Archive for December 24th, 2015

Woodstock Fire Rescue District news

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There will have to be some changes made in the Woodstock Fire Rescue District after its contract was not renewed with the village of Lakewood, Woodstock Fire Chief Ralph Webster said.

Woodstock has staffed Lakewood’s only fire station on Haligus Road for the past five years and the station now will be closing. There are 12 Woodstock Fire Rescue District employees who staff the station, Webster said. He is working on a plan to keep as many of the 12 employees as possible, but they can’t keep everybody.

“There’s gonna have to be some change,” Webster said. “Either reduction in hours spread across all employees, or actually the elimination of some positions.”

The Lakewood Village Board voted, 3-1, with one trustee abstaining to go with a slightly cheaper contract offered by the Crystal Lake Fire Department that tied increases to the village’s tax base over renewing its contract with the Woodstock Fire Rescue District.

Woodstock’s agreement would have cost $750,000 the first year and increase by 1.5 percent each of the next four years, according to a letter sent by Webster to the village. The village also would pay an annual $25,000 capital contribution to go toward equipment purchases.

Under the new agreement, the Crystal Lake Fire Department will continue to operate its Bard Road station – a station that was built when Crystal Lake handled Lakewood’s fire service with serving that territory in mind – with the current staff of four to five personnel, Crystal Lake Fire Chief Paul DeRaedt has said.

Crystal Lake Fire Department services will cost about $744,000 the first year, a number that is based on applying the Crystal Lake Rural Fire Protection District’s tax rate to the village’s property tax base, according to a draft agreement. The underlying calculation would dictate the fee each year for the length of the 10-year agreement, which can be renewed in five-year increments four times.

Webster said he will be presenting his plan to the Woodstock Fire Rescue District Board of Trustees after the new year, and implement changes starting in February.

For Lakewood, the change means it would not be responsible for building a new fire station in the future, and the village can sell its fire equipment and pay off that internal loan, Lakewood Village Manager Catherine Peterson previously said in a memo to the board.

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Post Office named in memory of Fallen CFD Captain Herbie Johnson

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The Mount Greenwood post office was renamed Sunday the “Captain Herbert Johnson Memorial Post Office,” in honor of a beloved fallen Chicago firefighter. Herbie Johnson was an Illinois Medal of Honor winner for rescuing several children from a burning building, and was well known and well liked in the department and in his South Side community. Johnson comes from a big family of fire fighters and police officers.

Humor was a big part of Johnson’s life and no one, including his wife, was afraid to use it Sunday for this dedication ceremony. Known for his larger than life personality and smile, the 32-year Chicago Fire Department veteran was killed while battling a blaze three years ago. Commissioner Jose Santiago had known Johnson well since 1980.

“A tremendous honor, nobody gets a post office named after them, especially for an ordinary guy like Herbie,” Susan Johnson said.

Susan Johnson says while so many people gave her support three years ago, she is doing the same for Dan Capuano’s family. Johnson met with Capuano’s wife, Julie. Johnson says the hardest part is months down the road when everything settles down and everyone goes away.

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Aurora firefighters help families at Christmas

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In between official duties this week, Aurora firemen also will be lending Santa a hand making deliveries of Christmas toys to about 125 families in Aurora.

“We used to put the presents in the back of a pickup truck and go house to house,” Aurora Fire Department Capt. Dan Osman said.

Today, fire trucks are used to deliver the presents, something that is an extra treat for the 400 children receiving gifts.

The Aurora Fire Department first began collecting toys for families in Aurora about 20 years ago, Osman, who is heading up this year’s toy drive along with Battalion Chief Mark Robinson, said.

After Fire Department Union Local 99 purchased Thanksgiving side dishes to accompany turkeys that a local company was distributing to families, local firemen decided to continue the goodwill into the Christmas season by starting a toy drive.

Over the last several weeks, community members have dropped off new and unwrapped toys at one of the nine Aurora Fire Department stations. When families come into a fire station to drop off their donated toys, he said the firemen offer to show families around the station including the fire trucks.

This year, Lt. Jim Rhodes said, “thousands of presents” have accumulated at the nine Aurora fire stations. Each child on the distribution list which is obtained from local schools will receive four to five gifts.

Different groups — either individual families or community groups — wrap the presents. Through a coordinated effort, the presents are distributed to the different fire stations where firefighters in turn deliver the gifts for the children who live within their boundaries.

It’s a great community effort, Rhodes said. “Without the donations from the community, this program wouldn’t work,” he said.

“Seeing the kids’ faces light up brings extra joy to everybody,” he said.

In addition to delivering toys, once again the Aurora Fire Department lent its time as volunteer bell ringers for the Salvation Army. On one day in early December, the Aurora Fire Department collected $1,507. Aurora Fireman Michael Hess, who has organized the Aurora Fire Department’s participation since 2006, said it is always an honor for families to request photos of their children with the firemen when they drop money into the kettle.


thanks Dan

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New engine for North Palos FPD

Current production photos for the new engine for North Palos so 139997

Fire truck being built

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Fire truck being built

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Fire truck being built

E-ONE photo

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