Archive for January 1st, 2015

5-11 Club Support Services

The Chicago SunTimes has an article on the 5-11 Club Canteen Service

As water misted off firehoses, splashed from puddles and froze on the gear of firefighters early Wednesday at an extra-alarm blaze in the South Loop, Russell Harmon stood by with a steaming pot of coffee. Harmon, 58, got a page about 3:30 a.m. and left his West Loop home minutes later. He’s part of the 5-11 Club, a group of volunteers who show up to major fires to hand out coffee and hot chocolate to firefighters and other emergency personnel.  Four 5-11 Club volunteers arrived in one of the group’s two trucks, which are stored at Chicago firehouses. In the summer, they hand out cold drinks. The club derives its name from the call sign reserved for the most severe fires. They will arrive at all fires that are 2-11 and above.

The temperature hovered at 7 degrees with subzero wind chills.

“We went through four pots of coffee and a couple hundred cups of hot chocolate pretty quick,” Harmon said.

“We pulled up and there were 30 guys waiting for something warm,” said Jim Mitidiero, a fellow volunteer. “A lot of these guys have icicles on their gear … by the time we got there, they’d been fighting the fire for more than an hour,” Mitidero said.

“I tell people people, ‘The colder it gets, the better my coffee and hot chocolate tastes,” joked Mitidiero, a retired Chicago police officer.

“You hand them something warm, and they’re very, very thankful. But we just want to say thank you to them for putting their lives on the line, so it’s weird to hear them say thanks,” said Harmon, a retired CTA switchman.

There are about 50 volunteers from all walks of life in the group, but only 10 who regularly operate the trucks, more commonly known as canteens.

… the truck, in a previous life, was used by the fire department’s scuba team.

thanks Dan

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Working fire in Buffalo Grove, 12-30-14

This from Larry Shapiro:

During the late evening hours of December 30th, the Buffalo Grove FD was notified that a resident had extinguished a small fire outside of a townhouse unit at 211 Winding Oak Lane. Engine 26 was sent to investigate and verify that the fire had been extinguished, but instead found that the fire had made it’s way under the rear sliding door into the crawlspace of the unit.

The alarm was upgraded from an investigation to a working fire response bringing assistance from Arlington Heights, Long Grove, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, Palatine, and Wauconda. The flooring of the unit was almost totally removed to expose the crawlspace and verify that the fire was contained to the one unit.


firemen gear up to make entry

Larry Shapiro photo

firemen use saw to cut plywood floor

Larry Shapiro photo

fireman with fire hose and smoke

Larry Shapiro photo

Ferrara tower ladder at night

Larry Shapiro photo

firemen pull supply hose of engine

Larry Shapiro photo

firemen access crawlspace fire

Larry Shapiro photo

fire on wooden deck

Larry Shapiro photo

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