Archive for December, 2018

Blue Island Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa:

 TBT-Not an apparatus photo, but a question for fire buffs?  Two Blue Island firemen posed in front of their station.  What is that pump behind them?  Air or Gas?
Mike Summa
Blue island Fire Department history

source unknown

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Rockford Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Ryan Curry is an Iraq veteran who does charity work through his group “Beneath the Beard,” which was formed to help military veterans with PTSD.

On Tuesday, some of Curry’s colleagues from the Rockford firefighter’s union invited him out to Old Chicago for lunch. “I was getting a hold of some other people with the fundraising things we were doing, and a police officer came in and said someone had hit my car,” said a surprised Curry. What started as a white lie ended with a wounded Marine vet receiving a much needed pickup truck. 

The Rockford Firefighters Local 413 raises money each year to purchase cars for wounded vets, and Curry was this year’s winner.

“I got wounded in Iraq in 2006, August 30th,” Curry said. “I hit and IED and I hit a lot of them. So, that was my 7th concussion within 30 days, so I had some damage to my frontal lobe. The final time I hit, I put some shrapnel in my body, and severed by ear drums.”

Curry’s mission didn’t end in Iraq. He learned that, in order to help himself, he had to help others. “I felt that this natural, little part of us that helps us, mentally helping somebody else, and that kind of catches on, and that’s where it has kind of gone from,” he said.

Curry’s work with the department involves charity work, collecting donations and delivering them to the people who need them. Over the past few months, firefighters noticed that he was making multiple pick-up runs in his old car. “We raised close to 80 turkeys, and I delivered them to all the veterans in hospice care and people who are in need,” Curry said. “It takes a lot of trips in my old vehicle, so I can load the back of [the new pickup truck] with Christmas gifts.”

“It was important for us to touch base with Ryan and acknowledge his service, and the sacrifice he made,” Firefighter Christopher Scol said. “And not just the sacrifice he made, but when he got back from being deployed [in the military] and dealt with his personal issues and injuries, he continues to serve the community in a capacity that’s just inspiring.”

To help Curry in one of the many causes he is involved in, visit

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Fire service pensions

Excerpts from the

Pingree Grove & Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Mitch Crocetti receives $117,500 a year in his current role, but his pension after his previous 30-year career with the Wood Dale Fire Department also pays him $124,037 annually.

Crocetti is one of at least 15 suburban fire chiefs who are drawing six-figure salaries while receiving pensions and building toward eventual second public pensions, according to a Daily Herald analysis of fire pension records.

He said smaller fire departments benefit by being able to pay lower salaries to retirees on pensions. “That’s how a lot of these smaller departments can afford to have experienced, educated chiefs,” Crocetti said. “Without these kinds of benefits, I don’t know how a smaller community could draw someone.”

However, Naperville Republican state Rep. Grant Wehrli wants to end the perk. He plans to introduce a bill next session that will mirror the legislation he successfully championed last year for police. When that law becomes effective Jan. 1, police retirees who are collecting pensions can’t take new police jobs and be eligible for second pensions.
“It’s an egregious abuse of the pension systems that allows someone to collect a retirement benefit while still working in the same line of work,” Wehrli said.

The 15 chiefs average an annual salary of $137,597 while also receiving pension payouts that average $104,762.

Carol Stream Fire Protection District Chief Robert Hoff makes more from his Chicago Fire Department pension — $122,472 — than he does from his current salary of $113,645. All the others receive more from their current salary than from their pensions.

With his $161,709 salary and $125,624 pension from the Highland Park Fire Department, a total of $287,333, Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax receives the highest combined annual payout of the 15 chiefs. Next year, his 10th with Des Plaines, he becomes vested in his new pension program.

“It’s triple dipping,” argued Madeleine Doubek, vice president of policy at the Chicago-based Better Government Association. “I think most of us believe a pension is supposed to be something that you collect when you’re no longer working a full-time job, and that’s clearly not what’s happening here.”

In Warrenville, Dennis Rogers Jr. is paid to be fire chief while also receiving an Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension as a former sheriff’s deputy. He also participates in the Warrenville Fire District’s pension plan and eventually will be eligible to receive that second pension.

Several more fire chiefs are collecting pensions from their former fire departments or districts but opted for different retirement benefits at their new departments. Some received as much as 15 percent of their annual salaries paid into 401(k)-like retirement programs designed for public employees.

Firefighters contribute about 9.5 percent of their pay toward their eventual pensions. Most fire pension funds expect a 7 percent return on investment income each year. The strength of the fund’s investment returns determines how much money taxpayers owe the fund each year. If the investment target isn’t reached, taxpayers have to pay more.
However, most towns or fire districts haven’t fully funded pensions for years, so most taxpayers these days wind up paying more each year to make up for previous years’ shortfalls.

Crocetti complained that funding shortfalls from the past are the main reason public pensions have come under attack. “I don’t get the right to say I’m going to contribute less than what I’m supposed to and I’ll catch up in a couple years,” he argued. “That’s what started this mess, and now we’ve lost out on all that investment income that we’ll never get back.”

Firefighters get 75 percent of their final salary as a starting pension after 30 years of work. They can begin collecting at age 50. The pension grows 3 percent each year.

Most other public employees can’t have multiple pensions because jobs like teachers, librarians, judges, legislators, city workers, and university professors are all handled under statewide retirement systems. That means a librarian can’t retire from one town after 30 years and start collecting a pension, then go work at a library in a neighboring town and start the pension contribution process all over again. Most other public workers have to put in more than 40 years on the job to maximize their retirement benefits as well.

Meanwhile, there are more than 600 separate and autonomous police and fire pension boards in the state, and that’s the main reason firefighters and police have been allowed to collect pensions and start new ones at different departments.

“There are all kinds of groups out there that recognize the inefficiency of 600 different pension funds,” Doubek said. “There are clearly more efficient ways to do this and not perpetuate the situation, and the legislation for the police ought to be a model for all public employees.”

Wehrli’s bill ends that pension loophole for police in a few weeks. While police won’t be able to start contributing to a new pension from another department or municipality in most cases, theoretically they could get a job with a state agency, as a teacher or even as a legislator and start building a new pension.

thanks Martin

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Two adults were seriously hurt early Tuesday in a fire in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side.

Firefighters responded to a 1.5-story home at 12:15 a.m. in the 6300-block of South Bell Avenue and rescued two people.

One person was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, and another was in serious condition at Holy Cross Hospital. The fire was put out by 1:15 a.m.

thanks Martin

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New area apparatus orders

From Fire Apparatus Magazine: 

Lake Villa Fire Protection District, 107-foot Ascendant aerial ladder quint on a Pierce Arrow XT cab and chassis; 2,000/500. Delivery in June 2019.

Lyons Fire Department, Pierce Enforcer pumper 2,000/750/125/30. Delivery in June 2019.

Northbrook Fire Department, Pierce Velocity, 100-foot aerial platform quint. 1,500/300/40. Delivery in June 2019.

thanks Keith

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Chicago Fire Department history, 6-14-92 (part 3)

More from Steve Redick:

Part 3 of the epic I posted a while ago … very interesting listening to say the least  

Part 1

Part 2

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Harvard FPD news

Excerpts from the

As the dust settled on months of infighting throughout the Harvard Fire Protection District, Harvard Fire Chief Steve Harter and Deputy Fire Chief Don Davidson were slapped with suspensions. The punishment stemmed from a letter sent in June that called the recent conduct of trustee and board secretary Joe Clarke unprofessional and hostile.

After talking in closed session at the Harvard Fire Protection District Board’s regularly scheduled November meeting, trustees voted without opposition to suspend Harter and Davidson for 36 hours, with the suspensions to be served in December at times approved by the board. 

In a letter sent June 19 to the board president, Harter and Davidson said it has become apparent that Clarke has waged a vendetta against the chief and other officers at the part-time fire district. “The actions within the last few months have been very unprofessional and have no place in an open meeting,” the letter read. “The belligerent, threatening and overbearing treatment has been escalating to hostile levels of attack.”

On July 21, Clarke said in an email to the other trustees that the letter demonstrated a significant level of insubordination. He also called into question a number of insufficiencies within the district. “Being queried on failure to conduct preventative maintenance on apparatus, missing fire incident reports, improperly handling an investigation into a vehicle accident involving EMS apparatus and the subsequent employee discipline, missing security box keys, secretive promotional process, insufficient response to request for job descriptions and policy changes, etc.,” Clarke wrote. 

In response, Clarke said the chiefs should be held accountable and disciplined accordingly, and he would support any decision reached by the other four trustees.

At the board’s June 12 meeting, Clarke called into question Harter’s credentials, such as whether he was a certified fire officer and what education in fire service management or fire science technology he has.

When pressed by the board, Clarke questioned the promotion process, which he would later call unethical during the board’s next meeting.

In August, the board hired a Naperville-based law firm that represents more fire protection districts than any other firm in the state – to conduct an investigation into employee misconduct, which Clarke said was because of the chief’s letter.

Between Aug. 14 and Nov. 28, the district paid the firm $3,240 for its services.
A FOIA request for documentation showing any findings or rulings from the investigation was denied on the grounds that the correspondence was intended for the purpose of assisting the board on how to discipline district employees.

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

When Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose A. Santiago retired in August, records show he was facing disciplinary action for failing to file a complaint against his driver. The city parted ways with him after the mayor’s office received an 11-page report from the Department of Human Resources, that recommended he be punished for violating the city’s equal employment opportunity policy.

According to city investigators, Santiago failed to file a complaint about a racial slur that his driver, Cmdr. Richard Rosado, uttered to the fire department’s news affairs director, Larry Langford, in the presence of the department’s chief administrative officer Annastasia Walker on Oct. 11, 2016. Rosado and Santiago are Hispanic. Langford and Walker are African-American.

Also, Santiago “knowingly provided false information” about the incident when he was questioned by Steven Malec, who is assistant fire commissioner and the fire department’s internal affairs director, according to the report.

Santiago retired Aug. 30 and now gets a pension of $152,046 a year.
He denies many of the allegations in the report. But in an interview he says he now sees that he should have stepped aside from the case and left it to one of his deputies to investigate.

“Say, are you the valet man?” Langford, in an interview with human resources, recalled joking to the commissioner’s driver. Langford told investigators Rosado responded jokingly, saying “N—–, pleeze.”

Rosado told investigators, “I intended the response in a joking manner,’’ adding that Langford “started laughing profusely.” Walker told human resources she immediately went to Santiago’s office and complained. She said Santiago told her: “I keep telling these guy to stop doing that. I keep telling them. I keep telling them.”

Santiago’s secretary backed up what Walker said, saying she was in the commissioner’s office at the time.

Santiago disputed that Walker came to his office. He says he went to talk with her after hearing something had happened. He also denies telling her that he previously had warned Rosado and Langford about their racial banter.

Even though Santiago denies that Walker wanted to file a complaint, the human resources report says Santiago was required to report the incident anyway.

Rosado, a 32-year veteran of the fire department, ended up getting a three-day suspension for using the racial slur. He served the suspension, then retired Oct. 9 with a pension of $74,469 a year.

Langford told human resources he wasn’t offended by Rosado’s racial slur, characterizing it as a jovial response typically used between people of color . . . From my perspective, this incident didn’t need to be reported.

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New engine for Joliet

This from hunter Klinger:

Found on Joliet Fire Department FaceBook page 
Drawings of new Engine 1 expected to arrive mid to late summer 2019.

drawing of new fire engine for the Joliet FD
drawing of new fire engine for the Joliet FD

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Naperville donates ambulance

Excerpts from the


1. 18-861 Approve the donation of Unit 9333, a 2004 International Medtec Ambulance, to the Cancun, Mexico Fire Department

thanks Martin

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