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March 7, 1842: The chief engineer made his first annual report.

Large cisterns, sunk in the ground in various parts of the town, are filled with water, to be used only in case of fire. These reservoirs were ordered by a vote of the town, Nov. 6, 1850.

Every provision of hose, fire-hooks, ladders, &c., which the department required, was made by the town.

In 1840 was published a pamphlet, entitled “State Laws and Town Ordinances respecting the Fire Department of the Town of Medford.” It contained the act of the General Court of April 9, 1839; also the act of April 17, 1837, “to prevent bonfires, and false alarms of fire;” also “extracts from the Revised Statutes, chapter 18;” also “an ordinance for preventing and extinguishing fires, and establishing a fire-department in the town of Medford,--passed by the board of engineers, April 25, 1840;” also further “extracts from the Revised Statutes, chapter 58.” “Approved by the town, April 29, 1840.”

The ordinance passed by the board of engineers had, and still has, the approval of every intelligent and virtuous citizen in Medford. A brief extract is as follows :--

Fines for carrying fire openly in the streets, from two dollars to twenty dollars; for allowing to remain any defective chimney, deposit of ashes, &c., five dollars to twenty dollars; chimney set on fire at improper times, two dollars. Engineers shall remove combustible materials where dangerously placed; the engineers shall choose a chief engineer and officers, control the engines, and make all due regulations; engineers shall repair to the place of fire immediately, and take all the steps necessary to extinguish the fire and secure property. There shall be hook, ladder, hose, sail, and engine carriages. The chief engineer shall have full command, and make an annual report to the town. No one shall be a member of the fire-department under eighteen years of age; nor under twenty-one, unless by request of parents. First Tuesday of May, each company shall choose officers. Duties of several officers specified. Engines, after a fire, shall be cleaned; and, once in two months, the companies exercised. Duties of firemen, to protect life and save property. Badges to be worn. Disobedient members dismissed. Duties of citizens who are present at a fire. Officers of a company may be discharged. When buildings, not on fire, shall be demolished. The ordinance closes with the following twenty-first section: “The members of the several companies shall not assemble in the houses intrusted to their care, except for the purpose of taking the engine or apparatus on the alarm of fire, or for drill and exercise, and of ”

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