Archive for category Fire Department News

Harvard FPD news

Excerpts from the

As the dust settled on months of infighting throughout the Harvard Fire Protection District, Harvard Fire Chief Steve Harter and Deputy Fire Chief Don Davidson were slapped with suspensions. The punishment stemmed from a letter sent in June that called the recent conduct of trustee and board secretary Joe Clarke unprofessional and hostile.

After talking in closed session at the Harvard Fire Protection District Board’s regularly scheduled November meeting, trustees voted without opposition to suspend Harter and Davidson for 36 hours, with the suspensions to be served in December at times approved by the board. 

In a letter sent June 19 to the board president, Harter and Davidson said it has become apparent that Clarke has waged a vendetta against the chief and other officers at the part-time fire district. “The actions within the last few months have been very unprofessional and have no place in an open meeting,” the letter read. “The belligerent, threatening and overbearing treatment has been escalating to hostile levels of attack.”

On July 21, Clarke said in an email to the other trustees that the letter demonstrated a significant level of insubordination. He also called into question a number of insufficiencies within the district. “Being queried on failure to conduct preventative maintenance on apparatus, missing fire incident reports, improperly handling an investigation into a vehicle accident involving EMS apparatus and the subsequent employee discipline, missing security box keys, secretive promotional process, insufficient response to request for job descriptions and policy changes, etc.,” Clarke wrote. 

In response, Clarke said the chiefs should be held accountable and disciplined accordingly, and he would support any decision reached by the other four trustees.

At the board’s June 12 meeting, Clarke called into question Harter’s credentials, such as whether he was a certified fire officer and what education in fire service management or fire science technology he has.

When pressed by the board, Clarke questioned the promotion process, which he would later call unethical during the board’s next meeting.

In August, the board hired a Naperville-based law firm that represents more fire protection districts than any other firm in the state – to conduct an investigation into employee misconduct, which Clarke said was because of the chief’s letter.

Between Aug. 14 and Nov. 28, the district paid the firm $3,240 for its services.
A FOIA request for documentation showing any findings or rulings from the investigation was denied on the grounds that the correspondence was intended for the purpose of assisting the board on how to discipline district employees.

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

When Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose A. Santiago retired in August, records show he was facing disciplinary action for failing to file a complaint against his driver. The city parted ways with him after the mayor’s office received an 11-page report from the Department of Human Resources, that recommended he be punished for violating the city’s equal employment opportunity policy.

According to city investigators, Santiago failed to file a complaint about a racial slur that his driver, Cmdr. Richard Rosado, uttered to the fire department’s news affairs director, Larry Langford, in the presence of the department’s chief administrative officer Annastasia Walker on Oct. 11, 2016. Rosado and Santiago are Hispanic. Langford and Walker are African-American.

Also, Santiago “knowingly provided false information” about the incident when he was questioned by Steven Malec, who is assistant fire commissioner and the fire department’s internal affairs director, according to the report.

Santiago retired Aug. 30 and now gets a pension of $152,046 a year.
He denies many of the allegations in the report. But in an interview he says he now sees that he should have stepped aside from the case and left it to one of his deputies to investigate.

“Say, are you the valet man?” Langford, in an interview with human resources, recalled joking to the commissioner’s driver. Langford told investigators Rosado responded jokingly, saying “N—–, pleeze.”

Rosado told investigators, “I intended the response in a joking manner,’’ adding that Langford “started laughing profusely.” Walker told human resources she immediately went to Santiago’s office and complained. She said Santiago told her: “I keep telling these guy to stop doing that. I keep telling them. I keep telling them.”

Santiago’s secretary backed up what Walker said, saying she was in the commissioner’s office at the time.

Santiago disputed that Walker came to his office. He says he went to talk with her after hearing something had happened. He also denies telling her that he previously had warned Rosado and Langford about their racial banter.

Even though Santiago denies that Walker wanted to file a complaint, the human resources report says Santiago was required to report the incident anyway.

Rosado, a 32-year veteran of the fire department, ended up getting a three-day suspension for using the racial slur. He served the suspension, then retired Oct. 9 with a pension of $74,469 a year.

Langford told human resources he wasn’t offended by Rosado’s racial slur, characterizing it as a jovial response typically used between people of color . . . From my perspective, this incident didn’t need to be reported.

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New engine for Joliet

This from hunter Klinger:

Found on Joliet Fire Department FaceBook page 
Drawings of new Engine 1 expected to arrive mid to late summer 2019.

drawing of new fire engine for the Joliet FD
drawing of new fire engine for the Joliet FD

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Naperville donates ambulance

Excerpts from the


1. 18-861 Approve the donation of Unit 9333, a 2004 International Medtec Ambulance, to the Cancun, Mexico Fire Department

thanks Martin

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Deputy Chief Jeffrey Horan is currently the highest earner of Chicago Fire Department overtime and supplementary pay in the city, making more than $87,000 in overtime from January to June. That’s on top of his $156,000 salary.
Horan is poised to take home more than $332,000 for the year. He’s on pace to hit more than $175,000 in overtime this year, which puts him well above his 2017 total of $114,000 and far beyond his 2016 total of nearly $78,000.

Deputy District Chief David Dietz is in the same boat. He’ll hit $162,000 in overtime, far above his previous years totals, if he keeps up this pace.
The same is true of Deputy District Chief Charles Maes. He’s on track to hit $155,000 in overtime this year alone.

The Chicago Fire Department says that these deputy district chiefs are making up for vacancies. Many at that rank have resigned from their exempt positions and returned to the rank-and-file in order to get the best pension deal, and then it’s hard to fill their spots.

A CFD spokesperson said the Commissioners’ Office and the Office of Budget Management are aware of the issue.
The fire commissioner earns about $200,000 a year, and the mayor earns about $216,000 per year.

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New ambulance for Bolingbrook

From the Fire Service, Inc. Facebook page:

Congratulations to the Bolingbrook , IL Fire Department on the delivery of their latest Wheeled Coach type 1 ambulance. This unit has substantial safety and operational improvements to help them meet their mission. This ambulance is built fully compliant with Change Notice 8 and 10, featuring upgraded interior cabinetry and closures designed for crash stability and the safety of interior occupants. The Stryker Power Load system serves both the medics with proven reduction in lifting injuries and retains the patient in the event of an accident. Finally each side has structural gear and SCBA compartments. And introducing to this agency a curbside sliding door to assist in the safety zone for the medics. On the Ford F550 4×4 chassis, with full Whelen LED warning and interior lighting packages and the patented Cool Bar HVAC system, Bolingbrook has made a significant investment in providing their community with the safest, most value driven emergency EMS apparatus possible. Thanks again for being a part of the Fire Service, Inc. family.


Bolingbrook FD Ambulance M3
Fire Service, Inc. photo
Bolingbrook FD Ambulance M3
Fire Service, Inc. photo
Bolingbrook FD Ambulance M3
Fire Service, Inc. photo
chevron striping on back of ambulance
Fire Service, Inc. photo
new ambulance interior
Fire Service, Inc. photo

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Mount Prospect Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Jadale Mitchell has a standing invitation from Mount Prospect firefighters to stop by the station. Firefighters even offered the irresistible enticement of station house cooking to encourage the 13-year-old to drop by.
Jadale, an eighth-grader at Holmes Junior High, first met the firefighters under very different circumstances in September. That’s when the teen who lives with a genetic mutation in his heart suffered cardiac arrest shortly after arriving home from school, and his friends and first responders firefighters teamed to save his life.

“I was playing with my friends, and my heart stopped,” Jadale said, recalling the Sept. 26 episode as he and firefighters reunited Tuesday night at Mount Prospect village hall.

A friend called 911 and performed CPR until first responders firefighters arrived. It took seven minutes to revive him.
He was airlifted to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where he underwent surgery involving cutting a nerve to reduce the flow of adrenaline. He spent the next three weeks in the hospital recovering, some of it in an induced coma.
Now showing no signs of impairment, Jadale appeared before the village board Tuesday to thank the first responders firefighters who helped save him and watch as five were honored for their actions.
Lt. Mike Ghawaly and firefighter/paramedics Scott Slaasted, Phil Ellenbecker, Craig Rodewald, and Jon Schram received the Zoll Clinical Save Award for their efforts.

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from a long message to Chicago firefighters from Chicago mayoral hopeful Paul Vallas

I recognize the overriding issue of firefighter staff reductions and fire station closings creates anxiety among Chicago Fire Department members. While no mayoral candidate can in good conscience guarantee he/she will never close another station or recommend changes in staffing levels, it will be my priority to accomplish savings without jeopardizing firefighter health or safety.

With this in mind, my comprehensive long-term plans DO NOT include fire station closings or firefighter staff reductions. I will instead work with CFD to find ways to improve efficiencies, secure public and private funding to which CFD is entitled and monetize the department by extending income-generating services to private entities.

The issue of protecting the pensions of current and future retirees is also of utmost importance. Fulfilling pension obligations is a constitutional mandate, which means funding retirement takes precedence in any financial crisis. I have a plan that enables the city to meet the pension obligations of ALL our current and future retirees and meets the State’s pension funding mandate.

Of all the issues facing CFD, none are more important than the issue of firefighter and paramedic health and safety. Concern over the occurrence of occupational cancer has been mounting for several years. The incidence of certain cancers in firefighters is well documented in literature and recently a federal mandate was passed to maintain accurate records countywide.

As mayor of the City of Chicago I will ensure that CFD fully adheres to all National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other national standards regarding cancer prevention for firefighters and paramedics. This will include instituting serious steps to minimize cancer in firefighters.

The CFD has yet to implement many of these steps. The fact that firefighters have only one set of bunker gear and paramedics have none places CFD employees at risk. Once gear is contaminated, the process of having a vendor take it off site for cleaning is time-consuming and laborious. The result is that most members wind up working with dirty gear. It is unacceptable that this situation persists.

This will change under my watch.

thanks Dennis


New tower ladder for Buffalo Grove

The Buffalo Grove FD has placed an order with E-ONE for a 100-foot, HP100, rear-mounted tower ladder. It will be on a Cyclone II chassis with a 2,000-GPM pump and 300 gallons of water. Delivery is expected in the fall of 2019.

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Morton Grove Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Firefighters fought a blaze Monday night (Dec. 3) aboard the locomotive of a Milwaukee District North Metra commuter train. Railroad officials said the crew of the train heard a loud noise coming from the engine compartment, they shut down the engine, and found smoke and fire.

Firefighters were dispatched shortly after 8 p.m. and on arrival found one of the locomotive’s diesel engines on fire with passengers being safely evacuated from the train by Morton Grove police. The fire did not extend into the passenger cars and no one was injured. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Metra officials said there were about 100 passengers aboard the train and all but 20 made alternative arrangements to reach their destinations. About 20 passengers waited until 10 p.m. for the next train. Train traffic was moving by about 9:15 p.m., but the affected train, stopped at the station and sitting across Lincoln Avenue with gates down, kept Lincoln blocked until about 11 p.m.

Firefighters from Niles, Morton Grove, and Skokie were able to bring the fire under control within about 15 minutes, but it took an additional 15 to 20 minutes to contain lingering hot spots and to ensure the fire was fully extinguished, because of unique void spaces built into the steel of the engine compartment of the locomotive. Firefighters used saws to cut into the engine compartment to extinguish pockets of fire.

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