Newark Daily Advertiser - October 23, 1850

Firemen Complain about Equipment - A Fireman

It is a fact, that in saying a word of encouragement or praise of this class of men, or in claiming for ourselves the right which we do not now possess, we draw down upon us the indignation of a portion of our dignitaries, who seem to say by their acts, that as Firemen our rights are dependent on their pleasure. We have frequently pointed out errors, and suggested plans to our past Common Councils, whereby they might have profited and we benefited and it is not our intention now to array ourselves against the proper authorities, but we mean to be heard, and try to have our interest represented in the city government as well as others.

Our city has within the past ten years doubled its population, and yet our Fire Department has been increased only to the extent of one Hose Company. Our Engines are now worn out, so much so that at every fire, and almost every time they are taken from their houses, they break down and are perfectly useless, until they are repaired again. For these accidents we are accused by our city authorities "of working them too hard." We have petitioned them to have our Engines and other apparatus put in good working order, believing that we were better judges of their condition, than very many of our Aldermen, who never touched an Engine in their lives. What notice do these "Sir oracles" take of us? Why to "lay the petition on the table." In 1846, we petitioned the Council for an Alarm Bell, and in '47 we got a report from the stating, "that although an Alarm Bell might be of service to the Department, and a benefit to the city, they cannot, consistently, recommend the expenditure."

We then ask them to make some arrangement with the several churches, that their bells may be rung. This they did, by allowing the sextons the same exemptions we have, but they have sadly neglected their duty. We ask them to instruct the proper officers to protect us in going to, or returning from, a fire, from the assaults made on us from time to time, and from obstructions that are occasionally met with, and yet they take no notice of it. We could refer to delay in building out Engine Houses, of the poor accommodations in those already built, and in fact for several years past, there has been a studied neglect on the part of our city authorities to all our wants and wishes.

The time as at length come, when "forbearance ceases to be a virtual," and the Fire Department wish to have their interests represented in the Councils of our City, and the nominating committees will do well to look to that subject, for at an informal meeting of a great number of the Department last evening, it was unanimously agreed that we would go for no man, that was opposed to us, but would vote for any man, whether Whig or Democrat, who would study our interests, and give a respectable hearing in the Common Council.


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