Archive for category Fire Service News

Arlington Heights FIre Department news

Excerpts from the

Andrew Larson, Arlington Heights’ acting fire chief since November, was appointed to the permanent position Friday after 22 years of service to the department.

He will be only the sixth fire chief the village has had since the fire department changed from volunteer to full-time in 1958.

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Vintage Chicago Fire Department 3-11 audio recording 11-14-90

More from Steve Redick:

Here’s another classic audio recording. Tommy O’Donnell in the 13th with a few classic transmissions. Jim Lee was on the original call reporting the incident. Joe Pavlik on the radio in the FAO. 3-11 Alarm at  3819 Madison St. on 11-14-90

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Platteville Fire Department news

Excerpts from

On Friday, Platteville (WI) Fire Chief Ryan Simmons got a phone call he wasn’t expecting. Volunteer Firefighter Tim Ebert died by suicide last week. Ebert had been volunteering with the Platteville Fire Department since fall 2017. Simmons said Ebert was from Saint Germain and would volunteer with the fire department there as well.

“He was a student at UW-Platteville. So, between being a student, working part time, and being a volunteer on the fire department, he was a pretty busy guy,” Simmons said. “People that are dealing with so much depression like that sometimes hide it very well,” he said. “From what everyone knows of Tim and our experiences of him, we definitely would not have suspected anything from him. He didn’t seem depressed or anything. He usually had a smile on his face. He was a happy-go-lucky guy and wanted to help others.”

Simmons said he doesn’t know what may have led Ebert to take his own life, but said that it doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is that it happened. He wants to focus on his memory and how to prevent this from happening in the future.

“Do we talk about it enough? We probably don’t. We just all think we are rough, tough firefighters and everything just bounces off our skin, but it doesn’t.”

If you or someone you know needs help or someone to talk to, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is just a phone call away. The number is 1-800-273-8255

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New engine for St Charles FD

Excerpts from the City of St Charles council meeting:

During last fiscal year’s budget process, the fire department proposed combining the funding for two pieces of fire apparatus and purchasing one replacement vehicle. This would result in the fire department fleet total being reduced by one vehicle. The two vehicles considered were a 2006 engine company and a 2003 heavy rescue. Advantages to implementing this plan include the following:

• Immediate savings of $83,893 from the total budgeted for the replacement of the 2006 and 2003 apparatus

• Long term savings in monies allocated annually for vehicle replacement: One vehicle to replace instead of two

• Both current vehicles will be sold and the monies placed back into the replacement schedule

• Annual operational savings in the form of repair costs, fuel, tires and other consumables

We have conferred with the fleet maintenance group and the City Vehicle Replacement Committee. Both have agreed that the identified plan is advantageous to the city. The city is a member of the Houston Galveston Purchasing Cooperative (HGAC Buy) and the fire department desires to use this organization to complete the purchase utilizing their bidding agreement with Global Emergency Products for a Pierce Dash CF PUC pumper. The item is brought before committee at this time in order to avoid a 3% price increase and save the city approximately $22,750. Additional savings will be made through the utilization of HGAC Buy ($40,000) and from prepaying for the apparatus ($21,032). While the order will be placed before the beginning of the fiscal year, the construction time of approximately 10 months will result in the delivery of the vehicle well into the budgeted year. This is a budgeted expense.

purchase agreement for new fire engine for the St Charles FD purchase agreement for new fire engine for the St Charles FD

thanks Ron

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Of interest … Distracted Driver Awareness

wrecked truck along roadway

WECT photo

Excerpts from

A destroyed truck and sign on the side of a Columbus County (NC) highway have caught the attention of thousands of drivers, and the fire chief behind the display hopes the message will shock people into yielding to emergency vehicles on the road. The mutilated truck is not a random vehicle. It’s a fire department truck that was destroyed in a fiery crash and now serves as a warning symbol. The sign in all-caps reads, “THE RESULTS OF NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO EMERGENCY LIGHTS & VEHICLES ON A TRAFFIC SCENE.”

“The message is: Put down your phones, pay attention to what’s going on, give us your undivided attention, so that way we can remain safe,” said Steve Camlin, chief of Acme-Delco-Riegelwood Fire-Rescue.

The explosive accident on Dec. 10, 2018 involved a tractor-trailer crashing into the firefighter’s vehicle, and then plowing into a family’s car as they received assistance.

The wrecked truck and sign will remain by the highway until the salvage company removes it in the next one to two weeks. 

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2018 Lake County IL FD volume statistics

2018 Lake County, IL FD call volume statistics

thanks Ron


Fire Service News

Excerpts from

A new study published in the Emergency Medicine Journal shows that the much-talked-about threat of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA, isn’t just found inside hospitals. The research shows the threat exists for patients before they even get to a hospital bed, with the potentially deadly bacteria showing up on oxygen tanks in ambulances, ambulance floors, and even on ambulance door handles.

The study’s primary goal was to see if MRSA is present in the prehospital setting, specifically on the surface of oxygen cylinders and regulators used in ambulances, and to assess other areas as well. The results indicate that in fact, oxygen cylinders can harbor MRSA, increasing the risk of passing it on to vulnerable patients. The results also support the need to develop universal disinfection protocols for such equipment and areas so as to cut down on the risk of infecting patients.

The surfaces of oxygen tanks and regulators in ambulances at an emergency medical services station in North Alabama and at an offsite oxygen cylinder storage area were swabbed to test for the presence of MRSA.

Of the nine oxygen cylinders tested in the ambulances, all nine had MRSA colonization. Researchers also found MRSA on 67 of 70 oxygen cylinders that were tested at the offsite oxygen cylinder storage area. According to a Reuters report on the study, the floors of all three ambulance floors tested were found to have MRSA colonization as well as a door handle.

Study author Cody Vaughn Gibson, from the Department of Natural Sciences at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama. He cautioned that because tanks are exchanged between facilities, the potential exists for the bacteria to spread across large areas.

A separate expert, Michael David, assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, told Reuter that this issue in not one that gets a lot of attention, but should.

“This paper raises the problem of these specific objects being contaminated by MRSA and resulting in a previously unaddressed reservoir of MRSA in ambulances,” he told Reuters Health. “This observation importantly may result in new standard procedures to clean these objects with an antiseptic between uses.”

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Clinton Iowa Firefighter LODD

Clinton (IA) Fire Chief Mike Brown confirmed the death of Lt. Eric Hosette in an explosion at Clinton’s Archer Daniels Midland plant Saturday. A second firefighter was in critical but stable condition in Iowa City Saturday night.

He said a fire call came in at approximately 5:45 a.m. Saturday. What firefighters thought was a stabilizing incident turned into an explosion. He said the call was unusual in that two separate shifts responded to the ADM fire.

“First shift got there and somewhat stabilized the incident,” Brown said. “And they traded off shifts at seven in the morning like we do every day. And about 8:45, what we thought was a stabilizing incident, there was an explosion.”

Hosette, a lieutenant who had been on the Clinton Fire Department for 12 years, was taken to Mercy Medical Center where personnel did everything possible to revive him but he did not survive.

Clinton Firefighter Adam Cain, 23, was found after the explosion. Cain, who has served on the Clinton Fire Department for almost two years, was flown to Iowa City where he was critical but stable as of Saturday evening.

Saturday morning’s incident took place at the third silo at ADM where employees discovered smoldering material in one of the silo storage bins at the loading facility at about 5:45 a.m. ADM immediately contacted the Clinton Fire Department.

While firefighters were on the scene, a couple of hours after the initial call, an explosion occurred in the silo, killing one firefighter.

thanks Ed

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New home for the Schiller Park FD tower ladder

The Glenville Fire Department in Minnesota is the new home of former Schiller Park Tower 5.

former Schiller Park FD Truck 5 is now with the Glenville FD in MN

from the Glenville FD Facebook page

former Schiller Park FD Truck 5 is now with the Glenville FD in MN

from the Glenville FD Facebook page

Schiller Park FD Truck 454

Schiller Park FD Truck 454. Larry Shapiro photo

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Of interest … Africa Fire Mission

Excerpts from the

Many firefighters in and around Nairobi, Kenya, wear equipment labeled for the Chicago Fire Department. Hank Clemmensen and 13 other retired and active firefighters from throughout the United States returned Dec. 13 from a two-week trip to Kenya, where they hosted an annual training seminar attended by more than 250 firefighters as part of the nonprofit organization Africa Fire Mission.

Planning documents list Clemmensen as a speaker on leadership for about 25 chiefs from nearby brigades who listened on such topics as interacting with politicians and community stakeholders.

David Moore Jr., executive director and founder of Africa Fire Mission, retired from the Glendale Fire Department in Ohio and met Clemmensen who was a board member with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, a job that made him an ideal recruit due to his national connections and vast experience in dealing with industry issues, Moore said.

Moore started the nonprofit after seeing the living conditions while he was on a trip to Africa as part of Mission of Hope International. He said Africa Fire Mission now has about 30 regularly active participants, and has decided to focus on training due to the $20,000 cost of shipping the used equipment to Africa.

“What often happens with a lot of donations, generally speaking, to third world countries is they end up sitting in storage somewhere because nobody ever teaches the recipients how to use the stuff, especially when the user manuals and labels are all in another language,” Clemmensen said.

Moore credited Clemmensen and Lt. Brooks Watson of the Chicago Fire Department for the recent donation of equipment, adding that fire departments in the U.S. require extensive paperwork and assurances that their donated items are leaving the country since regulations prevent their use after a decade of service.

For the longest time, there was only one fire truck in the Nairobi area and it was based at the airport because the Kenyan federal government wanted to reassure international travelers, and many of the embassies and bigger corporations had their own private fire response teams.

The most vulnerable people are the one million residents of five “slums,” Clemmensen said, where small dwellings are built from scrap material.

Some participants in Africa Fire Mission's December training near Nairobi, Kenya, wore protective gear donated by the Chicago Fire Department. (Africa Fire Mission photo)

Some participants in Africa Fire Mission’s December training near Nairobi, Kenya, wore protective gear donated by the Chicago Fire Department. (Africa Fire Mission photo)

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