Archive for category Fire Department News

Pleasant Prairie Fire Department news

Experts from kenoshanews.com:

Doug McElmury was 18 years old when he was quite literally roped in to helping rescue a girl who had fallen 60 feet off the rocks at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo. An avid rock climber, he and a friend were at the park to scale the cliffs when the girl’s frantic mother asked whether they were the rescue team responding to the mishap.

“So we got to the girl and the rangers came up, but the rangers weren’t trained in rope rescue,” said McElmury, fire chief for the village the last five years.

McElmury, who has since rescued many people and battled dozens of fires, will be retiring from the department on Monday following 28 years service. But it was helping to rescue the girl, who was on a scouting trip when she had slipped from the rocks, that began his long career serving the community.

He and his friend worked together with authorities bringing up the injured girl. After she fell she had struck a ledge 40 feet below before she fell another 20 feet.

McElmury later spoke with the emergency medical personnel about how he might be able to pursue a similar career. They encouraged him to join his local fire department.

In 1981, he started as a volunteer firefighter at the department in Wheatland and worked there for nine years. He worked part-time with an ambulance service in Lake Geneva and was a paid-on-call firefighter for that city’s fire department, as well.

All the while, he also started his own business using his ropes and rescue skills to train local firefighters.

At Gateway Technical College in 1989, McElmury taught a class with Pleasant Prairie Fire Chief Paul Guilbert on basic firefighting. It was Guilbert who encouraged him to apply for a firefighter opening there. He worked his way through the ranks, including a promotion to training officer, then to captain, and assistant chief.

In 2011, when Guilbert retired, McElmury was the interim chief and, eventually, the department’s top administrator. In the short time he has been chief, McElmury has overseen the expansion of the department from its Station 2 location at 8044 88th Ave. to a second location at the village’s main campus.

In the fall of 2015, Station 1 opened at 3801 Springbrook Road, to accommodate larger apparatus bays with new apparatus and specialized fire equipment, including a Zodiac boat, equipment trailer, and an ATV. The newer station also contains semi-private sleeping quarters.

This spring, McElmury and his 38 full- and part-time, and on-call firefighters trained on a new $1.1 million ladder truck that replaced an older truck which had been with the department for at least as long as he has been with it.

He credits the firefighters, support staff and the village’s administration — from community development to public works — for facilitating and anticipating challenges to help the department run smoothly.

He’ll be working part-time as a trainer for a California company that sells the kind of rope that pulled him in to rescue people in the first place.

“I’ll be able to travel round the country working for them teaching rope rescue, which is what my passion is,” he said.

thanks Dan

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New squad for Clarendon Hills (more)

Updated production photos of the new squad being built for the Clarendon Hills FD by Pierce so#30266

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

fire truck being built for the Clarendon Hills IL FD

Pierce photo

thanks Scott

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Deputy Chief Adam Riegel was recently named the new fire chief of the New Lenox Fire Protection District (NLFPD).

He will replace Chief Steve Engledow on June 26. Engledow’s last day with the district will be June 24 after a 45-year career in the fire service with three years as chief in New Lenox.

Riegel will be sworn in as chief at the June 19 district’s board of trustees meeting. He has been in fire service for 18 years, with 14 years in New Lenox.

Riegel was one of two deputy chiefs in the department of 56 people. Deputy Chief Dan Turner will continue in that role, but the department will no longer have two deputy chiefs.

Riegel began working as a volunteer with the Salina Township Fire Protection District in 2000 and became its chief in 2012. In 2003, he started in New Lenox as a firefighter/paramedic and worked his way up to lieutenant and battalion chief before being promoted to deputy chief in 2015 where he oversaw operations

He is on the operations committee for Lincolnway Dispatch Center and is assisting with the transition to the new Laraway Communications Center. He is currently vice president of MABAS 19 and president of the NLFPD Pension Board. 

Riegel has an associates degree in agriculture production and management from Joliet Junior College and a bachelor of science in fire science from Columbia Southern University.

thanks Dan

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Aurora Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Everyone aboard a school bus driving through Aurora Monday morning got out unharmed before the bus erupted in flames.

A First Student bus driver en route to Patterson Elementary School pulled over in after noticing smoke and immediately evacuated the four students who were on the bus. While the group waited outside for another bus to arrive, an apparent engine fire started.

Aurora police responded at about 8:27 a.m. but didn’t take criminal or traffic reports because it was just an engine fire and no one was injured, Lt. Jeffery Wiencek said.

school bus engulfed in fire

Fire engulfs a school bus in Aurora (IL) that was on its way to Patterson Elementary School Monday. No one was injured during the incident. Ian Cramer photo

school bus engulfed in fire

Ian Cramer photo

school bus destroyed by fire

Ian Cramer photo

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from ABC7chicago.com:

A driver who killed a Chicago firefighter in a hit-and-run crash last year in the North Side Rogers Park neighborhood has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Simeon Barrientos, 23, pleaded guilty May 1 to one count of failure to report an accident involving death.

About 7:30 p.m. on June 12, 2016, Lorenzo Douglas, a firefighter at Chicago FD assigned to Engine 103, was outside his parked vehicle in the 6500 block of North Ashland when a northbound minivan moved into the southbound lanes and hit him, his vehicle, and two other parked vehicles. Douglas was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston.

After the crash, he began to improve and was rehabilitating at Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, but suffered from some kind of relapse at the medical center and was pronounced dead there at 11:05 a.m. on July 5, 2016. An autopsy the next day found he died from injuries suffered when he was struck, and his death was ruled an accident.

The driver, later identified as Barrientos, also a Rogers Park resident, ran away after the crash and was later arrested and charged.

The judge sentenced Barrientos to 10 years in prison. He will receive credit for 296 days served in the Cook County Jail, and must serve one year of supervised release.

He was booked into the Stateville Correctional Center to begin serving his sentence.

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2-Alarm fire in Hawthorn Woods, 5-20-17

The Countryside FPD received a call reporting a basement fire with explosions at 4 Keuka Court in Hawthorn Woods Saturday night (5/20/17). The homeowner stated that there were model cars with batteries in the basement which might have explained the explosive sounds. A moderate to heavy fog encompassed the area and firefighters arrived to light colored smoke escaping from the house.

The working fire was upgraded to a Full Still and the a Box Alarm for change of quarters companies only. Interior companies had difficulty locating the seat of the fire within the basement and the need for more substantial water supply required an upgrade to a Box Alarm for tenders. This incident occurred within the early stages of the 2-Alarm fire being fought by the Wauconda FPD in an adjacent district. As such, several of the units due to the Countryside fire were already committed at the Wauconda fire which required substituting companies from the next levels off the box card.

fire engine at night with hose off

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters prepare to enter a house as heavy smoke pushes from basement fire

Larry Shapiro photo

smoke pushes from everywhere as basement fire rages in a house

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters prepare to enter a house as heavy smoke pushes from basement fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Countryside FPD Engine 411

Larry Shapiro photo

Spartan Evolution fire engine at night engulfed in smoke

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters prepare to enter a house as heavy smoke pushes from basement fire

Larry Shapiro photo

fire truck silhouette at night

Larry Shapiro photo

As the fire grew in intensity and compromised a section of the first floor, all crews were ordered out of the building as the tactics changed to a defensive attack. The alarm was upgraded to a 2nd Alarm roughly 35 minutes into the incident. The fire was contained shortly thereafter allowing firefighters to reenter the house to extinguish the remaining hot spots.

The simultaneous extra-alarm fires resulted in some long responses to the fire in Hawthorn Woods including units from Northbrook, Antioch, Newport Township, North Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Prospect Heights, Zion, Fox River Grove, and the Great lakes naval Training Center. By one unofficial count there were eight tenders at this fire.

firefighters battle smokey house fire from outside

Larry Shapiro photo

heavy smoke pushes from house fire

Larry Shapiro photo

flames burn inside house

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters fight basement fire from outside

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighter uses TIC to check for fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Mundelein fire engine drafting from a portable tank

Larry Shapiro photo

rural water supply at fire scene as engine drafts from portable tank

Larry Shapiro photo

 

 

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2-Alarm fire in Lake Zurich, 5-20-17

Wauconda firefighters were called for a house fire at 25860 Old McHenry Court in an unincorporated area of Lake Zurich Saturday night. Upon arrival of the first units, they reported a fully involved vacant house. The alarm was upgraded to a MABAS Box Alarm to the 2nd level for tenders (tankers) since there were no hydrants in the area.

Wauconda Tanker 341 was setup to nurse Squad 341 as lines were advanced on the house. As mutual aid companies arrived, portable tanks were dropped at the end of the street with a supply line from a Lake Zurich engine as the tanker shuttle was initiated.

 

portable tanks on the ground for tanker shuttle

Larry Shapiro photo

vacant house engulfed in fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Wauconda FD Squad 341 Ferrara

Larry Shapiro photo

Wauconda FD Squad 341 Ferrara

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters battle fire in a vacant house

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters battle fire in a vacant house

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters battle fire in a vacant house

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighters battle fire in a vacant house

Larry Shapiro photo

Wauconda FD Squad 341 Ferrara

Larry Shapiro photo

Wauconda FD Tanker 341

Larry Shapiro photo

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Oswego Fire Department news

Excerpts from wspynews.com:

The following EMS Units were honored at the May 15th Swearing-In Ceremony at the Oswego Fire Department.

Engine-3, Medic-3 – Firefighter/Paramedics Jimm Pechinski, Matt Cox, Jon Vickery, and Lt. Dave Jordan

“In recognition of operations performed in a highly commendable manner during an EMS call resulting in a successful pre-hospital baby delivery”.  A successful in-home assisted birth of a healthy baby boy with subsequent treatment and transport of mother & child to Rush Copley Hospital in the morning of February 27, 2017.

Engine-4, Medic-4 – Firefighter/Paramedics Jeff Pokorney, Kyle Sheley, Dave Martinez, and Lt. Dan Gallup

“In recognition of operations performed in a highly commendable manner during an EMS incident resulting in the Rush Copley Medical Center Call of the Year for 2016”.  Rush Copley awarded this EMS call with both the Call of the Quarter and subsequently the Call of the Year due to the timely recognition of the severity of the patient’s symptoms and the resulting treatment and transport.  The EMS crew initiated care, discovered and recognized an abnormal heart rhythm indicating the patient was an immediate candidate for a CODE STEMI (a STEMI is short for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction), which means the patient was in the midst of a significant life-threatening cardiac event.  Scene time at the patient’s location for this event – which included assessing the patient, placing and interpreting the heart monitor, and initiating care & transport – was less than 7 minutes!  The thorough and timely recognition of the cardiac event and the subsequent teamwork between the pre-hospital care of the Fire Department crew and the Emergency Room and Hospital staff, allowed the patient to undergo extensive cardiac procedures directly upon arrival at the hospital, thus saving the life of the patient.

Truck-1, Medic-1 – Firefighter/Paramedics Joshua Petersohn, Matt Goodbred, Jon Vickery, and Lt. Joe Johnson

“In recognition of operations performed in a highly commendable manner during an EMS incident resulting in successful cardiac defibrillation”.  The crew responded to an EMS call for a patient who fell and was barely breathing.  Upon arrival, it was noted that a bystander and then the police department had initiated CPR and an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) had been placed on the patient by the Police Officer with no shock advised. The EMS crew found the patient to be in asystole (without a heartbeat) and immediately initiated protocols and moved the patient to the ambulance for additional care.  The patient’s heart rhythm had then converted to one that was shockable, and the crew successfully defibrillated the patient into a sustainable heart rhythm, sedated & intubated the patient to take over the breathing, and successfully transported to the Emergency Department at Rush Copley Medical Center.

thanks Dan

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from WGNtv.com:

Most callers assume 911 operators receive address information automatically when they call. That’s the case with landline phones but not cellular calls. 

“We have to explain to [callers] that we need to verify their address because with cell phones, we don’t get an exact address,” said Chicago 911 dispatch trainer Sherrie Y. Wright.

Why can Uber and other apps pinpoint your location when 911 can’t? That’s because apps use GPS information you agree to provide and transmit. 911 relies on cellular carriers to report a caller’s location. The carriers do that by determining the location of the cell tower with which the phone connects. It means 911 dispatchers can initially receive an address range of several blocks but they can “re-ping” the phone which usually narrows it down to a single block, but often doesn’t provide a specific street address to send help.

Right now, the FCC has an agreement with the big wireless carriers: They only need to transmit specific street addresses 40-percent of the time. That number is slated to increase to 80% of calls by the year 2021. 

Despite the fact wireless phone users in Illinois are paying as much $3.90 per month in 911 surcharges,  Illinois lawmakers diverted $7.5 million in 911 fees to shore up the state’s general revenue fund in recent years.

Private firms have developed apps and other software that will relay the specific location of wireless callers, but it comes with additional cost.

Chicago 911 officials say the best way to help first responders emergency personnel to reach you in an emergency is to quickly and clearly state the location from which you’re calling.

thanks Dan

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from ABC7chicago.com:

A young boy’s visit to Chicago for a hospital treatment turned into much more than that!

It was Owen Mahan’s day off. The 9-year-old from Indiana is recovering from severe burns that he suffered as a toddler in Lawrence, Kan. 

The Navy Pier carousel is a far cry from a doctor’s appointment, which is what Owen Mahan was told Tuesday morning when the 9-year-old arrived in Chicago from Indiana.

With perfect weather, Owen knew something was up. He was surprised with a day of fun in Chicago – well-deserved for a boy who was once given a zero-percent chance to live. When he was 2 years old, Owen was scalded with hot water and suffered burns over 98 percent of his body.

“I’ve got a medical background, so when they told me he was burnt with 98 percent of body, I thought it was a typo. There is no way anyone can survive that type of injury,” said Susan Mahan, Owen’s mother.

Owen not only survived, but with the help of his mother, he’s thriving. He has been through 49 surgeries. His mother said that every day, his will to live humbles her.

Owen’s day in Chicago was arranged by good friends who wanted to give him something fun to do before his upcoming June 5 surgery to amputate his other leg.

In another surprise, Owen headed over to the Wrigley Firehouse where got to ride in the truck and was given a full uniform making him an honorary fireman.

Then, Owen headed inside the Friendly Confines with a special seat in the dugout for batting practice. A gift from Jake Arietta capped off a perfect day for a perfect kid.

thanks Dan

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