Archive for May 24th, 2017

Pleasant Prairie Fire Department news

Experts from

Doug McElmury was 18 years old when he was quite literally roped in to helping rescue a girl who had fallen 60 feet off the rocks at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo. An avid rock climber, he and a friend were at the park to scale the cliffs when the girl’s frantic mother asked whether they were the rescue team responding to the mishap.

“So we got to the girl and the rangers came up, but the rangers weren’t trained in rope rescue,” said McElmury, fire chief for the village the last five years.

McElmury, who has since rescued many people and battled dozens of fires, will be retiring from the department on Monday following 28 years service. But it was helping to rescue the girl, who was on a scouting trip when she had slipped from the rocks, that began his long career serving the community.

He and his friend worked together with authorities bringing up the injured girl. After she fell she had struck a ledge 40 feet below before she fell another 20 feet.

McElmury later spoke with the emergency medical personnel about how he might be able to pursue a similar career. They encouraged him to join his local fire department.

In 1981, he started as a volunteer firefighter at the department in Wheatland and worked there for nine years. He worked part-time with an ambulance service in Lake Geneva and was a paid-on-call firefighter for that city’s fire department, as well.

All the while, he also started his own business using his ropes and rescue skills to train local firefighters.

At Gateway Technical College in 1989, McElmury taught a class with Pleasant Prairie Fire Chief Paul Guilbert on basic firefighting. It was Guilbert who encouraged him to apply for a firefighter opening there. He worked his way through the ranks, including a promotion to training officer, then to captain, and assistant chief.

In 2011, when Guilbert retired, McElmury was the interim chief and, eventually, the department’s top administrator. In the short time he has been chief, McElmury has overseen the expansion of the department from its Station 2 location at 8044 88th Ave. to a second location at the village’s main campus.

In the fall of 2015, Station 1 opened at 3801 Springbrook Road, to accommodate larger apparatus bays with new apparatus and specialized fire equipment, including a Zodiac boat, equipment trailer, and an ATV. The newer station also contains semi-private sleeping quarters.

This spring, McElmury and his 38 full- and part-time, and on-call firefighters trained on a new $1.1 million ladder truck that replaced an older truck which had been with the department for at least as long as he has been with it.

He credits the firefighters, support staff and the village’s administration — from community development to public works — for facilitating and anticipating challenges to help the department run smoothly.

He’ll be working part-time as a trainer for a California company that sells the kind of rope that pulled him in to rescue people in the first place.

“I’ll be able to travel round the country working for them teaching rope rescue, which is what my passion is,” he said.

thanks Dan

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New squad for Clarendon Hills (more)

Updated production photos of the new squad being built for the Clarendon Hills FD by Pierce so#30266

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

thanks Scott

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2-Alarm fire in Lake Zurich, 5-20-17 (more)

short video by Larry Shapiro from the 2-Alarm fire in Lake Zurich, 5-20-17 (Wauconda Fire District)


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As seen around … north of the border … in West Allis, WI

This from Crabby Milton:

The West Allis Fire Department had their annual Station 2 open house Saturday, May 20. It was a great time with plenty of apparatus on display. Here are two. The first is the 2016 SEAGRAVE pumper. The second is a 1991 SEAGRAVE ladder. The people I talked to love the new SEAGRAVE pumper. Most of the rigs are PIERCE many of which have had problems with suspension and rust issues. They told me that they have two more SEAGRAVE rigs on  order for next year or perhaps 2019.Please enjoy.

Crabby Milton.

West Allis Fire Department (WI) 2016 Seagrave Marauder II engine

West Allis Fire Department (WI) 2016 Seagrave Marauder II engine.

West Allis Fire Department (WI) 1991 Seagrave aerial ladder.

West Allis Fire Department (WI) 1991 Seagrave aerial ladder.

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