Prime purpose: protect property from water damage during and after fires.
Fire houses (1949): 3 Manhattan; 3 Brooklyn; 1 Bronx (Patrol 2 W 3rd St; Patrol 3 W 30 St; Patrol 8 Dean St Bklyn had double sections)
Patrol responded to: 5-7 signals and all 1st alarms in Manhattan; all Bronx boxes (except north and east of Bronx River); all Bklyn boxes (except southern sections of Divisions 12, 13, 15); special calls by chiefs; boxes involving federal, state or city properties; did not respond to SI or Queens. - See note below from 3511.
Equipment: covers; protable chutes; cover poles; piercing poles; sprinkler kits; portable pumps; Halligan tool; brooms; squeegees; and sawdust. (Can you imagine spreading sawdust at a fire today?)
Members trained in: plumbing; property protection; first aid; artificial respiration; rescue work; fireman's carry; fire extinguishers; standpipes; handling hose streams; ladders; forcible entry. They were also had to know "how to protect from freezing - fruit, vegetables and other stock."
Members were entrusted with safeguarding valuables found at fires.
I know of that 1949 article in WNYF, but it was incorrect. The Fire Patrol did not respond to ALL boxes in the Bronx on the first alarm, north and east of the Bronx River..
They went only on boxes for commercial properties. All first alarms maybe in Mott Haven, Melrose, and Morrisiania. Outside of those areas, they went on the 3d alarm, unless special called.
If you saw the Fire Patrol rolling up Webster or Third Avenues in those days, you knew you had a good taxpayer going, or a factory somewhere up the line.
True story. In June of 2008, a commercial building at Box 3370, Fordham and Webster, went to an All Hands, and then a second alarm. The Chief of the 7th Division requested the Fire patrol to respond. The dispatcher had to inform him that the Fire Patrol had been disbanded 7 months before.
In 1949, Patrol 6 (Bronx Patrol), moved into 49 Trucks' old quarters at 1079 Nelson Ave. On July 1, 1955, Patrol 6 was renumbered Patrol 5, and on December 5, 1955 Patrol 5 was disbanded. To this day, the old firehouse still stands at 1079 Nelson Ave, butting up to the former quarters of 68 Engine at 1080 Ogden Ave, which is now an FDNY EMS station. The former firehouse on Nelson is now a private residence.