Archive for category Fire Department History

Historic 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 6-10-87

This from Steve Redick:

I opened up the archives again – 6/10/87 For those keeping score its Mario Cabrera and Art Benker on fire alarm side of  the radio. The late Duke Schneider on engine 112.

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Former Deerfield-Bannockburn FPD Snorkel for sale

Ex Deerfield-Brannockburn Crown Firecoach Snorkel is for sale in VA.

In between Deerfield-Brannockburn sold it to Black River Falls, WI in 1984. Black River Falls sold it to Chilhowie, VA in 1997. Also served Glade Spring, VA. Now back to Chilhowie owned by Brent Foster.

We are selling our 1967 Crown Snorkel F-1535. 85-foot boom, 8v71 Detroit, with a 5-speed transmission, great paint and great tires. If anyone is interested please contact me. Asking $12,500
Included is a photo from an unknown photographer of the Snorkel in service in Glade Springs, VA and a photo from another unknown photographer of it in service in Deerfield.
Contact Zac foster at 276-706-0220
vintage fire truck for sale
vintage fire truck for sale
vintage fire truck for sale
vintage fire truck for sale
vintage fire truck for sale
vintage fire truck for sale
Glade Spring Fire Department Snorkel
Deerfield Bannockburn FPD Snorkel
thanks Danny


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New engine for Chicago (more)

This from Danny Nelms:

Engine 11 went in service october 15th 2019.

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Dekalb Fire Department history (more)

Excerpts from

Saturday, DeKalb firefighters celebrated 150 years of serving the city. The event was held in the Barsema Alumni Center from 5 to 10 p.m. Firefighters, friends, and family gathered to commemorate past and current firefighters. Attendees stepped into a cocktail hour as soon as they entered the foyer.  There were speeches and a PowerPoint presentation.  History played a major role in the celebration. DeKalb’s fire department began as a volunteer-only operation in 1869. During that time, DeKalb was a growing community that needed protection from fire. The slideshow gave details about DeKalb’s fire department, the men that served and major fires during that time. The presentation ended with the mission for the department’s future endeavors.

The event was sponsored by the DeKalb Firefighters Historical Foundation, which was founded in 2012.

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New home for Elmwood Park fire truck

The former Elmwood Park toweled ladder was sold and is now Bondurand (IA) Tower 413

new home for Elmwood Park fire truck

Former Elmwood Park FD (IL) fire truck is now in Bonduarant, IA

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Gary Fire Department history

This from Wayne Stuart for #TBT:

In the early 60’s the GFD kicked off Fire Prevention Week with a parade which included all apparatus. Pictured are the apparatus from Station 1. The twin 1954 Maxim engines, Maxim serial #’s 1913, 1914, and the 1959 Maxim/Magirus truck, serial #2166. The engines were numbered 1 & 13 and both ran from Station 1. Engine 1 & 13 covered everything east of Broadway while Engines 1 & 6 covered west of Broadway.

Wayne Stuart collection

Gary Fire Department history

Wayne Stuart collection

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Dekalb Fire Department history

Excerpts from the

The DeKalb Fire Department – which began as a volunteer-only department in 1869 – is celebrating 150 years of operation in the city. Community members, retirees, and all on the roster are invited to attend a celebration Oct. 12 at Northern Illinois University’s Barsema Alumni Center. Tickets cost $50 a person and can be purchased at before Friday.

Albert Riippi remembers being a firefighter in DeKalb in 1949 before modern technology came into the picture and said that when a feather mattress was burning, he’d choke down smoke and crawl into the building without a mask. 

Riippi, who turns 93 on Halloween, had a long career with the DeKalb Fire Department. He was in from September 1949 to March 1952 when he left to pursue a dream with the National Football League. After injuries sidelined him, he returned to DeKalb in August 1959 and worked with the fire department until February 1986, retiring after seven years as fire chief. He played for the Green Bay Packers and served in the Navy on Okinawa during World War II, and has seen his fair share of historic fires. He was the on-duty captain during the fire at St. Mary Church in 1974, and also worked the fire at Grant Towers in 1972 on the NIU campus.

He wasn’t yet 21 when he wanted to go into the police service full time, so he decided to don the firefighter’s coat instead, and said he always liked being part of a team. He said he made about $215 a month as a firefighter at the now demolished fire station that sat on the corner of Fourth Street and Lincoln Highway from 1903 to 1979 and was built for $10,200.

During Riippi’s time and for many years after, the station operated by a box alarm, pre-radio and internet. Phone lines across the city connected to a box alarm, with large bells that would ring if someone pulled the alarm near their home. The department still has the box alarm displayed in the basement of Fire Station No. 1.

Firefighters said they try to host Riippi among other local retirees once a week for breakfast at the fire station, and said they consider themselves family.

The department’s first chief was William Miller, who was barbed-wire inventor Isaac Ellwood’s brother-in-law. He served when the department was volunteer, from 1870 to 1903. Pictures of him adorn the living room at Fire Station No. 1, which was built in 1971. Station No. 2 on South Seventh Street was built in 1956, and Station No. 3 on Dresser Road in 1994.

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Chicago FD history

This from Steve Redick for #TBT:

This is a fun memory. Engine 25 and Snorkel 4 in front of the brand new fire academy in 1961. My dad can be seen in the basket, he’s the one on the right with the glasses. This was a postcard. I have seen it around over the years but I wonder how many were actually produced.


vintage Chicago FD postcard

click for a larger file

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Roberts Park FPD history

This from Mike Summa for #TBT:

For TBT-Roberts Park Squad 304, a 1977 Mack/Marion 250/500.
Mike Summa
Roberts Park FPD history

Mike Summa photo

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Arlington Heights Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

A lightning strike caused $10,000 in damage to a townhouse on the north side of Arlington Heights as a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area Friday.

Fire department investigators believe the lightning may have hit an antenna or cable satellite on top of the four-unit townhouse building on the 1600 block of West Hawkes Street, then traveled along a cable line to the interior of the building. That’s where firefighters found some drywall and insulation damaged in an attic and common hallway on the building’s second floor.

Firefighters saw smoke when they got to the building just after 11 a.m., but once inside, they found the small fire already self-extinguished.