Archive for October 6th, 2014

Elburn firefighters technical rescue training

The Kane County Chronicle has an article about a unique training opportunity for firefighters with the Elburn & Countryside FPD.

As members of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District waited for dispatch to sound the start of a machine entrapment drill Thursday afternoon, Chief Kelly Callaghan said training exercises are common for his team.

But he and training officer Lt. Mike Huneke acknowledged [the] technical rescue team drill at the Lafarge gravel pit was different. In entrapment situations, Huneke said, the [plant] workers would be valuable because they know how the machinery works … Conducting drills on site rather than at a training facility gives [firefighters] a chance to see what they might encounter during a real-life situation … Upon arrival, the [firefighters] climbed a series of stairs on a piece of machinery to reach a rescue mannequin several stories [up].

Plant manager Doug Averkamp said he invited the fire district to the work site because in his industry you always have to be prepared

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Alsip works to educate the public on today’s fires

ABC7 has an article to educate the public about the speed and heat involved with house fires:

You now only have about 3 minutes after the fire alarm goes off, to get out of your home safely. That time has dramatically dropped over the years — it used to be 17 minutes.

… the Alsip Fire Department [created two room mockups]. … one full of older or antique furniture, made of cotton, wool and down. The other the was a typical a home with newer, synthetic furniture made with chemicals like polyurethane and hydro-carbons.

Firefighters and other safety experts lit both rooms at the same time using a candle. In just one minute and thirty seconds, flames raged through the newer furnishings in what firefighters call a “flashover.” The old furniture burned slowly. It takes more than 13 minutes to “flashover.”

“The products now-a-days are all synthetic,” says Thomas Styczynski, Fire Chief Village of Alsip. “They are hydrocarbons, a solid form of gasoline if you will. They will ignite quicker, they give off different gasses. Besides carbon monoxide, they give off cyanide gases, all those which are toxic to humans.”

And it’s not just furniture causing faster fires. Research at Underwriter Laboratories in Northbrook has shown that the modern construction materials can put you at a higher risk. “Lightweight construction uses laminated beams and trusses and under normal circumstances these are great,” says Ron Hazelton. “But in fire they collapse much sooner than conventional wood.”

“What happens with solid wood is it begins to burn from the outside in, so the outside may char but the interior of it the structural integrity is there so it tends to fail slowly and you know when it is going to go,” Hazleton says. “This burns hotter and more quickly, and when it fails, it fails almost instantaneously.”

… most people aren’t going to buy all vintage furniture. Some residents are paying 2 percent more on new construction to install sprinklers. It’s even more expensive to retrofit them in existing homes, but you can also be eligible for an insurance discount. Don’t want the extra cost? You can also change batteries every six months in working smoke detectors , organize furnishings so there is space and limit how many items you have, especially in smaller rooms

Firefighters also say you can keep doors closed as much as possible in your home. That will keep a fire from spreading quickly from room to room.

More than 90 communities in Illinois require sprinklers in new construction single family homes and townhomes, but that’s not an option for most people so you need to be vigilant.

Check smoke detectors and make sure wiring, furnaces and appliances are working properly.

thanks Dan

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As seen around … Gary, IN

This from reader:

I snapped the attached photo during a visit to Gary this past summer.  The station in the picture is a former fire station, #10 I believe that was damaged in a flood several years ago.  Sadly it has been abandoned and left to rot. A sad display of the total mismanagement of that city.  The living conditions inside some of the other stations are pretty bad too. Vehicle breakdowns are a matter of routine and there are few if any spare rigs.  Their story needs to be spread so that the media gets involved and tries to get some answers from the Mayor and fire chief.  They are co-conspirators in the mismanagement of that department.
abandoned fire station

Vacant fire station in Gary, IN.

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