Archive for August 5th, 2015

CTA elevated train derailment, 8/5/15

This from Eric Haak:

Here are a few images from the CTA train derailment on August 5.  The call came in from CTA who gave an approximate location of 61st and Calumet.  The actual incident occurred just about directly over 63rd Street.  It was a minor derailment and there were no injuries.  Passengers were escorted only about 100 feet to a stairway that led from the tracks to the ground below.  F634 was brought out from Midway by Engine 127 but was not needed.

30-year old fire truck at work in Chicago

Eric Haak photo

30-year old fire truck at work in Chicago

Eric Haak photo

firefighter carries young girl to safety

Eric Haak photo

Chicago fire trucks at train derailment

Eric Haak photo

firemen in tower ladder basket

Eric Haak photo

fire department stairway truck

Eric Haak photo

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Stronger penalties for assaulting police, fire, and EMS workers

Excerpts from the site of Illinois State Senator John G Mulroe:

Individuals charged with assaulting a first responder acting in the line of duty will face greater penalties under a new law sponsored in the Senate by Senator John Mulroe. The proposal was signed into law by the governor.

The language of the proposal would charge individuals who assault first responders acting in the line of their duties with a Class 4 felony rather than a misdemeanor.

Under the previous Criminal Code of 2012, an individual who assaulted a first responder in the line of duty was charged with a Class A misdemeanor provided a weapon was not used. The language in the new proposal states those charges would automatically become a Class 4 felony.  The sentence for a Class 4 felony can carry anywhere from one to three years in prison.

The law becomes effective January 1, 2016.

thanks Dan

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Local firefighters compete on American Ninja Warriors

Excerpts from the

Fellow firefighters like to razz Brandon Mears and Dan Polizzi about being contestants on “American Ninja Warrior.”

“Only every single day, seven days a week,” said Mears, a Streamwood firefighter and finalist on the obstacle course challenge show. They’ll always say “Hey, ninja!” rather than call them by name.

But no one can joke about what fierce physical shape these two men are in. They’re nicknamed “Towers of Power” for good reason: at 6’6″ and 180 pounds, Mears is a cobra-shaped man with a 32-inch waist and lean muscle. Polizzi, an Aurora firefighter, is 6’2″ of solid muscle.

Mears went on to the next level, but Polizzi suffered a finger slip on the rings that knocked him out of the competition — a moment that both tortures and motivates him.

They train together practicing the obstacles that look easy on TV but are extremely difficult. They can jump onto beams with their fingertips, run up and climb over a curved wall, and smoothly swing their bodies around on rings, bars and ropes.

Mears and Polizzi are among five men from the gym to qualify for the show’s regional competition this year — an impressive feat, given that only 600 people are chosen from the original 50,000 who submit videos. The others who made it were Mike “The Stallion” Silenzi of Antioch, Tavares “The Neon Ninja” Chambliss of Wheeling and Ethan Swanson of Chicago.

Of that group, only Mears remains in the running.

The Towers of Power work out six days a week, two to four hours a day, and stick to a disciplined diet.  The hardest part of training, they say, is avoiding injuries. While working out last week, Mears was struggling with elbow pain and Polizzi had a jammed finger, making training even harder.

Both became fans of the show as teens, watching the early Japanese version on the now-defunct G4 network. Mears remembers being 18 years old, sitting on the couch with no job and no direction. His sister asked him what he was going to do with his life, and he said, “I’ll be a ninja warrior.” He bought a pullup bar, and an obsession began. It transformed the shy, unathletic, uninvolved kid — who weighed 130 pounds when he graduated from Willowbrook High School — into a confident, strong, goal-oriented man.

Polizzi, on the other hand, was a multisport athlete and had a knack for climbing and adventure. They both became firefighters, inspired, in part, by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, their paths didn’t cross until they met at an ANW competition in Baltimore. They’ve been friends and training partners ever since.

“We both love adrenaline. You have to, to be a firefighter,” Polizzi said. “But we’re just normal guys.”

thanks Dan

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