Posts Tagged Chicago Fire Department

African American Firefighter and Paramedic League of Chicago calls for resignations (more)

Excerpts from Fox32Chicago.com:

At least 20 of the 111 black firefighters hired by the Chicago Fire Department after a marathon discrimination lawsuit had not been medically cleared by a department physician before starting work and two of them suffered serious medical events and died while off-duty, the city’s inspector general disclosed Tuesday.

Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago resolved a bitter legal battle the mayor inherited from former Mayor Richard M. Daley stemming from the city’s discriminatory handling of a 1995 firefighters entrance exam, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. The city agreed to hire 111 bypassed African-American firefighters and borrow the $78.4 million needed to compensate nearly 6,000 African-Americans who never got that chance.

Two weeks ago, Emanuel proudly pointed to that legal resolution as he fended off demands by an organization of African-American firefighters calling for the dismissal of Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago and a federal investigation into what the group says are racist policies at the fire department.“We settled that. Paid out somewhere around $60 million to $75 million to the individuals. Then, produced the class for [111] individuals to fulfill their dreams of becoming Chicago firefighters,” the mayor said.

On Tuesday, Inspector General Joe Ferguson added a new chapter to the long-running legal saga.

In his quarterly report, Ferguson disclosed he had conducted an investigation that revealed that at least 20 firefighters in the so-called Lewis class of African-American firefighters had not been medically cleared by a Chicago Fire Department physician before starting duty, contrary to national standards and the city’s own established practice.

“Two of the 20 improperly-cleared members suffered serious medical events while off-duty and died not long after they began their full duties, highlighting the importance of a CFD physician to provide medical clearance for all new firefighters,” Ferguson wrote.

“OIG strongly urged that CFD consider immediate action to assure that the remaining 18 members who had not been medically cleared by a CFD physician were, in fact, medically fit for duty. OIG further urged that CFD devise and implement a formal medical clearance policy consistent with national standards to assure that similar deviations did not occur in the future.”

The Chicago Fire Department responded to the inspector general’s findings by claiming that all 111 black firefighters had been medically examined by an outside vendor that reviewed the candidates’ medical history and conducted a physical exam and blood tests. The fire department’s own doctors then conducted an initial review of the outside vendor’s files to either clear the candidate or order additional steps, including follow-up exams by the candidate’s personal physician or retesting if initial blood tests showed anomalous results.

But, the fire department acknowledged that department physicians fell behind in the subsequent review of applicant files aimed at making certain those additional steps were taken.

“CFD further [acknowledged] that, operating on the advice of counsel and in order to ensure compliance with a court-imposed hiring deadline, it decided to have administrative personnel conduct a limited and administrative follow-up review of the medical files of 53 yet to be cleared candidates,” Ferguson wrote.

Those administrators ultimately cleared 19 of 53 candidates and rejected 34 others whose documentation was incomplete. The fire department subsequently acknowledged that a twentieth candidate may have been administratively cleared.

In his report, Ferguson disclosed that a current and former medical director for the Chicago Fire Department told investigators that administrative personnel performing the document check lacked the medical judgment necessary to evaluate whether candidates met the required medical standards for the rigorous job of being a firefighter.

National standards clearly state that when medical evaluations are conducted by a doctor or medical provider other than a fire epartment’s own physician, the evaluation must be reviewed and approved by the fire department’s own doctors.

After the first of the two cleared firefighters died, the CFD hired an outside doctor with particular experience with fire service requirements to conduct a more thorough review of the medical files of the 19 other candidates administratively cleared.

“Soon after, a second of the 19 administratively-cleared candidates died while off-duty. Both of the firefighters who died were among the six candidates who the outside doctor identified as having medical conditions warranting further inquiry, which CFD has acknowledged,” the inspector general’s report states.

Three of the four surviving administratively-cleared firefighters for whom the outside physician recommended additional screening later experienced a medical issue unrelated to the condition of concern, Ferguson disclosed.

The Chicago Fire Department’s medical staff subsequently cleared all three as fully-fit to return to duty after a wellness exam that did not include blood tests and other diagnostic components that are part of a candidate’s screening process.  The fourth firefighter had no occasion to be evaluated by department physicians.

“CFD stated that it had discussed performing a medical exam for all the administratively-cleared firefighters and was willing to pursue such examinations, but was advised by outside counsel that doing so would be improper and potentially violate” the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” Ferguson wrote.

Going forward, CFD noted that its current medical director ‘has developed detailed internal operating procedures that follow National Fire Protection Association standards, which the department is now following. The Chicago Fire Department’s Medical Division Handbook dated June, 2015  states that a CFD physician must make a final medical clearance determination on applicants.

thanks Dan

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Working fire in Chicago, 1-17-16 (more)

More photos from the working fire at 618 E 104th Street

Chicago firefighters vent roof at house fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago firefighters vent roof at house fire

Tim Olk photo

firefighters make entry to house fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago firefighters battle house fire

Tim Olk photo

house on fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago firefighters battle house fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago firefighters vent roof at house fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago firefighters vent roof at house fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Battalion Chief

Tim Olk photo

Chicago firefighters battle house fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Lieutenant

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Battalion Chief

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Lieutenant

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Engine 93

Tim Olk photo

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Working fire in Chicago, 1-17-16

This from Eric Haak:

Battalion 22 had a working fire at 618 E 104th Street just after 0600 hours on Sunday morning (1/17).  The fire was in the basement and it appeared to be out relatively quick.
night house fire scene

Eric Haak photo

night house fire scene

Eric Haak photo

night house fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firefighters at night fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firefighters at house fire

Eric Haak photo

Just after 1100 hours, Engine 93 landed with a substantial working fire at the same address.  Companies reported fire through the roof shortly after arrival.  Temperatures hovered slightly above zero for both incidents.

Chicago firefighters battle house fire

Eric Haak photo

firefighters make entry to house fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago FD Engine 93

Eric Haak photo

firefighter working a basement fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firefighters vent roof at house fire

Eric Haak photo

A Chicago firefighter vents the roof at house fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firefighters vent roof at house fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firefighter with hoe at house fire

Eric Haak photo

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Chicago FD LODD Firefighter Daniel Capuano, 12-14-15 (more)

Excerpts from Chicago.cbslocal.com:

A blaze at a vacant South Side warehouse that left firefighter Daniel Capuano dead in December was set off by a construction worker using an arc welder that touched off insulation and deemed accidental, the Chicago Fire Department announced Wednesday.

Daniel Capuano, a 15-year veteran of the department, was killed while battling a blaze at a vacant warehouse at 9213 S. Baltimore Av. on Dec. 14.

Capuano, who was assigned to Tower Ladder 34, was searching through heavy smoke on the second floor when he fell down an elevator shaft and into the basement in the three-story warehouse.

The city’s Department of Buildings said after the blaze that unauthorized work was being performed at the warehouse. Work being conducted without a permit included complete removal of the elevator and other structural alterations, spokeswoman Mimi Simon said.

On Dec. 15, building inspectors dropped multiple code violations on the owner of the building and city attorneys moved to have the building torn down.

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Eight injured during 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 1-11-16 (more)

Excerpts from WGNTV.com:

The Chicago Police Department’s bomb and arson unit is investigating Monday’s apartment building fire in Rogers Park as arson after an accelerant was found in a  stairwell that collapsed with firefighters on it. A mayday was called when one of them didn’t respond right away.  He suffered a shoulder injury in the fall.  Six other firefighters also received minor injuries from the icy conditions.

No residents were hurt.  Alderman Joe Moore says reports about code violations in the building are exaggerated, with the serious ones being addressed before 2010. The owner is a long time owner of several buildings in the area.  No code violation caused the fire; it was a person who’s motive is unclear.

Half of the 32 apartments were affected by the fire early.  Seven can’t be lived in. That means there are seven families who lost everything. Most of them are refugees who had nothing when they came here and now have to start over a second time.

It should take 2-3 weeks for the official results to come back.

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Chicago 2-11 Alarm fire, 1-13-16 (more)

This from Jeff Rudolph:

Here are some more pics from the 2-11, Jeff Rudolph

Chicago FD Snorkel at fire

Jeff Rudolph photo

fireman covered with ice

Jeff Rudolph photo

Chciago FD Tower Ladder 14

Jeff Rudolph photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 23

Jeff Rudolph photo

fireman covered with ice

Jeff Rudolph photo

fire department dog in truck

Jeff Rudolph photo

fire chief dressed for frigid weather

Jeff Rudolph photo

And a brief video from Larry Shapiro

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Chicago 2-11 Alarm fire, 1-13-16 (more)

Images from Tim Olk of the Chicago 2-11 Alarm fire, 1-13-16 (more) and a video from Steve Redick

Chicago fire scene

Steve Redick photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 23

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14

Tim Olk photo

heavy smoke from building fire

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 23

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14

Tim Olk photo

firefighters handle hose line at fire scene

Tim Olk photo

heavy smoke from building fire

Tim Olk photo

two tower ladders at fire scene

Tim Olk photo

firefighter coated with ice at winter fire

Tim Olk photo

firefighter at fire scene

Tim Olk photo

firefighter coated with ice at winter fire

Tim Olk photo

firemen descend aerial ladder

Tim Olk photo

heavy smoke from building fire

Tim Olk photo

More of Tim’s photos are at firescenes.net

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Chicago 2-11 Alarm fire, 1-13-16 (more)

Images from Larry Shapiro of the 2-11 Alarm fire at 3234 N. Central Avenue (1/13/16)

Chicago FD Engine 91

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD Engine 108

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 23

Larry Shapiro photo

Pierce tower ladders at Chicago fire scene

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD Engine 86

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD Squad 2A

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 23

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 23

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14

Larry Shapiro photo

firefighter covered with ice drinking coffee

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago firefighter at winter fire scene with ice

Larry Shapiro photo

fire department portable command board

Larry Shapiro photo

firemen carry frozen ladder covered with ice

Larry Shapiro photo

ladder frozen at fire scene covered with ice

Larry Shapiro photo

more photos are at shapirophotography.net

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Chicago 2-11 Alarm fire, 1-13-16 (more)

From Josh Boyajian:

  Here are some of my shots from the deuce today

heavy smoke from building fire

Josh Boyajian photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14

Josh Boyajian photo

firefighter coated with ice at winter fire

Josh Boyajian photo

firefighter coated with ice at winter fire

Josh Boyajian photo

firefighter coated with ice at winter fire

Josh Boyajian photo

winter fire scene

Josh Boyajian photo

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Chicago 2-11 Alarm fire, 1-13-16

This from Drew Gresik:

Here are some shots from today’s 2-11 at 3234 N Central Avenue.
Drew Gresik
Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14

Drew Gresik photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14

Drew Gresik photo

firefighters handle hose line at fire scene

Drew Gresik photo

fire chief officers supervise fire scene

Drew Gresik photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 23

Drew Gresik photo

Chicago FD Engine 94

Drew Gresik photo

Chicago FD Engine 94

Drew Gresik photo

Chicago FD Engine 86

Drew Gresik photo

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