New fire chief in Champaign

The NewsGazette has an article about a new fire chief in Champaign:

After an intensive search lasting more than a year, Champaign has a new fire chief.

Gary Ludwig has spent 37 years in emergency services, most recently as deputy fire chief in Memphis and a fire and emergency services training consultant, and will head the Champaign Fire Department beginning Nov. 17. He will take over for Dave Ferber, who has been acting fire chief since Doug Forsman retired last November.

Ludwig began his career in emergency services as an emergency medical technician in St. Louis in 1977, according to his resume. He soon became a paramedic and in 1994 became chief paramedic of the St. Louis Fire Department. He did that for seven years before taking other jobs as an educator and a director of emergency services for Jefferson County, Mo. In 2005, he was hired as deputy fire chief in Memphis.

Since 1996, he has been managing director of his private company, The Ludwig Group, which provides training and consultation.

In addition to providing a high level of service for residents, Ludwig said he has another priority: the safety and wellness of all fire department employees.

“I’ve done my homework on the Champaign Fire Department,” he said. “They’re a very professional fire department. I’m very excited. Their professionalism is second to none.”

Ludwig has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kensington University and a master’s degree in business and management from National Louis University. His Champaign salary will start at $135,000.

thanks Dan

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A historical look at EMA/ESDA vehicle

This from Brian Murphy:

The following pictures were taken in the early and mid-1990s, and show various EMA and ESDA support vehicles. Most were either ‘home built’ by volunteers using part or whole former fire apparatus, or were donated former fire apparatus.  Many of these rigs had long second lives supporting FD and PD operations (and some are most likely still in service).  All pictures were taken with various small 35mm cameras (no digital, just old-fashioned photographs).

Comments and details on missing info are welcomed- enjoy!

Brian Murphy

  • P1- Bellwood ESDA 1960s (?) Mack light/power squad (exact details NA, most likely x-Bellwood FD)
  • P2-  Naperville EMA Truck 357 (x-NFD late 70’s Chevy ambo chassis built into lighting/power unit) and Truck 352 (x-NFD/Civil Defense late 60’s GMC Step Van rescue unit)
  • P3- Naperville EMA Truck 351 (late 80’s or early 90’s Dodge Ram Van, x-Naperville Public Works truck)
  • P4- Naperville EMA Truck 357, Lighting and Power Unit
  • P5- Wood Dale ESDA Squad 3 (x-WFD Rescue Squad, details NA)
  • P6- Buffalo Grove ESDA IC&C Unit (probably x-BGFD Ambo, details NA)
  • P7- DuPage County EMA IC&C Unit (details NA)
  • P8- DuPage County EMA Power and Lighting Unit (details NA)
  • P9- DuPage County EMA Power and Lighting Unit, side/rear view
  • P10- Rolling Meadows ESDA Rescue Squad (details NA, probably x-RMFD Rescue Squad)
  • P11- McHenry County ESDA ESDA-52, IC&C Unit (details NA)
  • P12- Kane County OEM Light/Power Unit (details NA)
ild Mack C fire engine

Bellwood ESDA 1960s (?) Mack light/power squad (exact details NA, most likely x-Bellwood FD). Brian Murphy photo

Naperville EMA truck

Naperville EMA Truck 357 (x-NFD late 70’s Chevy ambo chassis built into lighting/power unit) and Truck 352 (x-NFD/Civil Defense late 60’s GMC Step Van rescue unit) Brian Murphy photo

Naperville EMA truck

Naperville EMA Truck 351 (late 80’s or early 90’s Dodge Ram Van, x-Naperville Public Works truck). Brian Murphy photo

Naperville EMA truck

Naperville EMA Truck 357, Lighting and Power Unit. Brian Murphy photo

Wood Dale ESDA squad

Wood Dale ESDA Squad 3 (x-WFD Rescue Squad, details NA). Brian Murphy photo

Buffalo Grove ESDA unit

Buffalo Grove ESDA IC&C Unit (probably x-BGFD Ambo, details NA). Brian Murphy photo

DuPage County EMA truck

DuPage County EMA IC&C Unit (details NA). Brian Murphy photo

DuPage County EMA truck

DuPage County EMA Power and Lighting Unit (details NA). Brian Murphy photo

DuPage County EMA truck

DuPage County EMA Power and Lighting Unit, side/rear view. Brian Murphy photo

Rolling Meadows ESDA unit

Rolling Meadows ESDA Rescue Squad (details NA, probably x-RMFD Rescue Squad). Brian Murphy photo

McHenry County ESDA unit

McHenry County ESDA ESDA-52, IC&C Unit (details NA). Brian Murphy photo

Kane County OEM unit

Kane County OEM Light/Power Unit (details NA). Brian Murphy photo

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Greater Round Lake FPD Open House

This from Tyler Tobolt:

I took in the Round Lake FPD Open House. Here are some apparatus,
Ambulance 261R (2641), Ambulance 262 (2644), Ambulance 262B (2642), Battalion 26, Engine 262 (2624), Engine 2622, Squad 261 (2651) and Ladder Tower 261 (2630)
Thanks Tyler Tobolt.
Round Lake FPD ambulance

Tyler Tobolt photo

Round Lake FPD ambulance

Tyler Tobolt photo

Round Lake FPD ambulance

Tyler Tobolt photo

Round Lake FPD battalion chief

Tyler Tobolt photo

Round Lake FPD fire engine

Tyler Tobolt photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Round Lake FPD fire engine

Tyler Tobolt photo

Round Lake FPD fire truck

Tyler Tobolt photo

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Schaumburg settles lawsuit with firefighter

The Daily Herald has an article the settlement of a lawsuit filed by a firefighter:

Schaumburg officials Tuesday settled a 2012 discrimination lawsuit filed by one of their firefighters who said his age was the reason he lost the position of fire department public education officer in 2009. The settlement agreement calls for the village’s insurance company, Lloyd’s of London, to pay Schaumburg Firefighter Scott Kody $170,000 and for Kody to separate from the village.

The lawsuit originally sought Kody’s reinstatement as public education officer, back pay for time missed and reimbursement of legal fees.

Assistant Village Manager Paula Hewson said the decision to settle the case was made by the insurance company, which is paying the full amount. The village already has met its $100,000 deductible in defending itself in the case.

Kody’s exact age was not available Tuesday, but he’s older than 65 based on the medical benefits he’s entitled to, according to the village. He has been on unpaid leave since earlier this year and is applying for a disability pension, having exhausted all of his sick time. Kody’s recent sick time and application for the disability pension are unrelated to his lawsuit, Village Attorney Rita Elsner said.

According to the federal lawsuit, Kody joined the Schaumburg Fire Department in 1982 and worked as the public education officer from 1984 until he was removed from that position in September 2009. In April 2009, he also had been removed from various other positions, including the open house and school program, the suit stated.

The lawsuit claimed Kody was subjected to ageist comments from superiors and was encouraged to retire as public education officer because he was “getting up in age.”

When the lawsuit was filed, then Village Manager Ken Fritz disputed all its allegations. Fritz said performance was the reason for Kody’s removal from that job and that the position was then being held by someone older than Kody.

thanks Dan

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Carol Stream FPD conducts termination proceedings (more)

The Daily Herald has an article on the termination proceedings for a Carol Stream FPD battalion chief:

The Carol Stream Fire Protection District Board of Fire Commissioners has upheld charges of misconduct against Battalion Chief Joseph Gilles.

The board’s Wednesday evening decision brings an end to Gilles’ monthslong disciplinary hearing. The backbone of the charges leading to the hearing rested on Fire Chief Richard Kolomay’s allegation that the battalion chief failed to follow Kolomay’s order to sign a performance improvement plan. By not signing the plan, Gilles violated four district rules of conduct, according to the allegations.

Now that the board has supported the allegations against Gilles, the final task for the commission is determining the penalty, officials said Wednesday. The chief has requested for Gilles to be terminated.

“The commissioners correctly sorted through the evidence to determine that Battalion Chief Gilles violated the rules of the district when he blatantly refused to sign the performance improvement plan and engage in remedial training,” according to a statement from Kolomay’s attorneys.

The plan outlines core issues with Gilles, including that he does not have the proper management and leadership skills, as well as seven goals for the battalion chief. Along with the plan, the hearing also has focused on a 2012 incident during which a district paramedic responded to a woman who was choking on food. That woman was taken to the hospital and died three days later.

Gilles’s attorneys have previously suggested the battalion chief fell out of favor with district superiors when he was asked to investigate possible acts of negligence by the paramedic. His attorneys also have argued that Gilles was never actually ordered to sign the plan, and that even if he was ordered, that order would have been unlawful.

According to board documents, some of the commissioners’ findings included that Kolomay ordered Gilles to sign the plan, the “behaviors and deficiencies which the (performance improvement plan) sought to improve or remedy fell within the authority of Chief Kolomay as Fire Chief” and the PIP was a lawful order.

The commissioners also found that the plan was not in retaliation for Gilles’s position concerning the 2012 paramedic incident for multiple reasons, including that if Kolomay wanted to “cover up” the incident, he would not have required an investigation.

Both Kolomay’s and Gilles’s attorneys have been asked to prepare legal briefs for the commissioners on the issue of whether the district has the authority to enter an order of demotion, in lieu of termination.

Both sides will meet again on Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m., when attorneys can present evidence in support of the penalty they are seeking for Gilles.

thanks Dan

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As seen around … Hoffman Estates

New Ferrara for Engine 22 in Hoffman Estates from Nick Neziri

Ferrara fire engine

New Ferrara fire engine for Hoffman Estates. Nick Neziri photo

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Chicago labels dangerous buildings with red ‘X’ (more)

WBEZ radio has an updated article about Chicago’s Red-X program for labeling dangerous buildings:

Earlier this year, Curious City reported on a small symbol with a big impact on Chicago’s built environment. Now we’ve got an update.

In June we brought you the story of Chicago’s red “X” — sturdy, metal signs that the Chicago Fire Department affixed to 1,804 vacant properties between June 2012 and July 2013. Not every vacant building received a sign, just those that could pose a hazard to firefighters and other first responders in the event of an emergency there.

Chicago firefighter Edward Stringer lost his life when a vacant laundromat collapsed during fire.

Since our story ran in June, several city officials have said they wanted to see the program continue. Ald. Debra Silverstein, who sponsored the original red “X” ordinance, told us she wanted to find more money for the program. At least since WBEZ first reported that the program had run out of money, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says they’ve been hunting “anywhere [they] can” for more grant funding. But now the department talks about the program in the past tense.  “We have not seen where any such money is readily available,” says Langford. “We did not get new funding and expanded the electronic side of the system to continue the awareness for first responders.”

The city affixed 1,804 red X signs to buildings deemed structurally unsound. The fire department won’t put up any new red “X” signs for now, Langford says, but it will continue to register dangerous and structurally unsound buildings in an electronic database called the CAD, or Computer Aided Dispatch system, administered by the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).

Langford says the electronic system works like this: When dispatch is alerted of a fire at a specific address, they pull up information on that location using the OEMC database. Firefighters print out that information before they leave the firehouse, but it will also appear on firefighters’ mobile terminals on site — in red letters. So from the firefighter’s perspective, Langford says, the electronic information communicates the same information as the red “X” was designed to provide.

The electronic alert system is not dependent on grants, unlike the red “X” program, which was funded through a $675,000 award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

… Langford says, the electronic database is enough. “The OEMC system allows us to achieve the goal of protecting firefighters,” Langford says, “without having to mark buildings.”

And just like the red “X” signs, the information communicated by the OEMC system isn’t meant to rule out entry for first responders, just to advise caution in certain circumstances.

thanks Dannis

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As seen around … North Maine

Images from Tim Olk of the new engine for the North Maine FPD

Spartan ERV fire engine

Tim Olk photo

North Maine FPD decal

Tim Olk photo

fire engine law tag

Tim Olk photo

back of fire engine with chevron striping

Tim Olk photo

fire engine pump panel

Tim Olk photo

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As seen around … Addison

This from Tim Right:

I was able to catch a couple pictures of Addison 72 and Addison Quint 73.  The old engine next to Quint 73 is for sale and now that seems to just keep moving from station to station.

Addison Fire District fire trucks

Tim Right photo

Addison Fire District fire trucks

Tim Right photo

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Firefighters sell t-shirts for breast cancer awareness

The Courier-News has an article about firefighters from several departments selling t-shirts to benefit breast cancer awareness:

Members of six area fire departments have teamed up to sell T-shirts to raise money to help fight breast cancer, while Elgin firefighters are down to a small number of T-shirts of their own they have been selling for that cause.

The multi-department shirt sale is being coordinated by members of Carpentersville Professional Firefighters International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 4790. While this marks the fifth year Carpentersville firefighters have sold such shirts, it’s the first time they have done so in conjunction with firefighter efforts in other towns, Firefighter Tony Ferreiro said [and] that last year Carpentersville firefighters raised $4,500 for the cause, with money going to breast cancer-related work at Presence Saint Joseph and Advocate Sherman hospitals. This year, the combined effort hopes to double that amount, with proceeds heading to Sherman.

Carpentersville Firefighter Chad Parker’s design for the 2014 shirt incorporates fire department patches from the six towns involved with the project — Algonquin, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Huntley, South Elgin, and West Dundee — along with a pink ribbon and the IAFF logo. Parker said the multi-department T-shirts are available to order online in men’s sizes and that hooded sweatshirts also are being sold through orders that can be placed until Oct. 31.

According to a press release about the Carpentersville project, “Firefighters exposed to carcinogens and other chemicals while on the job are disproportionately diagnosed with breast cancer — just one of many cancers linked to the work firefighters do. With one in eight women diagnosed each year, an estimated 232,340 new cases of breast cancer and 39,620 deaths will be reported in 2014. Among all women affected, 85 percent have no family history.”

In Elgin, the shirts have had direct meaning for the department, serving as a reminder of what one member and his family went through in their ordeal with the disease, Firefighter Josh Soderberg said. In April, 2011 Lt. Dave Hudik lost his wife, Cindy, to breast cancer after a struggle that began in late 2006. Soderberg said Elgin firefighters have been selling shirts to the public and wearing a version of their own while on duty. The department already has sold about 200 shirts, with 50 or so bought at an open house the department held last weekend. Next year, Soderberg hopes to sell them online. Each year, the firefighters’ October T-shirt project has raised about $2,000 for the cause.

Carpentersville firefighters also bought 300 T-shirts they are selling directly at Station 2, 305 Lake Marian Road, and they will be selling them at a benefit at a to-be-determined date in November at Rosati’s Pizza, 117 N. Kennedy Drive, too.

For more information on the multi-department shirt, contact the Carpentersville Firefighters Local 4790 at cparker@iafflocal4790.org or visit www.iafflocal4790.org. For information on the remaining Elgin shirts call Soderberg at 847-736-8980.

thanks Dan

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