Posts Tagged Gary Fire Department

Commercial building fire in Gary, IN 11-11-20

From Tim Olk

massive black smoke from building fire

Tim Olk photo

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Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

An in-house firefighting crew is set to begin serving the Gary/Chicago International Airport Sept. 1. The transition from city firefighters to the private airport-based firefighters was expected to begin in June. That deadline wasn’t met, so the airport authority approved an extension of an agreement with the city to provide airport rescue and firefighting services through Aug. 31.

About six to eight Gary firefighters are based at the airport daily. They’ll be replaced by new personnel who will be trained and certified. The change will be a cost-saver. Personnel still need to be hired and the Gary Fire Department is vetting applicants. The new hires will be cross-trained as not only firefighters, but as operations workers, as well and will staff the airport 24 hours a day and be considered AvPORTS’ employees. Revenue from a compact agreement with the city of Chicago will be used to support the fire and rescue staffing. 

On Aug. 16-18, the airport will again serve as the staging site for the Chicago Air and Water Show.

thanks Dennis

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HUD to fund new fire station in Gary (more)

Excerpts from the

City leaders expect a modern new fire station to rise this coming year in the Glen Park neighborhood, despite doubts about the future of the fire department as a whole. Officials broke ground near 49th and Pennsylvania Street for construction of $2.8 million facility. About a dozen young firefighters were on hand for the ceremony.

It will replace Station 5, which has been closed since 2012. Its crew has been housed in a section of the Calumet Township Multipurpose Center, 1900 W. 41st Ave., a homeless center.

The fire department’s staff of 163 firefighters and 13 paramedics must cover the city’s 52 square miles and beyond. They have responded to more than 5,200 fire calls and more than 13,000 requests for emergency medical services service calls since Nov. 30.

The department’s website lists 14 fire stations, but a 2009 Gary financial assessment report stated too many stations were obsolete, in disrepair and in need of significant  renovation.

Gary FD  Captain John Leslie Jr., president of the firefighters union, recently complained publicly about firefighters being overworked at scenes due to lack of manpower that could get worse in the coming years as more veterans retire and the city struggles to retain new hires who leave for better pay in other communities.

The mayor is proposing budget cuts for most departments in 2019 — including public safety — as part of a long-term plan to put city government on more stable, financial footing.

The new station will be built on the site of the old Pittman Elementary School. It is being financed with a loan from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development.

thanks Dennis

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FDIC 2018

A few images from the FDIC in Indianapolis showing units and members from area fire departments.

East Joliet FPD members receive gift at FDIC

Members of the East Joliet FPD at the 2018 FDIC. Larry Shapiro photo

East Joliet FPD members receive gift at FDIC

Members of the East Joliet FPD at the 2018 FDIC. Larry Shapiro photo

Franklin Park FD Truck 1

Franklin Park FD Truck 2. Larry Shapiro photo

Gary Fire Department fire engine

New Pierce engine for Gary. Josh Boyajian photo

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New engine for Gary FD

From the Pierce Flickr page:

Pierce Gary FD 31483-1

new Pierce fire engine for Gary Indiana

Pierce Gary FD 31483-1. Pierce Composite

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Of interest … Gary Fire Department

Excerpts from the

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson had a starring role as the CBS television series “Undercover Boss” made its eighth season premiere. The series follows executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their own organization.

She saw her appearance in the show as an opportunity to highlight the city and the opportunity to acknowledge the entire group of employees, especially the ones who appeared on the segment.

Shooting of the episode took place in early August and on the show she is shown working alongside employees at the Gary Sanitary District, the city’s park department, the fire department, and the police department. A well-known and often photographed mayor, Freeman-Wilson was disguised with the help of her staff and a local beautician. It took about an hour each morning for the disguise to be applied.

She said none of the employees recognized her, although she did veto working with one employee who she thought would see through the disguise. Employees were told that she was a contestant on a game show called Tough Jobs. 

Clips show Freeman-Wilson raking sludge at the sanitary district, helping to pick up trash by tossing a large container of trash into a large, 25-year-old beach cleaning vehicle at the city beaches, getting into a firefighter’s gear, and undergoing some police training. The job at the sanitary district was the worst, she said.

Based on what she learned, Freeman-Wilson said it was decided that a payloader would be a better piece of equipment to use for that on the beach. The city is also going to rehab the firehouses, beginning with the one she worked at, and obtain more police vehicles than originally intended.

The mayor said the experience with the employees left her with a real sense of pride and gratitude. The employees she worked with are underpaid and overworked, but were some of the most dedicated people she ever worked with.


thanks Asher

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Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Gary Fire Department has received a $261,364 Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant to assist with operations and safety. The funds will be used for physical examinations for all fire department personnel, fitness equipment, and a training facility.

 thanks Dennis

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Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Gary Fire Department plans to add five new engines to its fleet and could also start construction on a new fire station this year.

The city council has approved a resolution calling for the appropriation of $2.3 million for the lease/purchase of the engines.

The fire department currently has seven engines that are between 17 and 26 years old and in disrepair, while another three are relatively new. According to Fire Chief Paul Bradley, five of the older fire engines will be replaced with the new engines.

His goal is to have 10 fire engines in operation in the city once all the new engines have been delivered and some new firefighters are added to the department.

The trucks will be located throughout the city. Depending on how the bidding process goes, the first one or two trucks could be delivered in June with the rest delivered by the end of the year.

The new fire engines are expected to be paid for over the next seven years through a lease-purchase program. The money would come from fees collected through ambulance runs. Bradley said last year the city hired a new company that was doing a better job of collecting the fees. Some of the money was used to purchase new ambulances last year.

In addition, the city last year received a $758,044 grant for the purchase of 133 self-contained breathing apparatus devices, which supply oxygen to firefighters when they are battling fires.

Bradley also hopes the fire department can start this year on construction of a new fire station at 4900 Pennsylvania St. to house firefighters who currently are housed at the Calumet Township Multipurpose Center, 1900 W. 41st Ave.

The chief hopes the new Fire Station 5 can be completed next year. The last new fire house in the city was built in the 1990s.

The fire department is also in the process of hiring new firefighters. There are currently 182 firefighters in the city and Bradley said he would like to have a force of 200.

thanks Dan

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Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Gary Fire Department will be able to purchase five new fire trucks, following the approval Tuesday by the Common Council.

Fire Chief Paul Bradley told council members the $2.3 million purchase is essential because the typical life of a vehicle is 20 years, and the department currently has seven trucks that are between 17 and 26 years old.

Bradley told the council there also are problems with some of the existing vehicles that they don’t fit properly into the fire stations, adding the issue will not be a problem with the new vehicles.

“We need to replace the apparatus we’re using now,” Bradley said, adding that the old vehicles will continue to be put to use by the department after being moved to the department’s training center on 35th Avenue.

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Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Millions of dollars worth of improvements may be made at the Gary Fire Department over the next year. They recently bought some new ambulances and officials hope over the next year to add several new engines and an aerial ladder to the inventory, according to Fire Chief Paul Bradley.

The department recently received a $758,044 grant that will be used to buy 133 self-contained breathing apparatus devices.

The money came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance of Firefighters Grant program. Bradley said the city is also seeking another grant from that program to buy a new ladder truck, which can cost between $700,000 and $1 million. The department currently has three trucks in service while one is being overhauled.

Equipment and personnel shortages have been an issue for some time, but things seem to be improving, according to some observers.

In December 2010, under the administration of former Mayor Rudy Clay, 35 positions were eliminated in the fire department, which went from 236 to 201 firefighters. Firefighters joined police officers in 2014 and again early last year in picketing over inadequate equipment and salaries, which was said to be responsible for personnel leaving for other departments that paid more money.

The city now has 187 firefighters, but raises were approved last year and Firefighter Adam Friday, vice president of Gary Firefighters Association Local 359, believes things are improving. In addition to raises that are expected to eventually increase annual salaries by $10,000, Friday said equipment has gotten a lot better.

When Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson came into office “there were some large gaps with equipment. They (the firefighters) were grossly underpaid. So every year we’ve worked with the chiefs to find more dollars. But they have also been very active in finding dollars for themselves,” she said.

For instance, a new company is doing a better job now of collecting fees for ambulance service. The money collected is being used to help get new ambulances.

One of the issues still remaining, according to Friday, is a new fire station to permanently house Station 5 firefighters, who have been working out of temporary quarters for the last several years. Bradley said the city has been approved for federal assistance for a new fire station that will be located in the 4900 block of Pennsylvania Street and he hopes to break ground this year. Bradley also said he has improved furnishing at the stations.

Friday said another issue the union and administration are working on has to do with obtaining additional personal protective equipment and additional cleaners for that gear. The equipment helps protect firefighters against hazardous chemical.

Freeman-Wilson also is working with department heads, union officials, and the council to create public safety positions. These employees would be trained to perform both police and firefighting duties to some degree. Bradley and Freeman-Wilson said it will be up to employees to decide whether they want to apply for these positions. Bradley said some firefighters have expressed interest in the positions. In addition to paying a higher salary, Bradley said employees might be attracted to the position because of the opportunity to learn new skills.

thanks Dennis

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