It shows clearly that the National Board of Fire Underwriters and affiliated organizations are willing to recognize real effort and will co-operate gladly with cities which do their part."
 
 

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31:25
FIRE DEPARTMENT BRINGS LAKEWOOD NATIONAL HONOR
SUBURBAN NEWS & HERALD, March 29, 1929

The United States Chamber of Commerce Wednesday of this week announced that Lakewood had been awarded first position among all cities in the nation ranging in size between 50,000 and 100,000 people for its fire prevention work.

This distinction came to Lakewood as the result of the low fire loss record of the local fire department, the program of fire prevention activities staged by the firemen, the work of civic organizations helping the fire department in this filed, and in particular the fire prevention week program staged under the direction of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.

The contest wins for Lakewood nation-wide publicity and distinction.

Chief of Police Joseph L. Speddy has already been asked to speak at the convention of the National Fire Protection Association in Memphis, Tenn., in May.

First place in other classes was won by Detroit for the largest cities, Erie, Pa., for the next classification, and in the two groups smaller than Lakewood’s section, Owensboro, Ky., and Albany, Ga., were victorious.

The grand prize of the contest for the best all-round program irrespective of size was won by Detroit. It was won last year by Philadelphia and invariably has gone to a larger city.

The success achieved by Lakewood was the result of cooperation by the city officials, Superintendent of Schools Julius E. Warren and his corps of teachers, the service clubs, women's organizations, churches, the Boy Scouts, and other local groups.

Mayor E.A. Wiegand, Chief of the Fire Department Joseph L. Speddy, Building Inspector Joseph Parsons, and Earl D. Bacon, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce are in particular responsible for the prize.

The work was headed by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, with Adam Lintz and Ed E. O'Neill in charge of the committees who were responsible.

Lakewood will be awarded a bronze wall tablet to be presented at the annual meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on April 29th in Washington.

The contest was participated in by over 270 cities throughout the country.
 
 

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31:26
JOSEPH H. SPEDDY'S FIRE FIGHTERS DO SO WELL THAT RATES ARE LOWER
LAKEWOOD COURIER April 25, 1929

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CO-OPERATE AND PROPERTY OWNERS BENEFIT

The owners of business property in Lakewood will be saved more than $40,000 a year in fire insurance premiums because of the recent action of the Ohio Inspection Bureau, which places Lakewood in second grade. Cities of the second grade receive the lowest fire insurance premiums given in the county.

The reclassification of Lakewood comes as a result of more than two years intensive effort on the part of Mayor Ed. A. Wiegand, Chief J.H. Speddy of the fire department and other city officials together with the active co-operation and assistance of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.

Many improvements in the city's water department, fire alarm system, building laws and fire department equipment have been made, and an active program of fire prevention has been carried on by Lakewood citizens.

The regarding comes at this time largely because of the success of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce in winning one of the main awards in the National Fire Waste Contest, conducted by the United States Chamber of Commerce and various national fire prevention associations.

Lakewood has always received low fire rates on residence property but the business and industrial property here has been graded in Class 3 by the National Board of Fire Underwriters.

Cleveland and a few other cities in the country have been in Class 2 for several years and Lakewood will now receive the same fire insurance rates on its business and industrial property as are received by Cleveland property owners.

In his letter to Chief Speddy notifying him of the improvement, H.J. Manning, chief engineer of the Ohio Inspection Bureau in Columbus, congratulates the chief and Lakewood for the accomplishment and expresses his appreciation for the fine cooperation shown the Inspection Bureau by Lakewood officials and citizens.

In a statement issued Mayor Wiegand says: "I am delighted to learn of this accomplishment which we have worked so hard to attain. It shows clearly that the National Board of Fire Underwriters and affiliated organizations are willing to recognize real effort and will co-operated gladly with cities which do their part."
 
 

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31:27
LAKEWOOD WINS IN FIRE WASTE CONTEST 1931

For the third time in four years Lakewood has been adjudged winner for cities of its size (50,000 to 100,000 population) in the 1931 national inter-Chamber fire waste contest sponsored jointly by the National Fire Waste Council and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. In 1920 Lakewood won first place among cities of all classes.

Lakewood’s fire loss last year was $41,900 or 59 cents per capita. The comparative figures for the other three years were: 1930, $38,668, or 55 cents per capita; 1929, $65,392, or 94 cents; 1928, $28,611, or 42 cents.

Owensboro, Ky., which is in the 20,000 to 50,000 population class, won the grand award fro 1931. Youngstown, O., placed first in its class (100,000 to 250,000), which Elyria, O., received honorable mention.

The per capita fire loss last year in the competing cities was placed at $2.33, the lowest since 1923 when the contest was started. This was said to represent a saving of $15,000,000 under 1930 figures. Total loss in 1931 was $66,399,000.

The full list of winners, according to the Associated Press, follows: Cities of more than 500,000 population, Milwaukee; between 250,000 and 500,000, Portland, Ore; between 100,000 and 250,000, Youngstown; between 50,000 and 100,000, Lakewood; between 20,000 and 50,000, Owensboro; under 20,000, Corvalis, Ore.

Cities receiving honorable mention were Philadelphia, New Orleans, Fresno, Cal.; Hartford, Conn.; Elyria and Fremont, Mich.
 
 

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31:28
DELANEY NAMED NEW FIRE CHIEF
Lakewood Courier, 1937

Capt. Charles A. Delaney, 16414 Madison ave., Tuesday took over the post of Lakewood fire chief, vacant since the death of the man under whose direction Lakewood fire department had repeatedly won national recognition, the late Joseph Speddy.

Acting Mayor Amos I. Caufman announced Delaney's appointment Saturday night, also naming Capt. H.B. Redmond and C.T. Donnelly, who has been acting chief since Speddy's death, as assistant chiefs.

Kaufman said that Capt. Delaney stood highest in the civil service examination taken by four members of the force last December.

Assistant Chief Donnelly, Capt. Redmond and Capt. Benjamin A. Kovar took the examination along with Delaney. The first two and Delaney were certified as having the highest grades.

Delaney has been a member of the department since 1917, with the exception of a year's war service.

S.W. Morrison and L.R. Roglin have been promoted to captains to fill the vacancies left by the other appointments. Morrison is assigned to station No. 3 and Rogin to Station No. 2.

Chief Delaney said this week that he hadn't anything new in mind for the department and that he and his assistants were settling down to the job of keeping up the good work done under the late Chief Speddy.
 
 

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31:29
FIRE AND POLICE PROTECTION
(date and source unknown)

We devote considerable space in our news columns this week to the needs of the Fire and Police Departments in the way of service in reporting fire alarms and police calls. The necessity of installing a municipal fire alarm and police patrol system forces itself for consideration among the most important needs of the municipality. As a matter of municipal safety, protecting property against loss from fire and lives, as well as property against attacks from auto bandits, hold-up men, thugs, burglars and professional gunmen, an adequate system of reporting is vital.

The fire loss of Lakewood has been remarkably low in the past, but unless attention is paid to obtaining protection through the extension of the fire alarm system, there is constant danger that with the growth of the city and the increased building in new territory that is at present without any protection whatever, there will come a fire, the cost of which will exceed the entire cost of installing a proper system.

The warning of the recent fire of the Edgewater Lumber Company should not be lost to the community. There are possibilities of loss in such extensive manufacturing plants as the Carbon Works, the Lakewood Engineering Company, the Templar Motors, the Mathews Manufacturing plant and other plants that will wipe out in a single day the savings of years of ill-advised municipal parsimony.

These large plants have in some cases installed their own fire protection system to supplement the municipal fire department, but the factory fire companies do valuable service only in preventing the spread of fires at the start. There is every reason why the city firemen should be promptly on the job to aid the factory firemen in stopping the progress of the fires at their inception. These corporations pay a very large amount in taxes to the city, and they are entitled to adequate protection, such as cannot be given without an improvement in the fire alarm telegraph system of the city.

Lakewood has grown to be a city of over 50,000 people; some estimates make the figures almost 60,000. While Lakewood has boasted in the past of the lowest fire loss of any city of its size in the United States, if not in the entire world, this record, it must be frankly admitted, is due at least in large part to our good fortune. It is the height of municipal folly to continue in this growing community to trust to luck that there will not be many big fires in the future because there have been few in the past.

The needs of the Police Department for the installation of a call-box system are even more pressing. There is a system of reporting fires, although the system is very inadequate. There is no system whatever of reporting police calls. Night after night there are hold-ups in Lakewood by auto bandits who dash down from the crime invested city of Cleveland, commit robbery and burglary almost at will and make their getaway before work can be sent to the Police Department. We believe we are within the bounds of conservatism when we state there is not another city of 50,000 in the United States that is absolutely without a call system for police reports.

The cost of increasing the fire alarm system from 66 boxes to 160 boxes, reorganizing and bringing it up to modern requirements, is estimated at $130,000. The cost of installing a police report system with patrol boxes at strategic points is estimated at less than $25,000. Not only have Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and the large cities of the state a complete system of police patrol signal boxes, but all cities of the size of Lakewood have such a system-Alliance, Canton, Dayton, East Liverpool, Mansfield, Massillon, Springfield, Steubenville, St. Bernard and Youngstown.

We are fully appreciative to the financial condition of Lakewood. We are only too familiar with the many other pressing needs that constantly demand municipal consideration. We believe, however, that the installation of police patrol and fire alarm boxes, on a proper wiring system, either underground or aerial, is the most vital need that confronts the new administration of Lakewood. It is poor business and false economy to take chances with life and property, such as Lakewood is now taking.
 
 

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31:30
LAKEWOOD FIRE BOXES
Lakewood edition of the Times (no date)

In accordance with the request of Fire Chief Joseph Speddy and Mayor E.A. Wiegand, the Lakewood edition of The Times is publishing locations of the new Lakewood fire alarm boxes. Watch this list and remember the boxes near your home. This is the final installment.

Madison car barns.
Madison, corner Newman.
Madison, corner Winchester.
Madison, corner Lakewood.
Madison, corner Cohassett.
Madison, opposite Clarence.
Madison, corner Chesterland.
Madison, corner Elbur.
Madison, corner Parkwood.
Madison, opposite Richland.
Madison, opposite Baxterly.
Madison, corner Marlowe.
Madison, corner St. Charles.
Madison, corner Warren.
Madison, corner Elmwood.
Madison, opposite Arthur.
Madison, opposite Lakeland.
Madison, corner Hilliard.
Madison, corner Northland.
Madison, corner Wagar.
Madison, corner Winton.
Madison, corner Larchmount.
Lakewood Engineering Company.
Plover, corner Magee.
Thrush, corner Lark.
Plover, corner Robin.
Thrush, corner Quail.
Plover, opposite Down.
Dowd, south of Thrush.
Halstead, opposite Thrush.
Halstead, near Plover,
Clarence, south of Athens.
Waterbury, corner Athens.
Chesterland, south of Athens.
Lewis, corner Athens.
Elbur, south of Athens.
Wyandotte, corner Athens.
Wascana, south of Athens.
Bunts, corner Athens.
Richland, south of Athens.
Brown, north of Athens.
Brown, opposite Garfield.
Baxterly, corner Athens.
Lincoln, corner Bayes.
Lincoln, north of Athens.
Belle, corner Armin.
Alger, corner Lanning.
Revely, north of Athens.
Athens, opposite Elmwood.
Mars, corner Esther.
Arthur, corner Athens.
Lakewood Heights Boulevard, between Niagara and Riverside.
Naragansett, between Niagara and Riverside.
 
 

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31:31
HISTORY OF THE LAKEWOOD FIRE DEPARTMENT 1902 - 1963
PREPARED BY THE LAKEWOOD FIRE DEPARTMENT
LAKEWOOD SCHOOLS FIRE PREVENTION COMMITTEE
CARL J. LOCHARD - Chairman
Virgil Wallace - Co-Chairman
1963-64

In 1902 the trustee's of Lakewood made a contract with J.A. Mastick for a team to haul the apparatus to any fire that may occur in the Village, and he would also provide two men to aid in fighting fires. Citizens as volunteers to furnish additional help necessary for the work at hand.

This contract for service was made in 1902 and continued for about ten years.

Mr. Mastick operated a Funeral Home located at the north east corner of St. Charles and Detroit Ave. The barn housing the hose wagon and horses was located behind the house facing St. Charles Ave.

In 1910 the officials of the City of Lakewood purchased the property located at the south west corner of Warren Road and Detroit Ave. The house facing Detroit Street was used as the City Hall.

The city officials took possession of the fire apparatus that it owned at that time and moved it into the barn that stood at the rear of the City Hall, facing Warren Road.

They also purchased a horse and buggy for the Chief to respond to fires.

The apparatus at this time consisted of a hose wagon, horses and harness, hose, and few small fire extinguishers. Shortly after, however, the City purchased the first motorized equipment, which became known as Engine no. 1.

The men to see service in the early days of this embryo department were: Eyner Buhl, William, J. Curry, Jacob Hennie and Henry Bulky.

The possibilities of so small a department, with such meager equipment, were not great but as there were few fires to test its powers it was enables to make a god record for itself and to meet the requirements for which it was established.

In 1912, however, Lakewood shook off its garments of Villagehood and assumed the more dignified robes of a City, with population of about 18,000 people. With this new assumption of prerogatives it became necessary to reorganize the Fire and Police Departments, which was done.

First in the reorganization came the choice of a Chief, resulting in the election to that position of Jos. H. Speedy. The members of the department, under the status of the State pertaining to Fire Departments, makes it necessary that incumbents and aspirants shall take a Civil Service Examination. This led to the eliminating of those former members of the department. The personnel of the department at that time  was as follows:

Jos. H. Speedy - Chief, Jacob D. Hennie, William J. Curry, John Dooley, Edward H. Hofstetter, Acting Lieutenant, Louis M. Slovick, Lessel L. Capell, Acting Captain, Frank H. Grigolet, Ernest Bendernagel, Acting Lieutenant, Lester I. Besch, and Christopher M. Groben.

Former firemen who did not wish to continue with the department were: Eyner Buhl, Henry Bulky, Timothy McDonough, John Mullaly and Roy Stock.

Almost immediately after the Fire Department was reorganized the City Administration saw the necessity of providing more commodious quarters and more efficient equipment for the work of fighting fires.

Plans were set on foot for a new building on the site of the old, which was completed in November 1913.

The new structure, a two story brick was built to house both the Fire and Police Departments.

When the Fire Department was taken over by the village, and plans set on foot for its reorganization, Engine No. 1, a combination, Chemical, hose wagon, and pump to supply water pressure for the hose lines, was purchased from the American LaFrance Co. at a cost of about $4000.00.

Before this the department was at the mercy of the pressure in the water mains for its fire fighting efficiency. At the time that the department was installed in its new quarters Chemical No. 2, a combination, hose wagon, pumps and chemical tanks, from the Peerless Motor Car Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, and also a service truck carrying ladders and appliances used at fires, from the American LaFrance Co., were placed in service.

With the new equipment purchased, The Lakewood Fire Department was as efficient as any department in the State of Ohio where the number of men were limited to what was possible under the provisions of the City Charter at that time.

As evidence of the thorough organization under which the Lakewood Fire Department was operated is to be found in the fact that the Cleveland Fire Department has arranged to trade off with the Lakewood Fire Department, in case of fires on either side of the line separating the two cities. In consideration of the Lakewood Fire Department looking after fires in the western limits of the Sixth City on call for help, because apparatus in the west environs of Cleveland was called downtown, or the fire in the west end was getting beyond control of The Cleveland Fire Department, apparatus would be sent to make the fight. The Cleveland Fire Department stood ready to answer any call for help from The Lakewood Fire Department.

The mayor of Lakewood at that time made a contract with the Mayors of Rocky River and West Park, for the Lakewood Fire Department to give fire protection to those two villages at $50.00 per run. As a sequence, two additional firemen were added to the Lakewood Fire fighting forces.

In March of 1915 Lakewood purchased a Pulmotor to add to her already highly efficient and up-to-date equipment.

Lakewood’s first Fire Chief, Jos. H. Speedy, gained his fire fighting experience in sixteen years employment by The Standard Oil Co. at one of its large manufacturing and refining plants in Cleveland. Fires in such a plant were frequent occurrences, generally presenting a hard task for control, and there were few schools for service, where one would be forced to pass through so strenuous a test as in this field of endeavor which Mr. Speedy received his training.

When Chief Speedy was picked as Lakewood’s first Fire Chief, he had completed ten years as Chief of Fire Apparatus and Firemen at Standard Oil Refinery No. 1 in Cleveland.

Chief Speedy's father was Assistant Chief in the Cleveland Fire Department for 36 years.

In 1915 firemen worked 72 hours on duty and 24 hours off duty.

By the end of 1915, the last of the horses had been sold and the City fathers had purchased a Peerless Roadster for the Fire Chief to respond to fires in.

Water supply and pressure were problems of the early residents, and to help overcome this condition, during the hot summer months a large water supply tank was built in 1915 just south of Fire Department Headquarters on Warren Road. This supply tank was kept in service until adequate water mains and pressures were maintained. The water tank was take down in 1936, and sold for scrap.

In February of 1917 the members of the City Council purchased a 750 gallon pumper from the American LaFrance Co. and placed this engine in service at Fire Department Headquarters on Warren Road.

In the fall of 1919, a fire broke out in The Edgewater Lumber Co. yards, then located just north of the Nickle Plate Railroad tracks on the west side of West 117th Street. After the fire was extinguished, estimates of the loss exceeded $150,000, using todays values of this loss, would exceed $500,000.

Due to this fire and the lack of man power, the members of the City Council voted to add seven new firemen to the Fire Department.

In 1919, the members of the City Council voted to buy a new 350 gallon pumper, and was known as Engine No. 1 from the American LaFrance Co. This engine was stationed at Headquarters on Warren Road.

In the spring of 1920, Lakewood was hit by another large fire, this fire occurred in the Theo. Kundz Co. plant, then located from the north side of the Nickle Plate Railroad Tracks, to Clifton Blvd, and from the rear lot line of the homes on Manor Park to the west sidewalk of Geil Ave. The fire loss estimate of this fire exceeded $1,000,000, and again using today's values, this figure would be about four times more than the figures of 1920.

The City Council members again seen the need for more man power, and voted to add nine more firemen to the Fire Department.

In 1920, the property at the north east corner of Kennilworth and Detroit Ave. was purchased by the City Council and Engine House No. 2 was constructed. The Council also approved the sending of old No. 1 Engine purchased in 1912 to be sent back to the American LaFrance Factory, have it rebuilt and place it in Engine House No. 2 when it was returned at the end of 1920.

Late in 1920 two officers and eight firemen were transferred from No. 1 Engine House on Warren Road to Engine House No. 2 and the Company was placed in service.

From the year 1912 when Civil Service was established until 1920, all officers except Chief Speedy were on an acting basis but at the end of 1920 the Civil Service Commission held examinations for the positions of Lieutenant and Captain, and after the list was certified three Captains and three Lieutenants were appointed.

Late in 1920, the Peerless Hose and Chemical Wagon that had been purchased in 1914 was sold for scrap.

The building boom was on in Lakewood, and new apartments and commercial buildings were rising on the main thorough fares and on side streets, realizing that the Service Truck now in service at No. 1 Engine House was not adequate to handle these higher structures Chief Speedy asked the members of City Council to purchase an 85 foot Aerial Truck. With the purchase of this new truck it was necessary to extend the rear of No.1 Engine House on Warren Road.

At this time also the City Fathers decided that the Police Department shoudl have their own quarters, so the property on the west side of Warren Road just north of Hilliard Road was purchased from the Cuyahoga Telephone Co. and was remodeled into the Police Staton. By the Police Department moving from the quarters that was shared with the Fire Deparmtent this then afforded plenty of room for the Fire Department to expand.

By the end of 1925, the new addition in the rear of Engine House No. 1 was completed, and the new truck made by the American LaFrance Co. was placed in service.

This truck was a front wheel drive and had a Tillerman at the rear of the truck.

With the placing of the new truck in service eight new firement were added to the rolls of the Fire Department.

1926 also seen a new Service Truck placed in service at No. 1 Engine House and the old Service Truck purchased in 1914 was sold fro scrap. This truck was an American LaFrance.

The year 1926 was the beginning of the Alarm Office. The room at the south east corner of the second floor of No. 1 Engine House was remodeled into the Alarm Office, wires were strung from factories and locations close to schools into the Alarm Office and 12 Gamewell Alarm Boxes were installed. Three firemen were detailed to the Alarm Office to answer the telephone, these firemen worked 8 hours on duty and 16 hours off duty. As the City continued to grow more Alarm Boxes were installed in all parts of the City, today we have 267 City Fire Alarm Boxes and 29 Private Alarm Boxes all wired into the Alarm Office on Warren Road.

In 1926 the Civil Service Commission held examinations for the position of Assistant Chief of Fire, after this list was certified, this appointment was made according to rules and regulations, which advanced Capt. C.T. Donnelly to the position of Assistant Chief. Also in 1926 the positions of Master Mechanic and Electrician were made, the Master Mechanic Fred Roth was responsible for the maintenance of all motorized equipment owned by the Fire Department, and Raymond McFerron was responsible for the Alarm System and all other wiring in the Fire Department, as electrician.

1926, by action of the members of City Council the hours on duty for firemen was changed from 72 hours on duty and 24 hours off duty to 24 hours on duty and 24 hours off duty. They also provided a two week vacation with pay for all firemen having more than 1 year of service in the Department.

In 1926 the original Pulmotor purchased for the Fire Department was sent to Engine Co. No. 2 and a new H. & H. Inhalator was purchased for use at Fire  Department Headquarters when calls were received requiring oxygen.

In 1926 the members of the City Council purchaes the property on the west side of Hopkins Ave. just south of Detroit Ave. and contracted to have Engine House No. 2 consturcted. They also approved sending old Engine No. 3 purchased in 1917 back to the American LaFrance factory and have it rebuilt, and when it was returned to Lakewood it was placed in service at Engine House No. 3. During 1927, tow officers and eight firemen were transferred from Engine House No. 1 to Engine House No. 3 and then this company was officially in service.

In 1929, old Engine No. 1 purchased in 1917 was sent back to the American LaFrance Co. factory and rebuilt into a 1000 gallon pumper, and when it was returned to Lakewood in 1930, it became Engine No. 4 and was placed in service at No. 1 Engine House on Warren Road.

Six new firemen were appointed to fill the ranks with this new company going into service.

The spring of 1931, Chief Speedy was notified that the Lakewood Fire Department had won The Grand Prize in The Natonal Fire Waste Contest, for all cities regardless of size, and plans wer made to send a delegation to Washington, D.C. where the award was presented.

For thirteen years previous to Lakewood receiving the Grand Award, Lakewood won first place for all cities in the 50 to 1000,000 population class.

Lakewood's record still stands today, as the only city in the United States that has won 13 National Awards in the 50 to 100,000 class, and one Grand Award for all classes for Fire Prevention programs and activities.

June of 1931, Lakewood Fire Department ahd one Chief, one Assistant Chief, four Captains, six Lieutenants, and fifty three Firemen.

In the fall of 1931, Chief Speedy passed away, and in March of 1932 Captain Chas. Delaney became Chief of The Lakewood Fire Department.

By action of the Lakewood City Council the position of a second Assistant Chief was made, this position going to Capt. J.V. Redmond.

Chief Delaney was originally appointed to the Fire Department in June of 1917, and had advanced from the position of Fireman 1st Grade, to the rank of Lieutenant and then to Captain.

Assistant Chief Redmond, was originally appointed to the Fire Department on January 1st, 1917, as a Fireman 1st. Grade, and had over the years advanced to the position of Lieutenant and then Captain.

1937, the members of City Council authorized the purchase of a new 1000 Gallon Pumper for Engine House No. 3 from the American LaFrance Co. costing $13,750. Old Engine No. 3 was sold for scrap.

1938 The Civil Service Commission abolished the position of Lieutenant in The Lakewood Fire Department and officers holding the position of Lieutenant were advanced to the position of Captain.

1939: A law passed by the Legislature of the State of Ohio in the spring of 1939 became law on September 6, 1939, reducing the hours of duty per week for firemen in the State of Ohio to not exceed 72 hours per week on duty.

As a result of this reduction of hours, it became necessary to put Engine Co. No. 4 out of service and to use the men detailed to this Company to other Companies to fill the ranks.

In 1942, two way radios were installed in the Chief’s and Assistant Chief’s cars of the Fire Department, which enabled them to be in constant communication with the Alarm Office where ever they may be when out of quarters on Department business.

Broadcasts were sent out over the Police Transmitter and return messages also came through the Police Department.

Starting in 1942 and continuing thru World War two, the officers of the Lakewood Fire Department trained civilians for the auxiliary Fire Brigade, and auxiliary Pumpers were assembled and placed in with other fire apparatus in Fire Houses and other Public Buildings for emergency use if needed.

In 1942 the members of the City Council purchased a new 750 gallon Pumper to replace Engine No. 1 that was placed in service in 1919, and for the duration of World War 2, this old Engine was known as Engine No. 5 and stationed at Headquarter on Warren Road.

When Engine No. 1 was purchases from the American LaFrance Co. in 1942, and the price for this Engine has increased from $4000.00 in 1913 to $10,000.

1944 the members of the City Council purchased a new Aerial Truck for the Fire Department, this was an American LaFrance, and the main leader extended to 85 feet. Cost of this truck was $19,000.

The old Aerial Truck that was purchased in 1926 was sold for scrap.

1946, A public address system was installed in all Engine Houses to speed up the transmission of emergency calls and alarms of fire.

Also in 1946 World War No. 2 was over, and the need of keeping Engine No. 5 in emergency service was ended, this Engine was then sold for scrap.

1951, The members of the City Council purchases a New American LaFrance Aerial Truck for the Fire Department, this also has a 85 foot extension ladder and is known as Truck No. 1.

With the delivery of the new truck, the service truck purchased in 1926 was taken out of service and sold for scrap.

The cost of this new Aerial Truck was $31,537.00.

1951 The Lakewood Fire Department purchased from Mine Safety Equipment Co. a combination Inhalator, Resuscitator and Aspirator, to be used when the residents of Lakewood called the department for oxygen.

March of 1954, Chief Delaney passed away, and after the Civil Service Commission held examinations for the position of Chief and Assistant Chief, Assistant Chief J.V. Redmond was appointed Chief, and E.W. Koster was appointed Assistant Chief.

In the spring of 1959 the tops of all fire hydrants in the City of Lakewood were painted with a fluorescent paint, this enabled the Firemen at night to better locate hydrants when needed.

1959 Chief Redmond made applications to The Federal Communications Commission for a permit to establish a separate transmitter for the Fire Department use, this permit was granted and by the end of 1959 all Fire Department cars and Apparatus were equipped with two way radio and the transmitter was in service.

On a recommendation from The Lakewood Safety Council, The Greater Cleveland Safety Council and Chief J.V. Redmond, the members of City Council passed an ordinance making it mandatory for all schools, Sanitariums, Day Nurseries, and Lakewood Hospital to install a special Fire Alarm Box either in the building or within their property that connected directly up to the Alarm Office of the Fire Department. Lakewood at that time being the only suburb in Greater Cleveland with this service.

January of 1960 ordinance passed by the City Council reducing the hours per week that Firemen must work from 72 to 63.

1961, Lakewood cooperates with Rocky River, Berea, Fairview Park, Westlake, Bay Village, and North Olmsted with all being on the same radio frequency, thus each community knows where the other is at all times are ready to help if necessary. Lakewood has a contract with Rocky River, Fairview Park, and Cleveland whereby Lakewood will pay them $95.00 for the first hour we need them and $65.00 for each additional hour, and vice versa.

1963, The City Council has voted to purchase a new 1000 gallon Pumper from the Mack Fire Apparatus Co. to replace Engine No. 3 that was put in service in 1937. This new Engine will be delivered to Lakewood in December 1963 and will be powered by a Deisel Engine, the cost of this Engine will be $24,800.

As of September 1963, the Fire Department roster is as follows: 1 Chief - 2 Assistant Chiefs 12 Captains 1 Fireman detailed as Department Mechanic, and 1 Fireman detailed as Department Electrician, and 53 firemen assigned to regular fire duty.

Chief Redmond planned and directed the "Red I" program in 1958 to mark all residences in the City of Lakewood where invalid or aged persons resided.

Red Fluorescent tape was purchased from the Minnesota Mining Co. and cut into strips 2" wide and 4" long, two such pieces made one set. One piece of tape was attached to the front door or close to the door, the second piece was attached to the bedroom window where the person or persons slept. In case of fire, the first Fire Company to arrive would check the front of the residence for a "Red I", if this was located, the members of the Company would check the windows of the house until the second "Red I" was located, and through this window the Firemen would enter and carry our person or persons that may be in that room to safety.

This program reduced the time a person would be subject to smoke and heat from the fire.

The Lakewood Safety Council in cooperation with Chief Redmond, organized The Lakewood Jr. Fire Department in 1960.

The object of this organization is to teach all the children in the Lakewood Schools how they may help reduce the fire loss in Lakewood by practicing the rules of Fire Prevention.

The Lakewood Jr. Fire Department Officers are selected after taking examinations for the position of Chief, Assistant Chief, and Captains, all other children in the first sixth grades are appointed regular firemen. Officers hold their positions for one year and then new examinations are held for new officers.

Every elementary school in Lakewood has a plaque hanging in the main hall of the school, and on each plaque metal plates for the names of the children in that school that have held the rank of Captain or higher, and the year in which he or she has served.

This program has accomplished two things: One, reduced the number of false alarms and two, reduced the number of fires that children may have been involved in.

Chief Redmond for many years has been a strong advocator of teaching Fire Prevention to children as a means of reducing the Nations Fire Loss that keeps increasing each year.

The Lakewood Fire Department in cooperation with the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and The Lakewood Safety Council continue to plan and promote Fire Prevention Programs to reduce Fire Loss in Lakewood.

The Lakewood Fire Department is credited with being the first Fire Department in The State of Ohio to use Tarpaulins at fires to cover contents in any building. This greatly reduces the water damage.

Lakewood is also credited with being the first Fire Department to used 1" Chemical Hose lines to extinguish fires in the Greater Cleveland area. Thus again, reducing water damage.

In addition to Fire Calls, the Fire Department answers about 550 calls per year of an emergency nature. These calls for assistance come in many categories; helping a lady or man to enter their house when they have locked themselves out, removing a squirrel or bird from the house, assistance to remove a faulty refrigerator that may be leaking fumes, unlock a bathroom door that a child may have locked themselves in, help remove persons that may be wedged in an automobile after an accident, help locate the odor of smoke somewhere in the house or building, and most important of all the call for the Inhalator, when someone is in need of oxygen.

Each year during September or October, every hydrant in the City is tested and greased, so that they shall be ready for service if needed in the months ahead.

All Fire Apparatus is checked over thoroughly each morning by the driver to make sure that everything is ready for service when a fire call is received. After a piece of apparatus returns from a fire, all hose that may have been used is removed from the hose box, scrubbed and placed in the Hose Tower to dry and fresh dry hose is placed back into the hose box. The apparatus is then cleaned thoroughly and made ready for the next call.

In the fall of each year all Fire Hose in the department is tested under pressure to make sure there are no leaks, and then placed in the Hose Tower to dry out. All hose needing repairs are repaired by the firemen and placed back in service.

Firemen in the Department do all the maintenance work necessary to maintain apparatus and buildings and to keep in perfect order and repair.

It is a matter of record that about 90% of all fires are caused from carelessness. The number one specific cause of fire today in the Nation is careless smoking, and number two, is wiring.

Lakewood and Cleveland are the only two cities in Greater Cleveland that have a Class two insurance rating, all other cities have ratings from 3 to 6. The number two rating is about the best rating that can be attained at this time, and with this rating the residents of Lakewood enjoy a lower premium on fire insurance than our neighbors.

These rates are established after the Ohio Inspection Bureau completes a survey of each city, taking into consideration, the number of Firemen on duty, the number of pieces of Fire Apparatus, the drill program of the Department, Inspections of all buildings, Fire Prevention activities, Communications, Water Mains, Valves, adherence to the building code and general efficiency of the Fire Department.

As of September 19th, 1963, only one of the original Fire Fighters that started to work for J.A. Mastick in the Fire service is still alive, and that is William J. Curry.

Although the members of the Lakewood City Council established in 1922 by Ordinance The Lakewood Firemen's Pension System, which permits a member of the Fire Department to retire after 25 years of service, several of the members of the department have chosen to continue on in the service of the Department.

Members of The Lakewood Fire Department as of September 19th, 1963 are as follows:

J.V, Redmond, Chief

C.T. Donnelly, Assistant Chief E.W. Koster, Assistant Chief
B.C. Cook - Captain J.E. Lyons - Captain
M.J. Gibbons - Captain D.E. Henderson - Captain
C.M. Hausler - Captain J.P. Hausler - Captain
J.G. Heiser - Captain F.J. Schordock - Captain
T.P. Lyons - Captain G.E. Weymark - Captain

FIREMEN

J.R. Anderson R.J. Hesland
R.W. Bowers J.T. Kelly
B.P. Brady R.A. Kerr
W.E. Briggs J.P. Kilbane
J. Cabot J.T. Malloy
N. Cabot O.L. McGinty
D.L. Cahill G.N. McKee
R.G. Caldwell N. Moeller
J.T. Cogan J.L. Monica
J.F. Crawley W. Nester
L.M. Cummings J.P. Novotny
W.G. Day E.J. O'Connor
E.D. Demko J.J. O'Neill
J.J. DesForges E.A. O'Neill
J.A. Eldred R.H. Rodgers
W.E. Follman J.R. Stasko
L.T. Foran A.J. Stehlik
J.H. Fox J. Shauhnessy
E.J. Golden D.C. Steinmuller
F.G. Goltz R.E. Steinmuller
D.W. Graham W.C. Taylor
A.M. Hall J.A. Villios
F.W. Harrington J.D. Wasco
W.J. Hennie R.E. Waterloo
D.J. Hardman E.D. Welker
J. Wentz D.A. Wiesemann

 

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