Posts Tagged Buffalo Grove Fire Department

Buffalo Grove Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the cookcountyrecord.com:

After a judge decided a pension board could award the widow of a firefighter who died of colon cancer an additional $1.7 million, the village of Buffalo Grove has asked a state appeals court to weight in, maintaining its argument the pension board needs more evidence the firefighter’s death can be directly connected to his service as a firefighter.

“This is the first known decision in the State of Illinois where a firefighter’s widow has been awarded the maximum 100 percent line of duty death pension without having to prove that specific acts of duty during the firefighter’s service actually caused (or contributed to) the death,” the village said in a press release announcing the appeal.

The appeal to the Illinois Second District Appellate Court comes about a month since Lake County Circuit Judge Diane Winter backed the Buffalo Gove Firefighters’ Pension Fund Board in its dispute with the village over the pension awarded to the wife of Buffalo Grove Firefighter Kevin Hauber.

Kevin Hauber died of colon cancer in January 2018, and was 51 years old at the time of his death. He had served since 1994 in the fire department. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. While undergoing treatment, Hauber applied in October 2014 for a line-of-duty pension benefit. However, he returned to duty less than a year later and withdrew the application.

But in 2017, Hauber’s cancer returned, leading to his death a few months later. Before he died, Hauber applied again for a line-of-duty pension. The pension board evaluated that application in the summer of 2017, soliciting three independent medical evaluations of Hauber’s condition to determine if firefighting made him more likely to suffer this particular kind of cancer. After his death, two of the three medical evaluators indicated they believed it was possible.

The village, however, said more evidence was required because, the village claimed, two of the three doctors – both oncologists – did not “identity any aspect of … Hauber’s particular service as a firefighter that appeared to actually cause or contribute to his colon cancer.”

The pension board approved Hauber’s pension request, prompting the village to ask the courts to review the decision to award the enhanced benefit, which they estimated would conservatively add at least $1.7 million to the total lifetime payout to Hauber’s wife. Under a line-of-duty pension, Hauber’s widow would receive 100 percent of her late husband’s salary as an annuity, rather than the usual 75 percent under a non-line-of-duty pension.

According to the village, a standard pension would entitle a surviving spouse benefit of $76,162 per year. Under a line-of-duty pension, she would receive $101,549 per year.

After months of proceedings in Lake County court, Judge Winter sided in early February 2019 with the pension board, saying the medical evaluations and other research relied upon by the board sufficed. In her ruling, Judge Winter noted a number of specific calls Hauber purportedly responded to in his 23 year firefighting career, which likely exposed him to toxic inhalants and other hazards. She also noted Hauber “was in apparent good health and physical condition” and “didn’t have any of the factors typically responsible for contributing to the development of colon cancer.” She said tests also did not reveal a genetic predisposition to cancer in Hauber.

“The village has demanded that there be strict proof of specific occurrences in firefighter Hauber’s firefighting career that caused or contributed to his cancer,” Judge Winter said, according to the transcript. “With an illness such as cancer, such proof is unreasonable and certainly not required” under state law which requires “only … a showing of the cumulative effects of acts of duty over time…”

“The village asserts there is no evidence to link Kevin Hauber’s cancer to his career as a firefighter, and that’s simply untrue. There may not be a lot of evidence, but the Illinois Pension Code only requires some evidence as the pension board engages in its literal construction of determining Kim Hauber’s entitlement to a line-of-duty surviving spouse benefit,” the judge said.

In a prepared statement in the village’s news release announcing its appeal, Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg said village officials “continue to mourn the loss of Kevin Hauber and are grateful for the contributions he made to our community.” But he said, the village continues to believe “the burden of proof to receive the additional pension benefit was not met under the statutory requirements.”

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Buffalo Grove Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Lake County Circuit Court Judge Diane Winter ruled Tuesday that the family of 51-year-old Buffalo Grove Firefighter Kevin Hauber who died of colon cancer last year should receive a full pension benefit, upholding an earlier decision by a local review board that his fatal cancer was caused in the line of duty. Winter said two medical experts already found that Hauber’s death was likely the result of performing acts of duty, or cumulative acts of duty, which involved repeated exposure to toxic smoke and carcinogens while on the job.

Last summer, Buffalo Grove officials announced they were challenging a decision made earlier in 2018 by the Buffalo Grove Fire Department Pension Board that the family of  should receive a full line-of-duty death pension. Hauber, a veteran firefighter and paramedic in Buffalo Grove, died in January 2018, roughly four years after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

In the village’s lawsuit filed June 2018, Buffalo Grove officials said they were appealing the pension board’s decision because of their fiduciary responsibilities to taxpayers, arguing the state’s pension laws require more evidence that Hauber’s fatal cancer was the result of his 23 years of firefighting. Village officials at the time estimated the full, 100-percent pension award of Hauber’s annual $100,000 salary would create an additional liability of $1.7 million compared to a 75-percent award that the Hauber family was qualified to receive.

The ruling also comes as debates about the still-unclear link between firefighting and cancer unfold across Illinois and the rest of the country. An ongoing, multiyear study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safely and Health of nearly 30,000 firefighters from the Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco fire departments has found higher rates of certain types of cancer among firefighters than the general population.

The study also supported a newly signed federal law, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, requiring the CDC to collect data via a voluntary registry as part of its ongoing research into whether firefighters’ work increases the odds of them developing some types of cancer.

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House fire in Prairie View, 1-3-19

 

The Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD was dispatched for a reported house fire at 4:26AM Thursday morning (1/3/19) on North Apple Hill Lane in Prairie View. Responding units from nearby Station 51 saw a glow in the sky and the response was upgraded to a working fire. Arriving companies found a two-story house that was fully engulfed by fire. The house was believed to be vacant and undergoing some renovation. The ladder pipe from Truck 53 went into service right away along with three hand lines as the entire operation was defensive. 

Lincolnshire-Riverwoods and Grayslake trucks were at the scene along with two engines from Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, one each from Lake Forest and Countryside, Buffalo Grove Quint 27, squads from Deerfield-Bannockburn and Libertyville, a Long Grove ambulance, and chief officers from Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, Countryside, Libertyville, Long Grove, and Deerfield-Bannockburn.

Firefighters at night house fire scene

Larry Shapiro photo

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New tower ladder for Buffalo Grove

The Buffalo Grove FD has placed an order with E-ONE for a 100-foot, HP100, rear-mounted tower ladder. It will be on a Cyclone II chassis with a 2,000-GPM pump and 300 gallons of water. Delivery is expected in the fall of 2019.

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Buffalo Grove Fire Department news

Excerpts from abc7chicago.com:

A pickup truck slammed into a light pole in Buffalo Grove early Thursday morning and burst into flames. Police said the driver was headed east on Half Day Road when the truck left the road and struck a light pole near Willow Parkway around 3:50 a.m. The truck caught fire and sustained heavy damage. The driver managed to climb out of the vehicle and was found by first responders police a few feet from the scene. 

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Buffalo Grove Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Buffalo Grove officials announced Wednesday they are challenging a decision to award a full line-of-duty death pension to the widow of a 51-year-old Buffalo Grove firefighter, arguing not enough evidence exists that his fatal colon cancer was related to his work.

The full pension award for Kevin Hauber’s wife and their four children represented an unprecedented claim and marked the first award of its kind in Illinois after the Buffalo Grove Fire Department Pension Board determined earlier this year that his cancer was caused in the line of duty, village officials said in a statement.

But the board’s decision on a 3-2 vote back in March was made with the “absence of clear evidence or research proving that firefighting has a direct or indirect causal relationship with colon cancer,” officials said.

In announcing their appeal, Buffalo Grove officials said the only appropriate and fiduciary response was to challenge the pension board’s decision, which was reaffirmed by the board in May. Village officials estimated the full, 100-percent pension award would create an additional liability of $1.7 million compared to a 75-percent award that the Hauber family was qualified to receive.

Hauber, a veteran firefighter and paramedic in the village, died in January, roughly four years after being diagnosed with colon cancer. In the statement, officials believe a surviving spouse pension benefit equal to 75 percent of Hauber’s final salary is more appropriate than 100 percent.

The issue over Hauber’s death benefit touches on a volatile debate happening among local, state and federal lawmakers over whether cancer found in firefighters is the result of their work in the line of duty.

To that end, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) began a multi-year study in 2010 of nearly 30,000 firefighters from departments in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco to better understand the potential link between firefighting and cancer. Researchers found the firefighters who were studied showed higher rates of certain types of cancer than the general U.S. population. Based on U.S. cancer rates, firefighters in the study had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths, which were determined to be mostly digestive, oral, respiratory, and urinary cancers.

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New ambulance for Buffalo Grove

From the Foster Coach Sales Facebook page:

BRAND NEW CUSTOM HORTON CONVERSION ON A FREIGHTLINER CHASSIS  

Buffalo Grove FD ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

chevron striping on rear of ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

interior of new ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

Buffalo Grove FD ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

Buffalo Grove FD ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

Buffalo Grove FD ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

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Buffalo Grove Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Buffalo Grove’s Firefighters Pension Board on Monday reiterated its findings that the January death of a firefighter from colon cancer was job-related and his family deserves his full pension as a result.

The finding, initially made in March, would grant the family of Firefighter/Paramedic Kevin Hauber his full salary of $101,000 annually, instead of a lesser amount had his death been ruled unrelated to his job.

Hauber, who had worked as a Buffalo Grove firefighter since 1994, died earlier this year after a four-year battle with cancer, leaving behind his wife and four young daughters. He was 51.

Pension board President Dan Pasquarella said the panel looked into Hauber’s history in making its decision to find the death was related to his job.

“We did not have one specific incident to tie it to,” he said. “The final say is with the pension board. So we determined it was a line-of-duty death. (The village board) can appeal it. They would have 35 days once we mail the report to them.”

Village manager Dane Bragg said the village has not yet decided whether to appeal the finding in court.

“I would reiterate what we stated after the initial hearing. We were not sure that the pension board’s ruling was consistent with state law,” he said Monday.

Bragg said the village will have its attorney review the findings and then likely discuss it in closed session with the village board.

thanks Dan

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One-car crash in Buffalo Grove, 4-11-18

Buffalo Grove police and firefighters were sent to Mill Creek Drive and Greenridge Road Wednesday afternoon (4/11/12) for a car vs tree with entrapment. Upon arrival there was one patient that was not trapped in the car. Palatine Ambulance 82, Buffalo Grove Tower 25, and Battalion 4 were at the scene.

one-car crash with a tree in Buffalo Grove

Larry Shapiro photo

one-car crash with a tree in Buffalo Grove

Larry Shapiro photo

Firefighters remove patient from crash to gurney

Larry Shapiro photo

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MVA with EMS Box Alarm in Buffalo Grove, 4-11-18

A four-vehicle crash Thursday night (4/11/18) at McHenry Road and Lake-Cook Road in Buffalo Grove involved the extrication of one driver and required an EMS Box Alarm to handle all the patients. Ten people were ultimately transported to area hospitals via ambulances from six fire departments. Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Palatine, Long Grove, Lake Zurich, and Palatine Rural FPD ambulances were at the scene along with fire suppression companies from Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, and the Prospect Heights FPD.

Firefighter/paramedics remove victim after car crash

Larry Shapiro photo

Firefighter/paramedics remove victim after car crash

Larry Shapiro photo

car crash in Buffalo Grove

Larry Shapiro photo

Buffalo Grove FD Engine 26 on scene at night

Larry Shapiro photo

car crash in Buffalo Grove

Larry Shapiro photo

car crash in Buffalo Grove

Larry Shapiro photo

Buffalo Grove FD Tower 25 and Arlington Heights FD Engine 4

Larry Shapiro photo

car crash in Buffalo Grove

Larry Shapiro photo

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