New engine for Niles (more)

From the Pierce Flickr page:

Pierce Village of Niles, IL 33337


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Niles Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

A new Mako Air Compressor used to fill firefighters’ oxygen tanks was installed at Niles Fire Station No. 2 late last month thanks to a $55,000 competitive federal grant awarded a year ago.

The federal grant, applied for in 2017, required a 10 percent local match, meaning the village paid a little more than $5,600 for the machine including installation. The $55,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Assistance To Firefighters grant paid the remaining costs for the compressor.

Before the new unit was installed Aug. 21, firefighters used one air compressor to fill tanks at Station 3 on Jarvis Avenue. Station 2 is located at Dempster Street and Cumberland Avenue. Transporting and topping off oxygen air bottles at Station 3 on a regular basis was inefficient and wasted about 40 minutes in driving time between the two fire stations. The new system will improve readiness and save time and money.

Recently the department was awarded a $56,000 grant from the same program, applied for in 2018, for cardiovascular fitness equipment, which would need to be purchased and installed before Aug. 21, 2020.

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Fire Service news

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More first responders police officers, firefighters, and EMS workers in the US lose their lives to suicide than in the line of duty, according to a study by the Ruderman Foundation.  

Locally, a little known treatment for depression and PTSD is helping those desperate to find help for themselves. The treatment almost looks like hypnosis, but the patient is entirely awake and able to tap into traumatic memories like never before.  It can start to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD in as little as one treatment

EMDR therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing attempts to mimic the rapid eye movement of deep sleep to stimulate the brain. During a therapy session, the patient recalls a traumatic memory and the therapist guides them through the memory while keeping their eyes moving in a back and forth or bilateral pattern.  No one really knows why this type of therapy works. The EMDR Foundation is located in Chicago, and they are hoping more research will crack the case. 

Broadview Fire Chief Tracy Kenny and Deerfield Firefighter Jon Vaccarello have had very different life experiences but they both agree that EMDR has dramatically changed their lives.  

There are many MDR therapists in the Chicagoland area.  Each session is an hour, and it is covered by insurance.  

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Of interest … arrest in CFD family murder

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A man has been charged in the murder of Tyler Bernicky, the son of a Chicago Fire Department lieutenant who was found stabbed to death next to a burning van in Chatham in June.

Officers responded to reports of a vehicle fire in the early morning hours of June 15 in the 7900-block of South Ingleside Avenue. When they arrived, they found the 25-year-old dead on the ground with stab wounds to his chest and legs.

Investigators believe Bernicky’s van was intentionally set on fire.

Ronald Franklin, 34, was arrested on Wednesday in the 1800-block of West Lake Street and has been charged with first degree murder and arson. 


Chicago Fire Department history, 3-11 Alarm fire at the Museum of Science and Industry 1963 (more)

This from Steve Redick:

Thanks to Hank Sajovic for sharing the FAO tab and box card for my earlier post on the 3-11 at the museum.
historic CFD ledger from 1963

click to download a larger file

historic CFD ledger from 1963

click to download a larger file

historic Chicago Fire Department box card from 1963

click to download a larger file

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Harvard Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the


Buffalo Grove Fire Department Open House

From the Buffalo Grove Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Local 3177 Facebook page:

Our open house is this Saturday, September 14th! Grab the family and come out for an amazing day filled with your local Buffalo Grove Professional Firefighters. We will have live demonstrations, tons of kids activities, and much more!


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Champaign Fire Department news

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 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has awarded two Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) grants totaling $411,597.52 to the Champaign Fire Department

The first grant of $272,311.81 is in the Operations & Safety program. It provides cancer, physical, and mental health screenings and resources for emergency personnel. The second grant of $139,285.71 is in the Fire Prevention & Safety program and will go towards purchasing a fire safety house trailer used for educational safety demonstrations.

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s also hopes to hammer out a new firefighters’ contract that eliminates treasured union perks and outdated staffing requirements that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

Sources said she delivered her cost-cutting message in a recent face-to-face meeting with Jim Tracy, president of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2. The mayor asked for help and cooperation from a union that gave her a pivotal endorsement during the runoff campaign against Toni Preckwinkle. Sources said the answer was no, setting the stage for contentious negotiations.

Another city hall source noted former Mayor Rahm Emanuel had been close to a new firefighters’ contract that would have traded health insurance concessions for a reduction in daily variances from the minimum manning requirement that triggered the bitter 1980 firefighters strike. That rule requires every piece of fire apparatus to be staffed by at least five firefighters. But time ran out before the deal got done.

“If the union was smart, they would have grabbed that deal. But they got greedy. They wanted 15% over five years,” the source said.

Emanuel took office in 2011 talking even tougher than Lightfoot is now. He vowed to take a hard line with firefighters — though his own fire commissioner opposed closing fire houses or reducing the minimum staffing requirement. Four months later, then-Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff abruptly resigned, leaving firefighters without a champion.

Emanuel infuriated Local 2 by taking aim at such treasured union perks as holiday and duty availability pay; clothing allowances; pay grades; premium pay; the physical fitness incentive and the 7% premium paid to cross-trained firefighter/paramedics. The plan did not include closing fire stations, but it would have allowed all fire houses with an engine and truck to be staffed by nine firefighters instead of 10. Rookie probation would have doubled to 18 months.

In a letter to the rank and file, then-union president Tom Ryan declared Emanuel’s plan horrendous, insulting and ridiculous. Ryan dug in for what he feared would be a long and bitter battle that never happened. Emanuel backed off and settled for a vanilla agreement with no cost-cutting concessions.

For years, Inspector General Joe Ferguson has urged the city to revisit the minimum staffing requirement and eliminate a host of contract sweeteners. Ferguson had estimated annual savings of $57 million if the number of firefighters on each piece of fire apparatus was cut from five to four, and that another $14.3 million could be saved yearly by eliminating“duty availability pay — compensation for being on 24-hour call.

The mayor’s city council floor leader argued Tuesday that every option now must be on the table, including closing firehouses, to chip away at the city’s $838 million shortfall. “If the need for firefighters vs. EMTs has changed, we need to change the formula. There are no sacred cows anymore. They’ve all gone out to pasture.”

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot stood surrounded by firefighters at a solemn 9/11 remembrance Wednesday, an image in stark contrast to her reported private fight with them. She used the event as a backdrop to slam a Chicago Sun-Times report claiming that she went to the Union Local 2 demanding cost-cutting, and the union said no.

“That reporting was wildly inaccurate and I’m personally offended that it came out on 9/11. This is a day of unity. This is a day that we should be standing together,” Lightfoot said. “I’m disturbed at the inaccuracies in that reporting.”

She is in the process of negotiating contracts with unions representing Chicago’s firefighters, police officers, and teachers. Each powerful group is likely to secure pay raises as a condition of signing new deals.

Facing a staggering $838 million budget deficit, the mayor is looking for savings and efficiencies. This week she said the city can’t afford police overtime expenses, which soared to $67.6 million the first six months of the year.

She may also comb through the fire department’s budget, and costly minimum staffing requirements.

The city council floor leader says the unions must partner with the city.

There’s no comment from the firefighters’ union, but former firefighter and Alderman Nick Sposato said minimum staffing requirements are essential. But he admitted there could be room for some cuts.

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Of interest … Remembering the attacks of 9/11/01

Excerpts from

For students from elementary to high school, the Sept. 11 terrorist attack isn’t a memory. It’s history. A new HBO documentary that debuted on the event’s 18th anniversary treats it that way.

The necessity of her project, “What Happened on September 11,” struck filmmaker Amy Schatz when a third grade girl told her about a playdate where she and a friend Googled “Sept. 11 attacks.”

“When a child does that, what he or she finds are some pretty horrific images that are not necessarily appropriate for kids,” Schatz said on Tuesday. “So I felt a responsibility to try to fill that void and try to give kids something that isn’t horrifying and kind of fills in the gap.”

She worked with the Sept. 11 remembrance museum on the story, filming two men who work there giving presentations to third graders. Stephen Kern, who worked on the 62nd floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower, talks about being evacuated. Matthew Crawford, whose father was a firefighter who died that day, discusses his experience. 

The film tells of Osama bin Laden and his activism that started with the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. But it never truly answers the whys. Maybe no one can.

The film doesn’t avoid some of the terrible images of the day: the second plane striking the World Trade Center and resultant fireball, the collapse of each tower and the giant clouds of debris that billowed through the canyons of city streets. 

As part of her research, she interviewed alumni of Stuyvesant High School near the World Trade Center site. But the memories of what they saw, heard and smelled that day — and the uncertainty of how they would get home from school — proved too raw. That’s why “In the Shadow of the Towers: Stuyvesant High on 9/11” is a separate film that premieres on HBO three hours after the first one.

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