More on the 2-11 at Cermak and State Street.
Video by Steve Redick
Images from Tim Olk of a wall collapse at the Morton Salt storage warehouse on N. Elston Avenue.
What is it that they say … “When it rains, it pours”
A wall collapsed at the Morton Salt building in Goose Island Tuesday afternoon, spilling salt over cars at an Acura dealership but causing no injuries, officials said.
The collapse occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on the side of a long building near Potomac and Elston avenues that carries the Morton Salt slogan, “When it Rains it Pours,” fire officials said.
Tags: Palatine Fire Department
Took in this fire at 8001 s Morgan this afternoon. Heavy fire in rear of house. 2 lines on it with 2 mains to roof.Josh
This from Drew Gresik:
Here’s my shots from Morgan St today. The rest are on my site www.chi-townfirephotos.smugmug.com.
Images and information from Dave Fornell about some of Chicago’s Ward LaFrance apparatus:
I was going through my files and came across some photos of what I’ve always considered as one of my most favorite Chicago pumpers; the seven 1970, Ward LaFrance 2,000-GPM engines. It is interesting to note that the rigs had Cummins NTF high-torque, 365-HP engines that were needed to power the two-stage Hale Q pumps. The five trucks delivered the same year had less expensive Detroit 350-HP powerplants.
After the great snow in 1967, rigs were specified with rear-mounted, 20,000-lb hydraulic winches. Both the engines and trucks sported these. Ward LaFrance, a manufacturer whose performance can be described as somewhat spotty, did a great job on these rigs. I was impressed by the brushed stainless steel pump layout and extremely expensive, but highly accurate, Crosby black face gauges that were provided on the panel. Never seen these used before or since.
The rigs had relatively short wheelbases, but extended bodies behind the rear axle. This body style was also used on Ford chassis pumpers purchased later.
The engines were joined by five trucks mounting 100′ Grove ladders. With today’s NFPA ratings, the ladders, based on Grove 18-ton cranes, would be classified as heavy-duty, with 500-lb tip loads. All of Chicago’s other ladders (ALF, Seagrave, Pirsch) purchased around that time would be medium-duty with 250-lb. tip load ratings.
The Grove ladders were massive and heavy–too heavy to be supported properly by a single axle. The rigs proved troublesome during their service lives with continuous brake and axle failures. The fact that they also had a 300-gallon booster tank, pump, and twin reels didn’t help either. On the other hand, take a look at the ground ladder compliment; 2 ea. 30′, 2 ea. 40′, a 50′, and 20′ carried under the turntable. Three roof ladders were carried each side.
I remember climbing the main of one of these rigs at a fire where the operator positioned the tip about 12″ above the parapet, just like they did with the old wooden ladders that would then drift down as you climbed them. The Grove was rigid, and even with our entire engine stretching a line to the roof for point of vantage operation, that tip never dropped an inch nor did the ladder bounce as all the others did.
Circumstances caused me to come into possession of the original factory delivery photo negatives, which are reproduced here. I’ve also included photos I shot of the engines undergoing acceptance testing near McCormick Place, The rear views show the winch installation. Also note that the two rear discharges had 3-1/2″ boat hose threads (the rigs carried a 700′ bed of it).
When I was fanning on the West Side, Division 2 Chief Dan Lynch would always special call Engine 113 to drop the 3-1/2″ into a Snorkel when he had a still and box.
Two photos show the Grove ladder in operation. The first is at the Bedford Hotel fire on the near West Side early in the 70s. If my foggy recollection is correct, there were two extra alarms working in the city at the time when the Bedford fire hit, and no Snorkels were available. 2nd Deputy Bill Foley, who normally was in charge of the shops, took command. That is the first time that I had ever seen two ladder pipes and no Snorkels working at an extra alarm fire in Chicago.
The second was shot at an extra alarm on the South Side, but its location is lost to history. Another negative scanned at the same time shows Engine 63 operating, so maybe someone can identify the company.
Hope everyone had a great Christmas.
More on the CFD Ward LaFrance apparatus is HERE and by entering Ward LaFrance in the search field
Tags: 1970 Ward LaFrance Grove ladder for Chicago, Bedford Hotel fire in Chicago, Bill Friedrich, Chicago Fire Department history, Dave Fornell, Ward LaFrance Ambassador, Ward LaFrance fire engine in Chicago, Ward laFrance fire engine photos, Ward LaFrance P80 engines in Chicago
An article in the Reporteronline looks describes current challenges with the Chicago Ridge Fire Department:
The Chicago Ridge Fire Department remains at odds with village officials over a variety of hot-button issues including what the firefighters union describes as a “staffing crisis.”
“We are currently faced with more issues than I care to count,” Chris Schmelzer, president of the Chicago Ridge Firefighter’s Union, wrote in an Dec. 13 email to Trustee Bruce Quintos obtained Monday by the Reporter.
“First on the list is the absolutely outlandish possibility of staffing a second station using only current personnel resources. To staff a firehouse with two people is unsafe, reduces services to the entire town, and just simply doesn’t make sense,” Schmelzer wrote.
In an interview Monday, Schmelzer said poor communication between Fire Chief George Sheets and the firefighters remains a serious problem. “There is no communication. We’re coexisting. We’re doing things under threat of discipline,” said Schmelzer, who added the teamwork that existed at the house has transformed into a ”dictatorship.”
Mayor Chuck Tokar said Monday that plans to reopen the Lombard Avenue fire station by Christmas have been delayed until the end of January. But he contends that the decision is a good one. The station will be open 12 hours a day during the period that the fire department receives the most calls, Tokar said.
The decision to reopen the Lombard station was made because it is located closer to the village’s residential area than the fire station in the village’s industrial park. Additionally, providing ambulance service from the Lombard Station would reduce the number of times service is provided by neighboring communities—a service for which residents must pay, Tokar said.
But union officials said there are drawbacks to the plan to decrease response times. “While some residents may see a short decrease in response times for an ambulance, under the new plan, fire protection is eliminated within the entire town every time we get an ambulance call. “The new plan calls for two ambulances to respond to every call, reducing fire response within the village by 100 percent. Nobody is left to answer the next call,” Schmelzer wrote in his email. “To blindly place all of the village’s already limited resources into an ambulance response is short-sighted at best.”
He added that two firefighters who retired in 2014 and were not replaced, a move that places a strain on the department.
“We run with a four-person minimum per shift, as anything less than that would be unsafe, according to all applicable consensus standards, past practice and common sense. Two of the three shifts are currently staffed with four people, creating overtime whenever a member is off,” he said.
“With all but one member having over 10 years seniority on the department and having the commensurate accrued time off, someone is scheduled off the majority of the time. On these shifts, overtime is created every single time someone is off,” Schmelzer said.
“Don’t believe everything that you hear,” he said, adding that decisions regarding the fire department with “the input and cooperation of the union.” “I understand the union’s position, but I represent the taxpayers of Chicago Ridge,” Tokar said.
The union also has issues with the village’s recent decision to purchase a quint, a fire apparatus that has a pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device and ground ladders.
Purchase of the quint led the fire department to remove from the fleet an aerial truck and two pumper trucks, one that is badly rusted and requires significant repair, Sheets said. Those vehicles will be sold and the proceeds will be used to help pay for the quint, he said. The quint will cost $685,000, which will be offset by the $250,000 the village expects to receive for the sale of the three vehicles it is removing from the fleet. A $350,000 state loan could be used to pay for the bulk of the balance, Sheets said.
“To spend three quarters of a million dollars on a vehicle that will, according to the new response plan issued by the department, only be staffed with two people seems like an improper use of resources,” Schmelzer said.
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