Archive for October 17th, 2014

Chicago labels dangerous buildings with red ‘X’ (more)

WBEZ radio has an updated article about Chicago’s Red-X program for labeling dangerous buildings:

Earlier this year, Curious City reported on a small symbol with a big impact on Chicago’s built environment. Now we’ve got an update.

In June we brought you the story of Chicago’s red “X” — sturdy, metal signs that the Chicago Fire Department affixed to 1,804 vacant properties between June 2012 and July 2013. Not every vacant building received a sign, just those that could pose a hazard to firefighters and other first responders in the event of an emergency there.

Chicago firefighter Edward Stringer lost his life when a vacant laundromat collapsed during fire.

Since our story ran in June, several city officials have said they wanted to see the program continue. Ald. Debra Silverstein, who sponsored the original red “X” ordinance, told us she wanted to find more money for the program. At least since WBEZ first reported that the program had run out of money, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says they’ve been hunting “anywhere [they] can” for more grant funding. But now the department talks about the program in the past tense.  “We have not seen where any such money is readily available,” says Langford. “We did not get new funding and expanded the electronic side of the system to continue the awareness for first responders.”

The city affixed 1,804 red X signs to buildings deemed structurally unsound. The fire department won’t put up any new red “X” signs for now, Langford says, but it will continue to register dangerous and structurally unsound buildings in an electronic database called the CAD, or Computer Aided Dispatch system, administered by the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).

Langford says the electronic system works like this: When dispatch is alerted of a fire at a specific address, they pull up information on that location using the OEMC database. Firefighters print out that information before they leave the firehouse, but it will also appear on firefighters’ mobile terminals on site — in red letters. So from the firefighter’s perspective, Langford says, the electronic information communicates the same information as the red “X” was designed to provide.

The electronic alert system is not dependent on grants, unlike the red “X” program, which was funded through a $675,000 award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

… Langford says, the electronic database is enough. “The OEMC system allows us to achieve the goal of protecting firefighters,” Langford says, “without having to mark buildings.”

And just like the red “X” signs, the information communicated by the OEMC system isn’t meant to rule out entry for first responders, just to advise caution in certain circumstances.

thanks Dannis

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As seen around … North Maine

Images from Tim Olk of the new engine for the North Maine FPD

Spartan ERV fire engine

Tim Olk photo

North Maine FPD decal

Tim Olk photo

fire engine law tag

Tim Olk photo

back of fire engine with chevron striping

Tim Olk photo

fire engine pump panel

Tim Olk photo

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As seen around … Addison

This from Tim Right:

I was able to catch a couple pictures of Addison 72 and Addison Quint 73.  The old engine next to Quint 73 is for sale and now that seems to just keep moving from station to station.

Addison Fire District fire trucks

Tim Right photo

Addison Fire District fire trucks

Tim Right photo

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