Archive for June 20th, 2014

Gary Fire Department – sad state of affairs

The Northwest Indiana Gazette had an article discussing the dire conditions facing the Gary Fire Department last week:

Gary activist LaVetta Sparks-Wade has confirmed that Gary has just three working fire trucks.  That is 50% better than a day ago, when just two fire trucks protected the entire City of Gary while the mayor and about 100 other paid consultants were at IUN discussing the airport.  Sources confirm that poor maintenance is the primary reason for the lack of fire trucks.  The city has relied on mutual aid agreements for any fires which require more than two trucks.

Mutual aid agreements are intended to cover only extraordinary circumstances, however, and there is no possibility that Gary could provide aid to a neighboring community under any circumstances.  Indiana Law states that mutual aid agreements are to  “more adequately address emergencies that extend or exceed a jurisdiction’s emergency response capabilities . . . ” (See IC 10-14-6.5: Chapter 6.5. Interstate Mutual Aid Agreements)

Last year Mayor Freeman-Wilson cried at the county council, urging passage of the County Option Income Tax.  The mayor stated that she needed the money for fire equipment.  Since that time, the city has given $3M to Vance Kenney for a private land deal at 504 Broadway, hired Mary Cossey as a contractor for $7,000 per month, and provided another contract to Don Vicari at the airport.  Additionally, the City of Gary agreed to pay over $800,000 in consulting fees that the airport board refused to pay.

Police vehicles are also in a state of total disrepair according to my sources.  One source stated that Gary police officers were considering filing a complaint with OSHA due to the vehicles being unsafe.

The mayor, fire chief, chief of police and several other city officials drive new Chevy Tahoe hybrid vehicles which appear to be in good working order.

While the Gazette does not have access to Gary’s Mutual Aid Agreements with other municipalities, the following agreement is illustrative of one:

This agreement is entered into between _________________________ County Fire Protection District
No. _______ and _________________________ County Fire Protection District No. _______, municipal
corporations of the state of Washington.
This agreement is entered into under the authority of RCW 52.12.031.
1. Each of the parties owns and maintains equipment for the suppression of fires and for the
supplying of emergency medical services. Each of the parties also retains firefighting personnel
who are trained to provide various levels of emergency medical services.
2. In the event of a major fire, disaster, or other emergency, each of the parties will need the
assistance of the other party to provide supplemental fire suppression and emergency medical
service equipment and personnel.
3. Each of the parties has the necessary equipment and personnel to enable it to provide such service
to the other party in the event of such an emergency.
4. The geographical boundaries of each party are located in such a manner as to enable each party to
render mutual aid service to the other.


thanks Dan

More from the Northwest Gazette:

Just a day after the Gazette reported that just three fire engines protect the 54 sq mile City of Gary, a house fire required mutual aid from Lake Ridge, Hobart and Merrillville departments.  The fire at 19th & Delaware was in an abandoned home.  LaVetta Sparks-Wade was on scene and stated “They didn’t have the equipment they needed but they got it done. Prevented the fire from spreading to neighboring structures. Thanks guys!”

The City is expected to take delivery of two leased fire trucks this week bringing the total to 5.  Fire safety standards call for the City of Gary to have 13 available engines at all times.

thanks Scott

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Smeal Buys US Tanker

From the Smeal Facebook page:

Smeal has agreed to purchase U.S. Tanker Fire Apparatus, LLC (UST) effective July 1st. The acquisition expands Smeal’s product offering to include stainless steel custom and commercial tankers, tenders, and other apparatus. Smeal already offers a full line of custom and commercial pumpers and the largest selection of aerial apparatus models in the fire apparatus industry. US Tanker Fire Apparatus

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New rescue pumper for Wauconda

Some images of Wauconda’s new Squad 341.

Ferrara MVP fire engine

New Ferrara rescue pumper for Wauconda. Shaun Unell photo

rear chevron striping on fifre engine

Rear view of the new Wauconda squad. Shaun Unell photo

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