From an automated way to fill holes in scheduling, to ambulances holding mobile cots designed to transport the morbidly obese, in recent years, the Elgin Fire Department has been taking advantage of advances in technology to upgrade its equipment and streamline operations.
Fire Chief John Fahy spoke about these moves at the June 10 City Council meeting.
… inspectors now input information into laptop computers, sending the information directly into the department’s database and sending it electronically to the business (instead of using paper forms)
Another change [is] using computer scheduling software through which messages are sent to off duty firefighters requesting their services to fill absences. The task used to take up to five hours, and now it takes about 30 minutes for a battalion chief to complete.
The department also has been using software for the classroom side of continuing training for firefighters.
On the operational side, among its vehicles the department in recent years purchased a quint for Station 7 on the city’s far west side. A quint is a multipurpose unit equipped with fire pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device, and ground ladders — a combo of a ladder truck and fire engine.
“A host of technological upgrades to our engines have allowed us to turn each and every fire engine in the city into a paramedic engine,” Fahy said.
New cardiac monitors allow Elgin paramedics to communicate electronically with the department’s reporting system. And along with incorporating this new tech, the department has shifted its procedures for cardiac arrest care in the field.
Elgin now uses a NASCAR-like pit crew style for running a full arrest call, assigning specific jobs to paramedics and EMTs in a full arrest scenario in order to make sure that the highest quality CPR can be delivered in the location where the patient arrested. Fahy said this change has raised the number of cases in which patients return to spontaneous circulation from 14 percent in 2013 to 37 percent today.
This city in recent times has been averaging about 8,000 ambulance calls a year, and reports for those runs years ago went digital. … “And reports now can be sent directly to our billing agent” Fahy said.
Two summers ago, the department upgraded an ambulance so that patients weighing up to 700 pounds can be more safely secured and transported.
Two new ambulances delivered June 10 and being readied for the road came equipped with power load systems which have special rails on their cots that adjust to secure patients. Ambulance crews line up the cots with the power load arms, and the system automatically lifts and loads patients.
As for other technologies that might be down the road for the department, Fahy mentioned that the police and fire departments are jointly looking at possibly getting a drone.
Archive for June, 2015
This from Code Photography:
Here are some photos of the Broadview Fire Department doing some training with their burn tower.
During a collaborative research project underway now at the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), researchers are not only testing contaminates on the gear, but on skin as well. They’re also monitoring gases created as furniture and carpeting burn. But, that’s just part of the multi-faceted study involving researchers from IFSI, UL, NIOSH, University of Illinois, Chicago, and Skidmore College.
… 12 Illinois firefighters and researchers got underway [with] Each firefighter [having] blood drawn, vitals and temperatures checked. Urine samples were tested for certain markers as well as hydration. They were equipped with a device that will monitor the heart for the next 12 hours.
Dr. Denise Smith explained that part of the research is determining the impact of firefighting on the cardio-vascular system. “We talk about putting the rig back in service. How long does it take to get a firefighter back in service? We’re looking to see if there are changes hours after the firefighter does their work.”
Each year, dozens of firefighters die not on the fireground, but hours after the incident.
Firefighters participating in the study wore new gear to make sure samples were not skewed. They carried three chemical collection units, smaller than portable radios, in their coat pockets. When they completed their tasks, these was removed and tested.
UL and NIOSH engineers set up sensitive equipment to monitor gases and heat inside the rooms that would burn or exposed to smoke and heat.
UL Research Engineer Robin Zevotek set up thermal sensors from the floor to ceiling two feet apart in rooms that would burn. In other areas, they were placed a foot apart. During the scenario, he would be able to watch the temperatures on a nearby monitor.
In a hallway, devices would capture the data at one, three and five foot levels. The lowest would be where a victim would likely be, while others would be firefighters either crawling or walking.
This from Josh Boyajian:
Berwyn had a garage fire the other night down the street from me at 37th and Harvey. Quint 901 had smoke showing from a 20×20 wood frame garage. They stretched a line and made a quick knock. Here are some shots
This from Asher Heimermann:
The 16th Great Milwaukee Fire Muster was held Saturday, June 27th at Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Oak Creek campus. Antique and present-day firefighting apparatus was on display including Milwaukee Fire Department’s Special Teams (Dive, HAZMAT, Structural Collapse). There were emergency service demonstrations and a flea market. A Flight for Life helicopter made an appearance in the morning.The event was held in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs’ convention.
This from Crabby Milton:
Good Afternoon. Here are several pictures from the Great Milwaukee Muster. It was a great time and good turn out this year.Thank You again for that great site.
Still & Box Alarm fire in a Red-X building on Sunday morning (6/28/15) at 7038 S. Sangamon.
This from Eric Hack:
At approximately 14:45 hrs on Sunday (6/28) afternoon, the South Chicago Heights Fire Department was toned out to the report of a fully-involved structure at 3210 East End Avenue. PD was reportedly on the scene confirming a working incident and the first arriving company immediately requested a MABAS Box. I arrived 30 minutes after the initial call. Departments on the scene included South Chicago Heights, Steger Estates, Steger, Park Forest, University Park, Chicago Heights, Crete, Matteson, Beecher, Richton Park, Flossmor, Homewood and Monee. There may have been more that I did not see. Box # was 7611 for the fire. There was also a HAZMAT Box 7699 for advisors only and a 2nd Alarm Investigator’s Box.
This from Larry Shapiro:
The Prospect Heights Fire District conducted training in a vacant house at 207 South Parkway during the week of June 22nd. I stopped by on Friday, 6/26 to take some photos. Here are a few along with a brief video. More photos are at shapirophotography.net
The Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD responded to a report of smoke in the townhouse at 407 Catbird Lane in an unincorporated section of their district. First arriving units encountered smoke and upgraded the alarm to the Code 4 for the working fire. They made quick work of extinguishing the the fire above one of the 2nd floor bedrooms.
Lincolnshire-Riverwoods units at the scene included Engines 51 and 52, Truck 53, Battalion 51, and Ambulance 52. Mutual aid at the scene was from Wheeling (T24), Buffalo Grove (BN 4 and E26), Prospect Heights (S9), a Lake Zurich ambulance plus chiefs from Long Grove and Countryside.
Excerpts from theChicagoTribune.com:
The Lemont Fire Protection District received a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the support of the Orland Park Firehouse Subs. The grant provided funding for a UTV, a 6-wheel by Polaris.
The Lemont Fire Protection District has over 15 miles of trails, and without the UTV, firefighters can not get back to some of those areas when conditions are wet and snowy. Trucks would get stuck. The UTV is multi-use as it can be fitted for snow as well as being able to be used with a backboard. Another beneficial use is the added 70-gallon water tank with a small hose to put out brush fires especially in those hard to reach areas for the larger trucks. In addition, the department has purchased a trailer to transport the UTV to other communities to assist and use all over the area.
“We appreciate the fact that this was made available for us,” said George Rimbo, Fire Chief of the Lemont Fire Protection District. He added, “Plus they’re awesome subs, I love ’em!”