Archive for February 14th, 2015

Kankakee firefighter with ALS leaves work

Excerpts from

Derek Hogg, 32, walked out of the Kankakee Public Safety building for the last time Friday. His six and a half year career as a firefighter was cut short by ALS.

“I like putting on the uniform. I like going to work. I like the way my boy looks at me when he sees the badge on,” Derek said.

Derek, his wife Holly and their two young boys are now faced with trying to get by on a social security disability check of about a thousand dollars a month.

“Not only do I have to worry about losing my husband, the father of my kids, I have to somehow figure out how we’re going to support our children. I have no idea,” Holly said.

On June 1, Derek would have achieved seven years on the job and qualified for a disability pension of $3200 a month, which is money that would go to holly after his death.

However, Kankakee city officials say Derek has to leave now, because he can no longer perform his duties as a firefighter, and his time on light duty has run out.

Derek’s co-workers had volunteered to work his shift until he qualified for the pension, but Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein refused to allow it, saying that would be bending the rules and set a dangerous precedent.

“Derek is a great firefighter. Outstanding firefighter,” said Kankakee Alderman James Stokes. Alderman Stokes, who’s also a firefighter, said many residents are angry the city has seemingly turned its back on Derek.

Derek and Holly are also hiring a lawyer to explore whether Kankakee violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and they’ve filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

However, that could take months, even years to litigate, which is time Derek simply doesn’t have. He left work Friday for the final time, but is still hoping for a miracle. “I’m still optimistic that one day I’m going to be a fireman again,” Derek added.

thanks Dan

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Chicago park dedicated to fallen firefighters

Excerpts from the Chicago Tribune:

On Thursday morning, Firefighter/Paramedic Patrick King and Firefighter Anthony Lockhart – who died fighting a fire on Feb. 11, 1998 – were recalled at the scene of their deaths. They died fighting a fire in the Beverly Tire Store when the roof collapsed. That site is now home to a park named for the men and that’s where the King Lockhart Memorial Statue was dedicated on a bitterly cold morning.

King’s widow, Gina … her thoughts are seldom far from what happened that night at 10615 S. Western Ave. “It seems like it happened last month. Time, they say, heals all wounds. That’s not true,” said Gina, who still wears a necklace bearing a smaller version of her husband’s badge, No. 1407.

Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago called the statue and park reminders “that despite the training and the best equipment available at the time, things can go wrong and do go wrong. This is a dangerous job. We strive to have everyone go home safely. It doesn’t always work out that way. Some described this fire as a routine alarm, but we in the fire service know nothing is routine in this job. There are many places in this city where firefighters lost their lives. This land is unique because it became a park.”

… the park has walking paths and a couple benches – along with bronze boots where each man’s body was found –

The statue by sculptor Marshall Svendsen serves as “a reminder of what firefighters and paramedics are all about. It’s not about them, it’s about others,” said the Rev. Thomas Mulcrone, chaplain of the Chicago Fire Department.

thanks Dan

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Chicago FD history – the Joker Stand

The following is a video from the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago

This video is of the Chicago Fire Dept’s. former “Joker Stand” that was used in Chicago firehouses for over 90 years until it was replaced by the O.E.M.C. and computer aided dispatching in the mid 1990’s.

thanks Dan

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