Posts Tagged Lockport Township Fire Protection District

Lockport Township Fire Protection District news

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About 5:15 a.m. Wednesday, Lockport Township firefighters responded to a fire in the 3500 block of State Street in unincorporated Lockport Township. Fire companies arrived to find a vacant two-story building that had a one-story addition off the back. The one-story portion of the structure was found to have heavy fire through the roof. As the firefighters were stretching initial hose lines to the back of the building, there was an explosion in the two-story portion of the structure.

The debris from the explosion had caused minor injuries to a firefighter who was working on the exterior of the building. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation and he was treated and released.

Firefighters with East Joliet, Homer, and Northwest Homer fire departments were called to the scene and the fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes. However, the firefighters spent about two hours on scene to completely extinguish the fire.

1 Firefighter injured at Lockport Township fire

Lockport Township FPD photo


Lockport Township Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

The Lockport Township Fire Protection District will hold an informational meeting for residents about an upcoming ballot question on a modest tax increase. Voters in the district will decide March 17 on the district’s first proposed tax increase in 20 years. The ballot question asks residents for the increase of 0.1% of the equalized assessed value of taxable property. For the average family in the district, that increase would be equal to about $66 a year.

District officials will provide more information on the referendum and answer questions at the meeting on March 4 at 6 p.m. at the Prairie Bluff Golf Club, located at 19433 Renwick Road in Lockport. For more information about the ballot question, residents can go to

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Lockport FPD Fire Investigation Van for sale

Found at

2001 SE-52 Freightliner/Union City Body step van

Price: $10,000.00
Year: 2001/2002
Chassis: Freightliner
Body: Union City Body Company
Engine: GM 5.7 (2 Weak Cylinders)
Trans:  Automatic
Color: Black/Red

Freightliner/Union City Body step van for sale

bp apparatus photo

2001/2002 Freightliner/Union City Body step van for sale

bpapparatus photo

2001/2002 Freightliner/Union City Body step van for sale

Karl Klotz photo

thanks Hunter

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Lockport FPD news

This from Hunter Klinger:
From CAMZ Communications Facebook page. 
New Lockport Township FPD Battalion 11 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe 
Chevy Tahoe FD battalion chief

From CAMZ Communications Facebook page

interior of battalion chief Chevy Tahoe

From CAMZ Communications Facebook page

command box for Chevy Tahoe

From CAMZ Communications Facebook page

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Lockport Township FPD and Burbank FD news

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The Lockport Township Fire Protection District has been awarded a $329,000 grant to purchase new protective breathing apparatus units and the Burbank Fire Department received $125,000 to help pay for Source Capture Exhaust Systems for both of the city’s fire stations through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program

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New fire station for Lockport Township FPD (more)

This from Hunter Klinger:

Lockport Station 1 is opened on Friday March 31

New fire station for the Lockport Township FPD

New fire station for the Lockport Township FPD. Hunter Klinger photo

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New fire station for Lockport Township FPD (more)

Excerpts from the

In 1960, Don “Randy” Randich stood in the new Lockport Township Fire Protection District Station 1 building as fellow firefighters dedicated it.

Fast-forward to 2017. Randich sat in the new Station 1 building, dedicated Friday, as the only living member of the first crew at the old station.

“I was a firefighter for 42 years and went through six chiefs. Back then the station was considered one of the best fire stations in the state of Illinois,” Randich said. “This [building] is unbelievable and beautiful. I came here today to meet all of my friends, like one big family.”

Chief David Skoryi, Station 1 Capt. John Batusich, district trustees, current and former firefighters, an honor guard, other officials, and community members dedicated the new Station 1 building with a traditional hose and coupling ceremony Friday morning.

The ceremony opened at 10 a.m. with words from Skoryi, as well as Batusich. The attendees then went outside through the new bi-fold doors for a flag-raising ceremony where the Lockport Township Firefighters Local #1544 Honor Guard placed the flags on the poles attached to the building.

Afterward, fire chaplain the Rev. Mark Hein prayed and then trustees Paul Siegel, Henry Meader, Dave Palya, Bill Kendziora and Gordon McCluskey, as well as union President Pat Kelly and Batusich, held the fire hose for the coupling ceremony.

Skoryi said in 2010 the senior staff and board of trustees decided the building needed a remodel to address issues with the older facility. Some of the concerns brought up involved sewer lines; electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; the need to remodel living quarters to accommodate male and female firefighters; the lack of room for larger vehicles; asbestos; and the need for technological upgrades.

After the group met with architects, the costs reached 75 percent of a new building, and the district was advised to rebuild.

Demolition began May 25, 2016. The ambulance crew was temporarily relocated to Station 6 and the fire engine to Station 4.

Skoryi said the district wanted to make the new building look old to fit into historical downtown Lockport. Outside there are seven arches to represent the seven-arched bridge on Ninth Street, the apparatus room has bi-fold doors that replicate those found in an old firehouse, and instead of a flagpole, the flags are at an angle on the building.

Inside, it’s nothing but state-of-the-art dispatch systems with red LED lights and sign boards. The rooms are bigger, there are heated floors in the apparatus room, and there’s room for larger trucks and a diesel exhaust capture system.

The original Station 1 was located in the 100 block of East 10th Street from 1897 to 1902, then it relocated to the Adelman Garage from 1902 to 1937, and to the City of Lockport Building from 1938 to 1960, when the building was moved to its current location at 828 E. Ninth St.

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Lockport Township FPD news

Excerpts from the

A gas explosion the evening of Oct. 11 in Romeoville forced an evacuation of 24 residential units and injured two utility workers, one of whom could have died.

On Dec. 13, Liberty Mutual Insurance will present Lockport Township FPD Lt. Phil Hutto with a heroism award for his life-saving actions the night of Oct. 11.

Nicor Gas crews had been on the scene throughout the afternoon and evening in response to damage to a 2-inch gas line. Firefighters were standing by from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The explosion, however, occurred about 7 p.m. One resident was home at the time but escaped uninjured.

According to a description provided to Liberty Mutual by Lockport Township Fire Protection District, upon arrival, Hutto was performing a 360-degree assessment of the structure fire when he noticed two Nicor workers attempting to rescue a trapped co-worker under a section of a collapsed roof. Hutto dropped his air pack and entered the collapsed area to assist Nicor employees with the victim.

The victim was blue and gasping for air as the fire got closer. The three men were able to remove the victim from underneath the collapsed section of the roof and get him to the awaiting ambulance for patient care. He survived.

“It’s a pretty challenging situation to go in and do what Phil [Hutto] did,” Lockport Township Fire Protection District Chief David Skoryi said. “At the same time, the fire was rolling toward him quickly.”

Hutto said his father was a firefighter so he grew up around the profession. “I love coming to work,” said Hutto, who spends his off days with family, working as part-owner of a fire extinguisher company and teaching part-time at the Romeoville Fire Academy.

thanks Dan

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Lockport Township FPD news

Excerpts from

A state appeals court said that a former suburban fire chief will be allowed to draw his firefighter’s pension while still working for the same fire protection district he had led, because he doesn’t respond to fire calls.  The fire district’s pension board had incorrectly attempted to deny him his pension when the board determined the former chief had reentered service as a firefighter after the district hired him back on in the role of chief administrator.

On June 14, a three-justice panel of the Illinois Third District Appellate Court, by a 2-1 decision, found state law meant Robert Cronholm, former chief of the Lockport Township Fire Protection District in southwest suburban Will County, was entitled to, simultaneously collect his pension as a retired firefighter and a salary as an administrative professional, from the same public taxing body, despite the opinion of the Illinois Department of Insurance that this was improper.

“Since Cronholm could no longer participate in the work of controlling and extinguishing fires at the location of any such fires, he no longer qualified as a firefighter for purposes of the Pension Code and as such, the DOI’s interpretation was manifestly contrary to the statute,” the majority wrote.

The decision comes in a years-long legal conflagration dating back to October 2009, when Cronholm informed the Lockport fire district of his intent to retire and begin drawing retirement benefits. Within days, the district then, purportedly at the guidance of the district’s attorney, hired Cronholm back on in the role of chief administrator, under a three-year contract beginning Nov. 1, 2009.

The district’s pension board, however, asked the state’s DOI to weigh in on the retirement and rehire of Cronholm, asking whether hiring the purportedly retired fire chief on as a chief administrator, while allowing him to draw his pension, violated the state’s pension laws, which forbid allowing those who have reentered service as a firefighter from drawing a pension while working for a fire department.

The DOI determined it was a violation, prompting the district to again reclassify Cronholm’s position to administrator,”and promote Cronholm’s former assistant fire chief to replace him as chief in March 2010, and earning a stamp of approval from the DOI.

In May 2010, some Lockport firefighters sued the pension board over this finding, saying they believed Cronholm should not be allowed to draw a pension while working as chief administrator.

The pension board later concluded Cronholm should be made to repay $17,693 he had been paid under his pension between the time he has named chief administrator and the assistant chief was promoted.

Cronholm then sued, and a Will County judge said the pension board had erred, ordering Cronholm’s pension to be restored.

On appeal, the majority of the Third District panel backed the finding of Judge John C. Anderson, particularly noting the law governing firefighters’ pensions was specifically changed by state lawmakers to classify firefighters as “those whose duty is to participate in the work of controlling and extinguishing fires at the location of any such fires.”

They said the plain language of the law meant the Lockport district’s pension board had made a mistake in determining “his position as chief administrator was essentially the same job as the fire chief,” and thus he “had reentered active service from the day after his retirement … until March 18, 2010, when a new fire chief was hired.”

The justices said the lawmakers’ debate concerning the change in the law illustrates their point.

“The transcripts from the debate in the legislature make it clear that the intent of the legislation was to limit participation in the pension system to only firefighters, not to the myriad of other personnel who, although integral to the success of the fire department, are not firefighters,” the majority wrote.

In his dissent, however, Justice Schmidt said his colleagues in the majority had misread the case, particularly noting repeatedly that Cronholm “did the same job as chief administrator that he did as fire chief.”

“Chief administrator was an unsworn position but identical to that of fire chief, save the removal of on-site fire suppression from his list of duties,” Schmidt wrote. “Cronholm continued to carry his fire chief’s badge, occupy the same office he did as fire chief, and prepare and present monthly fire chief reports while serving as the district’s chief administrator.”

Schmidt noted Cronholm presented no evidence that he had ever actually fought fires while he served as chief.

“Municipalities are looking for ways to save money,” Schmidt wrote. “By striking one duty, which the former chief probably never performed while chief (he had the burden of proof and did not offer any evidence of this), the municipality kept its own chief at a reduced salary while transferring the obligation to pay some of Cronholm’s ‘salary’ to the pension fund.

“The end-around violates the spirit of the Act and will undoubtedly, if allowed, lead to further abuses of firefighters’ pension funds.”

thanks Dan

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Lockport Township FPD wants new fire station (more)

Excerpts from

The Lockport Township Fire Protection District has been around for 121 years, and until a few weeks ago the building that was Station 1 had lasted for almost half that time.

But … the 1959 structure at Seventh and Ninth streets needed to be replaced. Fire trustees and officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for that replacement Friday morning. Construction equipment began moving actual dirt about an hour later. The $3.8 million project is scheduled to be completed in February.

“Some men spent their entire careers working out of that building, many children visited as youngsters including some of our members who would go on to work there,” Firefighters Local 1544 President Jeremiah Gericke said. “There was some sadness as many people came down for a last look, but at the same time the old [station] was not without its issues.”

Fire Chief Dave Skoryi said the old station had insulation and flooding problems, sewer and electrical lines needed to be replaced, most modern equipment was too large to fit in the bay doors and there were no facilities for women firefighters.

The fire district serves 77,000 people in Lockport, Crest Hill and Romeoville. Station 1 typically responds to calls in central Lockport and the northeast section of Lockport Township.

Deputy Fire Chief Frank Blaskey said the engine from Station 1 will operate from Station 4 and the ambulance will be at Station 6 during construction. The Homer Township and Northwest Homer fire districts will also respond for calls near their area.

Lockport Fire District President David Palya said the design of the 7,390-square-foot station will reflect the district’s past while modernizing the structure.

thanks Dennis

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