Posts Tagged International Association of Firefighters

Plainfield Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the

The Plainfield Fire Protection District headquarters parking lot was full of vehicles this week from all over the country. Firefighters met there to get certified in the fire service Peer Fitness Trainer program, designed for firefighters. With that certification, they can return to their respective districts and train others.

The International Association of Firefighters and International Association of Fire Chiefs Task Force agree that to successfully implement their Wellness/Fitness Initiative, there must be a firefighter in each department who can take the lead. Plainfield currently has three certified.

Each Friday, Plainfield focuses on fitness and nutrition in its firehouses. “We found that in Plainfield, when we do our workouts and we incorporate an entire fire company into it, that the team-building aspect of working out together really raised the camaraderie,” said Plainfield Lt. Andy Scott.

Toronto Fire Department Capt. Alex Boersma and retired New York City Fire Department Lt. Tom Grimshaw instructed the class. Boersma said he teaches five or six Peer Fitness Trainer classes a year.

A key goal of the program is to reduce occupational claims and costs while improving the quality and longevity of a firefighter’s life.

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Double LODD in Toledo, 1/26/14 (more)

This from the Toledo Blade:

The final alarm rang tonight for two of Toledo’s bravest killed in the line of duty four days ago.

“May God rest their souls. We’ll take it from here brothers,” a fire dispatcher announced during a service in honor of Pvts. James Dickman and Stephen Machcinski — the two firefighters killed Sunday while searching for potentially trapped residents in a devastating North Toledo building fire.

More than 5,000 people packed the SeaGate Centre tonight for a two-hour funeral service in honor of the firefighters.

Ret. Toledo Assistant Fire Chief Robert Schwantzl read both men’s records before a bell was rung three times for each — a tradition for funerals of firefighters.

Tears filled the eyes of veteran firefighters and civilians alike as the two Toledo firefighters were eulogized repeatedly and as their families were presented with medals in honor of their sacrifices.

The families of Privates Dickman and Machcinski — sitting before their flag-covered caskets — accepted the International Association of Firefighters medal of honor.

Family members of the two men clutched each others’ hands as they entered the service and throughout the program.

Toledo Fire Battalion Chief Sally Glombowski, who was selected as a representative of the Dickman family, said the young firefighter loved his family fiercely and cared about people most of all.

Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago said he was struck how the Dickman and Machcinski families were concerned about the fire department’s well-being despite their own overwhelming grief and suffering.

“Stephen and Jamie may be gone, they have left, but they will always be part of our family,” he said.

Chief Santiago acknowledged the scores of firefighters from across the nation and Canada who traveled to Toledo for the service.

The somber ceremony was marked with pictures of the two fallen firefighters displayed while the St. Francis choir sang “On Eagles Wings.”

“There are no words that can express the sadness in our hearts,” Toledo Battalion Chief John Kaminski said before the thousands gathered.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) — one of several public officials addressing the families and people attending — said he struggled with what to say to honor the two firefighters.

The senator lauded the two men — recalling how Private Dickman’s two dreams were to marry his wife Jamie and also to become a Toledo firefighter.

After his remarks, Senator Brown and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) presented American flags to the Machcinski and Dickman families. Both flags were flown above the U.S Capitol Sunday.

“This [service] confirms what we have known all along about the brotherhood of firefighters and what we have learned about the people of Toledo – that they support the firefighters of Local 92,” said Doug Stern, a spokesman for the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters.

Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Tracy Smith was among 60 from that department who came to Toledo today for the service.

“There is an outpouring of support for the department that’s affected when something like this happens,” Chief Smith said. “It hits close to home for us since it is Ohio and we are all a tight-knit group.”

Tom Ryan, president of the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, echoed the same sentiment as many of the scores of other firefighters gathered to pay tribute to Privates Dickman and Machcinski.

“We are all family and when we lose one it is felt deeply by all of us,” Mr. Ryan said. “This is outstanding. We lost five of our own in recent years and we are just repaying by being here.”

This from Tom Clifton:

I know it's not Chicago but I figured I would send this in. I attended the visitation for one of the fallen firefighters in Toledo. The 1st picture is Engine 13 parked in front of the funeral home. As I was about to start my way back home to Chicago I caught a fire at 1202 Idaho in Toledo. I took a few photos of the scene. I arrived to some active fire but trying to park a car on a snow covered side street in Toledo I think is actually worse than Chicago. Tom Clifton


Toledo fire engine at funeral home

Tom Clifton photo

fire scene in Toledo

Tom Clifton photo

Toledo fire engine at fire scene

Tom Clifton photo

fire scene in Toledo

Tom Clifton photo

Toledo fire truck

Tom Clifton photo


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Carpentersville IAFF Local 4790 reaches out to residents

From the IAFF Local 4790 web site:

Manpower Cuts Threaten Carpentersville Residents’ Safety

Added Average Response Time Likely Will Cause Loss of Life

The Carpentersville Village Board’s recent decision to cut fire department services represents a significant threat to emergency response, public safety studies show.

Village officials have told Carpentersville firefighters they intend to reduce manpower by up to 4 positions each shift, which will directly threaten emergency response capability. The daily staffing level of the Carpentersville Fire Department will drop to far less than that provided by neighboring municipalities.

“This is an extremely disturbing development, one that is not only unnecessary but which is a serious threat to the residents of Carpentersville,” said Lt. Richard Nieves, president of Carpentersville Local 4790 of the International Association of Firefighters. “Since 2008 our staffing has declined from 13 firefighter/paramedics available down to 8 on any given day.

“The maximum number of firefighters available when the department is at full strength may be 12, but that level occurs only 50 days per year. Compare our staffing levels to a municipality like Streamwood, which staffs 15 firefighters each day at full strength, and never drops below 10. Streamwood is a fair comparison because their department response demand is nearly equal to Carpentersville’s. “They are providing more fire and EMS protection with 3.1 million less dollars than Carpentersville.”

“Bottom line is this: there is no doubt that response time will lengthen in Carpentersville, which means lives and property will be gravely affected. This is a potentially disastrous decision by the political people who run the affairs of our village.”

In its 2010-2013 contract, 33 Carpentersville firefighters took minimal raises to keep manning levels secure and conceded salary and benefits up to $465,000 over the life of their contract so the village could maintain professional standard service levels.

During that same time period the village added staffing in upper level management within the village that included substantial pay increases.

“Our members have struggled to establish a daily minimum with an eye toward maintaining the public’s safety, but the city refused to accept our efforts,” Nieves said. “Instead, the political powers called for a reduction in manpower.

“They have said they want to maintain their right to shut down the use of a fire engine. Now they appear to be determined to execute that right at the expense of public safety.

“We offered them an alternative that would have reduced their expenses but they have refused our offer. Our proposal would have maintained the previous staffing levels of 12 on-duty firefighters every day, 365 days a year.”

Nieves said a result of the village’s cuts would take an engine out of service at least 53 times per year. The affected station will be manned with only two firefighters. Station 2, located on the east side of the village, will run as a “jump company” leaving the station without the ability to respond when a second call is dispatched. This represents a service reduction of nearly 50 percent.

“Our average response time is now less than 4 minutes, this will increase significantly. Studies show brain death begins to occur within 3-4 minutes when someone stops breathing, and fires in today’s homes burn hotter and faster, doubling in size every minute.

“On average we respond to 3500 calls annually, any increase in times will have a negative impact on the community. Insurance ratings will jump from the current ISO level of 3. This increase will negate any savings village officials say they are passing on to the homeowners.

“Sadly, this is nothing more than a shell game. The village board may or may not believe they are reducing costs responsibly but, in fact, they are simply shifting the costs.

“Worse, lives and property will be put at risk as the politicians move the money from one shell to another.”


thanks Dan

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