Archive for category Fire Department History

Evanston Fire Department history Part 75

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about the History of the Evanston Fire Department


In July 1976, Rock Island Fire Chief Glen Ayers was appointed chief of the Evanston Fire Department (EFD), the first outsider to serve as Evanston’s fire chief since Norman Holmes came to Evanston from the Chicago Fire Department in 1905. Once Ayers took charge, the first thing he did was order Chief Beattie’s yellow fire trucks — including a new Mack pumper still at the factory —  to be re-painted “Rock Island Red.” The new 1,000-GPM / 300-gallon Mack pumper arrived in December 1976, and was placed into service as the new Engine 25 in January 1977.

The rig that the new Mack pumper replaced was the 1952 Pirsch 1000 / 100 squad-pumper (the original Squad 21) that was rebuilt as a TCP by General Body in 1966. The 1952 Pirsch was placed into reserve as Engine 26 after the Mack pumper went into service at Station # 5. The EFD’s remaining 1958 Seagrave 1000 / 300 open cab TCP (ex-E23) was then sold at auction, purchased by the Indian Trail Restaurant in Winnetka for use as a parade and party vehicle. The Seagrave rig appeared in the North Evanston 4th of July Parade a few times while it was owned by Indian Trail.

The EFD chose to keep the older 1952 Pirch pumpers in reserve instead of the two 1958 Seagrave pumpers, partly because the Pirsch rigs had enclosed cabs, but mainly because the Pirsch pumpers consistently out-performed the Seagrave pumpers at annual pump tests. In fact the pump on the other 1958 Seagrave rig  (Engine 24) performed so poorly in its 1974 pump test that it was temporarily replaced by one of the older Pirsch pumpers while its pump was repaired, and then it was sold at auction immediately after it was replaced as a front-line rig in 1975. 

On April 11, 1977, the City of Evanston purchased 21 100-foot lengths and three 50-foot lengths of Duro-lite low-friction five-inch supply hose for the EFD at a cost of $10,990, enough hose for three of the EFD’s five engine companies. The city purchased an additional 18 100-foot lengths and an additional two 50-foot lengths of Duro-lite supply hose at a cost of $11,400, on April 6, 1978, as all five EFD engine companies were now equipped with five-inch supply hose.

The acquisition of the supply hose radically changed firefighting tactics, because engine companies could now lead-out from the hydrant to the fire, instead of from the fire to the hydrant. Eventually the ambulance crew assigned to a fire was responsible for taking the “plug position” and hooking up the supply lime to the hydrant.    

During 1978, the Insurance Service Organization (ISO) conducted an inspection of the Evanston Fire Department. The ISO was formerly known as the National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU), and this was the first inspection of the EFD by the ISO / NBFU in almost twenty years. As a result of the inspection, the ISO dropped the EFD’s rating from a class “3” to a class “4” fire department, in part because the EFD’s front-line aggregate pumping capacity had been reduced from 6,000 GPM to 5,250 GPM since 1959.

The Evanston City Council, the city manager, and Chief Ayers collectively freaked out, and plans were immediately made to purchase two new apparatus with minimum 1,250-GPM pumps.

The first rig purchased was a Pirsch Model 88C 1,250-GPM / 750-gallon TCP, acquired at a cost of $76,200. The pumper was a so-called “spec” rig, in that it was manufactured during a slow period when the company was not in receipt of many orders and wanted to keep their workers busy. The problem with a spec pumper is that it is what it is, and the fire department that buys it has no input in the design or specifications. The new Pirsch engine went into service as the new Engine 22 in April 1979, with the former Engine 22 (1970 Pirsch 1000 / 300 TCP) going into reserve, even though it was only nine years old. 

The second rig purchased was a 1,250-GPM / 300-gallon / 100-foot aerial-quint. A quint combines the functions of a pumper and a ladder truck in one vehicle, and the EFD had absolutely no prior experience with quint rigs. Pirsch came in with the low bid, but it was rejected by Chief Ayers because he said it did not meet specifications. Instead the contract was awarded to FWD Truck & Equipment (Seagrave), with Evanston paying the company $185,645 on April 23, 1979, for the quint.

The quint arrived in 1980 and was placed into service as the new Truck 21 at Station #1, with the former Truck 21 (1968 Pirsch 100-foot TDA) being moved to Station # 2 as the new Truck 22 after a diesel engine was installed. The former Truck 22 (the 1952 Pirsch 85-foot TDA that had been extensively refurbished in 1969) was moved to Fire Station #3, where it replaced the 1951 Pirsch 85-foot TDA (ex-T21) as the EFD’s lone reserve truck.

In addition to the new rigs, two new Ford modular MICU ambulances were placed into service as Ambulance 1 and Ambulance 2 in 1980, replacing the 1975 Dodge van ambulance (the original MICU 1) and the ex-Skokie F. D. Cadillac ambulance. The 1976 Chevrolet modular MICU ambulance (the original Ambulance 2) became Ambulance 3 at this time. Ambulance 2 initially was assigned to Station # 2, but by 1981 all three ambulances  were located at Station # 1. Also, a new 1979 Chevrolet station wagon was purchased for the shift commander, and a 1979 Chevrolet van replaced the 1974 Dodge utility van.  

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East Dundee FPD history

This from Doug Hoyt

Here’s a couple more photos from the Dundee Lumber fire (the fire today’s TBT photo of the Barrington engine drafting was from), on 3/21/2007. One was what the first engine encountered as they pulled up, the second is later in the fire, before that part of the structure collapsed. I live a few blocks away, and got there just after the first engine. Lots of fire at that incident!; #EastDuundeeFPD; #DundeeLumberfire; #DougHoyt;

Doug Hoyt photo; #EastDuundeeFPD; #DundeeLumberfire; #DougHoyt;

Doug Hoyt photo

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Barrington Countryside FPD history

This from Larry Shapiro for #TBT:

Barrington Countryside FPD engine drafting from a lake to supply water during an East Dundee 5-Alarm fire at 311 Barrington Ave, 3-21-07; #larryshapiro;; #BarringtonFD; #FireTruck; #Sutphen;;

Larry Shapiro

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Chicago Fire Department history

From Steve Redick:; #ChicagoFD; #vintagenewsclipping;

click to download; #ChicagoFD; #vintagenewsclipping;

click to download

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Dixmoor Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa for #TBT:

For TBT-The Dixmoor Fire Dept.’s Engine 2423, a 1993 IHC/Luverne 1500-500.  Shown delivered in then Dixmoor color white, then repainted at a later date.  Please enjoy and comment.  Happy Thanksgiving.
Mike Summa; #TBT; #MikeSumma; #FireTruck; #DixmoorFD;

Mike Summa photo; #TBT; #MikeSumma; #FireTruck; #DixmoorFD;

Mike Summa photo

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Chicago Fire Department history

This from Steve Redick:

An awesome color graphic from 1951 – Fireboats in action; #ChicagoFD;

click to download

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Chicago Heights fire Department history

This from Mike Summa for #TBT:

For TBT-This is a Chicago Heights engine.  It is a 900 series American LaFrance and that is all I know about it.  If anyone out there knows more, please feel free to supply the answers.  Enjoy and comment.
Mike Summa; #MikeSumma; #FireTruck; #AmericanLaFrance; #TBT; #ChicagoHeightsFD;

Mike Summa photo

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Chicago Fire Department history

From Larry Shapiro for #TBT:

Chicago 4-11 Alarm fire at 3106 W. Peterson Ave 11-15-13; #larryshapiro;; #FireTruck; #Chicago Fire Department; #ChicagoFD; #FireTruck; #4-11Alarmfire; #firefighter; #deckgun;

Larry Shapiro photo; #larryshapiro;; #FireTruck; #Chicago Fire Department; #ChicagoFD; #FireTruck; #4-11Alarmfire; #Pierce;

Larry Shapiro photo

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Chicago Ridge Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa for #TBT:

For TBT-The Chicago Ridge Fire Dept.’s Engine 6533, was this 1988 Spartan/Emergency One 1500/500.
Mike Summa; #FireTruck; #TBT; #ChicagoRdigeFD; #Spartan; #EONE; #MikeSumma;

Mike Summa photo

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New truck for Huntley FPD (more)

From Huntley Fire Protection District Facebook yesterday morning:

This morning at Station 3 on Regency Parkway, a ceremony was held to place Tower 981 into service. 
Thank you to our Board of Trustees and dignitaries for attending today’s ceremony. A special thank you to Father Jerome for his blessings.
We also appreciate our members for their countless hours of training and their commitment to excellence in the preparation of Tower 981 to be placed in service. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.; #firetruck; #Pierce; #HuntleyFPD;

Huntley FPD photo; #firetruck; #Pierce; #HuntleyFPD;

Huntley FPD photo; #firetruck; #Pierce; #HuntleyFPD;

Huntley FPD photo

thanks Martin

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