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Writing from San Francisco to a friend in Sydney, Sir Henry Parkes says;—“ The organisations for the extinction of fires in San Francisco are simply marvellous. The captains and superintendents have given themselves much trouble to enable me to understand them. The Stevenson street Fire Brigade establishment exhibits surprising discipline both in horses and men. A visitor enters a large apartment with an office at one corner. Two lire engines are standing in perfect readiness to go out, and behind them the requisite number of horses are standing ready harnessed in open stalls without fastenings. On each side of this apartment there is a steep stair with a smooth wooden slide beside it communicating with the upper floor. The young men who man the engine live ;on this upper floor. Besides a comfortable bedroom, they have living rooms, with books, a piano, and billiard table. When in bed each man has his trousers, with his boots inside them, so placed beside his bed that he can, as it were, jump into them. When the gong strikes the alarm of fire, the horses trot out from their stalls of their own accord and place themselves ready to be fastened to the engines. In the meantime the men are dressed, and slide down from above in eight seconds, the operations on the lower floor take lour seconds, and the engines are out.’-

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Bibliographic details

A SAN FRANCISCO FIRE BRIGADE, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 653, 3 June 1882

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A SAN FRANCISCO FIRE BRIGADE Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 653, 3 June 1882

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