Archive for category Fire Service News

Evanston Fire Department news

From the City of Evanston:

Evanston Fire Department and Oakton Community College collaborate to create tuition-free firefighter apprenticeship program

The Evanston Fire Department in collaboration with Oakton Community College has established their first public service apprenticeship program, allowing residents of Evanston to gain a career path in fire service tuition-free. 

Evanston residents who are at least 17 years of age are eligible to apply for the three-year apprenticeship program. They will work, train and learn in preparation to test for a full-time appointment as an Evanston firefighter/paramedic. Students from Evanston Township High School are encouraged to apply.

Upon successful completion of the 3 year program, apprentices will have approximately 3,000 hours of work experience. Students that fulfill the firefighter apprenticeship requirements will receive a Basics of Fire Fighting Certificate, Fire Science Technology Certificate, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science Technology from Oakton. In addition, students will earn a Candidate Physical Ability Test Card and Ladder Climb Certification from a third-party provider. The City of Evanston will cover tuition and training costs.

Oakton’s partnership with EFD is just one example of the full range of cost-effective, high-quality training solutions developed by Oakton’s Workforce Solutions team that can be delivered at a variety of locations. Oakton has an experienced team of consultants, trainers and program managers who develop customized training programs enhancing employee skills and knowledge to drive business results.

According to Ruben Howard II, PhD., Oakton’s director of Workforce and Strategic Partnerships, one apprenticeship is expected to be offered before the end of the year.

“We’re proud to be relying on our community relationships to bring this innovative apprenticeship program to Evanston, while helping make a career in fire service a reality for those who may never have thought it possible,” Howard said. “Oakton is excited to expand on these types of relationships with business partners in our community.”

EFD Fire Chief Brian Scott added, “This program will help better educate, train and prepare Evanston youth for a career in the fire service while providing a more valid evaluation of a potential candidate compared to current testing models. Additionally, the program will promote diversity by providing an opportunity for Evanston youth to serve their community as they graduate from ETHS”.

He also stated, “It’s also our hope that at the end of the process, participants will be given preference points on any participating agency’s firefighter eligibility list, significantly increasing their chances for appointment to a fire department.”

Jobs for firefighters and paramedics are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for firefighters was $50,850 in May 2019. Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 5% through 2028. In addition, the BLS reports that the median annual wage for paramedics was $35,400 in May 2019. The need for paramedics is expected to grow 7% through 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

Online applications for the program will be accepted from September 1st thru November 2nd at . An information session has been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. To RSVP, email


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Of interest … Fire Service, Inc.

Fire Service, Inc. the E-ONE and KME dealer for Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday (9-15-20) at their newest facility at 105 Industrial Drive in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Fire Service Inc owner Shawn Junker and family

Fire Service, Inc. photo

Wisconsin State Representative Barbara Dittrich and Fire Service Inc. owner Shawn Junker

Fire Service, Inc. photo

Wisconsin State Representative Barbara Dittrich and Fire Service Inc. owner Shawn Junker and employees of the Wisconsin facility

Fire Service, Inc. photo

sign for Fire Service Inc

Larry Shapiro photo

sign for Fire Service Inc

Larry Shapiro photo

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Of interest … Firefighter Matt Thuma

Excerpts from the

Woodstock’s Matt Thuma has been a regular at the Crystal Lake Half Marathon since the 13.1-mile race became a staple of the running community. The 54-year-old Crystal Lake firefighter may not place among the top finishers, but that’s for a good reason.

Unlike other runners, Thuma, who got his start in long-distance races about 20 years ago, crosses the finish line wearing more than 42 pounds of gear: boots, a turnout coat and pants, gloves, a helmet and air tank. He tries to do three or four long-distance events a year, ran his 20th Crystal Lake Half Marathon Sunday morning. He’s done them all with his full PPE. 

Matt, who has been a firefighter/paramedic for 35 years, guesses that he has raced in about 50 marathons and other long-distance events since the start of 2000, both in and out of gear. The 2000 Chicago Marathon was the first in gear .

He first ran in full gear to bring awareness to the heightened risk of firefighters developing cancer in the line of duty. He has also run for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. Any money raised for this year’s Crystal Lake Half Marathon will go to support The Break teen center in Crystal Lake. Matt’s final race before the COVID-19 pandemic halted most running events was in Honolulu where two other firefighters ran the race in full gear. 

Thuma said the support he gets from other runners and spectators is a big part of what keeps him going.

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9/11 anniversary ceremony in Chicago and suburbs

Excerpts from

Memorials across the Chicago area are being held to mark the 19th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

The Chicago Fire Department observed a moment of silence at 7:46 a.m. CT, the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

Flags in Indiana are also flying at half-staff Friday to remember the victims of 9/11.

In Evanston, the fire and police departments held a memorial ceremony from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Fire Station 3, 1105 Central St.

The city of Aurora’s ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook, including a moment of silence, as well as a wreath-laying ceremony.

A Palatine memorial ceremony at the Palatine Firefighters Memorial at the corner of North Brockway and West Slade streets was held at 9 a.m. The fire department honor guard marched to the memorial from the fire station at 39 E. Colfax St.

Wauconda Mayor Lincoln Knight laid a wreath at the villages Heroes of Freedom Memorial and then observe a moment of silence at 9 a.m.

In Gary, a virtual ceremony included lowering the flag to half-staff and a bugler performing taps.

In Glendale Heights, the village will host a silent parade of first responder emergency vehicles and a candlelight service at 7:15 p.m. at the flagpole at Camera Park, 101 E. Fullerton Ave.

Excerpts from

Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions.

In New York, a dispute over coronavirus-safety precautions is leading to split-screen remembrances Friday, one at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza at the World Trade Center and another on a nearby corner. The Pentagon’s observance will be so restricted that not even victims’ families can attend, though small groups can visit the memorial there later in the day.

Still, 9/11 families say it’s important for the nation to pause and remember the hijacked-plane attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the trade center, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001, shaping American policy, perceptions of safety and daily life in places from airports to office buildings.

The New York memorial is changing one of its ceremony’s central traditions: having relatives read the names of the dead, often adding poignant tributes. Thousands of family members are still invited. But they’ll hear a recording of the names from speakers spread around the vast plaza, a plan that memorial leaders felt would avoid close contact at a stage but still allow families to remember their loved ones at the place where they died.

Over the years, the anniversary also has become a day for volunteering. Because of the pandemic, the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance organization is encouraging people this year to make donations or take other actions that can be accomplished at home.

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Fire service loses a friend, Wayne Stuart

Wayne L. Stuart

January 27, 1949 – August 25, 2020

Wayne L. Stuart January 27, 1949 - August 25, 2020

Wayne L. Stuart
Age 71 passed away suddenly Tuesday August 25, 2020 at his home in Orland Park where he resided for the past 30 years, formerly of Calumet City. Wayne is a retired Firefighter, formerly he was employed in Calumet City then to retire as a Lieutenant from the Skokie Fire Department after more than 40 years of service. After retirement, Wayne spent much of his time as a loyal and trusted employee at the Kurtz, Anderson, and Goodale Funeral Homes where he drove on many funerals and greeted many families at the door. He was also a member of the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee of Orland Park. He is survived by his loving wife Sandra Stuart; sister Barbara Stuart; nephews John (Dr. Mary) Fitzgibbon and Scott (Lindsay) Fitzgibbon; great nieces and nephews Kadyen, Sean, Olivia, and Brad also a sister-in-law Barbara (Patrick) Fitzgibbon. Preceded in death by his parents Wayne and Helen Stuart and an infant daughter Stacey Stuart. Due to the current heath pandemic, services for Wayne will be private.

Wayne L. Stuart January 27, 1949 - August 25, 2020To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wayne L. Stuart please visit our Tribute Store.
August 27 at 6:31 PM

It is with a heavy heart we report the sudden passing of retired Lieutenant Wayne Stuart. Lt. Stuart served the Village of Skokie from June 22nd, 1982 until September 25th, 2007. His family and friends are in our thoughts.

Former Skokie FD Lieutenant Wayne L. Stuart January 27, 1949 - August 25, 2020 Former Skokie FD Lieutenant Wayne L. Stuart January 27, 1949 - August 25, 2020Former Skokie FD Lieutenant Wayne L. Stuart January 27, 1949 - August 25, 2020

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Chicago double LODD 12-22-10 (more)

Excerpts from claims

An insurer may be liable for $14 million of a mortgage company’s settlement with the estates of two Chicago firefighters who were killed while battling a blaze at an abandoned laundry, a federal appellate court ruled Monday.

A district court judge had ruled that no coverage was owed under the excess liability policy issued by a Chubb unit because of an exclusion for properties held by a “mortgagee in procession.” But a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there was a question of whether the policyholder, Apex Mortgage Corp., was actually in possession of the property at 1738-1744 E. 75th St.

“The district court determined Apex indisputably possessed the property, but we think the court jumped the gun,” the court said.

The case is Apex Mortgage Corp. v. Great Northern Insurance Co.. The City of Chicago had cited the owners of the former Sing Way Commercial Shirt Service for 14 code violations. The court said the “property was in disrepair, exposed to the elements, trashed and open to vagrants.”

The building’s owners, Chuck and Richard Dai, had defaulted on their mortgage. When Apex threatened foreclosure, the Dais offered to give the deed to Apex. The company accepted subject to an inspection to ensure the property was marketable.

Apex inspected the property, installed new locks on the building and a tarp over the roof, but decided there was no point in pursuing foreclosure, Apex’s lawyers said in court pleadings. Apex returned the deed to the Dais in April 2009 with a letter reminding them they owned the building and urging them to secure the property. The Dais say they never got the letter.

On Dec. 22, 2010, the Chicago Fire Department responded to a fire at the property. The roof collapsed about 20 minutes after that call came in, killing firefighters Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer, who had entered the building to search for homeless occupants. Two other firefighters were buried in the rubble, but survived. The firefighters’ estates filed wrongful death actions against Apex, which the mortgage company settled for $15 million.

Apex’s primary liability insurer, Great Northern Insurance Co., paid the $1 million policy limit after Apex filed suit. Apex sought to recover the remaining $14 million from its excess policy with Federal Insurance Co., but Federal said no coverage was owed because of the exclusion.

District Court Judge Virginia M. Kendall agreed with Federal that Apex was a mortgagee in possession at the time of the fire and granted summary judgment in Federal’s favor. But the 7th Circuit said the facts in evidence provide room to argue otherwise.

The panel said Chuck Dai ordered a handyman to board up the property after the city cited him for code violations. He never made the other repairs that were ordered and eventually was sentenced to 180 days in jail for his negligence. Chuck Dai did not contest the city’s allegations that he controlled the property during those criminal proceedings.

The court also rejected Federal’s argument that Apex effectively admitted it was in possession of the property when it agreed to a settlement with the firefighters’ estates.

“Settlement does not create a judicial ruling,” the panel said. “Nor does it vindicate a plaintiff’s theory of liability. Parties can settle for any number of reasons and the obligation to pay comes from the settlement itself (an agreement), not from one party’s liability.”

The court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.

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Illinois American Water’s 2020 Firefighter Grant Program

Excerpts from

Illinois American Water is accepting applications for its 2020 Firefighter Grant Program. Through this program, the company provides financial assistance to fire and emergency organizations in its service areas.

Since 2010, Illinois American Water has awarded over $582,000 through 590 grants. The firefighter grant program, which is in its tenth year, assists firefighters with equipment and training resources.

Uniformed professional and volunteer fire departments serving Illinois American Water’s service territory are eligible for a grant of up to $1,000 to cover costs associated with the following:

Personal protective gear

Communications Equipment

Firefighting tools

Water Handling Equipment

Training and related activities/materials used to support community fire protection

Reimbursement for specific fire training classes, including training manuals and workbooks

Fire departments should email a letter of application by Sept. 8, 2020 with the following information:

Description of the organization(s) seeking support

Overview of specific project to be funded and grant amount requested

Community problem/challenges that the project will address

Timeframe for implementation of project

Summary of other sources being approached for support of the project

Project budget Applications should be sent to Katie Fidler, external affairs specialist, at About Illinois American Water – Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

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Civil unrest in Kenosha, WI – 8-23-20


These were all City of Kenosha DPW trucks that were set on fire. Due to firefighter and officer safety concerns, the Kenosha Fire Department did not respond to any of these vehicle fires Sunday night.

During the early morning hours of Monday, KFD requested a working still for several fires in the city.
Asher Heimermann

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2020 National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

click to download

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Fire Service News

Alexis Fire Equipment Company now available on HGAC


HGAC Buy is a nationwide, government procurement service striving to make the governmental procurement process more efficient. Units of local government, including non-profits providing governmental services, are eligible to become participating members of the HGACBuy Cooperative. All contracts available to participating members of HGACBuy have been awarded by virtue of a public competitive procurement process compliant with state statutes. The Texas Interlocal Cooperation Act permits joint participation by local governments, states, state agencies, and certain non-profit corporations. Most states have interlocal cooperation authority or other joint power provisions that allow participation in cooperative activities. Government entities join HGACBuy by executing an Interlocal Contract to become an End User. This document sets out the conditions, requirements and processes through which an entity’s purchase orders are received, confirmed to contract, and processed. There are many different HGAC End Users from multiple states: HGACBuy End User List

There are no annual membership dues required to purchase thru HGACBuy.

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