A note from the webmaster:

I’d like to apologize to everyone who follows the website (in addition to the blog) for the lack of updates, changes and modernization of the main website. When the site was designed and went live in August of 2009, fire departments and districts throughout the region were added along with updates to stations and apparatus. In an effort to create a layout that I felt would be easy to view and navigate, the site was created using three different pieces of software. As time went on, the site grew, the blog evolved, and the monumental task of finishing the site became tremendous. It got to the point where a new department could be added in roughly the same time it took to update one or two rigs. Needless to say, this became unworkable. Consider that it took just under 20 minutes to add a new vehicle purchased to the page of a department on the site. There had to be a revamp of the entire site to make things more manageable.

As a stopgap measure, I made sure to post on the blog all new apparatus submitted while saving the images in a folder for updating the stations when possible. The current site has probably not been updated in over a year which is not acceptable.

After sampling several different software solutions to accomplish this, the project is well underway at this time. The job of recreating each and every department/station already on the site plus those that have never yet been posted is to say the least monumental.

It was initially my wish to complete the new site and make a one-time change to the new pages but that could still be months away. So, the current site Chicagoareafire.com is still online alongside the new site Chicagoareafire.com/dev which is under development but available for anyone to access.

To date, the Chicago Fire Department is online along with MABAS Division 1, MABAS Division 3, and a portion of MABAS Division 4. Some of the new deliveries have been added to replace older rigs but many have not. Several contributors have been instrumental in assisting with the process of updating departments.

I welcome corrections and submissions as things progress. Please feel free to browse the site and submit constructive comments or corrections via webmaster@chicagoareafire.com. I need to know what’s changed and welcome photos to fill the voids.

If your department has been added to the new site, please take a moment to verify the stats (personnel, frequency, district size, station addresses) that are listed. Apparatus may have been retired or relocated since they were added to the site and that information is needed.

You can tell when departments have been added to the site when there is a white box around the station photo on the MABAS division page and the link is active.

Take the new site for a spin … there are several ways to navigate through dropdown menus and full pages.

Most of all, please be patient. It’s a long and involved process that has to find it’s way into a busy schedule to get completed.



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