Archive for category Fire Service News

Of interest … ambulance donated to Ukraine

Excerpts from

“Hey dad, is there anything we can do to help?”

That was the question Chris Manson’s 9-year-old daughter Lilly asked this time last year that lead him to the creation of U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine.

In the ensuing months, Manson has built partnerships with Chicago’s Consulate General of Ukraine, UA Resistance, and several other medical organizations, leading to what will be their eighth shipment of ambulances and fire engines to Ukraine, set to depart from Valparaiso recently.

According to Manson, the most memorable part of organizing these donations is when they reach their final destination.

“You come up to the border, the Ukrainian border guard looks at what you got and he just says ‘thank you’ and ‘good luck,’” Manson said. “And you get in there and you start delivering that stuff. It’s incredibly meaningful.”

If you are interested in making a donation or finding a way to help, donations can be made on UA Resistance’s website, or you can follow Manson’s efforts on Twitter.

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Of interest … Dr. Elsburgh Clarke

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While some doctors play golf or tennis on their days off, one local emergency room physician spends his free time riding along with the Peoria Fire Department with his camera.

Dr. Elsburgh Clarke is an ER doctor at Hopedale Medical Complex. He’s been working in emergency medicine for more than 40 years and previously trained at LA County Hospital, where he began taking photographs.

“I started to do pictures in the ER. I have multiple pictures from back in the day, back in 1977, ‘78 when ‘ER’ was just coming about,” said Clarke, referring to the TV show.

Growing up, Clarke said he always knew he would be an FBI agent, a fireman, or a doctor. While he ended up as the latter, he always took an interest in fire departments, frequently following fire engines around whenever he could.

Once Clarke moved to Peoria in 2004 to continue his profession in emergency medicine, he met with then-Peoria Fire Department Chief Tony Ardis to ask if he could ride along with the department and take photographs. Ardis agreed, and the rest is history, literally.

“From 2004 to 2023, I’ve documented the Peoria Fire Department for 20 some-odd years, and it’s never been done before,” said Clarke.

Clarke’s portfolio, entitled “Eyes of Fire,” recently culminated in a Peoria Fire 2022 Yearbook.

“I want the world to see the eyes of a fireman…when they look at one photograph or one scene, it shows their dedication, their eyes, their intensity, their commitment…their loyalty,” said Clarke.

Clarke noted he’s not interested in taking the standard, grip and grin type photographs. Instead, he wants people to see what this line of work really entails. And according to Clarke, the response from the Peoria Fire Department has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m honored and humbled,” said Clarke, noting that none of his work is produced with the expectation of any accolades. According to Clarke, the family he has made within the Peoria Fire Department is much more important.

“I get chills. They are my extended family. Seriously, I have never been so blessed and so happy to have them,” Clarke said. “They’re like my brothers and sisters and they have welcomed me into their departments in full.”

Notably, Clarke said when he put this project into motion back in 2004, he always expected it to continue for this long. In fact, he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Clarke also occasionally rides along with the police department and the SWAT team. He said he’s really just a kid at heart who loves seeking adrenaline and highlighting the important work that emergency personnel do on a daily basis.

For those interested in purchasing “Peoria Fire 2022 Yearbook,” or any of Dr. Elsburgh Clarke’s other work, email him at

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Fire service news

Excerpts from

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the automotive world has faced all sorts of struggles related to producing vehicles, chiefly because of various supply chain constraints. However, this is also true not only of the individual parts that are used to build new vehicles, but also the ones used to repair them, with some facing wait times of months and even years for their vehicles to be fixed. A fire department in Abington, Massachusetts found this out the hard way recently when their Ford F-550 ambulance was in need of a new engine, but it isn’t alone in that regard, as the Hingham Fire Department – also in Massachusetts – is also facing issues with its own Ford F-550 ambulance.

We’ll have more on Ford’s supply chain issues soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series newsFord Super Duty news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

tbanks Crabby

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from

In the next step in its fight to combat firefighter cancer, the International Association of Fire Fighters filed suit March 16 against the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for its role in imposing a testing standard that effectively requires the use of PFAS in firefighter protective gear.  

A provision in NFPA 1971 requires certain components of firefighter bunker gear to pass the Ultraviolet Light Degradation Test. The test requires turnout gear to be exposed to UV light for 40 hours without degradation. The only substance that can pass the test for that long is PFAS. The complaint, International Association of Fire Fighters v. National Fire Protection Association, Inc., seeks to hold the NFPA liable for not removing the dangerous test from its Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting (Standard 1971).  

The suit, filed in Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham, Mass., seeks damages and other relief. 

In its effort to combat cancer in the fire service, the IAFF has retained three nationally recognized law firms, Motley Rice LLC; Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC; and Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. (collectively known as the PFAS Law Firmscharged with changing regulatory standards, demanding PFAS-free gear, and assisting IAFF members and families seeking compensation for PFAS-related illness. 

The IAFF has been aggressive in working to remove PFAS from firefighter gear, focusing significant research, education, and publicity around the dangers posed by the forever chemicals. 

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Illinois Fire Service news

Excerpts from

Fire sprinklers save lives, and soon it may be cheaper to add one to a home in Illinois.

A bill being pushed by the National Fire Sprinkler Association would let homeowners who add a fire sprinkler to their house be reimbursed half of the cost of the system on their state income taxes, up to $10,000. NSFA officials estimate the median cost for a home sprinkler system is $7,200, which would leave the state responsible for $3,600 per unit under the proposed bill.

Officials from the organization argue the fire sprinklers save lives. Research from the NSFA shows while 10 percent of all fires in the U.S. happen on properties with sprinklers, only one percent of deaths happen in these properties.

110 municipalities in northern Illinois are required to include fire sprinklers in all new homes.


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New book from Tim Olk featuring area fire departments; #TimOlk; #fireservicebook;

Expected release date is Apr 21st 2023

Behind the Scenes: A Tim Olk Gallery


Behind the Scenes: A Tim Olk Gallery documents the actions of firefighters, paramedics, and police officers through photography and reveals what they endure every day that the greater public does not see.

Tim Olk is a fire service photographer who has been capturing the history of the Chicago Fire Department for nearly 30 years. He covers everything from big fires, explosions, and vehicle collisions, to funerals, special operations/collapses, and disaster scenes in the greater Chicago area.


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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from

After hearing emotional testimony from Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, an Illinois House committee unanimously approved legislation Thursday that would grant Chicago police officers and firefighters full benefits if they become disabled from COVID-19.

Mendoza’s brother, a Chicago police detective who lost his kidneys due to a coronavirus infection in late 2020, was denied duty disability benefits that would have provided him with 75% of his salary and provided free health care. Instead, he was granted only ordinary benefits, which paid him 50% of his salary and no health insurance.

The City of Chicago Police Pension Board decided that Sgt. Joaquin Mendoza didn’t prove he’d gotten the disease through a particular act of duty though the board’s own doctor said he likely was infected on the job. In February 2022, the pension board voted 4-3 to deny the sergeant a duty disability pension.

According to his attorneys, the board later also rejected a duty disability pension for another officer whose lungs were damaged by the coronavirus — and least 18 other officers have similar requests pending.

Mendoza’s former boss who was an Area 5 detectives commander, had testified before the pension board that the sergeant contracted the virus on the job and deserved a duty disability. Additionally, a former chief of detectives who was a member of the police pension board during Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, claims that he heard from sources that “the order came down from City Hall that no one is to get a duty disability for COVID.”

The House committee voted 9-0 in favor of the measure, which goes now to the full House.

Under previous legislation, cops and firefighters who die because of COVID are presumed to have contracted the illness as a result of an act of duty, entitling them to full benefits. But that law didn’t extend to those who survive the disease.

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Illinois fire service news

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Illinois fire safety groups are speaking out about some proposed legislation they say is supported by out-of-state fireworks companies looking to legalize certain types of explosives in the state.

The type of device in question reportedly has 500 grams of pyrotechnic component — the highest level of potency before you need a professional license to handle them.

House Bill 2121 would re-classify these items as non-fireworks.

The Illinois fire officials say that if the measure passes and these types of devices aren’t restricted, sellers would not have to be licensed or have insurance.

Currently these types of devices are illegal — a rule that Illinois fire officials want to stay in place.

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Of interest … “Stop The Bleed” at Wrigley Field

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In a first for Major League Baseball, the Chicago Cubs have taken an important step to keep fans, staff, and players safe in case a bleeding emergency occurs by installing trauma kits at Wrigley Field. 

During the offseason, the Cubs worked with the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), as part of their Safe Chicago initiative, to install American College of Surgeons STOP THE BLEED® kits around Wrigley Field and train ballpark staff and Cubs associates on how to respond if someone is bleeding from an injury. A person can bleed to death in as little as five minutes, and it is estimated that 57% of civilian deaths from blood loss could have been prevented if proper bleeding control techniques were applied.*

The Wrigley Field staff and Cubs associates who have been trained to STOP THE BLEED® learned the three basic techniques of bleeding control: apply direct pressure, pack the wound, or apply a tourniquet. Anyone can take the course to equip themselves with the skills necessary to save a life in a bleeding emergency. Every kit installed includes a sticker with a QR code that links to an online version of the STOP THE BLEED® course.

The STOP THE BLEED® program has already trained more than 2.6 million people around the world and helped advocate for state and local legislation to install STOP THE BLEED® kits in schools and public places and train the public in these lifesaving techniques. Every trauma kit that has been installed includes a tourniquet, wound packing gauze, a space blanket, trauma shears, an instructional manual, gloves, and a marker.

OEMC’s Safe Chicago initiative has helped make bleeding control kits and training widely accessible throughout the City of Chicago. Safe Chicago was launched in 2019 by OEMC in partnership with the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Department of Assets, Information & Services, and the ACS STOP THE BLEED® program. The Safe Chicago program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI).

STOP THE BLEED® was launched in October 2015 by the White House, with a call to action to begin training more people to become immediate responders during a bleeding emergency until professional help arrives. The ACS STOP THE BLEED® program is operated under a licensing agreement granted by the Department of Defense.

More information is available at the STOP THE BLEED® website which has details on how to get trained.

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from iaff.orf:

President Joe Biden made history March 6 when he addressed hundreds of IAFF members at the 2023 Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference. It was the first time in 25 years that a sitting president spoke at an IAFF conference.  

Biden, a longtime supporter of the fire service, expressed his profound appreciation for firefighters and EMS professionals.

Biden’s commitment to firefighters has been evident throughout his career. During the COVID-19 pandemic, his American Rescue Plan helped cities hire firefighters and avoid massive layoffs. Most recently, the president signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), providing federal firefighters with presumptive benefits for cancer, heart, and lung disease. 

Throughout his speech, Biden touched on many of the key legislative issues IAFF members came to Capitol Hill to advocate for. “Your job is about dignity and respect,” he said. “That’s why I fight so hard to protect your right to collectively bargain.” 

In a passionate call to action, President Biden declared his support for the Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act, which recognizes cancer as a line-of-duty death and ensures benefits for the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. “Get it to my desk, and I’m going to sign it,” he stated emphatically. 

Reducing cancer deaths in the United States has been a top priority for the president and for the IAFF. After recognizing the devastating impact of cancer on the fire service, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring all firefighters receive next-generation, PFAS-free protective gear, adding, “I’m determined to make sure you have the gear that protects you without making you or your family sick.” The NDAA included a provision requiring the Department of Defense to purchase PFAS-free gear when it becomes available. 

“I have your back, I promise you. You had my back,” President Biden said, referencing the IAFF’s early support of his 2020 campaign, “I’ll have yours.” 

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