Archive for May 5th, 2018

Rockford Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Rockford Fire Department added Epi, a nearly 2-year-old arson dog, to the department back in December. In just those short 4 months, Epi has been able to make two arson arrests herself. The department says she was able to sniff out the suspect all the way back to their house to make the arrest.

With the new addition of four paws and a keen nose, the department says they have seen an increase in the amount of evidence found during arson investigations.

“Two years I’ve been an arson investigator, I think I’ve maybe taken 30-40 samples in those two years. I’ve taken well over 40 with her in just the last few months,” Rockford Fire Arson Investigator John McGee said.

Epi recently traveled to California for her ATF re-certification and received 100 percent on her exam.

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Joliet Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from

Joliet will not convert a damaged tower ladder into a quint, a move that was opposed by firefighter unions when it was proposed in February to control overtime costs. The Joliet City Council this week approved a new proposal to spend $85,000 to repair the damaged basket and keep it as a tower ladder. The 17-year-old tower ladder was damaged during a fire call on Christmas day. Formhals said it will eventually need to be replaced.

Firefighters, who packed a February council meeting when the quint plan was on the agenda, argued that the use of quints also reduces tools available to fight fires and are less effective. The conversion of the tower ladder to a quint would have cost $183,000.

Fire Chief Joseph Formhals had also proposed buying a demo-quint for $842,000 to replace the department’s one aging quint. He said the discussion with unions could continue until the next union contract talks. The contract runs through 2019. He had sought to reduce staffing requirements to cut back on overtime paid to compensate for staffing shortages.

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Fire Muster and Flea Market in Chicago

click on the flyer to download a copy

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3-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 12-22-1989

This from Steve Redick:

Another item from Jim Regan’s archive. This fire occurred on a bitter cold night and resulted in the death of FF Kelvin Anderson of Engine 107. His body was recovered several hours after the height of the fire. I uploaded some images I took at this fire

scene of a 3-11 Alarm fire 12/22/89 where Firefighter Kevin Anderson was killed

Steve Redick photo

scene of a 3-11 Alarm fire 12/22/89 where Firefighter Kevin Anderson was killed

Steve Redick photo

Chicago FD Light Wagon 916

Steve Redick photo


On December 22, 1989, Chicago Fire Department Firefighter Kelvin Anderson of Engine 107, died in the line of duty when the roof collapsed on him during a fire at the Rose of Sharon Church on W. Warren Boulevard. Anderson’s colleagues reported that he was crawling through the church searching for victims when the roof collapsed around 7 p.m. Search and rescue teams labored for more than sixteen hours before Anderson’s body, buried under debris in the church’s basement, was recovered around 11 a.m. the next morning. An autopsy indicated that he had died from asphyxiation and severe burns. Anderson was given full department honors during his funeral, and a plaque in his memory was unveiled at Engine 107’s firehouse in 2001.

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