A Motorcycle Outfit for Fire Fighting.
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SEVERAL of the most enterprising British manufacturers of commercial models of motorcycle outfits have fore
seen the value of using suitably equipped examples of their products for fire-fighting work, being aware of the fact that, on the score of readiness to respond to an urgent call, they have few, if any, equals. This factor of speed is paramount in all channels of firebrigade activity and a few seconds saved in reaching a conflagration may mean • the prevention of many thousands of pounds of damage.
It is not suggested that the small motorcycle firefighting outfit is capable of quelling a serious outbreak or one of a special character, but the speed with which it can be brought into use pro vides a chance of arresting
the spread of an :outbreak or of protecting vulnerable pro
perty until such times as the more powerful units have arrived on the scene.
It is really surprising the amount of equipment which can be included in a motor cycle outfit of this kind, as is clearly exemplified in the case of a portable fire plant which has just been shipped to a firm of merchants in China by A. J. Stevens and Co. (1914), Ltd., Graiseley Hill, Wolverhampton, the well-known maker of the A.J.S. motorcycle. This outfit has been specially de signed for use in isolated
areas and considerable• thought has been given to
the disposition of the apparatus carried so as not to destroy the compactness of the machine and its all-round handiness.
The motorcycle which forms the motive part of this interesting combina tion is the standard 7.99 h.p. twin cylinder A.J.S. machine, features of which are two internal-expanding brakes (both foot-operated), an A.J.S.
three-speed gearbox and a multipleplate clutch. In conjunction with an ordinary sidecar, the machine can do over 50 m.p.h. and by virtue of its flexibility on top gear it is particularly suit The frame on which the platform intended for conveying the fire-fighting plant is mounted is, so far as its main dimensions are concerned, the A.J.S. standard commercial sidecar chassis, but the front and rear springs have been specially strengthened to deal with the increased weight. The tubes are made of a special quality material and the axle tube is strongly reinforced. The platform itself is built of well-seasoned oak, the framework being edge-plated to
give the necessary degree of .strength.
The fire-fighting equipment is particularly interesting, the chief feature of it being the Merryw-eather standard:Tattern chemical extinguiiher, which has a capacity of 20 gallons. This is of the soda and acid type, the acid" being liberated by the movement of a handle which is held in the normal position by a gun-metal cap. The cylinder is mounted on bolsters and is secured in position by two steel strans, sufficient clearance from the platform being giVen to enable easy access to be had to the drain-ping in the cYlinder Ahead of the 'cylinderis a light wire basket in which two 20 ft. lengthS of
hose with gun-metal couplings and a nozzle arc carried. Between the cylinder and the motorcycle four Merryweather two-gallon Fire-Suds extinguishers are carried On the platform. These are constructed to conform with the Board of Trade requirements, and each has been tested to a pressure of 350 lb. per sq. in. In addition, three Pyrcne extinguishers are mounted on a strong angle-iron frame at the rear of the cylinder platform.
The equipment also includes two long crowbars which can be quickly detached from the clips holding them, a large axe which is held in position by spring clips, as well as a special type of extending rake. A first-aid outfit, a Nife accumue lator and a double-note syren conveniently placed for operation by the fireman who is Carried on the pillion seat, complete the equipment of this eminently practicable outfit, which should certainly prove its worth in isolated districts or in sparsely populated areas some distance removed from centres in which comprehensive firefighting facilities arc available for urgent calls.