Posts Tagged North Chicago Fire Department

North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

On Saturday friends, family, and colleagues will meet in Waukegan’s Shiloh Baptist Church to honor Mark Alan Miller, North Chicago’s first full-time black firefighter, who died Saturday at age 72.

Doors are scheduled to open at 10 a.m. at the church, 800 S. Genesee St., followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service.

Miller graduated from North Chicago High School in 1963 and served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from November 1965 to October 1967. In the 1970s, he decided he wanted to be a firefighter.

“His father was city clerk and they had to sue the city because the firefighters test was racially biased,” his wife said, adding that after it was fixed, he passed it and joined the department.

When he started, she said, there was sometimes conflict with white people as he would start to give them first aid. 

He was president of the firefighters union for a year before he suffered an aortic aneurysm on the job at the end of 2001 and retired the following year.

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban said that Miller never talked about any problems in the firehouse he may have had when joining the department on Oct. 1, 1975.

Miller received a number of certificates and licenses during his years on the force, including Firefighter I and II designations, medical technician, and then paramedic, and he was a hazardous materials technician. He assisted on several major fires over the years, including a fire at the North Chicago Wire Mill in the early 1980s and an explosion at the Traco Inc. chemical plant in June 1988.

He also received special commendations during his career, including one for rescuing two children from a house fire in 1995, Urban said. 

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

In North Chicago, the fire chief hopes to team up with the city to use homes slated for demolition for training exercises.

“Fires are not as common as in the past in the city of North Chicago, and although we have numerous opportunities to hone our skills as paramedics, the occasions for our members to receive an actual residence that is structurally sound, environmentally safe and tenable is rare,” said Fire Chief Dell Urban.

“Giving credit to the hard work of our fire marshal and fire prevention team, as well as public education, we have seen a decrease in fire calls; although our call volume is on a slight upward trend, the majority of our responses are medical in nature,” Urban said, noting in 2016 they had 2,833 calls for service.

Urban said the first of several training exercises was held last week, when 19 of the 34 personnel were able to train on a house at 1036 Park Ave. She said there are 20 homes on the city’s fast-track list for demolition, and there are four that do not have any environmental concerns that will be used for future training sessions. All personnel are state-certified paramedics and firefighters.

Firefighters will conduct training that focuses on the proper mounting, dismounting, and operating on and around fire apparatus; identifying the purpose and components of a size-up; demonstrating primary and secondary search techniques; deployment of the hose loads; identifying techniques of moving hose lines into position; demonstrating fire extinguishment of an upper level fire via a stairwell; and performing a risk/benefit analysis for victim survivability and firefighter risk in a fire building,

At the beginning of this year, North Chicago firefighters responded to a house fire that was heavily involved in smoke and flames when they arrived. They learned there was someone still inside a bathroom in the structure.

Firefighters searched the bathroom and couldn’t find the victim, but then found the person in a bedroom near a slightly opened window. They assessed the situation and decided to exit through the window, because going back the way they came in was blocked by fire. They were able to get the victim to safety.

“Our ability to get in the occupancy and essentially tear it apart — to see how it’s constructed, establish how a fire might affect it and then see how we would put out that fire — is invaluable,” Urban added. “Unlike the props we use, this space gives us a more realistic experience.”

thanks Dan

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from theyoujournal.com:

North Chicago Fire Department personnel delivered donations including care packages for young patients and their families to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

A fundraiser for the patient gifts was organized after a member of the fire department experienced, firsthand, how the services provided by the hospital staff changed the lives of so many children.

“I am amazed by the Lurie Children’s Hospital staff, their knowledge, professionalism and moreover how they work each and every day bearing witness to these critically ill children,” said North Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Kim Schaefer.

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban was more than pleased with the generosity her staff displayed.

thanks Dan

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

In an emotional ceremony Monday in North Chicago, Flight for Life officials credited the North Chicago Fire Department with the organization’s most dramatic rescue effort in 2015, honoring local first-responders police officers and firefighters for saving the life of a Chicago woman last autumn.

The 22nd annual Scene Call of the Year Award for 2015 was presented to the firefighting paramedic team of Cmdr. Joshua Rickabaugh, Cmdr. Joshua Monroe and firefighters Danny Roark, Joseph Hernandez and Joseph Schimanski.

Nicole Wood of Chicago, was a passenger in a BMW SUV that crashed into a gravel truck on Route 41 south of Route 137 on Sept. 21. The SUV’s driver was not seriously hurt, but Wood was trapped in the twisted metal of the wreckage, crushed beneath the truck.

Rescue personnel said they went through virtually every extrication tool in their trucks in an effort to free the critically injured, unconscious woman. Route 41 was blocked off to create a landing zone for the helicopter.

“We knew (the victim) had multi-system trauma, and it was important to get her out quickly,” Rickabaugh said, but he added that “with the complexities of the extrication, it took us one hour and 20 minutes,” with the norm being 20 to 40 minutes.

North Chicago officials stressed the mutual aid and invaluable assistance to the call by personnel from Naval Station Great Lakes, Knollwood, Libertyville, the North Chicago Police Department, North Chicago Police dispatch, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and Flight For Life.

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban said after the ceremony that “this was the call of a lifetime, an extraordinary accident. Several chiefs on location said they’d never seen anything like this, in terms of the lengthy extrication.”

Of some 1,000 calls a year that Flight for Life responds to, only a handful are considered by a panel of judges, based on guidelines for using air medical transport. The submissions were examined for scene safety, triage decisions, critical thinking, complex planning and accident scene management, integration of the helicopter into the call, and use of skills that went beyond the call of duty to treat the patient.

thanks Dan

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North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Twenty-five years ago, Firefighter Dell Urban’s greatest challenge in sharing the all-male quarters at the North Chicago Fire Department was simply getting enough sleep.

Urban, then a 22-year-old rookie, [said] the men’s snoring … drove her onto a couch in the station kitchen.

Fast forward to June 2012, when the North Chicago City Council appointed Urban to lead the department, making her the first female municipal fire chief in Lake County, and the fourth in Illinois.

Urban, 46, is one of two female fire chiefs in Illinois. The other, Tracy Kenny in Broadview, was appointed Monday night.

A year after graduating from Warren Township High School in 1987, Urban said she lacked direction until her brother, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Lonnie Urban, urged her to volunteer at the Newport Fire Protection District.

At Newport, she said, “They gave you a pair of boots and a coat and said ‘Here’s your gear. Welcome aboard. Now go fight a fire.’ “Since I went on my very first call as a volunteer, I thought ‘This is phenomenal.’ I (then) began my paramedic training, and I don’t think I’ve ever looked back.”

She was hired at North Chicago in November 1991.

“I was just thrilled I got on at North Chicago,” she said. “The majority of the guys were super. We had no issues.”

As chief, she oversees a department of 34 full-time personnel and one paid-on-call firefighter/paramedic. With an annual budget of $3 million, Urban takes pride showing off the department’s $775,000 ladder truck, $400,000 pumper and three ambulances, which run about $160,000 apiece.

She’s equally proud of upgrades at the main station by firefighters who installed cabinets in the spacious kitchen, chest-high partitions in the sleeping quarters and display cabinets in the station entranceway.

“Although it’s hard work and different work, I think I’m better suited now in this position to do administrative work and get the guys the tools, equipment and training they need to do the job,” she said.

Retired North Chicago fire Cmdr. Doug Henderson, whose son, Brian is a fourth-generation firefighter working for North Chicago, said that Urban “was aggressive and did her job. Even if she was tired, she went all the way till the job was done. Nobody can take anything away from her as far as her firefighting ability or being a paramedic.”

“At the end of the day, I still feel like I’m one of the guys,” Urban said. “I grew up with half of them. I’m taking care of them, and they take care of me, too.”

thanks Dan

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Firefighting family works along the North Shore

Excerpts from the DailyNorthShore.com:

When Jerry Kluchka was honored during a Lake Bluff Village Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 14 for 30 years of service to the Lake Bluff Fire Department, his three firefighter sons were there to share the honor with him.

Tim Kluchka, 30, is a member of the North Chicago Fire Department; Matt Kluchka, 25, works for the Lake Forest Fire Department; and Russell Kluchka, 23, fights fires in Highwood.

Lake Bluff’s department consists entirely of volunteers, and all four Kluchkas serve in their hometown. They said when a call goes out to multiple towns, they head to the blaze but not always from the same place.

“It’s definitely interesting,” Russell Kluchka said. “One time there was a fire in Lake Forest, I got there from Highwood and we all saw each other. People give us a hard time. They say ‘it’s you again.”

Jerry Kluchka, who has lived in Lake Bluff since elementary school, joined the department just before Tim was born.

“I had friends whose fathers were firemen,” Kluchka said. “We got to go inside the fire station when I was a little guy. In Lake Bluff they blew the siren to call the volunteers. We lived nearby and ran down to the station to see the fire trucks leave.”

Using his mechanical skills, Jerry started volunteering. He said he worked on the equipment and it was not long before he was a firefighter. As his family started to grow, the next generation of Kluchka men hung around the firehouse like their father did as a youth.

All four are paramedics. Tim, Matt and Russell said they all took EMT courses while in high school and were volunteering in their teens.

“There were times I ditched school to go on an ambulance call,” Tim Kluchka said. “I’d come in for the last periods (of the day) and got some looks.”

“My wife got some calls about that,” Jerry Kluchka added.

Though the younger generation of Kluchkas are full-time firemen, Jerry Kluchka is a volunteer.

thanks Dan

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MVA in North Chicago with extrication, 9/21/15

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Firefighters needed more than an hour Monday afternoon to remove an injured woman from her SUV after a crash with a dump truck on northbound Route 41, south of 137 in North Chicago just before 1 p.m.

The woman was then airlifted by  Flight for Life.

“It was an extremely difficult extrication,” said Cmdr. Joshua Rickabaugh of the North Chicago Fire Department. “The way that the victim was pinned inside the car, it was difficult to remove the car around her.”

Libertyville, Knollwood, and Great Lakes fire departments assisted at the scene.

helicopter at scene of horrific crash

Tim Olk photo

firefighters work to free a driver after a crash

Tim Olk photo

EMS personnel at crash site

Tim Olk photo

medevac leaving crash site with patient

Tim Olk photo

car after being cut apart by firefighters

Tim Olk photo

firefighters work to free a driver after a crash

Tim Olk photo

firefighters work to free a driver after a crash

Tim Olk photo

firefighters work to free a driver after a crash

Tim Olk photo

firefighters work to free a driver after a crash

Tim Olk photo

firefighters work to free a driver after a crash

Tim Olk photo

firefighters work to free a driver after a crash

Tim Olk photo

More photos at firescenes.net

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Funeral for Retired North Chicago FF Roger M Belski

This from Tim Olk:

Funeral For Retired North Chicago FF Roger M Belski

bugler playing taps

Tim Olk photo

widow of Firefighter receives flag

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

fire department funeral

Tim Olk photo

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Area ambulances from AEV

This from Josh Boyajian:

From the Alexis website –

New Ambos

  • North Chicago FD
  • McHenry Fire Dist
  • Long Grove FD
  • Elk Grove Township FD
  • Beech Park FD
  • Zion FD
  • Bloomingdale FD

 

AEV ambulance Type I

Bloomingdale Fire District ambulance. Alexis photo

AEV ambulance Type I

Zion FD ambulance. Alexis photo

AEV ambulance Type I

North Chicago FD ambulance. Alexis photo

AEV ambulance Type I

McHenry Township FPD ambulance. Alexis photo

AEV ambulance Type I

Long Grove FPD ambulance. Alexis photo

AEV ambulance Type I

Elk Grove Township FD ambulance. Alexis photo

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North Chicago receives federal grant

From the Lake County News-Sun:

The oxygen tanks firefighters use to enter burning buildings or when smoke conditions outside are dangerous are essential — and North Chicago’s Fire Department is celebrating because it can finally replace its old ones.

“Our old equipment was from 2002 and it was so obsolete that we couldn’t repair it. They no longer made the parts for it,” Fire Chief Dell Urban said.

This week the department announced it had obtained 30 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, a significant upgrade over the old equipment, with the help of a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant. They also got a new Cascade system, which refills the bottles.

“The new ones have built in safety provisions and they increase our air from 30 minutes to 45 minutes so we have more time for search and recovery,” Urban said.

They will also have emergency oxygen bottles for when a firefighter gets trapped inside a structure that gives rescuers 60 minutes of air time.

The equipment cost $195,000. The federal share is 90 percent or $175,500, while the city has to cover 10 percent of the cost or $19,500. The North Chicago City Council approved its share last week.

The grant money came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, administered by FEMA in cooperation with the department’s United States Fire Administration.

Each breathing apparatus bought with the grant money will include a high-pressure, 45-minute air bottle, breathing regulator, frame, harness, full face piece, and a spare bottle. The new equipment is expected to have a 10-year service life.

thanks Dan

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