Posts Tagged Cadillac ambulance

Palos Heights Fire Department history

This from Wayne Stuart for #TBT:

With all the new ambulances appearing on the site I thought I would dip into the archives and give a look into the past with this 1966 Cadillac manufactured by the Superior Professional Car  Company. It was a Crowne Royale model and was operated by the Palos Heights Fire Department. The photo was taken in 1979.

wayne stuart photo

1966 Cadillac manufactured by the Superior Professional Car  Company

Wayne Stuart photo

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Melrose Park Fire Department history

for #throwbackthursday – classic apparatus and ambulance photos from the Melrose Park Fire Department

Melrose Park FD vintage Cadillac ambulance

Larry Shapiro photo


Melrose Park FD vintage ambulance

Larry Shapiro photo

Vintage Melrose Park Ford C-Series fire engine

Larry Shapiro photo

Melrose Park FD classic Mack CF fire engine

Larry Shapiro photo

Melrose Park FD 3-boom Seagrave Snorkel

Larry Shapiro photo

Melrose Park FD Grumman AerialCat tower ladder

Larry Shapiro photo

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Evanston Fire Department history (more)

Another historic perspective provided by Phil Stenholm about the Evanston Fire Department:

The Evanston Fire Department (EFD) has been providing ambulance service to the City of Evanston since 1976, athough Evanston firefighters had been responding to “inhalator calls” since 1913.

The Evanston Police Department (EPD) was the ambulance provider pre-1976, running a horse-drawn police ambulance out of its HQ station as far back as the 1890?s.

The EPD acquired an automobile ambulance in 1916 (it was quartered in a bay just to the east of the firehouse at 807 Grove Stree), and then beginning in 1958, the EPD implemented the so-called “Police-Fire Cooperative Plan,” where Evanston Police officers were cross-trained as firefighters.

The cross-trained cops patroled in station-wagons (Car 31, Car 32, and Car 33, they were called at the time), each equipped with a stretcher, an inhalator, first-aid supplies, fire extinguishers, axes, and turnout gear. These two-man Police units responded to inhalator calls, ambulance runs, and fires, in addition to their other police-related activities. (The station-wagons were very soon cut-back to one-man units and new Police Officers were no longer cross-trained as firefighters, but the EPD did continue to provide ambulance service with its three patrol station-wagons).

In addition to the three EPD station-wagons, the Evanston Fire Department maintained three stretcher-equipped staff cars: F-5 (Training Officer) at Station #1, F-1 (Chief’s Buggy) at Station #2, and F-3 (Fire Prevention Inspector) at Station #5, that were used as back-up ambulances (when they weren’t in use eleswhere) in case none of the EPD patrol ambulances were available.

In the Summer of 1974, the Illinois Department of Health loaned an MICU to the Evanston Fire Department for a 90-day trial. The EFD did not have any paramedics at that time and the MICU was not equipped with ALS gear, but it did give the EFD a chance to be the city’s primary ambulance service for a while.

Everybody was favorably impressed (especially the Police Officers, who wanted no part of being ambulance attendants), and the Evanston Fire Department Paramedic Program commenced at St Francis Hospital in 1975, with an eye toward implementing Paramedic & Fire Eepartment ambulance service in 1976.

However, Evanston Mayor Jim Staples wanted the ambulance service to remain in the hands of the Police Department (Staples liked the idea of having ambulances “on the street” 24/7 instead of parked in a firehouse), but even he changed his mind after Police Chief William McHugh said that the EPD was busy enough just dealing with the sky-rocketing crime rate in the city, without having to continue to provide ambulance service, too.

The first ambulance (a 1975 Dodge van MICU with ALS equipment donated by Evanston’s own Washington National Insurance Company) was placed into service at Station #1 in January 1976.

Ambulance 1 was initially staffed by three firefighters (two paramedics and one paramedic trainee), as manpower assigned to Squad 21 was reduced to just a driver. Ambulance 1 responded to all EMS calls anywhere in the city, responding alone to calls in Station #1?s stil district, and with a support engine in other areas.

Once on the scene, the senior paramedic on-board had to determine if the call was BLS or ALS. If it was an ALS call Ambulance 1 would handle it, but if it was determined to be BLS, a police station-wagon ambulance or one of the auxiliary Fire Department station-wagon ambulance would be dispatched to relieve Ambulance 1 and make the transport, so that Ambulance 1 could go back into service ASAP.

During 1976 the City Council approved the purchase of a second MICU ambulance for the Fire Department, and plans were made to staff the two ambulances with two-man crews (both paramedics), and take Squad 21 completely out of service.

In November 1976 Ambulance 1 was nearly demolished in a traffic collision (ambulance was struck broadside by a drunk driver) at Church & Ridge while en route to a call on Dewey Avenue (the three firefighters on-board and a nurse from St. Francis Hospital on a ride-along were injured), and because Ambulance 2 was on order but had not yet arrived, the Skokie Fire Department loaned one of its old Cadillac ambulances to the Evanston F. D.

It wasn’t an MICU, but the Cadillac did run as Ambulance 1 until the new Ambulance 2 arrived a few days later, and then Evanston decided to keep the Cadi as a reserve ambulance. (Evanston purchased the ambulance from Skokie).

The Evanston Fire Department’s second ambulance (Ambulance 2) was placed into service in January 1977, and both Ambulance 1 (the Skokie Cadillac ambulance) and the new MICU modular ambulance were in service at Station #1.

Both ambulances were ALS-equipped and staffed with two paramedics, but Ambulance 2 took all “first-call” EMS runs, and (because it wasn’t an MICU vehicle) Ambulance 1 responded to fire calls, and to EMS calls only if Ambulance 2 was unavailable.

The original Ambulance 1 (the 1975 Dodge van MICU) was eventually repaired and went back into service during 1977. The response plan did not change, however, as Ambulance 2 still took all first- call EMS runs.

The Cadillac ambulance then became Ambulance 3, an unmanned BLS unit that was staffed only when a third ambulance was needed. (ALS gear was purchased for Ambulance 3 in 1978).

Two new Ford modular MICUs were added in 1980, the new Ambulance 1 and the new Ambulance 2. The Cadillac ambulance and the ’75 Dodge van MICU were junked, and the old Ambulance 2 (1977 Dodge modular MICU) became Ambulance 3.

At this point Ambulance 1 and Ambulance 2 were split-up, with Ambulance 1 assigned to Fire Station #1, and Ambulance 2 assigned to Fire Station #2. The border separating the two districts was Dempster Street (same as the border separating Truck 21 and Truck 22). Ambulance 3 was located at Station #1, and was staffed when needed by personnel from Truck Co. 21 (presuming Truck 21 was available)

Within a year both front-line ambulances were back together at Station #1, with A-1 first-due east of Asbury, and A-2 first-due west of Asbury, and Amubulance 3 went to Station #2 and was staffed by personnel from Truck Co. 22 when needed.

The arrangement was altered again in 1982, when the two ambulances began to alternate responses (that was actually my suggestion), with A-1 taking a call, then A-2 would take the next one, then A-1, then A-2, etc. This way, an ambulance crew would know which ambulance was “on the bubble” for the next run, and the one that wasn’t could take a bit of a break. (The two ambulances were very busy back then, and presumably still are)

Ambulance 3 was moved back to Station #1 at this time, staffed when needed by personnel from Truck Co. 21 (which always had two paramedics on-board in case it needed to man A-3).

In 1986, Ambulance 2 was moved to Station #4, and Ambulance 1 was now first-due to calls in Station 1 and Station 3 areas, and Ambulance 2 responded first-due to calls in Stations 2, 4, and 5 areas, with Ambulance 3 in ready-reserve at Station #1. The EFD command staff believed that the two front-line ambulances should be separated to provide faster paramedic response city-wide.

In furtherance of this desire, the “jump company” plan was implemented in 1989. Engine companies 21, 22, and 25 were designated “jump companies,” meaning they were four-man crews with two paramedics among the four, operating as a “two-piece company” (an engine and an ambulance). Engine 23 and 24 no longer responded to EMS calls, and Truck Co. 21 no longer was responsible for manning the third ambulance.

The “jump company” plan did not work out at all, because the three “jump” engine companies would go out of service for long periods of time while on runs, leaving the city with inadequate engine coverage during those periods.

So the “jump company plan” (mostly) went away the next year, as Amblance 21 and Ambulance 22 went back to two-paramedic units at Station #1 and Station #2 respectively, the five engine companies went back to being engine companies, and Truck 21 was relocated to Station #3 (becoming the reborn Truck Co. 23), with Ambulance 23 also now at Fire Station #3 and available to be manned (when needed) by personnel from Station #3.

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Schiller Park has been added to the site

Schiller Park Fire Department patchThe Schiller Park Fire Department in MABAS Division 20 has been added to the site. Schiller Park has two stations, though only the headquarters station is staffed. The second station currently houses a reserve engine and ambulance. The suppression fleet consists of Pierce apparatus with a broad range of chassis: Saber, Enforcer, Dash, & Impel. Ambulances are from Wheeled Coach, Road Rescue, and very soon from Medtec as well.

Daily staffing includes an engine, an ambulance, a shift commander, and a jump company for the tower ladder or a second ambulance. Although apparatus is currently black over red, Schiller Park was at one time lime green and also had separate fire and EMS divisions.

Schiller Park Fire Department Cadillac ambulance

Cadillac Ambulance 452 used by the Schiller Park EMS prior to merging with the fire department. Larry Shapiro photo

Schiller Park Hendrickson fire engine

This version of Engine 455 was delivered in 1976 by W.S. Darley on a Hendrickson chassis with an 1871-C cab. It carried 500 gallons of water with a 1,250-GPM pump. Larry Shapiro photo

Schiller Park Fire Department

Schiller Park Engine 455 was refurbished by RPI in 1992 which included a full cab enclosure and a new color scheme. Larry Shapiro photo

Schiller Park Fire Department

Schiller Park Engine 455 was delivered in 1995 by Pierce on a Saber chassis with a 1,250-GPM pump and 500 gallons of water. Today this is the reserve engine out of Station 2 and has been renumbered as Engine 456. Larry Shapiro photo

Schiller Park Fire Station

Schiller Park Fire Station 1 is part of the municipal complex with the police department and city government offices. Larry Shapiro photo

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Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show

The Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show is taking place this weekend. Steve Redick stopped by this morning and submitted a few images of units that are being displayed.

Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show

Steve Redick photo

Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show

Steve Redick photo

Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show

Steve Redick photo

Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show NIPAS armored vehicle

Steve Redick photo

Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show antique fire engine

Steve Redick photo

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Western Springs history added

Western Springs Fire Department Cadillac ambulance

The Western Springs Fire Department photo history has been added to their page. Located in MABAS Division 10, Western Springs has a rich history featuring Ward LaFrance, FWD, Seagrave, E-ONE, American LaFrance, and Pierce apparatus. Originally white, their rigs transitioned to white over red beginning with an American LaFrance Ladder Chief Quint in 1977. Three of their units were repainted to accommodate the change. These were the 1977 E-ONE, 1975 Seagrave, and the 1982 Pierce.

Western Springs Fire Department Ward LaFrance Fireball

Western Springs Fire Department American LaFrance Ladder Chief Quint

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