North Riverside Fire Department news

Excerpts from the rblandmark.com:

Members of a local progressive political group, along with many North Riverside residents, packed the Aug. 13 meeting of the village board to protest the hiring of an interim fire chief, with the mayor stating that a search for a permanent replacement is ongoing.

Typically routine affairs that last 20 or 30 minutes at most, the board meeting featured calls for a new chief and pleas to female elected officials to take seriously the sexual harassment allegations in a lawsuit, settled in 2009 by the village of Oak Lawn, against Interim Fire Chief Scott Boman.

Meanwhile, others, including former North Riverside Mayor Richard Scheck and his wife, Judith, defended Boman, claiming he was innocent of the allegations and the target of a smear campaign launched against him by a disgruntled female employee.

At the time Boman’s appointment was announced a month ago, Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. announced that Boman would be formally sworn in Aug. 13. That, however, did not happen, though he was present at the meeting. Asked following the meeting when or if Boman would be sworn in, the mayor said he was “interim until he’s not interim” and that he was still interviewing candidates.

Regarding the search process, Hermanek said he was tapping the resources of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and accepting resumes from individuals who have expressed interest in the job.

Members of Indivisible West Suburban Action League organized a protest of the swearing-in, and its members — predominantly women from Riverside and North Riverside — jammed the council chamber in North Riverside Village Commons and loudly applauded the handful of women who stepped up to ask that Hermanek find another candidate for fire chief.

thanks Dan

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New engine for Tinley Park (more)

This from Kevin Griffin:

Here’s a shot of the new Tinley Park Engine 47 2018 Pierce enforcer

Tinley Park FD Engine 47

Tinley Park FD Engine 47. Kevin Griffin photo

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Still and Box Alarm fire in Chicago, 8-12-18

This from Eric Haak:

Here are a few images from a Still & Box alarm fire in Chicago Sunday evening (08/12). The fire at 117th and Michigan came in shortly after 7:00 and was in the basement of a vacant apartments over commercial structure. Companies eventually went defensive and I arrived way after most of the fire was out.

ChicAgo FD Engine 75 and Squad 5A

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firefighters at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Chicago FD Squad 5A

Eric Haak photo

Chicago FD Engine 62

Eric Haak photo

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Palatine Fire Department news

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Evanston Fire Department news

Excerpts from the cityofevanston.org:

The Evanston Fire Department has achieved the highest possible rating for fire protection services from an insurance industry advisory company.

Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) awarded the department a Class 1 designation through its Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, which assesses communities’ fire protection efforts. The department’s new rating, which is an improvement from its previous Class 2 designation, will take effect on October 1, 2018.

ISO has evaluated the fire protection services of more than 46,000 fire departments across the nation. Only 305 nationwide, including 16 in Illinois, have achieved a Class 1 designation, placing the Evanston Fire Department in the top 1 percent of all fire departments in the country.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification review is conducted by expert ISO staff on a five-year cycle, and includes site visits, records examination and observation. Four major areas are evaluated: fire department operations, water supply, emergency communications and community risk reduction. Using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, ISO analyzes the data and then assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

By classifying communities’ ability to suppress fires, ISO helps communities evaluate their public fire-protection services. The PPC program provides an objective, nationwide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training. And by securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services. In general, the price of insurance in a community with a good PPC is lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.

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New engine for Grayslake FPD

From the Grayslake FPD Facebook page:

Grayslake Engine 2727 arrived 7-19-2018 and will be located at Fire Station #1. 2727 is a Rosenbauer Commander cab and chassis built with a Cummins engine, 750 gallon tank, 1500gpm Waterous Pump, Class A Foam System.

Grayslake FPD Engine 2727

Grayslake FPD Engine 2727. Grayslake FPD photo

Grayslake FPD Engine 2727

Grayslake FPD Engine 2727. Grayslake FPD photo

Grayslake FPD Engine 2727

Grayslake FPD Engine 2727. Grayslake FPD photo

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As seen around … Chicago

This from Chi-Town Fire Photos:

Here is a shot of TL 39. 2016 E-One Cyclone ll 100’ RM TL 0/0 Shop # FDE354

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 39

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 39. Chi-Town Fire Photos

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Cancer in the fire service

Excerpts from the Houstonchronicle.com:

On Kevin Leago’s July CT scan, his torso looks like it has been riddled with birdshot. Dark splotches speckle his liver, his pancreas, his spine, marking where his neuroendocrine cancer has spread. The pain in his bones has left the 38-year-old Houston Fire Department senior captain unable to work since the end of May. Within 30 days, he will exhaust all his sick and vacation time, leaving him with no income. His doctors say his best shot at survival is a new treatment that is not offered at the hospital covered by Leago’s city health insurance.

Workers compensation benefits would provide Leago a paycheck while he is ill and allow him to transfer to any hospital that accepts him, but the city of Houston denied his claim. The city’s third-party administrator argued Leago’s cancer is unrelated to his 17 years of service in the fire department, despite a Texas law requiring the government to presume that firefighters’ cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens on the job.

In the past six years, more than nine in 10 Texas firefighters with cancer have had their workers comp claims denied, according to state statistics. Union leaders and state legislators say cities have ignored Texas’ presumptive cancer statute, and face few consequences for denying claims. The result, they say, is that firefighters often see their personal savings evaporate even as they compromise on their care. All seven HFD members with cancer who have filed workers comp claims since 2016 have been denied, according to the firefighter’s union. 

The Texas Legislature in 2005 unanimously passed a change to state law that requires the government to presume, if firefighters are diagnosed with cancer and meet certain criteria, their illness was caused by exposure to carcinogens on the job. The statute shifts the burden from firefighters having to prove their cancer was caused by firefighting to their employers, who must prove it was not. Legislators wrote the law to help doctors, lawyers, insurance providers and union representatives avoid wrangling over individual cases so firefighters can receive benefits quickly.

The state firefighters union and lawmakers say cities have subverted the law by denying workers comp claims from firefighters who qualify. Of 117 workers comp cancer claims filed by firefighters in the state since 2012, 91 percent have been denied, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Firefighters are substantially more likely to win benefits on appeal, prevailing in 64 percent of cases over that same period. Yet, less than one-fifth of firefighters disputed their denied claims, daunted by the prospect of spending months or years sparring with insurers in court while simultaneously battling cancer.

A Houston attorney who has represented dozens of firefighters in their appeals, said the workers comp process has become so arduous that firefighters with cancer are unlikely to get a claim approved without an attorney. The lawyer said a 2011 Texas Supreme Court ruling further puts firefighters at a disadvantage. That decision exempted workers comp administrators from bad faith claims. Previously, cities could have been held liable for dismissing a worker’s claim without evidence.

A memo written by the Texas Intergovernmental Risk Pool, which handles workers comp for more than 2,700 Texas municipalities, outlines the strategy firefighters say cities use to dodge the cancer presumptive law. The memo states Texas law presumes only three types of cancer are caused by firefighting: testicular, prostate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The risk pool cites a 2007 paper that states dozens of studies have linked firefighting to those three illnesses. Dr. Robert Deuell, a physician and former state senator from Greenville who wrote the presumptive cancer statute, said that interpretation of the law is incorrect.

Firefighter unions say cities are ignoring a wealth of research that links their occupation to other forms of cancer. The presumption statute states it applies to “cancers that may be caused by exposure to heat, smoke, radiation, or a known or suspected carcinogen” as determined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The IARC’s published research on cancer in the fire service is 559 pages long. It cites scores of academic papers, including a meta-analysis of 32 studies that concluded 12 cancers were possibly or probably caused by firefighting.

Even if firefighters eventually win their workers comp cases on appeal, they risk provoking lawsuits from the cities that employ them. The city of Baytown sued firefighter Patrick Mahoney, who has thyroid cancer, after he won workers compensation benefits on appeal. Mahoney sought workers comp because the city’s insurance plan does not cover cancer treatment.

The city of Houston sued 23-year HFD veteran Margaret Roberts in 2015 after she appealed and won a workers compensation claim for her blood and bone cancer. Roberts died in 2017, but the city’s suit against her estate continues. 

Kevin Leago feels fortunate doctors caught his cancer in the first place. Unlike the Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and El Paso fire departments, HFD does not send its firefighters for regular physicals, where illnesses can be detected. Leago discovered he was sick after the ambulance he was driving collided with another vehicle in October 2012. Doctors ordered a CT scan to survey his broken back and wrist, and discovered a tumor in his pancreas. He was 32, and his wife, Breck, was 7 months pregnant.

A surgery in 2013 removed his spleen, 22 lymph nodes, and 70 percent of his pancreas, and the cancer vanished for nearly five years. It returned in the fall of 2017, and he went under the knife again. When Leago fell ill after extinguishing a routine fire in May, a CT scan revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. The fentanyl patches he wears soothe the aching in his bones, but are so strong he cannot work or drive. 

Leago does not smoke and is physically fit, and believes the most likely explanation for his cancer is exposure to carcinogens — including benzene, formaldehyde, and asbestos — his body regularly absorbed on fire calls. He cannot pinpoint a blaze that was particularly hazardous, and researchers have been unable to conclusively link pancreatic cancer to firefighting.

The Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, where Leago receives chemotherapy, does not offer PRRT. MD Anderson Cancer Center 2,000 yards east on Holcombe Boulevard does perform the treatment.

Leago finds purpose in his fight for benefits. Though his treatments leave him fatigued and nauseous, he still finds time to consult with his attorney and the firefighters union about his worker’s comp appeal strategy. By having his denial overturned in court, he hopes to create a path for other firefighters to follow with their own claims.

“I want people to be able to take my experience, and use that, and do them some good in the future,” he said.

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Wilmette Fire Department news

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

A 67-year-old Arlington Heights man died Saturday after an accidental boat explosion in Wilmette Harbor. The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified the man as Mitchell Z. Sroka.

The private boat exploded at about 8 a.m. at the Sheridan Shores Yacht Club. A second man, a 74-year-old Arlington Heights resident, was hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening. The injured man was standing on the dock when the boat exploded. The body of the man who was killed was recovered by divers. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The boat was tethered to a fueling dock when it exploded but was not being fueled at the time of the fire and the fueling station was not damaged. It is unclear what started the fire. The boat was half-submerged and expected to be removed by a salvage company. Police said the explosion appears to be accidental.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which handles watercraft incidents, is investigating.

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New home for Gurnee tower ladder

Found on the web:

The Lakes of The Four Seasons Volunteer Fire Force is now home for former Gurnee FD Tower 1331. 

lakes of the Four Seasons Truck 3521

Lakes of the Four Seasons Truck 3521 X-Gurnee FD Tower 1331. source unknown

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