Posts Tagged Bloomington Fire Department

New truck for Bloomington FD

From the Global Emergency Products Facebook page:

We want to thank the City of Bloomington Fire Department for the recent order of a Pierce Velocity 107′ aerial! Thank you for choosing Pierce Mfg and Global Emergency Products!


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Bloomington Fire Department news

Excerpts from

On Saturday the Bloomington Fire Department celebrated 150 years of service, and to commemorate all firefighters who have served and are currently serving, monuments have been placed in Miller Park in honor of those who have given their lives.

The East Side of the Memorial is dedicated to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and died in the line of duty, and on the west side of the memorial is the Service Memorial Sculpture, and now the memorial and all monuments in it will remind everyone about the service these firefighters give each and every day.

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Bloomington Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Bloomington Fire Department has purchased fire trucks and protective gear for firefighters with funding from the city budget in recent years. For its 2019 budget, the fire department has requested a new logistics officer to maintain the gear and decontaminate equipment of carcinogens after fires.

Eighty-two percent of the Bloomington Fire Department’s 2019 budget request of $11.9 million is for personnel and includes the new position.

In early 2017, the city and fire department implemented a quartermaster system, meaning firefighters no longer buy their own protective gear to wear on the job. The city now buys and owns the gear.

A new, full-time logistics officer would oversee the quartermaster system, work as a purchasing manager and create maintenance schedules for the fire gear, including the self-contained breathing apparatuses, water-flow equipment, extrication tools and more. The officer would also serve as an equipment manager that works exclusively with the new tools, quartermaster gear and fleet vehicles to help extend the longevity of the department’s equipment and ensure firefighters use compliant and safe gear, the Bloomington Fire Department’s 2019 budget proposal states.

A city contract with the firefighters’ union mandates each firefighter will have two sets of personal protective equipment by 2020. A $130,000 budget request would bring the department to almost 80 percent of that goal. The logistics officer would also clean personal protective equipment. As firefighters battle fires, carcinogens soak into gear — like jackets, pants, boots and helmets.

“Two sets of gear, with the logistics officer, means contaminated gear will never come back to the station until it’s washed,” Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore told the city council during his budget hearing presentation last month.

There are eventual plans for a central storage and cleaning station. Moore told the council he has explored pricing, and the $250,000 expenditure isn’t prudent for next year’s budget.

The 2018 Bloomington Fire Department budget included a $1.3 million purchase for a new aerial ladder truck. For 2019, the department requested $530,000 for a new fire engine, a $40,000 truck for the new logistics officer and a $50,000 pickup for the Quick Response fleet.


Bloomington Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Bloomington’s firefighters will get a second set of turnout gear. The city council voted unanimously to award a $282,000 contract to Municipal Emergency Services of Deerfield for 100 complete sets of turnout gear.

The vote Monday followed Bloomington Fire Chief Brian Mohr explaining that the move will allow firefighters to rotate gear in and out of service for cleaning, which reduces the risk of exposure to cancer-causing residue.

“NIOSH, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, reports that firefighters have a 14 percent greater chance of dying from cancer than the general public, and are twice as likely to get skin cancer, testicular cancer and mesothelioma” he said. 

Research suggests that an increased exposure to known carcinogens in smoke contribute to those statistics.  Having a clean set of turnout gear to wear would add to other protocols such as showers and decontaminating wipes for helmets, masks and other equipment.

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Bloomington Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The owner and owner-to-be of several apartment buildings in Bloomington face almost 800 pretty significant code violations, including 226 at a building destroyed by fire Feb. 10, city records show.

The city already had sought a demolition order for 1101 Gettysburg Drive because the roof kept caving in. The city also has 572 citations pending against owner Wayne Pelhank and contract-for-deed purchaser Ed Duran for five rental properties in the 900 blocks of West Front and West Grove streets.  The various cases are filed in circuit court and the city’s administrative court.  

In the demolition request filed Dec. 15 in circuit court, the city said the building was structurally unsound and had significant roof leaks and water-logged ceilings, walls and carpeting.

A firefighter was injured in the Gettysburg fire and 29 people were left homeless. A cause of the fire has not been determined. The 12-unit, two-story building was built in the 1970s.

According to city records, code inspectors completed an initial inspection of 1101 Gettysburg Drive on Sept. 6 and found 262 violations. Pelhank was given until Nov. 28 to correct them, but the compliance date was extended after neither he nor a representative showed up Nov. 28.

About eight violations had been fixed when a city inspector re-inspected the property on Dec. 18 and Pelhank was given a final extension to complete repairs. At the Jan. 30 re-inspection, the inspector noted 226 violations that included smoke alarm problems, missing doors, windows that wouldn’t open, improperly installed doorknobs, damage from water leaks, and cockroaches. Various violations were found in all 12 apartments.

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New engine for Bloomington

This from Bill Fricker:

Here’s a photograph of the new E-One pumper for Engine Co.4 in Bloomington, IL Enjoy !
Bloomington, IL  Engine Co.4 – 2017 E-One Quest (e-Max) so#140424, 1500-gpm / 780-gbt
Bloomington FD Engine 4

Bloomington, IL Engine Co.4 – 2017 E-One Quest (e-Max) so#140424, 1500-gpm / 780-gbt – Bill Fricker photo

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Bloomington Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Bloomington’s fire chief said Monday that statistics for the past year continue to underline the need for a new fire station in the northeast part of the city.

Chief Brian Mohr explained there continues to be growth to the northeast and his department’s problem is the travel time when responding to that area.

“We need to build a station and put a resource in that location in order to reduce those times,” said Mohr. “But the other side of that is we’re still seeing the over utilization of our downtown headquarters district. Until we address that immediate problem we’re not going to be able to see that big of an impact in those response times.”

The 2016 stats show the department’s units which respond out of the downtown headquarters by far see the most use.

“To be more accurate about that reporting as to how many of those calls actually happen in the headquarters primary district is, I think, the biggest eye opener,” Mohr said.

According to the department’s stats, the main medic unit in downtown responded to 3,772 calls in 2016. The main fire engine responded to 1250 calls.

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Area apparatus orders

From Fire Apparatus Magazine –

E-ONE-Aurora Fire Department, two top-mount pumpers. Cyclone cabs and chassis; Cummins ISL 330-hp engines; Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm pumps; UPF Poly 780-gallon tanks; 50-gallon foam cells; Akron foam eductor foam systems. Sold by Greg Hansen, Fire Service, Inc., Naperville, IL. Delivery in November.

E-ONE-Bloomington Fire Department eMAX rescue-pumper. Quest severe-duty cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 450-hp engine; UPF Poly 750-gallon tank; “Bloomington” low hosebed; Onan 6-kW generator; Command Light KL415 light tower; Whelen warning and scene lighting. Sold by Craig Hamrick, Banner Fire Equipment, Roxana, IL. Delivery in December.

E-ONE-Buffalo Grove Fire Department pumper. Typhoon cab and chassis; Cummins ISL 450-hp engine; Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm pump; UPF Poly 780-gallon tank; Will-Burt Night Scan Chief NS1.8 light tower; Smart Power 6-kW generator. Sold by Greg Hansen, Fire Service, Inc., Naperville, IL. Delivery in December.

E-ONE-Buffalo Grove Fire Department 78-foot aerial quint. Cyclone II cab and chassis; Cummins ISX12 500-hp engine; Hale Qmax 2,000-gapm pump; UPF Poly 400-gallon tank; Smart Power 10-kW generator; two hydraulic cord reels with Holmatro CORE Technology™ hose. Sold by Greg Hansen, Fire Service, Inc., Naperville, IL. Delivery in December.

Pierce-Clarendon Hills Fire Department heavy-duty rescue. Enforcer cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 450-hp engine; 15-foot walk-around rescue body; Will-Burt Pow X NS6.0 light tower; Harrison 20-kW generator. Sold by John Kenna, Global Emergency Products, Aurora, IL. Delivery in July 2017.

E-ONE-Gurnee Fire Department 95-foot rear-mount platform quint. Cyclone II cab and chassis; Cummins ISX 500-hp engine; Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm pump; UPF 300-gallon tank; 20-gallon foam cell; FoamPro single-agent foam system. Sold by Andrew DiVerde, Fire Service, Inc., Naperville, IL. Delivery in February 2017.

E-ONE-Gurnee Fire Department heavy-duty rescue. Typhoon cab and chassis; Cummins ISL 380-hp engine; 20-foot walk-around rescue body; Will-Burt LED light tower; SpaceSaver cascade system and fill station; ladder tunnel for ground ladders. Sold by Andrew DiVerde, Fire Service, Inc., Naperville, IL. Delivery in May 2017.

Alexis-Fox Lake Fire Protection District, Ingleside, pumper. Spartan Metro Star cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 450-hp engine; Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm pump; Pro Poly 1,000-gallon polypropylene tank; Will-Burt Night Scan 5.4 light tower; Smart Power 10-kW generator. Sold by K. Jeffrey Morris, Alexis Fire Equipment, Alexis, IL. Delivery in May 2017.

E-ONE-Long Grove Fire Protection District pumper. Typhoon cab and chassis; Cummins ISL 450-hp engine; Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm pump; UPF Poly 780-gallon tank; 50-gallon foam cell; FoamPro 2001 single-agent foam system; Will-Burt night Scan Chief NS1.8 light tower; Smart Power 10-kW generator; stainless steel pumper body; SpaceSaver SCBA fill station; four-bottle cascade system; Whelen LED scene lights. Sold by Greg Hanson, Fire Service, Inc., Naperville, IL. Delivery in July 2017.

E-ONE-Peoria Fire Department, two Extreme Duty pumpers. Typhoon cabs and chassis; Cummins ISL9 450-hp engines; Waterous CS 1,250-gpm pimps; UPF Poly 500-gallon tanks; three quarter side body with Zico ladder rack; Amdor roll-up compartment doors; Firetech Hiviz LED lighting. Sold by Craig Hamrick, Banner Fire Equipment, Roxana, IL. Delivery in June, 2017.

Pierce – Brookfield Fire Department PUC pumper. Enforcer cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 450-hp engine; UPF Poly 500-gallon tank; 30-gallon foam cell; Pierce 1,500-gpm single-stage pump; Husky 3 Class B foam system; Harrison 10-kW generator. Sold by John Kenna, Global Emergency Products, Aurora, IL. Delivery in April 2017.

Pierce – Marengo Fire Protection District top-mount pumper. Enforcer cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 380-hp engine; Waterous CSU 1,500-gpm pump; UPF Poly 1,000-gallon tank; Will-Burt Chief NS2.6 light tower. Sold by Tracie Madden, Global Emergency Products, Aurora, IL. Delivery in February 2017.

Pierce – Western Springs Fire Department pumper. Saber cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 450-hp engine; Waterous CSU 1,500-gpm pump; UPF Poly 750-gallon tank. Sold by John Kenna, Global Emergency Products, Aurora, IL Delivery in March 2017.

thanks Josh

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Bloomington Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Wearing a Chicago Cubs cap and shirt and a smile, Norman Wilson was ready to take off for Monday night’s Cubs game. All he needed was a little help from his team.

His family and caregivers made sure he had everything he needed for the trip to Chicago. And there were LeRoy Ambulance emergency medical technicians and Bloomington Fire Department firefighter/paramedics to transition Wilson from his hospital bed in a small Bloomington apartment to a stretcher that was placed in one of LeRoy’s ambulances for the trip.

The EMTs and paramedics/firefighters had worked with the Cubs to reserve space for Wilson and a reclining stretcher in the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field. That way, he could watch the Central Division Champions with his friends — the EMTs and paramedics/firefighters.

They weren’t making the trip because they were told to do it. They were taking Wilson — a lifelong Cubs fan — to his first game since he was left paralyzed from the chest down after a hit-and-run accident on Easter 2007.

Wilson has loved baseball since he played catch with his father and grandfather while growing up in Chicago. He loved the Cubs and grew up going to games and watching them on television.

Nine years ago, Wilson was struck by a vehicle as he walked home. After months of inpatient therapy, he was able to get off a ventilator and moved in with his mother. His goal is to be able to use a wheelchair and to get back into child care.

That’s what has impressed LeRoy Ambulance EMTs who transport him several times a month to doctors’ appointments, Bloomington paramedics who take him to the emergency room as needed and others who help to care for him at the hospital.

Chris Dunning came up with the idea to take Wilson to a Cubs’ game and worked on details with firefighter/paramedic Greg Fisher. Their colleagues joined the effort.

“Before I die, I’ll be able to say that I went to a Cubs’ game the year they went to the World Series,” Wilson said.

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Of interest … Bloomington FD history

Excerpts from the

Although it hasn’t served as a Bloomington Fire Department station for well over seven decades, old Engine House No. 4 on South Main Street is still standing and, all things considered, not looking too bad.

The old firehouse has survived all these years as home to a series of small businesses, some successful and others not so much. Yet its years as a BFD engine house, from 1903 until its closing around 1941, tells us plenty about Bloomington’s rich history. Most remarkably, it was in the early 1920s that a dispute over the fate of this firehouse led to a change in Bloomington’s form of municipal government.

The story begins on the night of June 19-20, 1900, when 45 buildings and 4½ blocks of downtown, including the 1868 courthouse, were lost in what is now called the Great Bloomington Fire.

It took a disaster of this size and scope for city leaders to get serious, dollar-wise, about fire protection. A joint committee charged with upgrading the fire department recommended the construction of a modern, centrally located headquarters station and several outlying, or neighborhood, engine houses. The city floated a $34,000 bond issue (or the equivalent of nearly $900,000 today, adjusted for inflation) to pay for the expansion project.

Central Fire Station, located on the 200 block of East Front Street, opened November 1902. This old firehouse is now home to the foodie favorite Epiphany Farms restaurant. Completed four months later, in March 1903, were two smaller engine houses, No. 3 on the 800 block of North Center Street, and No. 4 at 914 S. Main St.

All three firehouses were designed by George H. Miller, one of the most influential architects in Bloomington history. The two outlying engine houses were likely identical or a mirror-image of each other, though No. 3 was torn down a long time ago.

The first firemen assigned to Engine House No. 4, according to The Pantagraph, included Capt. Patrick Twoomey, Joe Burt and Albert Radbourn. (The latter was brother of fellow Bloomington firefighter John Radbourn and future National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn.)

It’s likely the neoclassic brick engine house trimmed in brick and stone once featured a bell tower, though it’s not known when it was taken down. The building has also lost one of two bay doors that opened onto Main Street.

Engine House No. 4 opened more than 20 years before the first viaduct (or bridge) spanned the two east-west rail lines running through the warehouse district south of downtown. The new station thus brought peace of mind to many residents of South Hill, the heavily German neighborhood south of downtown, who worried that freight and passenger trains were blocking grade crossings and thus slowing the fire department’s response time to alarms on the city’s south side.

Yet less than two decades after opening, with the fire department converting its horse-drawn wagons to motorized fire trucks, the future of Engine House No. 4 looked bleak. By the early 1920s, BFD Chief Henry Mayer maintained that motorization of the department made neighborhood fire stations, in a community as geographically compact as Bloomington, increasingly redundant. Accordingly, on May 1, 1920, the city shuttered Engine House No. 4, just as the department’s few remaining horses were put out to pasture at Miller Park.

With this decision a large number of south siders began grumbling that the loss of the South Main Street fire station left their side of town at risk. On July 8, 1921, for instance, a residential garage at 704 S. Center St. burned down after fire department equipment and personnel were held up for several minutes at the Center Street grade crossing by a Big Four Railroad train.

As a result, a committee representing 200 South Hill petitioners called for the reopening of their neighborhood firehouse, at least until a South Main Street viaduct could be built over the Big Four and Lake Erie and Western Railroad tracks.

At the July 22, 1921 city council meeting, Fire Chief Mayer argued for keeping the south side firehouse closed and in its stead installing a block signal system. Under such a setup, fire alarms in the city’s south end would automatically trigger trackside red lights alerting train crews to keep open key grade crossings south of downtown.

Supporters of the south side firehouse remained so unhappy with city officials that they successfully circulated a petition to change the commission form of city government (which had been in effect for eight years) back to the more traditional aldermanic type. There was a growing sentiment among residents from working class and ethnic Irish and German areas northwest, west and south of downtown that their interests were neglected under the newer form of government. They believed it placed a premium on nonpartisan, technocratic governance at the expense of shoe-leather politics and ward-level patronage better suited to meet the unique needs of each neighborhood. On July 11, 1922, by a 57 to 43 percent margin, city residents voted to return to the previous form of government that placed a premium on retail politicking.

It took a few years, but continued pressure by South Hill residents to re-staff Engine House No. 4, at least until completion of the South Main Street viaduct, finally paid off. To much fanfare, the south side firehouse opened once again on Sept. 2, 1924.

The south side station closed for good as a firehouse around 1941, and over the years it has seen more than a dozen businesses come and go.

Since the 1980s, for example, it has been home to Raymond D. Fairchild Jr.’s various enterprises, such as Fairchild’s Hubcap, Tires and Wheels, as well as Frank Wright’s many ventures, including Wright’s Painting & Window Cleaning Co. and AAA Wright’s Small Engine Repair Shop.

Despite the many changes over the years, the building remains recognizable as a firehouse. Most unmistakable is the original “No. 4” still visible over the front door.

thanks Dan

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