Archive for May 29th, 2016

Illinois State funding for LODDs

Excerpts from

Scholarships for the children of Illinois firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty would be funded again under legislation that passed in the Illinois Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill 2051, sponsored by Senator Don Harmon would appropriate $975,000 for college scholarships for children of deceased police officers, firefighters, and correctional officers, as well as $5 million for payment of line-of-duty awards.

The payments have been held up because of the state budget stalemate.

“The least we can do for the survivors of frontline public safety workers who put their lives on the line in service to their communities and to taxpayers is to pay them what we promised to pay them,” Harmon said. “These awards offer some comfort and financial stability to families who face a great deal of uncertainty and hardship when their loved ones die in the line of duty.”

Among those who could benefit because of the legislation is the family of deceased Oak Park firefighter Kenneth K. Harris, 56, a 28-year veteran of the Oak Park Fire Department who died Jan. 11, 2016 of cardiac arrest at his Berwyn home after working a 24-hour shift and an additional six hours of fire prevention work. He is survived by his wife, five children and several grandchildren.

“These scholarships and awards for the survivors are important. When a first responder police officer or firefighter dies in the line of duty, it’s comforting to know that their family is going to be taken care of financially,” said Mike Henkelman, one of Harris’ colleagues at the fire department. “We certainly appreciate Senator Harmon’s efforts with this legislation.”

The Illinois Senate honored Harris this month with memorial resolution, SR 1881, acknowledging his service to the Village of Oak Park and offering condolences to those who knew him.

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Wheaton Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Wheaton Fire Chief Bill Schultz estimates his staff only sees one or two cases per year of animals overcome by smoke inhalation, and they are now equipped with six kits designed to help any pet with a snout breathe easier in the case of a fire. Each kit contains three sizes of masks for small, medium and large pets, including dogs, cats, ferrets and gerbils. The masks work just like a human oxygen mask.

Schultz said the department has had animal oxygen masks in the past, but they were outdated and losing quality over time from being mostly unused.

No official statistics on pet casualties are kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, but industry websites and sources estimate between 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, mostly due to smoke inhalation.

Invisible Fence DuPage donated six pet oxygen mask kits to the fire department earlier this month, after a Wheaton firefighter with a soft spot for pets made the request.

The business is part of a national company that installs electronic dog fence systems and runs Project Breathe, which has resulted in 13,000 donated pet oxygen kits to fire departments in the U.S. and Canada in the past 10 years. Anyone interested in requesting pet oxygen mask kits for their community can do so at

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Prospect Heights Fire District news

From the

At the Mayor’s Breakfast held Saturday, April 30th, Mayor Helmer presented Chief Gould with the PROSPECT HEIGHTS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT award for his 49 years of service to the city as a member of the fire department.

Highlights of Chief Gould’s service with the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District include:
• Started in 1967 as volunteer firefighter cadet when in high school
• Attended Oklahoma State University’s School of Fire Protection
• Rose through the ranks as firefighter, lieutenant, captain, and assistant fire chief
• Appointed as the fire chief in 1988
• Hired as first full-time employee of the fire district in 2000
• Hired the first full-time staff in 2001
• Instrumental in starting paramedic service for Prospect Heights in 1985
• Remodeled and expanded the main fire station in 1991
• Opened the east-side fire station in 2006
• Obtained over $1,800,000 in federal and state grants
• Modernized the entire fleet of vehicles to include the purchase and replacement of ambulances and fire trucks
• Has maintained a healthy, financially sound organization with limited debt and a balanced budget for the past 27 years
• Currently maintains 9 firefighters on duty 24/7/365

Congratulations Chief Gould!

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New ambulance for East Joliet

From the Foster Coach Sales Facebook page:

Brand new Horton conversion on a Ford F450 chassis

East Joliet FPD ambulance

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East Joliet FPD ambulance

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rear of brand new abulance

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new ambulance interior

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Type I ambulance on Ford F450 chassis

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