Hinsdale exploring options for 9-1-1 dispatch

An article in The Doings Hinsdale  talks about the need for a change in emergency dispatch centers for Hinsdale.

Hinsdale officials are seeking less expensive and what they say will be more reliable service for emergency calls to 911.

The village board approved withdrawing from its emergency dispatch center as of the end of April. The village switched from doing its own dispatch for its police and fire departments to joining Southwest Central Dispatch in 2010. The regional dispatch center charged Hinsdale less than two-thirds what it cost the village to operate a dispatch system in-house.

But [as] that cost could go up, combined with the fact that the village is no longer a satisfied customer, officials are looking elsewhere for its dispatch services. Southwest Central does not receive the same fees from Hinsdale as it does from its Cook County members.

Hinsdale residents see a 50-cent fee for a landline and a 73-cent fee for wireless service on their monthly phone bills. That money goes to DuPage County’s Emergency Telephone System Board. Cook County towns that are members of Southwest Central Dispatch forward the surcharge fee to Southwest. But DuPage County’s ETSB has refused to forward Hinsdale’s surcharge fees to Southwest.

To compensate Southwest in part, Hinsdale pays nearly $34,000 a year for its residents with landlines, Police Chief Bradley Bloom said. That is in addition to the $23,000 monthly subscriber fee Hinsdale pays. But Hinsdale officials fear Southwest will soon try to collect a surcharge from the village for its wireless customers. That could amount to as much as $150,000 a year, village officials said.

… Southwest, which is located in Palos Heights, also is planning to build a new facility. If Hinsdale does not withdraw from Southwest this year, it would be obligated to pay a share of the long-term debt Southwest could incur to pay for a new center.

Hinsdale officials have concerns about the reliability of Southwest’s equipment and backup of its emergency systems, according to a memo to the Village Board from Bloom, the fire chief, the village manager and the finance director.

The village is considering switching to DuPage Public Safety Communications. The agency, known as DuComm, has a “more robust system and more up-to-date technology,” Bloom said. Plus, village residents are already paying for those and other DuComm programs through the 911 surcharge on their phone bills, Bloom said.

thanks Dan

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New ambulance for Long Grove

This from Shaun Unell:

Some pics of our new ambo.

 

ambulance photo

New Type I ambulance for Long Grove. Shaul Unell photo

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New unit for Long Grove Ambulance 55. Shaun Unell photo

ambulance photo

Shaun Unell photo

chevron striping on ambulance

Rear of Long Grove Ambulance 55. Shaun Unell photo

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CFD moves OFI units

A-07-1~1-1

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CFD will limit gear for paramedic graduates

From PoliticEarly&Often:

On the eve of a dramatic upgrade in ambulance service, the Chicago Fire Department is making changes that, union leaders warn, could put the lives of paramedics and the public in danger.

Self-contained breathing apparatus are being removed from all 75 Chicago ambulances. In addition, roughly 70 paramedics graduating from the fire academy on Sunday will not be issued fire helmets, boots and protective clothing, known as bunker gear, that are standard issue for firefighters.

Without breathing masks and oxygen tanks, veteran paramedic Pat Fitzmaurice said paramedics will no longer be able to go into a burning high-rise–or subway after a derailment, collision or explosion–to rescue victims or firefighters in distress.

It also means that, instead of being right in front of a fire scene or in close proximity to a chemical spill, they may be staged a block away, Fitzmaurice said. That could add seconds and even minutes to the time it takes to rescue and treat victims.

The decision to strip paramedics of equipment specifically purchased for them was announced in an order signed Thursday by Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas, who runs the Bureau of Operations.

“On Sept. 20, SCBA units will be removed from service on all ambulance units,” McNicholas wrote, spelling out the turn-in process without explaining why.

The Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 has filed a grievance to protest changes that, the union contends, violate its contract with the city and put Chicagoans at risk at the worst possible time.

“With the real threat of terrorism worldwide at its highest level in years, Chicago is considered to be a prime terrorist possibility along with also being recognized as a city with multiple high-target hazards,” Ryan wrote Friday in a text message to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The timing of this change in response protocol is suspect. As firefighters and paramedics serving a large city like Chicago, we need to be prepared for any and all emergencies…[and for] the worst-case scenario.”

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford countered that Chicago was the “only major department in the nation” that outfitted “single-role” paramedics in fire gear and is simply “falling in line” with its counterparts.

“Single-role paramedics do not respond in burning structured or in hazardous location fires and they do not need the tanks or fire-resistant clothing,’ Langford wrote in an e-mail.

As for the bunker gear, Langford said new paramedics will be issued “more comfortable clothing better suited to EMS operation.” It will include a “traditional helmet,” waterproof utility boots and clothing tailor-made to “block transmission of patient body fluids.” Existing paramedics will keep their bunker gear until it needs to be replaced, he said.

“Single-role paramedics do not operate in a fire or hazardous situation. Patients are brought to them,” Langford said.

Mayoral spokesman Adam Collins added, “The city has deep respect for the men and women who protect residents and we will continue to ensure they have the equipment they need to help them do the job they were hired to do.”

Fitzmaurice argued that the changes make no sense at a time when fires are down and the overwhelming majority of 911 calls are for emergency medical service (EMS).

“If we don’t have self-contained breathing apparatus, we can’t be anywhere near a toxic environment. That means precious seconds are lost,” Fitzmaurice said.

“When victims come out of a fire, they’re wet. Some are not breathing. It’s a wild, rushed scene. Now, there won’t be a stretcher there. Paramedics will no longer be near fire scenes. If there’s a high-rise fire, they’ll no longer be in the lobby or evacuating the stairwell. If there’s an incident in the subway, you can’t send paramedics down there. They’ll be staged at a distant location. People can die.”

Fitzmaurice pointed to two recent incidents where firefighters went into cardiac arrest at fire scenes and were resuscitated by  paramedics wearing breathing masks.

He also recalled an incident that occurred on Valentine’s Day, 2013. Ambulance 52 was returning to quarters from a run that ended at Loretto Hospital when civilians jumped in front of the ambulance in the 100-block of North Central.

A house was on fire and victims were trapped inside, paramedics were told. According to Fitzmaurice, the paramedics were then able to put on their helmets, protective clothing and breathing apparatus and go into the house to rescue someone who had gone in to search for a child.

The decision to strip paramedics of a breathing device they campaigned long and hard for—and that ambulances have special compartments to carry—comes as the Chicago Fire Department ends its 15-year experiment with a two-tier system of ambulance service.

Starting next week, all 15 basic-life-support ambulances will be converted to advanced-life-support, giving Chicago 75 ambulances capable of providing the most sophisticated level of care.

The decision to end a two-tier emergency medical system that paramedics have called a dismal failure follows investigations by Inspector General Joe Ferguson, WBBM-TV and the Better Government Association. All three concluded Chicago needs more advanced life support ambulances to consistently meet response time standards.

The newly-approved firefighters contract calls for the appointment of a six-member committee to study the need for even more ambulances.

And yet another study is under way to explore the possibility of relocating existing ambulances. That has Northwest Side aldermen fearful of losing ambulances campaigning against the change before a final decision has even been made.

thanks Scott

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Chicago 3-11 Alarm fire, 9-25-14 (more)

Chicago firefighters battled a 3-11 alarm warehouse fire Thursday afternoon in the Lawndale neighborhood on the city’s west side.

CFD Chaplain Father John

Asher Heimermann photo

Chicago fire scene with Snorkel

Asher Heimermann photo

Chicago fire scene

Asher Heimermann photo

CFD 5-11 Club Canteen Unit

Asher Heimermann photo

Chicago fire scene

Asher Heimermann photo

VIEW PHOTOS: http://www.publicsafety.photos/FireScenes/2014/9-25-2014/

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Chicago Still & Box Alarm fire, 9-26-14

This from Eric Haak:

Engine 126 arrived at 7733 S. South Shore Drive shortly before 1600 on Saturday afternoon and reported that they had a fire on the third floor of a five-story apartment building.  The fire was boxed less than 10 minutes later as the fire was communicating to the unit above the initial fire unit and calls were coming in from distressed residents on the 4th floor.  Companies led out through the basement garage and also through a 3rd floor window in the front of the building.  Chest compressions were performed and oxygen given in an attempt to resuscitate a dog that was rescued from the fire floor, but sadly those efforts were in vain. One resident was transported with minor smoke inhalation from the neighboring apartment.  Residents reported that there were no working smoke detectors on the fire floor.

scene of apartment building fire in Chicago

Eric Haak photo

Chicago fire engine at afire scene

Eric Haak photo

paramedics try to revive dog after fire

Eric Haak photo

firemen rest after battling a fire

Eric Haak photo

scene of apartment building fire in Chicago

Eric Haak photo

fireman carries tools after fire

Eric Haak photo

firemand dragging hose

Eric Haak photo

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Box Alarm in Hobart, IN – 9-27-14

This from Eric Haak:

The Hobart Indiana Fire Department responded to the report of smoke coming from a theater across the street from South Lake Mall at about 1130 Saturday (9/27) morning.  It turned out that the theater was being demolished and a fire had started on the side of the building that was adjacent to an occupied Michael’s Craft Store.  The fire was fairly well advanced and a Box Alarm was requested.  Companies were working in both sectors A and C with Crown Point’s tower ladder up front and Merrillville’s truck in the back.  Images in this gallery were taken about one hour in.
fire engine at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

fire trucks at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

yellow fire engine

Eric Haak photo

mobile air finning station for firefighters

Eric Haak photo

mobile air finning station for firefighters

Eric Haak photo

Pierce Arrow XT fire engine

Eric Haak photo

Grumman AerialCat tower ladder

Eric Haak photo

Grumman AerialCat tower ladder

Eric Haak photo

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North Riverside considers privatizing FD (more)

CBS Chicago has an article on the move by North Riverside officials to privatize the fire department:

 An attorney for a suburban firefighters union said they will continue their fight against an attempt by the village of North Riverside to privatize its fire department.

… North Riverside officials have asked a Cook County judge to allow accelerated filings and make a summary judgment in their lawsuit to privatize the village’s firefighting operationsThe village has said its contract with its firefighters has expired, and they want to speed up their privatization effort to save $750,000 on pension payments next year.

However, J. Dale Berry, the attorney for North Riverside Firefighters Union Local 2714, said the court has given the union the customary 30 days to respond to the village’s lawsuit. The union wants to resolve the dispute through arbitration, and has accused the village of bargaining in bad faith. Berry said the contract allowed for arbitration after the contract expired.

“Essentially what the city is trying to do here – it’s very, actually very radical, unprecedented type of claim – they’re essentially trying to terminate a contract that isn’t terminated by its own terms, and they’re trying to bypass the dispute resolution process,” he said.

The village has denied bad-faith bargaining, and argued it cannot afford to pay the pensions of the unionized firefighters, and has offered them jobs with the private company that would run firefighting operations.

thanks Dan

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Northlake active member death (more)

Images by Tim Olk from the funeral for Northlake FD Lieutenant Herbert Milnes, Jr.

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

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4-Alarm fire in Wadsworth, 9/24/14

Images by Tim Olk of Newport Township FPD’s 4-Alarm house fire in Wadsworth on McIntosh Court.

 

firemen with hose at house fire

Tim Olk photo

flames through the roof of a house

Tim Olk photo

house destroyed by fire

Tim Olk photo

fire reflection in fire engine window

Tim Olk photo

house destroyed by fire

Tim Olk photo

house on fire

Tim Olk photo

flames through the roof of a house

Tim Olk photo

portable tanks ant fire scene

Tim Olk photo

fire engine at fire scene

Tim Olk photo

fire hose on the ground

Tim Olk photo

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