Dekalb works toward creating a fire museum

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A local foundation plans to create a museum to house the DeKalb Fire Department’s artifacts, some of which date back to the department’s creation nearly 150 years ago.

The DeKalb Firefighters Historical Foundation, which was created four years ago to preserve the history of the department and its connection to DeKalb and NIU, is fundraising to purchase a building for the museum, said Patrick Eriksen, DeKalb firefighter and paramedic.

“The museum and the creation of the historical foundation kinda’ all came together hand in hand,” Eriksen said. “We’re going to be coming up on our 150th anniversary of the fire department, and we’ve acquired a lot of artifacts … both big, as far as old vehicles, old rigs … even all the way down to the smallest thing like badges from history past.”

The DeKalb Fire Department was founded on a volunteer basis in 1869 and became a full time fire department in 1904.

One of the department’s most prized possessions is a vintage dispatch board, which is comprised of a series of levers that produce a ticker tape that was used to determine the address of an emergency. There are only two left in the country, Eriksen said.

“For me to not only continue on that tradition, but to do it in a town that I’ve always wanted to do since I started thinking about doing this venture, it’s pretty important, pretty special to me,” Eriksen said.

The fire department is currently talking with the city about a property that can’t be disclosed at this time, said Lieutenant Todd Stoffa, who chairs the foundation.

The foundation is looking at, a couple different options to make things go forward in regard to the building.

The fire department will hold its fourth Annual Pancake Breakfast on Sunday to raise funds for the foundation.  The breakfast will cost $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 4 to 10 and free for children under 4. Tickets will be available at the event.

Proceeds from the breakfast will go towards purchasing the building that will house the museum, and then towards ongoing maintenance and infrastructure for the museum through the historical foundation.

“Once we get past that then we might be able to utilize those funds in many other means,” Eriksen said.

In addition to members of the fire department cooking breakfast for guests, the event will also have an open house tour of the station, an inflatable jump house, and a smoke trailer to coincide with fire prevention month, among other things.

The breakfast will run 8 a.m. to noon at the DeKalb Fire Department, Station 1, 700 Pine St. Contact Adam Miller at 815-748-8649 for more information about the breakfast.


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Fire Service Inc. Open House 10-3-15

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr:

I was able to attend the open house held yesterday (10/3/15) at the Fire Service Inc. headquarters in St. John, Indiana. On display were many demo rigs and some new deliveries for the area. Of interest were a rear engine pumper on a Quest HS chassis, E-One’s 78′, 105′, and 137′ rear mount aerials, and a 100′ tower ladder quint on the new Quest chassis. Local rigs on display were a Typhoon engine for Hometown, a Typhoon engine for Glencoe, and 14 new Ford E-350/Wheeled Coach ambulances for Chicago. (Ambulnaces  2, 8, 11, 17, 18, 21, 27, 37, 42, 62, 64, 68, 69 & 73)
E-ONE Quest HS pumper demo unit

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

E-ONE Quest tower ladder demo unit

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

new ambulance for CFD Ambulance 17

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

new ambulance for CFD Ambulance 21

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

new ambulance for CFD Ambulance 64

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

new ambulance for CFD Ambulance 68

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

new E-ONE fire engine for Glencoe IL

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

new E-ONE fire engine for Hometown IL

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

E-ONE aerial ladder trucks on display

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

E-ONE Quest tower ladder demo unit

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

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Fire calendar features local photographers

Three local photographers are among the contributors to the Fire Trucks in Action 2016 calendar. Eric Haak, John  Tulipano, and Larry Shapiro have images in the new calendar representing local shots showing Chicago, Winnetka, Schiller Park, Hometown, and Northbrook fire scenes plus Detroit.

Fire Trucks in Action 2016 Calendar

Fire Trucks in Action 2016 Calendar

Fire Trucks in Action 2016 Calendar

Fire Trucks in Action 2016 Calendar

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MABAS Illinois assists MABAS Wisconsin

This from a reader:

The cover story of the below shows the MABAS Division 8 MVU going to Portage WI, a run of just over 100 miles.  MVU 8 is housed by the Boone County Rural FPD #2 in Belvidere, IL. These MABAS-WI newsletters can be found near the bottom of this page

From the MABAS Wisconsin newsletter

From the MABAS Wisconsin newsletter

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New quint for Calumet Park

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.

This is a used 2001 E-ONE Cyclone, 2000/300 75′ RM Quint so# 123555 (X-San Carlos Apache Tribe, AZ) which is now in service with the Calumet Park, Illinois fire department as Truck 2224. This rig along with a previously mentioned2004 E-ONE engine have replaced a 2011 HME/Ferrara tower ladder that reportly has been sold to a oil company near Las Vegas, NV.

used E-ONE quint finds new home in Calumet Park IL

Calumet Park Truck 2224 is a used, 2001 E-ONE Cyclone 2000/300 75′ quint previously owned by the San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

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Fire Museum of Greater Chicago fundraiser

Fundraiser for the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago


New fire chief in Mount Prospect

Excerpts from the

Mount Prospect Deputy Fire Chief Brian Lambel will become the village’s next fire chief on an interim basis, effective Thursday, Oct. 1, after Fire Chief John Malcolm retires Oct. 9. Lambel, 46, who has been with the department for almost 16 years, was promoted to deputy chief at the beginning of June.

Malcolm is taking the chief’s job in Northwest suburban Lake Zurich.

According to Acting Village Manager David Strahl, Mount Prospect will evaluate Lambel’s performance as interim chief before deciding whether or not to make him the department’s day-to-day leader on a permanent basis.

With Lambel’s promotion, Lt. John Dolan will be promoted to deputy chief, which Strahl said could also be on an interim basis. Dolan, 53, has been with the department for 19 years. He will begin his duties as deputy the week of Oct. 5.

Lambel said he and Malcolm have begun working together to allow for a smooth transition.

According to Lambel, it will be a busy final three months of 2015 for himself and the department. The department is in the midst of hiring six firefighters as part of the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant that will allow Engine 13 at the downtown station to be put back into service. The department is also going through a lieutenant promotional process.

Lambel said he and Dolan recently met and came up with new objectives or a new strategic plan for the fire department. “One of the big things we will emphasize is training and education as well as empowerment of all employees to give them more responsibilities and increase accountability,” Lambel said.

Another big thing, according to Lambel, is the department is evaluating its community risk reduction program. The program determines what the needs of the community are and how the department can provide support to reduce injuries and harm to residents and business owners.

Other objectives Lambel said the department will pursue include reevaluating operations, making sure there is a proper succession plan in place and preparing for the future in terms of short- and long-term goals to accommodate an ever-changing fire service.

A retirement party will be held for Malcolm on Oct. 9 at Fire Station 13 on Northwest Highway. A resolution is expected to be read in honor of Malcolm for his years of service at the Tuesday, Oct. 6 village board meeting.

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Reel firefighter spots real fire and evacuates residents

Excerpts from

 An extra-alarm fire broke out near the filming of a television show on the city’s South Side. The fire started around 10:15 a.m. Thursday at a two-story home located at 4825 S. Kimbark Avenue.

The TV show ‘Chicago Med’ was filming two doors down and people in the area believed the fire to be part of the show. An off-duty firefighter, moonlighting as a medic for ‘Chicago Med,’ smelled the smoke and realized it was an actual fire.  He called it in, then ran over and helped the family evacuate the house.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.

thanks Dan

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Highland Park Fire Department historical program

Excerpts from the

The Highland Park Historical Society on Wednesday October 7 at 7:00 PM will host ‘Highland Park Fire Department: 126 Year History of Service,’ with retired Highland Park Fire Department personnel Captain Tom Mann and Firefighter/Paramedic Roger Underwood.

Since its inception as a volunteer fire department in 1889 (professionalized in 1924), the Highland Park Fire Department has had two losses of life on duty: Lt Frank Freeberg (1956) and Lt. William Perry (1958). Notable fires highlighted will be the Northwestern Military Academy’s three fires (1888, 1902, 1915), Ravinia Pavilion (1949), Ruby’s Delicatessen (1960) and a gasoline tanker fire (1983). This presentation will feature rarely seen images from the archives of the Highland Park Fire Department and Highland Park Historical Society.

There will be a personal perspective of the life of a fireman by second generation Highland Park Firefighter Captain Tom Mann (retired).

‘Highland Park Fire Department: 126 Year History of Service,’ will be presented at the Highland Park Public Library Auditorium 494 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park. For further information, please contact the Highland Park Historical Society: 847.432.7090 or Admission is free.


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Illinois Fire Service Institute stalled by state budget impasse

Excerpts from

Firefighters are feeling the effect of the state’s budget impasse. A training program is temporarily suspended at the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

Officials say 100 training classes are postponed until a state budget is approved. The Cornerstone program offers courses on fighting fires, safety and vehicle use.

The Carroll Fire Department is taking a hit from the training freeze. Captain Allen Cameron says they have nine volunteer firefighters still waiting to complete their training. Officials say it could take up to a year for the training classes to come back.

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