Archive for June 18th, 2014

Chicago labels dangerous buildings with red ‘X’ has a lengthy article explaining Chicago’s red ‘X’ program:

While walking around her Logan Square neighborhood Chicagoan Poppy Coleman noticed something peculiar about two rundown buildings: They bore metal signs emblazoned with a large red “X.”…  she wanted to know more …

Since 2012 nearly 2,000 of these red “X” signs have popped up around Chicago. It’s not hard to find people posting in online forums, wondering aloud whether the red “X” means a building’s condemned, vacant or for sale. This program, meant to save the lives of [firefighters] and others, has run out of money.

On Dec. 22, 2010, firefighters were searching for squatters inside a burning, long-vacant laundromat on the 1700 block of East 75th Street, in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. As firefighters continued their sweep of the building, a wall fell and then the roof collapsed, killing firefighters Edward Stringer and Corey Ankum. Nineteen others were injured.

“When I first became alderman, one of the first visits that I paid was to Fire Chief Mark Neilsen,” said 50th Ward Ald. Debra Silverstein, who sponsored two city ordinances in response. The first ordinance, passed in 2011, required the department to catalogue buildings with bowstring truss construction, a variety that’s prone to collapse during fires.

Silverstein’s second ordinance sought to find and mark all of Chicago’s dangerous buildings. For that program they decided on rectangular metal signs displaying a big red “X”, a symbol used by fire departments in New York City and other some other cities. That iconography comes from a federal program for marking vacant structures.

Chicago doesn’t assign red “X” signs to just any vacant or abandoned building; a sign is a visual cue that a structure is structurally unsound and that firefighters should take precautions when responding to emergencies there.

Since Silverstein’s ordinance passed in June 2012, the Chicago Fire Department has put up 1,804 red “X” signs. That’s less than half of the more than 5,000 vacant properties registered in the city — itself a fraction of the estimated total of vacant and abandoned buildings in Chicago — but CFD Spokesman Larry Langford says it’s a start.

“We picked 1,800 that we wanted to get marked right away,” he says. When the program started, Chicago’s Department of Buildings sent over a list of structurally unsound properties for CFD to add to as they saw fit. The list from the Department of Buildings included a few hundred properties deemed more than 35 percent deteriorated. The department has largely left it up to aldermen and their offices to publicize the signs’ purpose.

There is a process to rehabilitate vacant and abandoned properties, but the city requires owners to obtain special permission before performing work on red x structures. Two years after the program began, however, only one building has successfully been repaired and had its red “X” legally removed.

… this program that was meant to save lives has run out of money. The city received $675,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program to fund the red “X” program. Most of that federal grant money went to two local contractors: AGAE Contractors and M-K Signs. Data obtained by WBEZ show the city spent all of that money over thirteen months starting in June of 2012, and hasn’t put up any new red “X” signs since July 2013.

thanks Dan

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As seen around … Chicago

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.

Here’s a new photo for Engine 16’s house that needs to be updated.
Also housed there are:
  • Ambulance 35
  • 5-1-1
  • 5-1-1A
  • 5-1-11
  • 4-4-12
Field Division South is also located there.
new Chicago fire station

New house for Chicago Engine 16. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

On the site, Truck 51’s photo of their new truck is their previous truck. Shop# E-336 was initially given to Truck 51, but it went back to Crimson and when it returned it was given to Truck 62 (which is correct on the site).
Here is a photo of the current Truck 51 which is now using Shop# E-341. It is a 2010 Spartan/Crimson 103′ RM
Chicago FD Crimson ladder truck

Chicago Truck 51 has been assigned they 2010 Spartan Gladiator Classic/Crimson 103′ rear mount aerial with Shop ID#E-341. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

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South Holland 100th Year Anniversary

fire department anniversary celebration

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