Archive for August 18th, 2021

Fatal fire in Peotone, 8-14-21

Excerpts from the

At approximately 12:22 a.m., on Saturday, August 14, the Peotone Fire Protection District. responded to a reported structure fire in a multi-family apartment building at 501 S. Schroeder Ave.

The first units arrived within five minutes of the initial dispatch and crews reported smoke showing from the second floor. Additional personnel and equipment were called.

Firefighters reported entering the second floor and found heavy smoke conditions. As crews searched, they found a victim deceased in the bedroom. The identity of the individual has not yet been released. A search of the remaining units confirmed no other people were inside.

Crews extinguished the fire and got the situation under control within 30 minutes.

Fire damage was contained to the apartment, but smoke and water damage extended throughout the other apartments. The Red Cross is assisting with the displaced residents.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Responding to the scene were crews from Manhattan, Monee, Beecher, Manteno, Frankfort, University Park, New Lenox, Mokena, Crete Township, Steger Estates, Wilmington, Bourbonnais, Crete, Country Club Hills, Grant Park, Richton Park, and Orland fire departments.

MABAS Division 19 Investigators, MABAS 27 Investigators, the Arson Investigators Task Force, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal Arson Investigator responded to conduct the fire investigation.

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from

Pritzker signed a package of legislation on Thursday, aimed at protecting the physical and mental health of police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. Some of the legislation signed into law include Senate Bill 1913, House Bill 3656, and Senate Bill 1575. 

The legislation signed on Thursday aims to strengthens Scott’s Law to help keep first responders safe on the roads and improves mental health resources.

The governor was joined by legislative and administration leaders as well as Lauren Frank, wife of State Trooper Brian Frank, in critical condition following a Scott’s Law violation.

Under Senate Bill 1913 courts will be allowed to order community service as a form of punishment for violating Scott’s Law, in addition to other penalties.

Since 2002, Scott’s Law says that drivers approaching a vehicle with their hazard lights on must slow down and move over. Earlier this year, ISP reported a total of 1,340 violations of the law during the 19-day period between February 18 and March 7. 

This new and enhanced law will protect the workers who shouldn’t have to put their lives in danger pulling over on the highway to do their jobs. The law takes effect January 1, 2022.

House Bill 3656 will further clarify a driver’s duty for how to respond to an emergency scene on the road, so that the protections of Scott’s Law can be wielded to their fullest extent.

It also establishes the Move Over Early Warning Task Force, which will study how to use 21st century technology to better help drivers safely navigate an emergency zone.

Findings are due to the General Assembly in early 2023. Finally, the legislation adds that it is a factor in aggravation if a person commits a Scott’s Law violation while using a handheld cell phone. The law takes effect January 1, 2022. 

Senate Bill 1575 requires the creation of an online resource page with a comprehensive collection of mental health resources specifically geared toward first responders.

It will include crisis services, wellness, trauma information, nutrition, stress reduction, anxiety, depression, violence prevention, suicide prevention and substance use. 

The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health will lead the effort to build this resource, with a target launch date of January 2022. The law takes effect immediately.

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Chicago Fire Department Lodd Firefighter Juan Bucio (more)

Excerpts from

A Chicago Fire Department diver drowned while on a rescue call on the Chicago River in 2018, caused by a lapse in air management and inability to maintain buoyancy in the water.

The report suggests that if Juan Bucio had an alarm to alert him that his main air tank was empty, he may have been able to switch to his reserve supply.

The 43-page report was completed in June, three years after Bucio disappeared under the waves of the river near 26th and Ashland while searching for a missing boater. Bucio was pronounced dead after he was pulled out several minutes later.

The report suggests more training and fundamental scuba skills for CFD divers. It concluded that a dive computer (which is not required) could have helped alert Bucio of low air rather than relying reading gauges in the dark murky river.

Bucio was found with an entire reserve air tank still full. The report found that when Bucio’s main tank was out of air, it appears he could not inflate his vest for positive buoyancy and control. His 24-pound lead weight belt was also still on, which was further hindering his buoyancy.

Fire Department dive teams responded to a call about a man who fell off a boat on the Chicago River near Canalport Riverwalk Park on Memorial Day of 2018. The body of that man, Alberto Lopez, was recovered from the River several days later.

A helicopter dropped Bucio and his partner into the river to search for the boater. The two had been in the water for some time when they began swimming to a Chicago Fire Department boat.

Bucio and his partner were face to face in the water next to the rocking boat when Bucio’s head went under the waves. His partner placed his hands on the side of the boat to keep his head above water.

From the NIOSH Report:

NIOSH Report Executive Summary of the LODD of Chicago FD Diver  Juan Bucio

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New engine for Lemont FPD (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

flag grille on Rosenbauer fire engine

Rosenbauer photo

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