Archive for category Fire Service News

Elmhurst Fire Department news

Excerpts from mysuburbanlife.com:

Joseph D. Schenk, 31, of the 1500 block of Jill Court, was charged with aggravated battery, possession of a controlled substance and obstructing a peace officer, and Mayrel J. Gamez, 25, of the 1500 block of Jill Court, was charged with obstructing a peace officer and criminal trespass to motor vehicle following the incident that reportedly occurred about 6:21 p.m. July 31 at Lake Street and Church Road in Elmhurst.

Elmhurst Deputy Police Chief Mike McLean said the two reportedly stopped the vehicle they were in while they were in traffic on Lake Street, and Elmhurst Fire Department personnel pulled up behind them in a department vehicle. The personnel inquired as to the welfare of Schenk and Gamez, anticipating their vehicle had broken down.

McLean said Schenk and Gamez were acting erratically, and Gamez allegedly opened the door of the fire department vehicle. A firefighter reportedly asked the woman to exit the vehicle, and Gamez allegedly refused to do so. The firefighter then reportedly pulled her out of the vehicle. Schenk then allegedly shoved the firefighter, and Elmhurst police responded to the scene and took Schenk and Gamez into custody. The pair were then transported to the hospital for treatment.

Gamez was charged with obstruction of justice because she allegedly did not comply with police officers’ orders during the arrest. The firefighter did not sustain injuries.

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from the pantograph.com:

Rural emergency medical services face increasing pressure from several areas. The Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act would reauthorize a $20 million annual federal grant program from fiscal 2019 through fiscal 2023 to directly support rural EMS agencies in training and recruiting staff, and purchasing supplies and equipment. Individual grants would not exceed $200,000. The bill would provide grant funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration for public, tribal, and private nonprofit agencies in rural communities nationwide.

In June, the Senate passed the Farm Bill, which included the SIREN Act as a bipartisan amendment. The bill is now before a conference committee where the House and Senate will reconcile the differences of their respective bills.

The SIREN Act is supported by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Association of Counties, National Association of Towns and Townships, and National Volunteer Fire Council.

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Working fire in Des Plaines – 8/3/18

This from a reader:

Another fire in Des Plaines – quick knock of a kitchen fire. 1 line.  Roof checked and no extension. Station 63, 61, 62 

Des Plaines firefighters at a fire scene

Des Plaines firefighters at a fire scene

Des Plaines firefighters at a fire scene

Des Plaines firefighters at a fire scene

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

A Chicago Fire Department paramedic was injured Thursday afternoon when a man threw a brick at an ambulance about 12:45 p.m. near the intersection of 65th Place and Stony Island Avenue.

The ambulance was on its way to a call when a man hurled a brick through a window. There was no patient in the ambulance.

The ambulance was staffed by a commander and a paramedic candidate. It’s not clear which was injured. Both were taken by another ambulance to the hospital to be evaluated. One had minor cuts.

It’s not clear what prompted the man to throw a brick at the ambulance. He’s not in custody.

thanks Dan

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Of interest … Janus v. AFSCME Council 31

Excerpts from fox32chicago.com:

The powerful unions that represent Illinois’ government workers are vowing to fight back following a Supreme Court ruling that could cost them millions of dollars. Government unions claim only a few of their members have stopped paying dues, despite the Supreme Court’s Janus Ruling last week allowing exactly that. And they point to two firefighters who formerly paid a reduced, so-called fair share. They’re now all in. 

On Monday, union leaders met with congressional Democrats in Chicago at the headquarters for the biggest union representing Illinois government workers.

The long-term result may be very different. In states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, when government unions lost their power to force government employees to pay them, they also lost thousands of members and tens of millions of dollars.

Gov. Rauner and his allies argue those 35% higher wages force higher taxes. Rauner says Illinois government is “corrupted” by government unions giving multi-million-dollar campaign contributions to state and local officials who then sign off on bloated paychecks and pensions.

Democrats mock Rauner’s claim, endorsed by the Supreme Court, that workers should be free from belonging to or paying unions.

Union leaders predict Governor Rauner’s role in originally filing that Supreme Court case will backfire on him. They’re doubling down on Democrat JB Pritzker.

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Chicago Level 1 Haz Mat, 6-30-18

This from Tim Olk:

Chicago Fire Dept Level 1 Haz-Mat 111th And Spaulding For The Natural Gas Leak

Firefighter takes gas reading in sewer

Tim Olk photo

Firefighter takes gas reading in sewer

Tim Olk photo

Firefighters at gas leak

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Haz Mat 5-1-1

Tim Olk photo

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Cancer in the fire service (more)

Excerpts from the iafc.org:

The IAFC thanked Congress for final passage of  the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act (H.R. 931), groundbreaking legislation which will create an anonymous, voluntary registry for firefighters at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In order to facilitate this research, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would create an anonymous, voluntary registry for firefighters at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data would include important information about the firefighter’s medical history; demographic information; number of incident responses and years in service; whether the firefighter was career or volunteer; what other jobs the firefighter might have had; and other risk factors. In addition, the registry would include under-represented types of firefighters, such as women and minorities.

Medical researchers would be able to use the information from this registry and compare it to information in state cancer registries to examine the relationship between firefighting and cancer. The purpose of this national registry will be to help researchers reduce the occurrence of cancer in our nation’s fire and emergency service. 

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Buffalo Grove Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from a letter to the editor at the ChicagoTribune.com:

Your editorial criticizing Buffalo Grove Firefighter Kevin Hauber’s pension award shortchanged the subject of occupational diseases in firefighters. The pension board’s decision was based on Illinois law, and your editorial showed disregard for that law and the medical evidence behind it.

Hauber’s death to colon cancer is not an anomaly among veteran firefighters. Extensive scientific research shows compelling evidence that specific cancers — including colorectal cancers — are strongly associated with firefighting. That evidence is a result of extensive university studies as well as that of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The editorial also neglected to recognize other critical medical factors: Hauber’s age, family, personal health history, and genetic testing showed he was not a colon cancer risk. Rather, an overriding environmental risk for the 23-year veteran firefighter was cited as evidence of increased risk to colorectal cancer.

Any attempt at empathy for his widow and children was negated by the contention that the pension vote was a misguided gesture. Indeed, it is irresponsible to ignore Illinois law while criticizing the pension board.

Illinois law governing presumptive disability states, “The type of cancer involved must be a type which may be caused by exposure to heat, radiation or a known carcinogen as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.” Furthermore it says that the cancer must “arise as a result of service as a firefighter.”

Hauber was exposed over 23 years to soot, asbestos and formaldehyde. The IARC identifies them as primary carcinogens associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Not every firefighter succumbs to the ravages of colon cancer, just as not all airline mechanics get sucked into jet engines. But a reasonable person takes time to read scientific evidence and why it is incorporated into state law.

— Pat Devaney, president, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, Springfield

thanks Dan

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NFPA RELEASES 2017 U.S. FIREFIGHTER INJURIES REPORT

Excerpts from Nfpa.org:

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its annual U.S. Firefighter Fatalities report, which showed a total of 60 U.S. firefighter fatalities while on duty in 2017. This number represents the lowest total reported since 1977, when NFPA began reporting on-duty firefighter fatalities; it is the sixth time in the last seven years that the total has been below 70 deaths.

Of the 60 fatalities, 32 were volunteer firefighters, 21 were career firefighters, three were employees of federal land management agencies, two were contractors with federal and state land management agencies, and two were prison inmates. Deaths among career and volunteer firefighters were both at their second lowest totals in 2017.

The 17 deaths that occurred at the fire scene represents the second-lowest number of fire ground deaths since the study’s inception, and the second consecutive year that the number has been below 20.

In most years, the second largest share of on-duty firefighter deaths occurs while firefighters are responding to or returning from emergency calls. In 2017, however, the second largest share (11 deaths) occurred at the scene of non-fire emergencies: five were operating at motor vehicle crashes; three were at incidents with wires down; one was at the scene of a downed tree; one was investigating an odor in a structure; and one was checking on a possible flooding condition during a storm. Ten of the 11 were struck by passing vehicles and one suffered sudden cardiac death.

In 2017, 10 firefighters were struck by vehicles, which is far higher than the average of four deaths a year over the previous 30 years.

Overexertion, stress and medical issues accounted for more than half of the deaths in 2017. Of the 32 deaths in this category, 29 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths (usually heart attacks), two were due to strokes and one was due to complications from a recent medical procedure that developed while the victim was at work. The 29 sudden cardiac deaths in 2017, with onset while the victim was on-duty, represents the fourth time in the last six years that the toll has been below 30, but still accounts for almost half of the deaths while on-duty.

A comprehensive study that enumerates all duty-related deaths in a year is not yet possible to accomplish.

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Of interest … Firefighter saves couple from carjacking

Excerpts from wgntv.com:

Around 10 a.m. Thursday, Cicero Firefighter Joey Matthews was on the engine with his co-workers when he saw an elderly couple being carjacked.  “I jumped out of the rig and started running towards the car,” he said. “And as soon as I did the gentleman jumped out of the car and started booking for the alley.”

Matthews says he saw smoke and smelled gun powder.  He believes the suspect could have fired a round as the engine pulled up. The suspect ran through yards and Matthews lost sight of him.

When he was 4-years-old, his dad, Chicago Police Officer John Matthews was killed in the line of duty.  He was beaten to death by a mob in the Hegwisch neighborhood on the Southeast Side. He said his dad would “think I was an idiot for chasing a guy with a gun while I’m not armed.”

Cicero police responded quickly but the suspect got away. The couple was not hurt and Matthews is thankful they did not lose their car.

thanks Dan

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