New engines for O’Hare Airport

This from Zach Weinreich:

I was on the Fire Service Inc. Facebook Page and saw that they uploaded pictures of the airport pumpers.

Love the site! Keep up the great work!

ires engine being built

New E-ONE engines for O’Hare Airport. Fire Service, Inc. photo

ire engine being built

Fire Service, Inc. photo

ires engine being built

Fire Service, Inc. photo


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Former area apparatus for sale

A reader found these former area rigs for sale:

1973 Sutphen tower ladder

Former Northbrook Sutphen tower ladder. Fenton Fire Equipment

Pierce TDA for sale

Niles FD former Truck 2, 1993 Pierce TDA for sale. Fenton Fire Equipment photo

former Lincolnwood fire truck for sale

Former Lincolnwood Truck 15, 1993 Pierce Arrow rear mount for sale. Fire Line Equipment photo

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North Riverside considers privatizing FD (more)

A post on the village of North Riverside’s web site offers a rebuttal from the mayor to a recent article on the privatization of the North Riverside FD:

A recent article in the Landmark, which was focused on the firefighters’ union, left out some important facts that North Riverside residents should know about the Village’s proposal to continue providing safe and responsive fire protection services through a new model using a private company.

First of all, you all know this company very well. For the past 28 years, Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI) has provided privatized ambulance and emergency response services to local residents and businesses, saving lives and working side-by-side with the Village’s firefighters.

PSI, whose paramedics are certified as firefighters as well, has been asked to develop a proposal that will offer employment to all 16 of the Village’s current firefighters. Firefighters will maintain their current base salaries, earned pension benefits, health insurance and a new 401(k) plan through PSI. All will get their earned pensions to date. The savings to the Village will come in the form of no future pension obligations and significant reductions in overtime.

To suggest that PSI firefighters will somehow be sub-par is a direct hit on your current firefighters as, again, all will be offered to stay on in North Riverside.  And, as new firefighters/paramedics are needed, all PSI employees are trained through the same programs, at the same fire academies, to pass the same state standards that your current firefighters meet.

Even if none of the firefighters decide to stay with North Riverside, PSI has experienced firefighters and paramedics on staff who will move to North Riverside, providing comparable and experienced protective services.  PSI firefighters, who are also paramedics, train at the same academies and are held to the same standards as every licensed firefighter in the state of Illinois.

It was raised that the North Riverside fire department will be a revolving door if privatized … that firefighters will leave seeking more lucrative future pensions in other communities. That does not bear out in fact.  Lincolnwood Fire Department, which PSI has run for 25 years, has terrific longevity, with the average length of service for its 10 officers at 23.8 years on the job, and more than 15 years on average for its firefighters.

Is North Riverside in bad financial shape, and being called before the state because of underfunding its pensions? Yes, and we currently project a FY 15 deficit of $1.9 million – $1.8 million of which results directly from public pension obligations. We have been drawing from our general reserves to continue providing vital services to the Village – clearly not a feasible long-term strategy. Unfortunately, even if the pensions were paid IN FULL each year, the Village would still be in arrears by more than $1 million and needing to look for ways to staunch the continuation of a growing pension obligation.

North Riverside firefighters put their lives on the line to protect our community, and deserve a good wage.  But, our firefighters make over $200,000 with salary and benefits, and our Lieutenants make even more. It is not sustainable.  Those salaries are higher than a lot of other firefighters –  more than Orland Park Fire Protection District employees earn who protect over 75,000 residents – and I daresay, a lot more than our average residents make.

As your elected Mayor, I will always put residents’ and businesses’ needs first. I can’t in good conscience continue to kick this problem down the road. Tough issues require thoughtful and bold action, and privatization is an excellent solution. I urge all residents to keep informed of the facts on this important topic through our website at

Thank you,

Mayor Hubert E. Hermanek, Jr.

thanks Dan

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Kankakee Township is added to the site

Kankakee Township FPD patchThe Kankakee Township FPD has been added to the site. Located in MABAS Division 7 in Kankakee County, they cover 18 square miles out of two stations. 18 paid-on-call firefighters have three engines, a tender, a brush truck, and a utility used as an EMS chase car.




Kankakee Township FPD Station 1.

Kankakee Township FPD Station 1. Karl Klotz photo

Kankakee Township FPD fire engine Kankakee Township FPD fire engine

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CFD organizes Battery Vehicle 6-3-9

Chicago Fire Department battery unit

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Wheeling house fire 7-23-14

This from Larry Shapiro:

Residents called the Wheeling Fire Department Wednesday evening reporting some sort of explosion in the kitchen at 293 Lincoln Road. When the first police officer arrived, he reported smoke showing and that one person needed medical attention. Firefighters arrived within minutes and confirmed a fire inside the split-level house.

One ambulance transported the civilian to an area hospital and the alarm was upgraded tot he working fire. Two interior lines were used to make quick work of extinguishing the fire.

Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, and Northbrook units responded to the scene in addition to two engines, two ambulances, a truck, and two chief officers from Wheeling.

Here are a few images and a short video.

smoke from house fire

Light smoke showing. Larry Shapiro photo

firemen vent roof of house

Larry Shapiro photo

Spartan fire engine at fire scene

Engines from Wheeling and Northbrook. Larry Shapiro photo

firemen fight house fire

Firemen head to the roof as crews work a line on the second floor. Larry Shapiro photo

firemen vent roof of house

The roof is vented. Larry Shapiro photo

Sutphen tower ladder at dusk fire scene

Wheeling Truck 24 had two lines off. Larry Shapiro photo

Sutphen tower ladder at dusk fire scene

Truck 24 in operation. Larry Shapiro photo

new fire hydrant next to old one

It appears that new hydrants are being installed down the block. Larry Shapiro photo

A gallery with more images is at

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Riverside firefighters file suit (more)

The Riverside Brookfield Landmark has an article about four firefighters in Riverside filing a lawsuit against the village.

Four Riverside firefighters, disciplined earlier this year for their actions during an incident at a North Riverside tavern in December, are now demanding punitive cash damages from the village, claiming they were specifically targeted by Fire Chief Spencer Kimura because they supported his now-fired predecessor.

Lt. Thomas Bensfield, Lt. William Ruska, Lt. Ray Williamson, and Firefighter A.J. Ruska in April filed suit against Kimura and the village in Cook County Circuit Court, asking a judge to vacate disciplinary measures taken against them and compensating them for lost wages following a Dec. 14, 2013 off-duty incident at a North Riverside tavern.

On July 14, the case was moved to U.S. District court after the firefighters in June filed an amended lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming that Kimura’s disciplinary actions violated their First Amendment rights — that Kimura disciplined them because of “their actual or perceived political association with former Fire Chief Kevin Mulligan.”

The amended lawsuit, in addition to reversing the disciplinary measures taken against the firefighters, demands “compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, costs of suit and exemplary damages as warranted.”

In March and April, Kimura suspended the three lieutenants for three days each and suspended Firefighter A.J. Ruska for 21 days, giving him a “last chance” warning in the process.

A.J. Ruska was disciplined for violating the department’s code of conduct: “behavior unbecoming a Riverside firefighter.” The lieutenants were disciplined for failing to “issue discipline to a subordinate.”

The subordinate in question, identified in the lawsuit as Firefighter Michael Rerucha, is not a party to the lawsuit.

Rerucha, according to a police report filed in North Riverside following the incident, got into a scuffle with an off-duty Cicero police officer, allegedly punching him in the head. The police officer refused to file charges against Rerucha, according to North Riverside police.

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As seen around … Chicago

This from Josh Boyajian:

I shot new truck 24 the other day. Its a 2014 Spartan ERV 103′ RM ladder. It carries shop # FD-E350.
Chicago FD Truck 24

Chicago Truck 21. 2014 Spartan Gladiator Classic/Spartan ERV 103′ RM with Shop ID#E350-. Josh Boyajian photo

Chicago FD Truck 24

Josh Boyajian photo

Also on a side note, there are four new ambulances waiting to be placed into service at the shops for Ambos 7, 36, 58, and 86.

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Sutphen Voluntarily Removing 5-Section Aerial Devices From Service

From the Sutphen Corporation web site:

Press Release – Five-Section Aerials

Dublin, OH

**For Immediate Release**

Date: July 22, 2014

RE:  Sutphen Voluntarily Removing 5-Section Aerial Devices From Service

Sutphen Corporation has announced that the Company is instructing customers to remove all SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110 Aerial devices from service, until further notice, effective immediately.

The company states that customers are instructed to use the affected apparatus in the capacity of an engine or support vehicle only.  The Company will stay in close contact with its customers to report details and when the units may be placed  back in service.

“At this time, our priority is the safety of our firefighters,” says Drew Sutphen, President of the Company.  “In light of the recent incidents, we recognize there is an immediate need to take precautionary action.  I would rather take every precaution necessary than to put firefighters at risk.”

The company states that it will be contacting customers with the affected units personally to inform them of the events that have occurred and the steps that are being taken to get the units back in to service in a timely manner.

“We feel the need to personally assure our customers that we are working to investigate and correct the situation,” Drew continues.

Sutphen Corporation is an Ohio based privately held, family owned business that manufactures custom built emergency response vehicles.  The company’s headquarters are located in suburban Dublin, Ohio northwest of Columbus.

For more information contact the sales office. in Atlanta has an article about a recent incident where three firefighters were injured while in the basket of a Sutphen tower, the second such incident in rent weeks.

Three Hall County firefighters were injured in a training exercise on Tuesday.

According to Hall County Fire Services spokesperson Scott Cagle, the three men were in a bucket on top of a ladder that was extended. There was a mechanical failure and the ladder dropped about 20 feet and then jammed. That sudden stop is what injured the firemen.

Two of the firefighters were life-lighted to Grady Memorial Hospital; the third was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Gainesville, Ga.

All three were said to be alert, conscious and breathing. They were identified as Will Griffin, T.J. Elliot and Stephen Jackson. They were said to be in stable condition.

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Chicago Still & Box Alarm fire 7-22-14

This from Eric Haak:

Just before 1830 hrs on Tuesday evening (7/22), the chief of Chicago’s 22nd Battalion pulled up on the scene of a working fire in an occupied 1.5-story frame residence.  The fire appeared to have started in the rear portion of the attic and quickly consumed much of the attic space.  With a three-story, ordinary, apartment building with wood frame porches as the sector D exposure, and a heat index near 100, the 22nd requested a Still & Box Alarm within minutes of arrival.  Heavy fire vented out the sector B dormer and through the roof above, but within a few minutes, the fire darkened down and was brought under control.  The truck seen in the images is 27.  This was the second evening in the last three that Engines 75 and 62 had a working fire in their still district.

heavy smoke from Chicago house fire

Eric Haak photo

flames through the roof of a house on fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago ladder truck at house fire with flames

Eric Haak photo

heavy smoke from Chicago house fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firemen after battling a house fire on a hot day

Eric Haak photo

aftermath at Chicago house fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago FD Spartan Engine 75

Eric Haak photo

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