Archive for category Fire Department News

Burnham Fire Department news

Excepts from

A 21-year-old father was killed and two other people were critically injured in a crash involving a car and motorcycle in south suburban Burnham Thursday morning near 140th Street and Torrence Avenue. The motorcycle was badly damaged with bits of debris scattered across the road. The vehicle involved also sustained significant damage.

“Looks like we had a motorcycle that had two passengers hit a vehicle carrying two passengers, so a total of four people involved,” said Burnham Fire Chief Andrew Horberg.

Kendall King, 21, was riding on the motorcycle and was transported to Franciscan Health Hammond, where he died of his injuries. His passenger – the mother of his son – and one of the passengers in the car were transported in critical condition.

Illinois State Police and the South Suburban Major Accidents Team were on the scene investigating for several hours. Investigators did not comment on which party may have been at fault.

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West Dundee Fire Department news

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A new ambulance for the West Dundee Fire Department will replace a 14-year-old ambulance with a well-documented history of mechanical problems. The lifespan of an ambulance is generally about a decade.

West Dundee was part of a class action lawsuit in 2009 against Ford for an alleged defective engine in the ambulance for which the village received some money back for repairs. Due to the numerous mechanical problems, Ford ultimately discontinued the 6.0-liter engine. In April 2017, about $5,000 was spent to fix the ambulance’s oil leaks. Village officials have also fielded patient complaints about the fumes and diesel smells coming from the rescue vehicle’s patient compartment.

While the going rate for ambulances is between $250,000 to $265,000, the new unit has a price of $199,000 by agreeing to let it be built as a demo unit. The price includes removal and reinstallation of the existing power load system.

Under the agreement, the 2019 ambulance can be used for demonstration purposes for approximately one month and at the conclusion West Dundee will purchase the vehicle. Officials will try to sell the 2005 ambulance on the open market. Delivery of the new ambulance is expected in January.

The fire department recently received a grant to outfit the ambulances with power cots and lift systems, as well as a Lucas Chest Compression System.

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Mattoon Fire Department news (more)

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The Mattoon City Council voted Tuesday night to eliminate the city’s assistant fire chief position due to budgetary restraints and transfer the current assistant fire chief, Sean Junge, to fill a vacant shift captain post.

One council member said this post is being eliminated to help reduce the city’s budget deficit and to put another firefighter into the field to help meet union minimum staffing requirements. He and the mayor emphasized that the elimination has nothing to do with Junge who declined to comment after the meeting. The city administrator estimated that Junge’s annual salary will decrease by approximately 8 percent, not counting overtime, with the transfer to shift captain.

The council also heard concerns from residents about ambulance service coverage in Mattoon, including two accounts of Paris ambulances needing to be dispatched to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center to transfer patients to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Four residents spokes about ambulance coverage in Mattoon since the city eliminated the Mattoon Fire Department’s ambulance service on July 25 due to budgetary constraints. Private providers Dunn’s Ambulance and Mitchell-Jerdan Ambulance Service are continuing to offer coverage in Mattoon.

The city has been making budget cuts as it faces a $750,000 deficit this year and the prospect of an even larger deficit next year. The city is facing growing pension costs and  expenses.

Residents who feel strongly about the ambulance issue were encouraged to form a committee to pursue a sales or property tax referendum for bringing back the fire department’s ambulance service.

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Mattoon Fire Department news

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The Mattoon city council is scheduled (Tuesday) tonight to consider eliminating the assistant fire chief position within the Mattoon Fire Department due to budgetary restraints.

The proposed ordinance also calls for restructuring the management of the fire department by transferring the assistant chief, currently Sean Junge, to fill a vacant shift captain position.

Regarding the budgetary restraints, the proposed ordinance states that the city approved a deficit budget for fiscal year 2018-19 and continues to make adjustments in an effort to reduce this deficit.

In addition, the proposed ordinance states that the city is in negotiations for a new contract with Mattoon Firefighters Local 691. The city is making efforts to comply with an arbitration ruling to return staffing levels to 30 firefighter bargaining members. Mattoon currently has 23 firefighters.

If Junge becomes a shift captain, he would be eligible to become a bargaining member of the firefighter union and would have to take a 15 percent reduction in salary if this change occurs.

The Mattoon firefighters posted a statement on their Facebook page that says the elimination of the assistant chief position puts “the community and our department in a more compromised position” and is “another direct attack on department staffing.

The statement indirectly referred to the city’s recent elimination of the Mattoon Fire Department’s ambulance service. City officials have said that this service was losing money as the city dealt with a budget deficit and that this service duplicated the work of existing private ambulance providers in Mattoon.

thanks Keith

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Bloomington Fire Department news

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On Saturday the Bloomington Fire Department celebrated 150 years of service, and to commemorate all firefighters who have served and are currently serving, monuments have been placed in Miller Park in honor of those who have given their lives.

The East Side of the Memorial is dedicated to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and died in the line of duty, and on the west side of the memorial is the Service Memorial Sculpture, and now the memorial and all monuments in it will remind everyone about the service these firefighters give each and every day.

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New ambulance for Western Springs FD

This from Chi-Town Fire Photos:

New Ambulance 1714 – 2018 Ford F650 Lifeline Type 1

Western Springs FD Ambulance 1714 - 2018 Ford F650 Lifeline Type 1

Chi-Town Fire Photos

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Evanston Fire Department news (more)

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A $1.2 million cut to the Evanston Fire Department in the city’s proposed 2019 budget would mean eliminating nine positions and shutting down Station 4, which has led to pushback from current and former EFD personnel as well as city residents. The suggested reduction is the largest for any city department and follows a 2018 budget cut of $288,762 for EFD.

Station 4 — located at 1817 Washington St. — is in the 2nd Ward and services the southwest region of Evanston. The city manager said if city council approves the proposed budget in November, the building that houses Station 4 will be sold and nearby stations will take over for the area.

However, in an email to The Daily, Evanston Fire Local 742 union executive board members Ryan Roeder and Billy Lynch said recklessly closing Station 4 would compromise the safety that Evanston residents deserve by causing delays in service. They said the city’s five fire stations are strategically situated to respond to emergencies.

According to EFD’s 2017 Annual Report, the department responded to just over 10,000 emergency calls last year. Former EFD Chief Greg Klaiber wrote in an Oct. 7 Facebook post that 1,173 of those calls were located in the neighborhood serviced by Station 4, which is typically staffed by one captain, two firefighter/paramedics, and one fire engine.

Evanston and Northwestern are serviced by only two ambulances and seven firefighter/paramedic-staffed vehicles — five engines and two trucks. According to the proposed budget, after Station 4 is shut down, its fire engine will also be removed from service. According to Klaiber, engines located at Madison Street and Emerson Street would have to cover the area, resulting in increased response times.

Roeder and Lynch’s joint statement echoed Klaiber’s post, calling the proposed closure particularly concerning because of the already limited resources that EFD has. On top of that, they said the number of EMS calls has more than doubled in recent decades, though there has been no increase in the number of responding personnel. The proposed budget’s decrease of nine EFD positions — one layoff of an active firefighter/paramedic and the elimination of eight vacant spots — would only increase the strain,.

The city will hold a public hearing about the budget on Oct. 27, and each ward will be hosting informal budget review sessions through Oct. 24. Residents can also use the city website to comment on the proposal before the final vote in November.

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news

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The New Lenox Fire Protection District was able to buy new radios with a $144,208 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The district’s current portable radios are 10 to 12 years old.

The new Motorola dual band radios will ensure all NLFPD firefighters will be using the same type of radio. The new radios have larger buttons, which are easier for firefighters to use with a gloved hand and have the most up-to-date safety features. They also will increase the NLFPD’s ability to communicate with law enforcement agencies and other public safety agencies locally and nationally.

The radios also will allow the NLFPD to adapt to an 800 mHz radio system in the future without added costs related to buying or infrastructure.

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Sexual harassment lawsuit against Country Club Hills (more)

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A Circuit Court judge who recently granted default judgment in favor of a female Country Club Hills firefighter who sued the city over gender discrimination and sexual harassment has reconsidered the severity of her sanctions.

Judge Brigid Mary McGrath, who defaulted the case Oct. 2 over the city’s repeated failure to comply with court orders, reversed course Wednesday after reviewing arguments made by the city’s attorneys. As a result, she granted the city’s motion for reconsideration, meaning that a jury will now determine liability, not just damages, in the case.

McGrath said she changed her mind after concluding that the city’s failure to turn over a 2010 fire department memo — which a forensic expert for Firefighter Dena Lewis-Bystrzycki discovered on the eve of trial — did not represent a direct violation of a prior court order, as she originally had thought.

The recently discovered memo from the city’s former fire chief states that Lewis-Bystrzycki was to be promoted to lieutenant following two retirements within the department. She never received the promotion, however, and has alleged in court filings that gender discrimination was the reason.

McGrath said that while Country Club Hills had been obligated to search and tender all relevant documents as part of the discovery process, she accepted the city’s explanation that its failure to search its computers was not deliberate but rather the result of the parties never having reached an agreement on an appropriate set of search terms.

While the judge rescinded her most drastic sanction — default judgment — she said she would still instruct the jury it could draw adverse inferences from the city’s destruction of digital evidence and its failure to adequately search documents on its computers.

The case, which dates back to 2012, is scheduled to proceed to trial Thursday.

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Elk Grove Village Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Close to 50 firefighters battled a house fire for 4-1/2 hours on Oct. 10 in unincorporated Elk Grove Village. Three individuals were hospitalized for observation due to smoke inhalation.

The fire, reported to 911 dispatchers at 5:24 p.m. at a home in the 500 block of Crest Avenue, was extinguished at 10 p.m., but not before it was elevated to a MABAS Box Alarm. 

Neighbors, who called 911, appeared to have saved between one and four occupants of the burning home. It is unclear whether they entered the home or pounded on the door to alert those inside to the fire. 

The split level ranch style home contained working smoke detectors, which were still ringing when firefighters arrived. The fire appeared to have started either in the garage or in a car parked near the garage. Once the garage was engulfed, fire quickly spread to the rest of the single-family home. 

Firefighters from Elk Grove Village, Elk Grove Township, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Itasca, and Bensenville responded to the fire.

That portion of Crest Avenue is in a small pocket of unincorporated Elk Grove Township, surrounded on all sides by Elk Grove Village.

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