Archive for March 18th, 2022

Of interest … tow companies want red lights

Excerpts from

After the loss of Ross Booker who was killed by a 16-year-old after a Scott’s Law violation in early March, some tow truck drivers are asking if something can be done to make their jobs easier.

Taylor Feldkamp of Feldkamps Towing wants to see if tow companies can use red and blue lights on their trucks, along with the white and amber they already use.

This is something that has been implemented in at least two other states; New Mexico allows blue lights to be used on trucks and Missouri allows blue and red lights if they are rear-facing.

While this will not be appearing in front of the General Assembly immediately, legislators said it is something they want to look into.

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House fire in Chicago, 3-16-22

This from John Keller:

Engine 92 and Truck 45 arrived at 3830 w 108th PL to find a 1-story ranch-style residence with smoke showing through the front windows. Truck 31 made second truck due to Battalion 21 and Truck 40 getting stuck by a train. Engine 92 got a quick knock. 2-7-5 and Squad 5 were canceled in-route. Engine 75 made an emergency change to Engine 92. Fire was extinguished and only minor injuries.

On the Still – E92/E120(Spare)/T45/T31/B21(Spare)
On the Working fire – 2-7-5/Sq5/T40(RIT)/B20(RIT)/A72(RIT)/A17(Standby)/PFC4-5-6(Standby) 

More photos HERE:; #CFD;; #FireTruck; #CFD;; #CFD;; #CFD;

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Prospect Heights FD is hiring

Prospect Heights FPD is looking for part-time firefighter/paramedics

click to download

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 66

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department



In 1962, the Evanston City Council and the Chamber of Commerce came to the unhappy realization that Evanston’s once-thriving downtown business district was dying a slow death. A master plan was developed to transition downtown Evanston from an upscale retail center to a banking, service, and hospitality mecca. The centerpiece of the plan was State Bank Plaza, a 22-story office building to be located on ground formerly home to Lord’s department store, the State National Bank, and Cooley’s Cupboard malt shop. Once erected, State Bank Plaza would be the tallest building between Chicago and Milwaukee.

With a 22-story high-rise under construction in the downtown “high-value district,” the city council appropriated funds in 1966 to purchase a 1250-GPM / 300 gallon triple-combination pumper and a 100-foot tractor-drawn aerial ladder truck. Peter Pirsch & Sons was awarded the contracts for both rigs, with the TCP costing $24,690 and the TDA costing $60,000. The initial plan was for the 1951 Pirsch 85-foot TDA (Truck 21 since 1951) to be moved from Station # 1 to Station # 3 once the new 100-foot TDA was placed into service as the new Truck 21, allowing the EFD to once again run three truck companies, as had been the case 1955-62. Also, new tractors were to be purchased for the 1951 and 1952 Pirsch TDAs.

Placing the third truck into service would have required transferring the fourth man assigned each shift to Truck Co. 21 and Squad 21 and the chief’s driver / administrative assistant to the third truck, leaving all nine companies – five engines, three trucks, and Squad 21 — staffed by three men each shift (plus the platoon commander), with three additional men assigned to each shift who would cover for absences due to vacation, illness, or injury incurred on duty. Like Evanston Police Chief Bert Giddens, EFD Chief Lester Breitzman would get a “take home” car, and a civilian secretary would be hired to be the chief’s new administrative assistant.

The new Pirsch 1250 / 300 TCP arrived in February 1968 and was placed into service at that time as the new Engine 21, with the former Engine 21 (1952 Pirsch 1000 / 80 TCP) becoming a reserve engine (Engine 28) at  Station # 4. The new Engine 21 was baptized under fire the day it was placed into service, at an extra-alarm fire in the service department of the Holiday Lincoln-Mercury automobile dealership at 535 Chicago Avenue. The service department was gutted before the flames were extinguished. The estimated loss from this fire was $160,000.
On April 5, 1968, Engine Co. 24 along with the fourth men from Squad 21 and Truck 21 responded as a five-man crew on an unusual mutual-aid assignment. The west side of Chicago was in flames in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr, Martin Luther King Jr the night before in Memphis, and most of the Chicago Fire Department was engaged in fighting the fires. As a result, a number of suburban fire departments were requested to staff empty CFD firehouses in the outlying battalions,

EFD Engine 24 was assigned to CFD Engine Co. 70 at 1545 W. Rosemont Avenue in the 27th Battalion. Engine 24 was at Engine 70 for about 12 hours, before returning to Evanston. This was the second time an EFD engine company had been sent to a CFD firehouse, the first time being in May 1934 when Engine Co. 1 temporarily moved into Engine Co. 71’s quarters at 6239 N. California Avenue during the Union Stockyards conflagration.

Several months later, Engine 24 sustained extensive front-end damage in a traffic collision, and was sent to the Seagrave factory body shop in Clintonville, Wisconsin. After repairs were completed, Engine 24 was driven the 200 miles back to Evanston rather being shipped via flatbed trailer, as probably would have been the case if Seagrave was still based in Ohio. Because the pumper was being driven back to Evanston, Seagrave placed a canvas canopy over the open cab to protect the driver from the weather.

Once Engine 24 arrived in Evanston and was placed back into service at Station # 4, firefighters assigned to  the company found out they really liked the canvas canopy, so it would remain on Engine 24 going forward. Also, as a result of the repairs, the pumper now sported dual front headlights, replacing the single-beam headlights that were originally on the rig. At least as far as cosmetic appearance goes, the EFD’s two 1958 Seagrave pumpers (Engine 23 and Engine 24) were no longer “twins.”

The new Pirsch Senior 100-foot TDA arrived in time for Christmas 1968, but it was not placed into service for several weeks because firefighters needed time to become familiar with the new truck, and the brutal winter weather postponed some of the testing and training that was required before the truck could be formally  accepted by the city. The new Truck 21 was finally placed into service in February 1969.

The former Truck 21 temporarily replaced Truck 22 at Station # 2, because the city council redirected the $20,000 that would have been spent on two new tractors to an extensive “modernization” of Truck 22. The modernization of Truck 22 was a special deal offered by Pirsch, and it involved gutting the inside of the 1952 tractor and replacing just about everything, including the engine, transmission, axles, wheels, drive-train, electrical system, even new fenders with dual front headlights. The trailer also was extensively refurbished, with a new aerial-ladder control box, a new tiller system, and cabinets to provide water-tight storage space for equipment. It also received a new paint job. Pirsch called it “good as new, for half the price.” 

Once the modernization / refurbishment of Truck 22 was completed, the former Truck 21 that had been running temporarily as Truck 22 was transferred to Station # 3 and became the EFD’s reserve truck. As a result, there would be no third truck company. Truck 21 and Squad 21 would continue to run as four-man companies each shift, and one fireman each shift would serve as Chief Breitzman’s driver and administrative assistant.  

Both the 1937 Seagrave 65-foot aerial truck (Truck 23) and the 1937 Seagrave 750 / 80 TCP (Engine 27) were removed from the fleet in 1969. This left the EFD with two reserve pumpers  – the 1949 Seagrave 1000 / 80 TCP (Engine 26) at Station # 5 and the 1952 Pirsch 1000 / 80 TCP (Engine 28) at Station # 4 – and the reserve 1951 Pirsch 85-foot TDA (Truck 23) at Station # 3. As of 1969, all pumpers including the two reserve engines had a minimum 1000-GPM pump, all trucks had a minimum 85-foot aerial ladder, the oldest front-line rig was 17 years old, and no reserve rig was more than twenty years old. 


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