Posts Tagged chicagoareafire.com

New engine for Carol Stream (more)

This from John Tulipano:

New Carol Stream Squad 27 arrived Wednesday from Alexis. Its a 2018 Spartan Alexis 1500/500 Alexis number 2346

Carol Stream FD Squad 27

John Tulipano photo

delivery photo of new fire engine for Carl Stream FD

John Tulipano photo

Carol Stream FD Squad 27 new and old

John Tulipano photo

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2-Alarm fire in Northbrook, 1-16-19 (more)

more on the 2-alarm-fire-in-northbrook-1-16-19

Firefighters battle house fire at night

Tim Olk photo

Firefighters battle houses on fire at night

Tim Olk photo

Firefighter battles house fire at night

Tim Olk photo

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Fox River and Countryside Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

A binding referendum question on the April 2 ballot will seek a 63 percent increase in the taxes paid to the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District. If approved the measure would put an additional $1.1 million in the district’s coffers each year to raise staffing levels and fund equipment replacements and repairs.

Voters have shot down six previous attempts by the district to raise the property tax rate in the last several years. The margin by which those measures failed has significantly narrowed since the district’s first request making officials hopeful for a more positive outcome this time around. The fire board found the March 2018 election especially promising given the fact that a proposed 60 percent increase failed by only 32 votes.

Public support and awareness grew during the November election season. With more than 9,000 people voting — at least three times larger than the district’s usual turnout — the referendum question lost by 342 votes.

If the tax hike passes, the district’s tax rate will increase from about 27 to 43 cents per $100 of taxable property value. That means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $56 more per year.

In recent years, the district has eliminated firefighter positions and reduced costs while continuing to operate on what officials say is insufficient funding. The board decided to hold off on discussing additional budget cuts until after the April election.

“Our message remains the same,” Fire Chief John Nixon said. “We have equipment that’s failing, radios becoming a safety issue, vehicles that are costing extra money to maintain because they’re in many cases reaching the end of life, and staffing shortfalls that have created uncomfortable situations for us where we have to run short.”

The fire district plans to ask a citizen group for help talking to residents about the upcoming referendum question. Information about the proposal likely will be sent out through social media and in newsletters.

The district covers 38 square miles of unincorporated areas in St. Charles and Campton townships, as well as Campton Hills and Wayne.

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2-Alarm fire in Northbrook, 1-16-19 (more)

Excerpts from abc7chicago.com:

A fire that broke out at a home in Northbrook Wednesday morning had three families running for their lives. An off-duty firefighter was on his way to work when he spotted a home in the 2500-block of Melanie Lane fully engulfed by flames. The Northbrook Fire Department was on the scene about 8 minutes later. Helicopter footage shows fire billowing out of the home and spreading to the houses on either side of it.

The woman who owns the home where the fire started said she heard a loud pop, then saw a wall of flames and managed to escape relatively unharmed. The neighbors got out too. 

 

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Pingree Grove & Countryside Fire District news (more)

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

A motion to place a bond referendum question for the Pingree Grove & Countryside Fire District on the April election ballot — for what would have been the fourth time — failed after the board was deadlocked and the trustee who could have cast the deciding vote was absent.

One trustee attempted to attend the Thursday meeting via phone because he’s in a rehabilitation facility. On the phone, he repeatedly said he supported placing the referendum question on the ballot, but after about half an hour — and before the board took a vote — he had to go because he wasn’t feeling well.

The plan on the table Thursday, proposed by Fire Chief Mitch Crocetti, was to ask voters to borrow $7.5 million to replace two of the district’s three fire stations. The district also would have used $2.6 million in reserves and any proceeds from selling the old stations. Voters previously rejected requests to borrow $8.5 million in November 2018, March 2018 and April 2017.

The plan has been to sell Station 2 on Rippburger Road and Station 4 on Plank Road and build new stations on Highland Avenue just east of Coombs Road and on Dittman Road about one-third mile south of Plato Road. The land on Dittman Road was purchased last year.

However, last month an estimate showed higher-than-anticipated costs, with building and site work for the Dittman Road station up to at least $10.85 million according to a second opinion.

The chief consulted with officials from the South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District who told him that bids for two new fire stations planned in that district are coming in under $10 million.

Some speculated the higher cost could be because South Elgin has municipal water, not well water like Pingree Grove, or due to differences in proposed building height.

Another referendum question could go on the ballot no earlier than the spring 2020 election. The board rejected the chief’s proposal last year to obtain architectural plans before the referendum. He plans to pursue that again in order to narrow down precise costs.

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New tanker for Pingree Grove FPD (more)

Updated production photos of the tanker being built by Alexis for the Pingree Grove FPD

water tanker/tender being built for the Pingree Grove & Countryside FPD

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

water tanker/tender being built for the Pingree Grove & Countryside FPD

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

water tanker/tender being built for the Pingree Grove & Countryside FPD

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

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Harvard Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the NorthwestHerald.com:

A request for police presence at Harvard Fire Protection District board meetings after a trustee’s concerns that a meeting attendee posed a threat was turned down, Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause said.

In November, Harvard Fire Chief Steve Harter and Deputy Chief Don Davidson were suspended for 36 hours based on a letter they sent to board President Thomas Condon in June calling the conduct of Trustee Joe Clarke unprofessional and hostile.

During December’s board meeting, former Harvard Firefighter Don Carlson said he was extremely disappointed in the board, particularly Clarke, whose bullying is destroying the reputation and confidence in the fire protection district chiefs and staff.

Several fire chiefs, including Marengo Chief Bob Bradbury and Woodstock Chief Michael Hill, also spoke during the meeting in defense of Harter’s and Davidson’s character and service.

In a memo dated Jan. 2 to McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, Krause and attorney David McArdle, Clarke wrote that Carlson has distorted the facts, forced his son to resign from the district and has reviewed personnel files from his 31 years of service with the village of Arlington Heights.

“Mr. Carlson’s actions have gone far beyond what a rational citizen would do in questioning a public official,” Clarke wrote in the memo.

In conclusion, Clarke said in the letter that he believes Carlson carries a concealed firearm during meetings and that he poses a threat of “going postal.” Therefore, he recommended board president Thomas Condon formally request the assistance of the Harvard Police Department in maintaining order and security at meetings.

“A uniformed police officer is better suited to silence and remove Mr. Carlson from the meeting room should he have another outburst of behavior,” Clarke wrote.

Krause said he and Condon reviewed the memo and agreed the fire protection district is not interested in having a law enforcement presence at meetings.

Carlson said in an email to the Northwest Herald that he was surprised and appalled to be accused of being a threat, and his attendance at meetings was to express his feelings about a trustee he feels is a bully.

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Calumet Park Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Less than two months after outsourcing its fire department to Kurtz Paramedic Service, Calumet Park Fire Chief Howard Fisher, who had served as chief since 2014, was let go earlier this month in what the mayor said was primarily a cost-cutting move. He’s hoping to find a replacement for Fisher — who made $82,126 last year — within the next few weeks. The mayor said he doesn’t expect the transition from a full-time chief to a part-timer working about 30 hours a week will have any impact on the department’s operations.

“I wanted a part-time (chief),” he said. “Since Kurtz was going to have their own staff and everything, I didn’t see the need to be paying $80,000-$90,000 for a full-time fire chief when I was gonna also have to be paying for an administrative person that was going to be there administering all the paperwork of that.”

Nicless Malley, a former village firefighter who now works for Kurtz, will serve as Calumet Park’s acting chief until a permanent replacement is found. Once the new fire chief is appointed, he or she and an existing fire office clerk will be the department’s only public employees, at a combined cost of between $80,000 and $90,000 without benefits. Kurtz employs the department’s 12 full-time firefighters, four of whom previously worked part-time for Calumet Park.

The details of Fisher’s separation agreement are still being worked out, but the mayor said he anticipates paying the former chief until Jan. 15, and compensating him for his approximately 40 accumulated sick days and two weeks of vacation. 

Kurtz assumed control of Calumet Park’s fire department on Dec. 1, a few weeks after the village board approved a separation agreement with its firefighters union and signed a five-year contract with the private company to provide fire suppression and ambulance services.

Calumet Park will pay Kurtz a maximum of $829,380 in the first year of the contract, with progressive increases each year up to a maximum of $947,392 in the final year of the deal. The price tag does not include the salary of the fire chief and fire office clerk, and costs for building and apparatus maintenance and utilities, but is still expected to produce a significant savings for cash-strapped Calumet Park, officials have said.

The mayor said that he’d had discussions with officials from multiple south suburban towns about parlaying his deal with Kurtz into shared services agreements for fire suppression and ambulance services in their communities. He’s still evaluating whether such a shared services agreement with another municipality would make financial sense for Calumet Park, but that he expects to make a decision one way or another later this year.

“(Some towns) want me to completely take over their fire department,” he said. “If I wanted to do it today, I could sign them up today.”

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New engine for Carol Stream (more)

Updated production photos of the new engine for the Carol Stream Fire District being built by Alexis

Carol Stream Fire District Squad 27

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

Carol Stream Fire District Squad 27

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

Carol Stream Fire District Squad 27

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

Carol Stream Fire District Squad 27

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

Carol Stream Fire District Squad 27

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

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Sun Prairie Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from Madison.com:

Two utility contractors faulted for contributing to an explosion that leveled part of downtown Sun Prairie and killed a volunteer firefighter in July were each fined $12,934, the maximum penalty allowed for serious violations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

In citation letters dated Jan. 4, OSHA said its inspectors found that Kansas-based Bear Communications and Michigan-based VC Tech failed to call a diggers hotline or utility owners to locate underground lines before starting work.

VC Tech, which was subcontracted by Bear Communications, punctured an unmarked underground gas line at about 6:20 p.m. on July 10 while boring a hole under Bristol Street and Main Street in Sun Prairie as part of a fiber communication line project for Verizon. The damaged gas line led to the explosion about 45 minutes after it was punctured, destroying five buildings, damaging several others and displacing dozens of residents.

Cory Barr, a captain with the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department and owner of a tavern destroyed in the blast, was killed in the explosion. Two other volunteer firefighters were injured.

Bear Communications then contracted with VC Tech, mistakenly telling the company that the utility marking had been completed. VC Tech then punctured the gas line while doing horizontal-directional boring.

In addition to the OSHA findings, state regulators have been asked to consider issuing penalties to VC Tech. A panel that polices utility notification laws asked for the penalties after receiving a complaint from USIC Locating Services that claimed VC Tech violated state law when it failed to notify the state utility call center before starting work on July 10. Under state law, the Public Service Commission can issue fines of $25,000 per violation and up to $500,000 in fines for multiple violations.

USIC’s complaint, filed in October, alleged that VC Tech illegally piggybacked on the other company’s work order and failed to notify the call center before starting its work.

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