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Rules and Regulations
of the
San Francisco Fire Department
September 20, 1907
Pertaining to the horses of the Department

Veterinary Surgeon
Rule 21.

Section 1.  The Veterinary Surgeon shall be responsible to the Chief Engineer, and shall visit the hospital or stables daily.  He shall also tend to all sick or injured horses belonging to the Department at anytime of the day or night that such services may be needed.  He shall give instructions to the attendants in charge of such horses, and shall report to the Chief Engineer and Board of Fire Commissioners any neglect of duty of same.

Sec. 2.  Each person attending to horses under treatment of Veterinary Surgeon shall report to him the condition of the horses in his care, and obey all orders given by the Veterinary Surgeon as to their treatment.

Superintendent of Horses
Rule 22.

Section 1.  He shall be responsible to the Board of Fire Commissioners and the Chief Engineer for the performance of his duties in the general care and treatment of the horses of the Department.

Sec. 2.  He shall instruct his men to give such medical, surgical, and other attention to the horses of the Department as may be ordered by the Veterinary Surgeon, regulate their feed, and give such directions to those in charge of horses using his judgment as necessary.

Sec. 3.  He shall report to the Chief Engineer once a month, or as often as circumstances may require, the condition of the horses, etc. under his charge, and shall also report all deaths of horses, and recommend the condemnation and disposal of horses which become unfitted for service in the Department.

Sec. 4.  It shall be his duty, at least, twice each month, to visit each Company quarters and inspect the horses and the forage furnished, give advice and direction as to feeding, and report to the Chief Engineer any willful neglect, or any undergrade forage found.

See. 5.  He shall keep an accurate, numerical and descriptive record of all horses in the Department, containing number, date of purchase, age, color, record of accidents, sickness and date of condemnation, death or transfer, together with such other information concerning the same as may be useful.

Sec. 6.  He shall have the charge and direction of the hostlers assigned for duty at the stables, and shall prescribe their duties.

Sec. 7.  When not otherwise engaged on Department business he shall always be in attendance at the Department stables.

Sec. 8.  He shall have and assume charge of the stables and see that everything appertaining thereto is kept in proper order and condition.

Sec. 9.  He shall perform such other duties as may be required or prescribed by the Commissioners or the Chief Engineer.

Rule 23.

They shall devote their entire time and attention to the stable work assigned them, and shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by the Chief Engineer or Superintendent of Horses.

Care and Use of Hose, Apparatus, Horses, Harness, Implements, Etc.
Rule 26


Section 1.  All horses of the Department must be watered at 5 o 'clock a.m. and fed at 6 o'clock a.m. with the regular allowance of cooked grain; the allowance of grain shall be set aside by the driver, and the assistant house watchman will, about 1 o'clock each morning, pour boiling water over the same in a bucket provided for that purpose, and then fix the cover on tight so as to prevent the escape of the heat or steam therein.  On feeding said allowance, another allowance shall be immediately prepared.  At 11 o'clock a.m. the horses shall be watered and given a small quantity of hay, and at about 12 o'clock p.m. fed the regular allowance of prepared grain.  At 6 o'clock p.m. water and bed the horses, give them their allowance of hay, then give a few carrots, or other feed which may be ordered by the Superintendent of Horses.

Sec. 2.  All horses shall be exercised daily for one hour, unless a run was had after 1 o 'clock a.m.  In wet weather exercising shall be done, if possible, between showers.

Sec. 3.  In good weather, during the spring and summer months, the horses shall be permitted to stand outside the houses from 9:45 to
11 a.m.

Sec. 4.  In ease of sickness or injury to any horse, it shall be the duty of Captains to promptly report the same to the Superintendent of Horses, and he shall see that measures are taken for the relief of such horse.

Sec. 5.  Any horse which neglects to eat or shows any signs of being sick or lame, and any horse losing a shoe, shall be immediately reported to the Superintendent of Horses, and a relief horse shall be provided.

Sec. 6.  Teasing or annoying horses or teaching them any tricks, or unnecessarily or severely punishing them, is prohibited.

Sec. 7.  No gas or electric light shall be placed or kept directly in front of a horse's eyes.

Sec. 8.  Muzzles are strictly prohibited on horses between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., except while standing on the street.

Sec. 9.  On cold or stormy nights, when it is necessary to remain at a fire for a long time, the drivers shall blanket their horses well, and exercise them every half hour for ten minutes, and if possible put them in some sheltered place.

Sec. 10.  A horse shall never be given water or grain while he is hot after a run, except that his mouth and nostrils shall be sponged out with cold water and he shall be given two or three swallows only.  Sweat shall be wiped from around the eyes and under the tail with a damp sponge.

Sec. 11.  Horses shall be blanketed when standing in the open air.

Sec. 12.  If a horse be under medical treatment, the driver shall be careful to follow the instructions of the Veterinary Surgeon in administering the medicines and otherwise attending to the horse.  If a driver lays off while attending to a sick horse, he shall instruct his substitute as to how the horse is to be attended to.

Sec. 13.  After returning from exercise or an alarm, horses' feet (not legs) shall be washed out and examined for nails, loose shoes, etc., then rubbed down, and if warm, blanketed (in houses that have no heater). The back door shall be kept shut and draughts avoided as much as possible.

Sec. 14.  In cold weather the chill shall be taken off drinking water, or only a small quantity of cold water given at one time.

Sec. 15.  A bucket shall not be used to catch the horses' urine in.  If a horse is straining to urinate and afraid to do so, straw shall be shaken under him, which will encourage him to pass it.  The stall shall be rinsed out or washed down immediately.  Manure shall also be removed immediately.

Sec. 16.  The mane and tail shall be washed once a week with soap and warm water, weather permitting, and the sheath once every two weeks.

Sec. 17.  Horses predisposed to scour shall get small quantities of water often, instead of a large drink at one time.

Sec. 18.  Grey or white horses stained on quarters, etc. may have spots sponged off with warm water and soap, but must be thoroughly dried with a "rubber" immediately.  White legs may be treated likewise when necessary; otherwise the legs shall never be washed, except by order of the Superintendent of Horses.

See. 19.  Rain, sweat and mud shall be removed immediately on getting into the house; first with a scraper and afterwards with a wad of straw or sack, care being taken to dry out the hollow of the heels thoroughly; what is left can be washed or brushed off when dry; use no water to remove it.  Washing horses is prohibited.

Sec. 20.  The feet shall be stuffed every other night in dry weather.

Sec. 21.  Musty or overdried hay, or musty food of any kind, shall be rejected, as it is injurious to the horse's wind.

Sec. 22.  Clipping horses shall be done under the directions of the Superintendent of Horses, but the mane and legs shall be clipped clean at all times.

See. 23.  Bedding shall be removed for ventilation from the house in dry weather where it is convenient to do so.

Sec. 24.  Drivers are strictly prohibited from using a twitch or other like appliance upon the horses while clipping the legs, cutting the manes, washing the tails, etc. If a horse cannot be handled without the use of said appliances, the driver shall notify the Superintendent of Horses.


Sec. 25.  No hot or warm water shall be used in cleaning harness.

Sec. 26.  The use of emery cloth in polishing the points and bells of Hale or Berry hames is strictly prohibited.  Nothing but oil shall be used.


hames: linked metal, curved bars that fit around the horse collar and serve as the attachment for the trace chains and traces.

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