Archive for May 28th, 2017

State mandated consolidation of 911 dispatch centers

Excerpts from the

The consolidation of 911 emergency dispatch services in Lake County continues following passage of a state law requiring it in 2015, but a separate effort involving a Lake County 911 Emergency Dispatch Task Force is also moving forward.

The task force met to go over a study they commissioned which shows the current status of dispatch services in the county and possible cost savings from consolidation.

Titled the “Complexity of Current Environment” in the report summary, the study found that there are 52 municipalities, 41 law enforcement agencies, 30 fire/EMS agencies, 21 Emergency Telephone System Boards (ETSBs) and 20 communication centers or dispatching centers in Lake County.

The state law, Public Act 99-0006, required any municipality or city with a ETSB board and no dispatch center to consolidate with another system that had a dispatch center. The law did allow governments with more than 25,000 residents to keep their ETSB if they had a dispatch center. Those larger than 25,000 in population but without a dispatch center also had to consolidate.

David Dato, a retired Wauconda fire chief, is chairman of the county task force that is looking to consolidate as many 911 emergency dispatch centers as possible. The study showed how presently there are 20 such facilities with 233.5 full time equivalent (FTE) employees, but if there were nine centers, they would only need 228 FTEs and save about $400,000. If they fully consolidated into just two facilities with 192 FTEs, there could be savings of $2.3 million, he said.

“That’s in the first year,” Dato said. “But the biggest thing is that we have a lot of 911 call transfers (among departments). A person calls and they get center A, they need police or fire at their location and they could be transferred to center B or center C.” 

Meanwhile, because of the state law, entities like Zion and Winthrop Harbor are considering consolidation.

With the county’s ETSB serving 17 communities and approximately 220,984 residents, local officials took the lead to form the task force.  McHenry County has just one ETSB, and Will County, which is very similar to Lake County, also has just one, and six of its dispatch centers were consolidated into three.

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Lisle-Woodridge Fire District news

Excerpts from

Edward Hospital’s EMS (Emergency Medical Services) “Run of the Quarter” for January-March 2017 has been awarded to the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District, Station 52. Fire district personnel were recognized for care they provided to a patient who was initially treated for an allergic reaction to medication, but who paramedics noticed was exhibiting symptoms of a heart attack. After being taken to Edward Hospital, it was discovered one of the patient’s coronary arteries was 100 percent blocked. Following treatment that included the placement of a stent to keep the artery open, the patient left the hospital a few days later.

In the “Run of the Quarter” program, the Edward EMS Team reviews runs by pre-hospital providers and selects one to be recognized every three months based on the following criteria:

  • Excellent communication from the field that resulted in the timely delivery of pertinent clinical information to the Edward Emergency Department staff
  • Clear and thorough documentation
  • Superior clinical assessment skills that resulted in accurate recognition of a clinical situation
  • Behavior exceeding the call of duty in the field
  • Superior partnership and teamwork with Edward Hospital

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Naperville Fire Department news

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The sound of a bugle playing Taps resonated along the Riverwalk in Naperville just after 8:30AM Thurs., May 25, coming from the direction of the Firemen’s Memorial Park along Jefferson Avenue.

Uniformed Naperville firefighters, city officials as well as friends and family had come to the Annual Naperville Fallen Firefighter Remembrance Ceremony to pay tribute to the memories of Lieutenant Richard Rechenmacher, Engineer Jerry Herring, Firefighter Bernard Petrowski and Lieutenant G.S. Winckler.

According to an entry in the Illinois Fire Service Institute Firefighter Record, “On December 7, 1970, the Naperville Fire Department received an alarm at 7:55AM for a house fire west of the city. Firefighters immediately responded, but a fire truck carrying five firefighters collided with a semi-trailer truck at the intersection of Illinois Routes 59 and 65. Several fatal car accidents had occurred at the intersection during the preceding years and traffic lights had been installed at the intersection only two weeks prior to the accident.

“Lieutenant Richard Rechenmacher, Engineer Jerry Herring, and Firefighter Bernard Petrowski, who were riding in the cab of the fire truck, were all thrown from the vehicle by the collision and killed instantly. Firefighter Mike Hill, who was also riding in the truck’s cab, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but Firefighter James Heinke, who was riding on the tailboard of the fire truck, escaped injury. Mutual aid responders from the Moecherville Fire Department responded to the house fire, and the Downers Grove Fire Department sent firefighters and fire apparatus to Naperville to assist with fire calls.”

Twenty-one years later, another IFSI incident report reads, “On October 18, 1991, Lieutenant George Winckler of the Naperville Fire Department died in the line of duty during a training exercise. Winckler, who had been with the department since 1965, suffered a heart attack during a live burn training exercise at the department’s training tower. About ten minutes into the exercise, Winckler exited the tower and collapsed. The other firefighters immediately started CPR and called an ambulance, and Winckler was taken to Edward Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“On October 22, 1991, Winckler’s funeral was held at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Naperville. More than 100 fire apparatus from neighboring departments took part in the funeral procession, in which Winckler’s casket was carried in an antique fire truck to Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery.”

According to Ruthi Sommers at the Naperville Fire Department, every year in late May, officials hold the Naperville Fallen Firefighter Remembrance Ceremony at Firemen’s Memorial Park.

And every year the public is reminded of the risks local firefighters/paramedics are prepared to take every day in the line of duty as they serve to keep the community safe. In fact, members of fire departments around the world often are the first uniformed officials to arrive at fires, car accidents and other emergencies, likely the reason they have earned respect and the name of “first responders.”

Firemen’s Memorial Park is located at 1072 W. Jefferson Ave., just west of the DuPage River and the entrance to the Riverwalk.

thanks Dan

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Countryside Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

On Wednesday, part-time Countryside Fire Protection District Firefighter David Senescu was surrounded by coworkers, whom he considers to be his family, and the team of doctors who saved his life four months ago when he had a heart attack while on duty.

The gathering at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville gave Senescu another opportunity to thank the people who are responsible for him being alive today.

Senescu recalled how Jan. 6 started like any other workday, but by the end of that night his whole life was changed.

It was Friday night when he started his shift at the firehouse, but something wasn’t quite right. “I wasn’t feeling my best, but I wasn’t feeling a heart attack either,” Senescu said. His discomfort persisted, and since he had eaten a spicy chili meal for dinner, he thought an antacid might help. He also gave in to his vice and smoked a cigarette.

The following hours were a whirlwind of action in probably the best place he could have been, with paramedics who paid attention to the signs and hooked him up to a monitor that showed he was in distress.

While enroute to the hospital, Countryside Firefighter Daniel McCormick and Firefighter Mike Raasch used a defibrillator three times on Senescu.

“I woke up at one point and heard Mike screaming my name. I asked him what he was screaming for. I thought I had just closed my eyes, but they said they had just shocked me,” Senescu said. “If it wasn’t for those guys, I wouldn’t be here.”

On Wednesday, Senescu said his close call with death has taught him a valuable lesson that he won’t forget or take for granted. Having been a smoker for close to 30 years and quitting suddenly has been a challenge, said the father of two boys, but he added that it’s a challenge he’s willing to take on. He is working to get healthy enough to go back to work at the fire station and be on the other end of a defibrillator, saving other lives along his coworkers.

thanks Dan

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