This from Kevin Griffin:
I got some shots of Country Club Hills’ newer ambulance recently it’s a 2015 GMC/Osage
Excerpts from ABC7Chicago.com:
Authorities are being tight-lipped about a garage fire in south suburban Country Club Hills Tuesday evening. Firefighters rescued at least one person who was trapped in the garage. It is unclear whether another person was rescued or hurt in the fire.
Emergency crewsPolice and firefighters responded to the 18600-block of Baker Avenue around 9 p.m. Tuesday. When they arrived, they saw heavy flames and smoke coming from the garage. Firefighters requested more help and summoned arson investigators to the scene. Crews pulled one person from the fire. That person was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in an unknown condition.
Authorities said they will not release any information about any possible fatalities. The Cook County Crime Scene Investigation Unit is part of the response team. The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
Excerpts from theChicagoTribune.com:
Country Club Hills has suspended a firefighter who complained about gender discrimination, sexual harassment and porn in the fire station, according to the woman’s attorney.
Dana Kurtz, Lewis-Bystrzycki’s attorney, said the suspension is “simply more retaliation against her. It sends a clear message to everyone ‘do not complain or this is what will happen to you.'”
Earlier this month, Lewis-Bystrzycki filed a supplemental complaint against Country Club Hills alleging lieutenants have admitted knowing that employees watch porn in the fire station. Court records allege at least 45 instances of sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation against Lewis-Bystrzycki dating back to the beginning of her employment.
Country Club Hills attorney Daniel Boddicker declined to comment, citing pending litigation, but said he believes the department will be successful on the merits of the case. Boddicker previously said the fire chief has “terminated access to the premium movie channels” where there is “nudity.”
Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:
On Dena Lewis-Bystrzycki’s first day as a Country Club Hills firefighter, the chief at the time allegedly leaned over to her and whispered a crude sexual invitation.
Some co-workers laughed. Lewis-Bystrzycki looked at one of them and asked, essentially, “Is this what I am to expect?”
“Welcome to the fire service,” the engineer allegedly responded, according to recently filed court records that detail the exchange.
Nearly two decades later, Lewis-Bystrzycki has filed a lawsuit alleging firefighters regularly watch pornography at the station, engaged in gender discrimination when she came up for a promotion and retaliated against her for reporting misbehavior.
There are only two full-time female firefighters in the department, according to the suit. Lewis-Bystrzycki, 40, is one of them. She said firefighting is in her blood as she’s following in the footsteps of several uncles, her father and grandfather.
“I was raised in a firehouse,” Lewis-Bystrzycki said in an interview.
Lewis-Bystrzycki has been a firefighter with Country Club Hills since 1998. She first sued the department in 2012, and on Wednesday she filed a supplemental complaint alleging lieutenants have admitted knowing that employees watch porn in the stations.
The lawsuit also alleges that many questions on the 2011 lieutenant promotion exam were written by the father of Carl Pycz, the male firefighter who got the job after scoring highest on the written exam.
Lewis-Bystrzycki complained at the time but was ignored, the lawsuit alleges. At one point, court records allege, Carl Pycz confronted Lewis-Bystrzycki with “a big smile and said, ‘Let the best man win.'”
Since Pycz’s promotion, the lawsuit alleges, he has retaliated against Lewis-Bystrzycki by excluding her from station meals, assigning her menial tasks and unfairly disciplining her.
Country Club Hills referred questions to its attorney, Daniel Boddicker, who said the fire chief has “terminated access to the premium movie channels” where there is nudity. He said the department is investigating the pornography allegations further.
Boddicker declined to comment on anything else but said the fire department expects to win the lawsuit.
Lewis-Bystrzycki’s attorney, Dana Kurtz, said this is one of the more egregious cases she’s seen.
“You have people in command that are doing nothing,” Kurtz said.
Court records filed earlier this month detail at least 45 instances of sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation against Lewis-Bystrzycki dating back to the beginning of her employment. The alleged misbehavior spans nearly two decades.
In 1998, after Lewis-Bystrzycki started, a firefighter threw a ring used for sexual purposes at her.
One firefighter broke down the bathroom door in 1999 while Lewis-Bystrzycki was showering, according to the complaint.
There were a handful of incidents in 2009 where a male firefighter, and on one occasion two firefighters, climbed into Lewis-Bystrzycki’s bunk and said “cuddle with me” or something similar, court records allege.
In 2012, someone placed a sticker on Lewis-Bystrzycki’s locker with a sexual connotation, court records allege.
That same year, court records allege, Lewis-Bystrzycki came back to her locker and found a ceramic doll on top of it with its hands placed over its mouth. That indicated she should shut her mouth, court records allege.
In 2013, court records allege, Lewis-Bystrzycki was told by another firefighter that there was “an unwritten order given not to assist (Lewis-Bystrzycki) with anything.”
That incident, in particular, disturbs Lewis-Bystrzycki, she said. Fighting the case has left her “nerve-wracked, overwhelmed and scared.”
Martin Nowak found these ambulances for area fire departments:
Model: Type I Superliner 171″ Mod 74″ HR
2015 F550 4WD with Liquid Spring
Type III Ambulance to Country Club Hills Fire Department of Country Club Hills, IL – This Type III Ambulance was delivered to Country Club Hills Fire Department of Country Club Hills, IL. It is a 2015 Chevrolet G4500 Type III Super Warrior.
Tags: 6655 N. Newgard Avenue, ambulance photos, Country Club Hills Fire Department, Lifeline Ambulance, Martin Nowak, new ambulance for the Tri-State FPD, Osage Ambulance, Tri-State Fire Protection District, Type I Wheeled Coach ambulance, Wilmington Fire Department
This from Dylan Konchan:
Country Club Hills Fire Department responded to a house fire with entrapment at 4136 177th St. Companies found the victim inside, and transported to South Suburban Hospital.
DH submitted the following:
Saw CC Hills Tower 1145 at Southwest Spring and Alignment on 85th and Columbus (Southwest Highway) in Chicago this morning. A question for the readers, is the ALF 1140 still in service? Or does CC Hills just run 2 engines when 1145 is OOS?DH
This from Dylan Konchan:
Country Club Hills | Still and Box Alarm | 3830 Highland Pl | Companies got on scene and with smoke showing from a 2 story house, 1 line was lead out.
Tags: Country Club Hills Fire Department, Dylan Konchan, fire truck with black ladder, Flossmoor Fire Department, HME Central States engine, Homewood Fire Department, house fire in Country Club Hills, Markham Fire Department, Oak Forest Fire Department, Pierce Dash pumper, Pierce quint
THE … TOWN OF COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, has a moral problem on their hands this week. Just three months ago they hired a new fire chief Roger Agpawa, previously the deputy chief of the Markham Fire Department. Following the open application season, Agpawa was selected from the field of candidates bringing with him an impressive resume of fire service credentials.
Unfortunately, he also brought with him a criminal conviction that wasn’t part of his resume.
According to the Sun-Times:
Agpawa was hired as the Country Club Hills fire chief in July for $98,000 a year plus a city Ford Expedition, even though he pleaded guilty to mail fraud as part of a 1997 medical insurance fraud case in federal court in Chicago.
Agpawa, 54, was charged in December 1997 with cashing bogus medical insurance claim checks and splitting the money with his partner in crime who worked as a claims approver.
Agpawa pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and could have served more than a year in prison.
Instead, he was ordered in 1999 to pay more than $60,000 back to the insurance company, serve three years of probation and perform 200 hours of community service.
Under Illinois law, a town cannot hire a firefighter with a serious felony conviction, but in an interesting twist, there is a difference between fire chiefs and rank-and-file firefighters.
Unlike firefighters, fire chiefs are appointed, not sworn, and not subject to the same state law.
But when it comes to fire chiefs, “all fire chiefs step out of the sworn area,” he said. “They are appointed.”
Usually, a mayor or a village manager — and not a fire commission — is the fire chief’s supervisor, Markowski said.
Mayors may use the same criteria as set out in the statute for sworn firefighters or “they can overlook it.”
One Country Club Hills alderman, Vincent Lockett, though, sang the praises of Agpawa.
“The guy has done a spectacular job for the city of Country Club Hills. He has saved the residents $400,000 in the short term,” Lockett said. “We haven’t had this type of management in many, many years in Country Club Hills. The fire chiefs used to allow the department to rape the city.”
“I don’t think one alderman would have anything negative to say about him,” Lockett said. “I guess I would have to say, let his past be his past . . .”I am proud to have him.”