Archive for category Reader submission

National Missing Children’s Day Event in Glenview, 5-19-18

This from Bill Golden:

Glenview Police & Fire are having an event for Missing Children Day, May 19th. Are there any antique fire apparatus owners who would like to display equipment at the event? I’m bringing one or two antique police cars. It’s a small event.

Thank you

National Missing Children's Day Event in Glenview IL


Of interest … Forest Park Fire Department

Excerpts from the

Forest Park Firefighter Andrew Weber was pounding pork chops recently when he heard a call. Weber and his six crew members answered the call and then returned to the kitchen, chopping vegetables, stirring mashed potatoes, setting the kitchen table and, in Weber’s case, finally cooking the pork chops. Weber added banana peppers to the meat, and finished the meal with a homemade dessert of layered ice cream sandwiches, peanut butter, Cool Whip, and crushed Oreo cookies.

Cooking and eating comprise a big part of firefighters’ work lives who spend one-third of their lives with their shift mates. When they are not out on a call, training, or working out in the weight room, they make the second floor of the station their home. And that includes the kitchen. 

When the shift starts, one of the first things the group does is sit around the table and decide what they will make for dinner and who will be the lead chef.  There are three shifts and each has its own refrigerator and floor to ceiling shelving for dry goods. Each person has their signature dish. 

Yvan Woitecki, 32, a paramedic who has been with the department for a little over a year, makes chicken salad with honey, mustard, lots of mayo, white chicken meat, and whatever vegetables are available. The firehouse meal he’ll really remember, though, was on December 25th last year, Christmas Day, when firefighters decided to add a little extra to the grocery budget. Weber used the extra funds to buy a prime rib roast. 

Travis Myers, 39, who has been with the department for nine years, said his signature dish is Philly-style cheese steaks.  

But not all the firefighters like to cook.  “I like to order pizza,” said Kenneth Hriensaitong, 44, adding that he’s rarely cooked in the 12 years he’s been in the department. Hriensaitong started a debate about which restaurant makes the best pie in Forest Park. After a few minutes of sparring, the group finally agreed that McGaffer’s Saloon makes excellent thin crust.

thanks Dan

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Of interest … the new tax law

A letter to the

Twenty-eight years ago, I became a Chicago firefighter because I believe it’s important to extend a hand to those in need. My career path has given me financial stability, regular time off to spend with my family, and the chance to give back to my community.

Today, with two kids — one preparing to head to college and the other a junior in college — I’m especially grateful for the opportunities that this career has given me and my family.

Like me, most working people would be happy to see a few extra dollars in their paycheck each month. So it sounded like good news when President Trump signed the new tax bill into law, which Republicans in Congress promised would lower taxes for everyday Americans.

As promised, my paycheck has gone up by about $175. But when I went to see my accountant this year to go over my taxes, I found out that instead of getting a $3,000 refund like usual, I’ll owe more than $1,500 in taxes next year beyond what was already withheld — all on the same income. I was so shocked I asked my accountant to check again. But he came back with the same math and that same unexpected number.

That’s when I realized that the GOP’s plan is a classic bait-and-switch. And everyday Americans like my family are going to pay the price very soon.

Thanks to a cap on deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) — deductions that benefit many middle and upper-middle class families — and other changes to deductions, many hardworking Americans will find themselves paying more in 2019. Instead of the refunds we’re accustomed to, we’ll be the ones writing checks.

The GOP tax plan added nearly $1.5 trillion to the deficit, while slashing taxes for the very wealthy and big corporations. According to the Tax Policy Center, 83 percent of the tax bill’s cuts will go to the top 1 percent in our country. Ending SALT deductions is a way for the GOP to help raise revenue to cover the cost of those cuts — leaving working families like mine to foot the bill for tax giveaways to those who need them least.

Everyday Americans are paying in other ways, too. These tax cuts for the wealthy are being used to justify cuts to programs that help communities, including the one where I grew up and continue to serve as a firefighter today.

The hidden reality of the GOP tax plan is that most working and middle-class taxpayers will see their taxes go up over the next 10 years. Millions more will face cuts to programs that help them cover the basics. Republican legislators are hoping we won’t notice until 2019, after we cast our ballots in the 2018 midterm elections.

I’m not fooled that easily. Working Americans aren’t fooled that easily. We don’t pay taxes to help multinational corporations give their shareholders bigger payouts or to ensure wealthy people can add millions more to their bank accounts.

As a firefighter, I don’t mind doing my part to lift up my community, whether it’s responding to emergencies or paying my fair share in taxes. But I believe that politicians, the very wealthy, and big corporations should be doing their part, too — not forcing those of us who put in the work and risk our lives every day pay to cover their tax breaks.

Chicago Firefighter Gary Chavarria lives in Avondale.

thanks Dan


Waukegan Fire/Police Fundraiser

Dear Chicago Area Fire readers-

Myself, a couple of other Waukegan firemen and a few Waukegan cops have been working together for the last year or so to form the Waukegan Police and Fire Memorial Fund (a 501c3 organization).  The idea for the fund was born from the desire to financially assist the surviving spouses and children of our department’s members that die either on or off duty while active sworn members.  The fund will, in the event of the death of one of our members, provide immediate financial assistance to the family.  Longer term, the fund will provide a small birthday and Christmas gift to the surviving children.  We will also give a larger gift to each child upon their high school graduation.  We felt the gifts would be nice, but the main goal is to make sure the family knows that they are still a part of our fire and police family.

Our main fundraiser this year will raffle off a 2018 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse.  The raffle will also include a 2nd place prize of a 2004 Semi Custom Victory Vegas and 3rd prize will be $1500.  Sales taxes on the bikes will also be covered! The raffle will take place 2pm June 2nd at Indian Motorcycle of Libertyville, 416 N. Milwaukee, Libertyville IL 60048.  Indian will be cooking up some free food for the drawing as well. The winner does not need to be present.  500 tickets max will be sold and if less than 400 are sold, $10,000 is the 1st place prize.  Tickets are $100 each.

I’ve attached the flyer to this posting, please pass this along to anyone that you think would be interested.  Print it and hang it at your respective departments if you wish.  If you are interested in a ticket, please see the contact information below.  If you have any questions, please email myself or Officer Brian Maschek at any time.  Thanks in advance for your support, stay safe.


Firefighter/Paramedic Greg Zahn

Waukegan Fire Department

For tickets or questions;

FF Greg Zahn at

Officer Brian Maschek at

(click the flyer to download)

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Of interest …


I’m a retired Chicago Fireman and Member of Local 2. I am currently a Certified Financial Planner, and many of my clients are current or retired CPD and CFD. My firm puts on complimentary luncheons exclusively for Chicago Area Fire and Police retirees and those within one year of retirement.

We will be hosting an educational lunch focused on Deferred Compensation Options upon retirement.

The lunch is Thursday, April 26th from 11:30am – 1:30pm at Gibson’s Steakhouse in Rosemont. Interested participants can RSVP with my assistant April at or on our website at

Below you will see the flyer for the event.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.



Martin G. Gaughan, CFP®, AIF®, Investment Advisor

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Funeral Procession For Fallen Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer

Some photos from Tim Olk of the funeral procession for fallen Chicago Police Department Commander Paul Bauer

Chicago police officers march in funeral procession

Tim Olk photo

Chicago police officers line street of funeral procession

Tim Olk photo

citizens with flags along funeral route

Tim Olk photo

funeral procession passes under aerials with flag

Tim Olk photo

Chicago police cars in funeral procession

Tim Olk photo

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A request for patches

This from Barry McRoy:

This article was on our local news. The little girl wants fire dept patches. She has cancer and her dad is a firefighter. Maybe you can post it. 

Barry, Fire Chief, Colleton County Fire-Rescue

Excerpts from

Mileena Painter, a 12-year-old girl from Riverside in St. Clair County (AL) was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia this past August. She is now home bound and not able to go to traditional school. For one of her school projects she has decided to collect firefighter patches from around the world.

“She started school on August 8th and went to half a day of 6th grade and was diagnosed on the 9th and she is home bound,” says Rachelle Painter, Mileena’s mom. “She can’t go to traditional school with her classmates. So she wanted to do a different type of project and since dad is a firefighter (at the Riverside Fire Department) and mom is a paramedic she thought this would be kind of fun.”

“What I think I feel good about is that some people don’t appreciate firefighters and paramedics like they should and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it too is because some people don’t appreciate them,” says Mileena. “And when they say they are fighting with me it makes me feel good and it makes me not want to cry.” 

“So we have gotten T-shirts she is going to wear to chemo,” adds her mom. “She likes them nice and big because they have to access her port in chemotherapy. So those are good things to wear while she is getting chemotherapy and she can kinda feel the brotherhood of the firefighters.” 

“The neatest thing that I think that we get when we receive the patches is the prayers that come with them,” says Rachelle. “The majority of them are sending letters or cards telling her that they are in it with her, they are fighting for her and they are praying for her. And that to me means more than the patch does.”

Mileena plans on keeping the patches and sewing them together into a quilt. She wants to then use the quilt as a way to share her story and her testimony with other people.

“Mileena has about two more years of chemotherapy to go thought so as far as I’m concerned they can keep sending those patches for the next two years and we can make lots of quilts,” says Rachelle.

“I want to thank all of my brothers and sisters in the fire service both in Illinois and in Alabama and also the Red Knights Organization that has really helped us out with a lot of this,” adds Kevin Painter. “It is a firefighters motorcycle club that goes all over the world. And some of the patches we have received are from chapters in different parts of the world. I would also like to thank our church family, God and our savior Jesus Christ who has walked us through this journey since August.”

If you would like to send firefighter patches, t-shirts, cards or letters, mail them to Mileena Painter PO Box 7 Riverside, Al 35135. 

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As seen around … The Chicago Auto Show

From the Chicago Police Department Facebook page:

Today, Chicago police officers, joined by Chief of Patrol Fred Waller and Deputy Chief of Community Policing Dwayne Betts, unveiled the next generation of CPD patrol vehicles wearing a new design for the first time in decades. The design was imagined by Officer Jennifer Jacobucci and was selected by a panel of police officers and community members. It includes the familiar blue and white color scheme, along with our tag line “We Serve & Protect.”

Beyond the new design, the vehicles feature mobile computers so officers can access real-time information as well as improved lighting options to enhance police presence. Some, like the vehicle unveiled today, will be equipped with license plate reader technology (shown in the photos) to help officers locate stolen vehicles with greater speed and accuracy than ever before.

The new vehicles will hit the streets later this year, but can be seen now at the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place which runs from February 9 – 18. You can also sign up at the booth to take the May 2018 police exam or go online at

Check back later for more information on CPD’s new patrol vehicles!

New design for Chicago police cars introduced in 2018

Chicago Police Department photo

New design for Chicago police cars introduced in 2018

Chicago Police Department photo

New design for Chicago police cars introduced in 2018

Chicago Police Department photo

New design for Chicago police cars introduced in 2018

Chicago Police Department photo

New design for Chicago police cars introduced in 2018

Chicago Police Department photo


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Of interest … the Romeoville Fire Academy

From the

Dean Bushala has been in television for 20 years and worked on shows “Ice Road Truckers” and “Deadliest Catch”. He has been making an independent documentary that will star the Romeoville Fire Academy. 

“I’m trying to get a better understanding of how firefighters do what they do,” Bushala said. “I was here in Romeoville for a week to do some work with the recruits and do some rappelling on the training tower.”

Bushala previously worked with the Downers Grove Fire Academy years ago on a project with PBS and had stayed in touch with many of the members who are now instructors in Romeoville. They’ve kept in touch, so now for this project, it made sense to reconnect.

The project is aimed for a late summer release.

thanks Dan

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Ignite the Spirit Valentine’s Ball

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