Archive for December 9th, 2017

Elgin Fire Department news

Excerpts from there

The Elgin City Council appears inclined to cut firefighters’ overtime by $700,000 to help balance the 2018 general fund. On-shift staffing would be reduced to 32 from 34 firefighters at seven stations, yet city officials said that personnel responding to ambulance calls — which represent 80 percent of fire calls — would not be affected.

Councilman Rich Dunne, a former fire marshal, said at Wednesday’s council meeting the overtime cut would negatively affect safety, response times, and the department’s insurance rating. He proposed avoiding overtime cuts by increasing revenue. , including taking on fire alarm monitoring, buying into a larger health insurance pool through the state firefighters’ association, and leasing equipment.

Only one councilman supported Dunne’s motion. The others said they want to stick with the plan while looking into boosting revenue next year.

Elgin Association of Firefighters Local 439 has been lobbying to avoid the overtime cut, saying the department needs more, not fewer, people on shift. Union officials have asserted in recent weeks that firefighters’ injuries have increased since 2005, when the department switched to a high-overtime model. City officials say that’s not true.

Local 439 President Joe Galli said data from the fire department’s internal database shows injuries rose from 2 in 2002 to 60 in 2016, with a high of 98 in 2011. But the city’s risk management department data shows that there were 48 injuries in 2002 and 60 in 2016, with a high of 107 in 2011.

“Mr. Galli’s information is wrong,” City Manager Rick Kozal said. “Records retained by the city’s risk management department do not show any discernible trends with firefighter injuries. The staffing changes at fire stations 1 and 2 pose no additional safety risks to the firefighters.”

“If (Kozal) is disputing them now, we are not offended, but show us where they (the numbers) are. Prove it to us. Why wouldn’t you want to show it to us?” Galli said. 

Cogley said the union could have asked the risk management department for the data.

The firefighters’ contract ends Dec. 31, and the union has asked the city to engage in interest-based bargaining, which involves a federal mediator. The union said the process would be speedier and allow quicker implementation of agreed-upon revenue-boosting measures. The last time, contract negotiations lasted more than two years.

“The city has successfully bargained with its collective bargaining units using traditional methods and believes that is the best means for reaching agreement with the firefighters’ union,” Kozal said.

thanks Dan

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Chicago Fire Department historian Ken Little

Chicago FD historian and retired senior fire alarm operator Ken Little passed away this week. Ken was well known for his co-authoring of four volumes of the history of Chicago firehouses with Father John McNalis and conducting bus tours highlighting Chicago Fire Department historical events.

Kenneth F. Little retired Senior Fire Alarm Operator for the Chicago Fire Department. Beloved husband of the late Alice nee Bychowski . Loving father of Kenneth, Robert (Kimberlee), Stephen C.F.D (Rhonda), Philip (Lee), Richard, Raymond Mary Ellen (Steve) Cooper, Anna (Ron) Stargardt, Rita (Rich) Carlson, and the late Thomas. Proud grandfather of Timothy, Christine, Kevin , and Jenna. Dear brother of the late Robert. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews. Visitation Monday, December 11 from 3 pm to 9 pm at Cumberland Chapels 8300 W Lawrence Ave, Norridge. Friends and Family are asked to meet Tuesday at 10:15 am at St Michael Church 1633 N Cleveland Ave Chicago for 10:30 am mass of Christian Burial. Interment will take place privately Wednesday at All Saints Cemetery. Ken was a longtime teacher of Chicago History at Wright Jr. College. In lieu of flowers donations to the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago, 517 Senon Dr. Lemont, Illinois 60439 – 4093 would be appreciated Info (708) 456-8300 or www.

Excerpts from

The Chicago Fire Department’s historian — retired Senior Fire Alarm Operator Kenneth Little — has died at the age of 84.

Fire Department Chaplain Father John McNalis says phone conversations with Ken Little would often start with a question from Little:

“‘Do you have a minute?’

“And if you said yes, the next time you looked at the clock, it could be anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes later. And he just talked, and you’d go, ‘I can’t remember what we started with.’”

Father McNalis worked with Ken Little to produce four volumes of the history of Chicago firehouses. The job took 16 years.

“He never forgot anything.  He knew all of the details and could rattle off names and times and companies that responded, where he was when the call came in.”

McNalis says Little grew up in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. His funeral Mass will be at St. Michael’s.


Video of Ken at work at the old Main Fire Alarm Office at beginning of this video for the first 16 seconds

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4-Alarm fire in Calumet Park, 12-8-17

This from Eric Haak:

I arrived at this incident in Calumet Park just short of an hour and a half after the first in engine. The rear of the building was brought under control about 10 minutes after I arrived and after that, there was not much firefighting left to shoot other than rigs. 

Alsip fire engine at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

huge flames during apartment building fire

Eric Haak photo

huge flames during apartment building fire

Eric Haak photo

Riverdale fire engine at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

elevated master streams battle fire

Eric Haak photo

Merrionette Park fire truck at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Orland Fire District ladder truck at work

Eric Haak photo

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Knollwood Fire Department news (more)

From the

On December 7, 2017, the City of Lake Forest and the Village of Libertyville presented a joint draft proposal for Fire, Emergency Medical and Fire Prevention Services to the Rockland Fire Protection District (RFPD) that will be considered by the Libertyville Village Board at its December 12, 2017 meeting.  Lake Forest and Libertyville believe the proposal is a comprehensive and cost-effective partnership, providing residents of the RFPD with the long-term benefits of full-time services from two professional fire departments, more efficient initial emergency response forces and more effective back-up support. 

The proposal includes the employment opportunity for existing volunteer personnel to continue to service the community and to train with other members of the Lake Forest Fire Department, as well as possibly using, repurposing or selling existing fire apparatus, equipment and facilities, all benefiting RFPD taxpayers.

Lake Forest and Libertyville firefighters and paramedics have worked side by side with the dedicated volunteers of the RFPD for many years.  The City of Lake Forest and the Village of Libertyville have provided or are now providing emergency services to the District. 

The communities initiated discussions in 2012 on improving efficiencies and the economic benefits associated with joining forces.   Conversations have continued, and earlier this year, the RFPD Board requested a proposal from both Libertyville and Lake Forest.  After thoughtful consideration, both municipalities concluded that by working together, a plan could be developed that focuses on high-quality, full-time services from their two professional fire departments providing: 1) enhanced emergency and fire response and 2) improved cost-effectiveness to all residents of the District.

The City of Lake Forest and the Village of Libertyville believe this proposal meets the important goals of enhancing services, reducing costs and respecting the values and traditions of the RFPD. 


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