Posts Tagged Evanston Fire Department

Evanston Fire Department news

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Evanston Fire Department ambulances will be equipped with LUCAS – Chest Compression Systems thanks to a $56,000 donation from the Evanston First Responders Foundation. The local nonprofit designated funding for three LUCAS devices, one for each of the department’s ambulances, in honor of Oliver Brown Leopold, a graduate of the EFD’s fire explorer program.

LUCAS, which stands for Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System, is a portable chest compression system that allows firefighters to keep up chest compressions without interruptions, significantly increasing the patient’s chance of survival.

Brown Leopold was the youngest member of the foundation’s board of directors when he died December 2021 at the age of 19 from what his family described as an apparent suicide.

Speaking at a memorial service, Evanston Fire Department Captain Megan Kamarchevakul remembered Brown Leopold as a natural leader who radiated positive energy from the time he started with the fire explorers when he was 13. He recalled the time Brown Leopold purchased the department’s reserve ladder truck.

“He had everything lined up, he had insurance, storage, upkeep, the only problem was he couldn’t drive it,” Kamarchevakul said. After the teen got his permit, the captain helped him learn to drive it.

Brown Leopold graduated early from Evanston Township High School in order to become an emergency medical technician during the first waves of the coronavirus pandemic, working in an emergency room and on an ambulance — later taking a gap year so that he could become a paramedic.

Since its founding in 2013, the Evanston First Responders Foundation has distributed grants to allow the department to buy gear for the fire explorers program, acquire a police dog, funding community CPR programs and mannequins, and bought bike helmets to distribute during the Bike the Ridge event in which cyclists are allowed to legally ride on Ridge Avenue for a few hours every year.

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3-Alarm fire in Evanston, 2-9-23

From the City of Evanston:

On Thursday, February 9, at approximately 8:30 a.m., the Evanston Fire Department responded to multiple reports of a fire in a multi-residential structure in the 900 block of Judson Ave.

First-responding companies encountered heavy fire on the third floor of the three-story courtyard complex and immediately called for additional resources to contain the threat. Based on advanced fire conditions and significant potential for fire spread, the alarm was upgraded to a third alarm within the first 12 minutes of being on the scene. Neighboring fire departments were called to assist with extinguishment and investigation, plus to respond to other emergency calls in Evanston. The fire was brought under control within the first hour of the incident. 

Residents were able to exit the building safely upon arrival of fire crews, and no civilian injuries have been reported. During search and rescue efforts, two cats were found deceased within the fire unit. American Red Cross was notified to assist 13 displaced residents, offering mass care and shelter services. No firefighter injuries were reported.

The 900 block of Judson Ave. will remain closed until fire vehicles are finished with their investigation.

Insurance dramatically improves the ability of individuals affected by disasters to recover quickly. Fortunately, all residents affected by this incident had renter’s insurance. Community members are encouraged to check their insurance to ensure their coverage is up to date and covers the replacement cost of their belongings.

From Evanston Fire Department on Facebook:

Pictures from the 3rd Alarm of Fire in the 900 block of Judson this morning. Great truck work from Evanston Truck Co. 22 and quick water on the fire from Engine Co. 24 helped save this building along with quick response times and properly staffed apparatus. Thank you to our neighboring fire departments that helped us save this building. These are pictures taken on first arrival in the rear of the building and venting of the roof in the early stages of the fire.; #EvanstonFD; #venting; #fire; #smoke; #flames;

Evanston FD photo; #EvanstonFD; #venting; #fire; #smoke; #flames;

Evanston FD photo; #EvanstonFD; #venting; #fire; #smoke; #flames;

Evanston FD photo; #EvanstonFD; #fire; #smoke;

Evanston FD photo; #EvanstonFD; #fire; #smoke; #flames;

Evanston FD photo; #EvanstonFD; #venting; #fire; #smoke; #flames;

Evanston FD photo; #EvanstonFD; #venting; #fire; #smoke; #flames;

Evanston FD photo

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2-Alarm fire in Evanston, 1-24-26

From Evanston FD on Twitter:

On Tuesday, at approximately 4:50 p.m., the Evanston Fire Department responded to reports of heavy smoke and fire on the 2nd floor of a two-story multi-residential structure at 2002 Emerson St.

First-responding companies encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions visible from the 2nd floor upon arrival, calling for additional resources to contain the threat by elevating the response to a 2nd Alarm. Neighboring fire departments were called to assist with fire investigation and to respond to emergency calls in Evanston.

Due to a well-coordinated interior attack, the fire was extinguished in less than 30 minutes and contained to the unit of origin. Extensive smoke and water damage resulted in the displacement of all residents within the building. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Although most residents could safely evacuate, firefighters successfully escorted one resident from the first floor of the burning building. Two civilians received medical care, with one transport for evaluation to a local area hospital. No firefighter injuries were reported. American Red Cross responded to the scene and provided emergency services and housing assistance for six displaced residents.; #EvanstonFD; #housefire;

Evanston FD photo

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Evanston Fire Department news

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From Jan. 1, 2019, through Nov. 5, 2022, the EFD reported 65 accidents involving a city vehicle. The majority of the incidents (58, or 89% of the total) were described as minor, five resulted in some damage and two involved significant damage. 

As part of the budget development process, the Evanston Fire Department has set a goal to reduce the number of vehicle accidents in 2023 to less than 10.

The Evanston Fire Department is making progress toward its goal of reducing accidents. Since 2019, the number of vehicles that have crashed or had accidents has decreased annually: In 2019 there were 20 accidents involving EFD, in 2020 there were 19, in 2021 there were 15, and through Nov. 5 of this year there have been 11 accidents.

Of the 65 incidents, the city’s records classified 50 of the accidents as due to EFD’s driving, while 13 were due to other drivers’ negligence, including three incidents where the driver of the other vehicle fled the scene of the accident. Twenty-five (38%) of the 65 incidents involved engines, 18 (28%) involved ambulances and 12 (19%) involved ladder trucks. The remaining 10 involved other vehicles in EFD’s fleet. 

The first half of the year tends to have a greater number of incidents compared to the second half. Snow, ice and the effects of both on street parking explain part of the difference. Some neighborhoods have particularly narrow streets.

Two incidents were labeled “significant.” One resulted in injuries, both to the firefighters and the driver of the car that collided with the city vehicle. No EFD employees were hospitalized.

In 2012, motor vehicle crashes were the second-leading cause of death for on-duty firefighters. Firetruck crashes occurred at a rate of approximately 30,000 crashes per year, according to data from the United States Fire Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A survey released in April 2019 by the National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute found “71% of U.S. drivers take photos or videos when they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road responding to a fire or a crash, or simply making a routine traffic stop. Sixty percent post to social media, and 66% send an email about the situation – all while behind the wheel.”  

Data from a 2021 report for the National Fire Protection Association concluded that “an estimated 15,675 fire department vehicles were involved in traffic accidents which resulted in 550 firefighter injuries and 7 fatalities. Over the past decade, 10 road crash fatalities per year have occurred on average.”

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Evanston Fire Department news


thanks Josh

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Evanston Fire Department news

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Monté Dillard and Heath Howe have both become Evanston Fire Department chaplains since the summer of 2020. Their work is multi-faceted, but centers around building relationships with members of the Evanston Fire Department. Along with other responsibilities, this requires visiting the firehouses and arriving at the scene during crises.

Part of their role as chaplains is also to comfort victims. This isn’t a task naturally built into the jobs of other fire department members. It’s common for the chaplains to follow up with members of the fire department and victims of situations, at times even making hospital visits.

While fire department staff and victims know about the chaplain’s support network, they can choose how much to engage with them. The chaplains said they seek to provide support to whoever needs it across all cultures. 

Dillard and Howe filled a vacancy left by Howe’s late husband, David Jones, who served as the department’s chaplain from 2011 until his passing in 2020.

After Jones’ passing, former fire chief Brian Scott asked Howe if she would be interested in taking up the role. While Jones performed the work as a retiree, Howe worked full time as an Episcopalian priest, which made her nervous about the time commitment.

Howe is the rector of Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth and Dillard serves as senior pastor at First Church of God Christian Life Center in Evanston. Dillard said working together allows them to best serve the fire department, their congregations, and each other. 

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Evanston Fire Department enws

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The Evanston Parks and Recreation director announced in October that the lifeguard program would move departments, pending city approval of a new fire department lifeguard supervisor position with oversight of their training. The department proposed the new position to the city council as part of the lifeguard budget and is awaiting approval. 

The merging of the lifeguard program with the fire department has been a point of discussion since late summer. Evanston will be the first municipality in Illinois to move its lakefront program to the fire department, though many west coast cities like San Diego established this pairing long ago. 

The change is one of many that has followed reports in summer 2021 of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment among lakefront staff.  Supervision by the fire department will help create a better work environment the lifeguards. 

Recent summers have also hampered recruitment of new lifeguard staff.  Hopefully the switch will provide more career-building opportunities for young lifeguards and therefore help with recruitment. 

The fire department also plans to create their own curriculum for their lifeguard certification. The lakefront management currently certifies the lifeguards through the United States Lifesaving Association, but the fire department plans to use the American Red Cross curriculum instead and include more Evanston lakefront-specific training.

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Evanston Fire Department news

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Eight people were rescued near the Clark Street Beach and the Dempster Street Boat Launch in Evanston Thursday evening after five boats capsized on Lake Michigan. Some people were able to get back to shore on their own. 

A sudden change of weather around 5 p.m. caused roiling waves that caught boaters off guard. Winds howled, sending a windsurfer flying through the air and into the lake. A lifeguard directed rescue boats to where people needed help.

While some people were evaluated at the scene, none needed to be taken to hospitals for treatment. Given the height of the waves, officials said it was fortunate no one was hurt.

A spokesperson from Northwestern University said two of the boats that capsized were from the Northwestern Sailing Club.

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Evanston Fire Department news

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In September 2020, in the face of COVID-19 and the city’s budget, members of the Evanston Firefighters Association Local 742 union agreed to amend their collective bargaining agreement, foregoing salary increases instead of the 2.25% increases that had been negotiated for 2021 and 2022.

At the a recent council meeting, a recommendation was made that firefighters receive a one-time payment, a compensation for their sacrifice. The council approved the payment to firefighters for the income losses – using $494,059 for 105 employees from federal American Recovery Protection Act funds.

As part of the revised agreement in 2020, firefighters were able to retain their current operational deployment model, maintaining 26 firefighter per shift, “sufficient to ensure that companies responding to emergency calls had the staffing necessary to be effective and respond within the department’s average response time.”

The city saved at least $680,000 from the firefighters’ concessions in 2021 and 2022 and that the average member gave up approximately $6,500 in base pay compensation.

The city “has seen higher than expected revenue as economic activity continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. State income tax, building permits, real estate transfer tax, sales tax, and state use tax all show revenue higher than budgeted through mid-year 2021.”

In the 2020 negotiations, AFSCME Council 31, which represents employees in the public works department and the library, joined with the firefighters and agreed to forego wage increases after previously bargaining for increases.

However, the Evanston Police Department held out against agreeing to the 0% increase. The union noted that it had worked with the city in pre-COVID 2019 when officials expressed concern about future economic issues and had agreed to a 0% increase then.

Council members approved a series of other actions at the meeting, rewarding city employees and staff, drawing on reserves in the city’s General Fund. The council approved:

  • A retention “Thank You” bonus of $500 for all city employees;
  • A retention bonus of $2,500 for the non-union employees of the Evanston Police Department;
  • A 3% wage increase for all exempt employees of the city.

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Evanston Fire Department news

From the Evanston FD Facebook page: 

Our “new” used reserve engine is close to being delivered. This engine served the Lisle/Woodridge Fire District previously and will enter our reserve pool of apparatus for when our front line apparatus go out of service for repairs and maintenance.; #FireTruck; #EvanstonFD; #LisleWoodridgeFPD;

Evanston FD photo; #FireTruck; #EvanstonFD; #LisleWoodridgeFPD;

Evanston FD photo

thanks Daniel

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