Archive for August 10th, 2012

New ambulance in Broadview

The Broadview Fire Department received a new a Wheeled Coach Type I ambulance on a F-450 4×4 chassis.

This from Ryan Wyckoff:

Just saw Broadview’s new ambulance in their station this morning.  Its a 2012 Ford F-450/Wheeled Coach.  Not in service yet.  Lettered as Ambulance 218.  Old ambulance 218, Ford/Medtec will be taken OOS.  Think that one is a 1996 or 1998.
Broadview Fire Department new Wheeled Coach ambulance

Fire Service, Inc. photo

Broadview Fire Department new Wheeled Coach ambulance

Fire Service, Inc. photo

thanks Josh & Martin

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Elk Grove Village hires Fire Chief

The Daily Herald has an article which states that the Elk Grove Village Fire Department has hired a new chief.

 Elk Grove Village trustees on Wednesday named career firefighter Richard Mikel as the town’s new fire chief…

Mikel’s annual salary is $130,000, and his first day on the job is Aug. 13. He will be sworn in at the Aug. 14 village board meeting.

Mikel spent 26 years with the Naperville Fire Department, starting as a firefighter/paramedic and rising through the ranks to become the deputy fire chief of operations until his departure in 2010. He then became the deputy fire chief of administration for Downers Grove, where he served for two years.

Mikel was selected from a pool of nearly 50 candidates from all over the country. The selection process included interviews and a candidate assessment by the Illinois Fire Chief’s Association. James MacArthur, a former Elk Grove Village fire chief, volunteered his expertise to assist with the interview process.

The complete article can be found HERE.

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A Commentary: CFD apparatus history – part 3 of 3

Part 3 of a commentary by Bill Post on the Chicago Fire Department history: Part 1 can be found HERE and Part 2 can be found HERE.

While Fire Commissioner Quinn did put the six Flying Manpower Squads in service, he (understandably) decided to keep Snorkel Squad 1 in service. Instead, Snorkel 2 was taken out of service and less then a year before the Maatman Report recommendations were implemented, five additional salvage squads were put in service.  When the Flying Manpower Squads were put in service during 1969, Salvage Squad 1 (the squad that the consultant wanted retained) was taken out of service on May 1, 1969. That was the day that Flying Manpower Squad 4 was put in service; in fact they went in service using Salvage Squad 1’s 1954 AutoCar Squad.
Rescue 3 (the remnants of Snorkel Squad 3) also went out of service on that day. While the 1968 Maatman report was released in November of 1968 and the recommended six Flying Manpower Squads were all in service by November of 1969, Fire Commissioner Bob Quinn hadn’t acted to take Snorkel 6 out of service and he hadn’t even moved Snorkel 4 from Engine 25 to Engine 67. The south side still had more then one Snorkel assigned to it despite Snorkel 2 going out of service in February of 1969.
On March 9, 1970, Truck 31 was relocated out of Engine 104’s south loop fire station to a new station on the far southwest side. Snorkel 4 was relocated from Engine 25 to Engine 104 on the same day. On July 7, 1970, the brick wall of a multi-story vacant factory (in the 1700 block of north Ashland Avenue) collapsed on Snorkel 7 as they were pouring water on the smoldering ruins from a 5-11 alarm fire the previous day. Snorkel 7 was a total loss, and Firefighter Jack Walsh eventually succumbed to injuries sustained during the collapse. Snorkel 7 was never replaced and Snorkel 5 was the remaining Snorkel on the north side of Chicago.
Several months later, early in 1971, the fire department’s consultant Gerald Maatman released a follow-up progress report and review of the fire department’s compliance with the 1968 report. While many of the recommendations contained in the 1968 report had been followed, a few items had not been administered. Since Fire Commissioner Quinn had opted to keep Snorkel Squad 1 in service and instead took Snorkel 2 and Salvage Squad 1 out of service, the consultant recommended that Snorkel Squad 1 be relocated to Engine 5’s house.
Snorkel Squad 1 wasn’t relocated and stayed at 1044 N. Orleans despite the recommendation. So Commissioner Quinn not only kept Snorkel Squad 1 in service, but he kept it in the original location (as long as he was the fire commissioner). The 1971 Maatman report did recommend that a 7th Flying Manpower Squad be put in service at Engine 108’s quarters on the far northwest side. Flying Manpower Squad 5 (as it would be known) was supposed to cover the far northwest side from Engine 7 and Truck 58’s house. It was never located there but instead had been put in service at Engine 114’s old station at Fullerton and Central Park. This was really too far southeast to adequately cover the far northwest side.
Chicago’s Flying Manpower Squads were all using old pumpers from the 1950s and late 1940s, and really weren’t carrying much squad-type equipment as was recommended in the 1968 report. The consultant had made specific recommendations as to exactly the types of and amounts of equipment that the Flying Manpower Squads should be carrying and had even included general specifications as to what type of apparatus they should be using.
There were still six Salvage Squads that were in service and the consultant had recommended that Salvage Squads 6 and 7 be taken out of service as they were in areas that were normally covered by the Flying Squads, which was redundant.
Last but not least, two truck companies (43 and 46) that had been recommended in the previous reports to be taken out of service were still active. The space that these were occupying had been recommended in 1968 to have Snorkel companies. Once again, it was recommend that these two trucks be taken out of service.
Snorkel 4 was supposed to be relocated to Engine 67 (Truck 46) and Snorkel 7 was supposed to have been relocated to Engine 110 (Truck 43) along with Flying Squad 6. Snorkel 4 couldn’t be relocated as long as those two trucks were in service. On November 16, 1971, Trucks 46 and 43 were finally taken out of service and Snorkel 6 was relocated from Engine 46 on the southeast side to Engine 110 on the north side. Snorkel 6 was originally recommended to be taken out of service, but since Snorkel 7 was destroyed in July of 1970, Snorkel 6 was relocated instead.
Snorkel 4 wasn’t relocated to Engine 67 until June of 1972 however. After June of 1972, not only was Snorkel 3 the only Snorkel left on the south side, but Snorkel 4, which had been in the south loop and was second-due on the south side, was now much further away since they were now on the far west side. It was ironic that now there were two Snorkels on the north side, one on the west side, and only one on the south side. There were no Snorkels downtown, unless you counted Snorkel Squad 1 with their 50-foot Snorkel on the near north side. To be fair about it, Snorkel 5 was located in a high fire frequency area back then and Snorkel 6 was also just west of a high fire frequency zone.
Since the south side was so far away from a second Snorkel company, Snorkel 5 was automatically relocated to Snorkel 3 on a Still and Box Alarm when Snorkel 3 was due on it. Snorkel 5 wasn’t relocated to Engine 5 (from Engine 57) until about two and a half years later in January of 1975. This at least brought them closer to the south side by putting them in the west loop. Two years later in 1977, Snorkel 5 was once again relocated, this time to the west side at Engine 23’s house. It wasn’t until April of 1981 that the south side had regained a second Snorkel. The new Snorkel 4 (using Snorkel Squad 1’s 1975 Hendrickson Pierce 55-foot Snorkel) was put in service at Engine 123’s station.
One month later, Snorkel 3 was renumbered as Snorkel 5 (to match the new fire district that it was assigned to) and was relocated to Engine 72’s station. In May of 1981, each Snorkel was renumbered and relocated to match each of the five new fire districts where they located. The new districts had replaced the seven old fire divisions on April 11,1981. Snorkel 5 became Snorkel 1, Snorkel 4 became Snorkel 2, Snorkel 6 became Snorkel 3, Snorkel 4 was a new company, and Snorkel 3 become Snorkel 5. Snorkel Squad 1 had been taken out of service on Oct 3, 1980.
So Mike, Commissioner Quinn had literally saved Snorkel Squad 1 and kept them from going out of service in 1969, and he did delay relocating some of the other Snorkels, but after Snorkel 7 was destroyed he had to relocate Snorkel 6 to the north side. Once again the city didn’t want to hire more firefighters to properly staff all of the fire companies after 1967, so Gerald Maatman the consultant was told to find a way to run the fire department on the same budget without having to hire more men.
Some of his recommendations were good which included adding useful equipment like K-12 saws and ladder pipes to trucks, and multi-versals to engines. He also recommended that air masks be put on the engines and trucks, which the CFD was extremely slow in doing. This didn’t really occur until the late 1970s and early 1980s. On some of the basic concepts, the CFD was way behind other fire departments.
Most of the new fire stations that were built in the 1970s were due to recommendations of the report. Engine 70 and Truck 47’s new house was recommended by Maatman in 1968. If the city would have been willing to hire more firefighters, then the report wouldn’t have had to organize four-man company districts and recommend that special companies be cut. By the way, did you know that in 1968, the last full year that Snorkel Squad 3 and Snorkel Squad 2 were in service, they were the busiest companies in Chicago. Snorkel Squad 3 had 5,952 incidents and Snorkel Squad 2 had gone out on 5,117 runs.
This wasn’t bad when you consider that Snorkel Squad 3 hadn’t been running with a Snorkel since January of 1967 and Snorkel Squad 2 had also stopped running with a Snorkel by mid 1968. In those years, all the styles of squads that Chicago had been running with were automatically dispatched to still alarms with the engines and trucks. They didn’t wait for a confirmation of a working fire, so there were an awful lot of “hold the squad” messages and squad turn backs.
As the Snorkel Squads were the only rigs with the K-12 saws, multi-versals, and back mounted air masks, you would have all three of the Snorkel Squads respond on the same 2-11 alarms citywide. In 1967 and 1968 they first started putting power saws on the truck companies and multi-versals on the engines, so there was less of a dependence on the Snorkel Squads for that basic type of equipment. Air masks weren’t put on engines and trucks until the latter half of the 1970s.

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