Posts Tagged Norwood Park Fire Protection District

Area apparatus orders

Here is a list compiled by Josh Boyajian of current area apparatus on order:

Alsip – Seagrave Engine

Berwyn – E-One Metro 100 Low Profile Ladder

Blue Island – Sutphen 100’ MM Ladder

Bolingbrook – (2) E-One Engines

Buffalo Grove – E-One Engine

Carol Stream – E-One RM Tower Ladder

Cicero – Pierce Impel Engine

Crestwood – (2) Seagrave Engines

Geneva – Pierce Ascendant Ladder

Hampshire – Pierce Enforcer PUC Engine

Joliet – E-One RM Tower Ladder

Lisle Woodridge – Pierce Ascendant MM Tower

Lockport – Seagrave Apollo Tower Ladder

Lombard – Pierce Enforcer Engine

Melrose Park – Pierce Impel Engine

Morton Grove – E-One EMAX Engine

Oak Brook – Pierce Ascendant Ladder

Oak Brook – Pierce Enforcer Engine

Norwood Park – Pierce Ascendant MM Tower

River Grove – Ford E-450 Wheeled Coach Ambo

Skokie – Pierce Enforcer Engine

Stickney – Ford F550 Horton Type 1 Ambo

Sugar Grove – Sutphen Engine

Thornton – Sutphen 75’ MM Ladder

Tri State FPD – Pierce Enforcer Ascendant Ladder

Western Springs – Pierce Saber Engine

Westmont – Pierce Impel Engine

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Norwood Park Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

Dave Blondell, a longtime member of the Norwood Park Fire Protection District, was sworn in as the new chief Monday in a ceremony at the firehouse in Harwood Heights. He has been serving as acting chief of the department, which serves Norridge, Harwood Heights, and Norwood Park, since former chief Terrance Vavara resigned in May. Blondell will earn an annual salary of $130,000.

He his 7-year-old son Bodie pinned his new badge alongside his wife, Erin, and 12-year-old daughter, Sydney.

Blondell joined the department in 1993 as a paramedic student, became a paramedic assigned to an ambulance the next year, and served as a firefighter and paramedic from 1996 to 2006. In 2006, he became a lieutenant, a role he served in until 2011 when he moved to commander. From 2017 until May of this year he served as deputy chief. He has also served as the department’s public information officer and as president of Norwood Park Fireman’s Association IAFF Local 4210.

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Norwood Park Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

Norwood Park FPD firefighters responded to a call  by a passerby of a basement fire in a single-family residence on the 4100 block of North Ozark Avenue on November 3rd. Family members were not at home at the time.

Firefighters encountered some tough fire including heavy smoke and zero visibility to make their way to the basement area, where they successfully contained the fire.

When the family returned home, they asked about a dog. Lt. Stanley Koy, the incident commander, sent a crew from Franklin Parkinto t he house where they found the dog.

The fire was not suspicious and was electrical in nature. The house sustained moderate smoke damage, as well as some structural damage and the family will be displaced for some time.

thanks Dan

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Norwood Park Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

Terrence Vavra, the new fire chief for the Norwood Park Fire Protection District, originally studied to be an architect.

Working with architects, though, he began to see how the legal side and structural aspects demands of the job might interfere with his vision of an architect’s life.

“About the same time,” he recalled, “my dad and I were standing on a porch, and we saw the engine go by and guys hanging off the back, back in the day when you could … and I said yow — I wonder where they’re going; that would be cool to do as a side gig.”

That side gig turned into a 40-year career, starting as a volunteer firefighter with the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District in 1976 becoming fire chief of Buffalo Grove and the emergency management coordinator, before retiring in 2015.

In February of this year, the Board of Trustees of the Norwood Park Fire Protection District named him the new fire chief for the district. The board approved a three-year contract at a special meeting on Feb. 9. The trustees cited Vavra’s extensive career and focus on training and leadership as strong factors in his final selection.

Vavra succeeds Chief Kevin Stenson, a 31-year-member of the department.

Vavra hold a master’s degree in management and organizational behavior from Benedictine University and a bachelor’s degree from Western University Illinois. He holds numerous certifications from the Office of the State Fire Marshal including chief fire officer, fire department safety officer, training program manager, as well as a National Fire Academy certification in command and control.

He is an active member in the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Illinois Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs and has served as a board member of the Lake County Fire Chiefs Association.

During the two years he was retired, his teaching took him from Canada to Saudi Arabia. Though the locales and local cultures were vastly different, one thing he found realized is that all firefighters are the same no matter where you go.  “They’ve got a certain personality to them which is really neat, and you can also get a cup of coffee at any firehouse in the world.”

That theory was confirmed In Saudi Arabia, when he came to meet the chief of the department where he was leading a class, “and right behind his desk was a coffee maker and he said ‘Do you want a cup of coffee?” and I thought it’s 100 degrees out, I don’t think so, but thanks for the offer.”

Norwood Park has 21 firefighters and contracts with Paramedic Services of Illinois. Two ambulances, an engine, a truck and shift commander work out of the station. The department works closest with the communities of Park Ridge, Schiller Park, and Elmwood Park.

All fire departments are facing tax caps, pension costs, and personnel costs. The problems are similar, and the question is how do we work to solve those problems.

Vavra is expected to stress training and higher education certification, beyond the certification process set out by the state Fire Marshal’s Office. At Benedictine, he worked with the school administration to set up a scholarship program, allowing firefighters to pursue higher education credits.

“When I started, everything was mechanical,” he said. “Now it’s all digital and electronic. We had fires that were wood and paper, what we classified as combustibles. Now if you look in this room you wouldn’t find any natural products.

“These are all polycarbons and plastics and things that have a huge fire potential, and the fire burns faster and higher now so we have to adapt to that.”

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2-Alarm fire in Franklin Park, 2-3-17

This from Steve Redick:

Took this in on Friday, 2/1/17… little to see firewise when I arrived but some interesting apparatus shots..


townhouse fire scene with fire trucks

Steve Redick photo

fire trucks at townhouse fire scene

Steve Redick photo

Leyden Township FPD quint at work

Steve Redick photo

firefighters on roof of fire building

Steve Redick photo

Franklin Park fire engine with hose off

Steve Redick photo

Franklin Park FD Engine 2

Steve Redick photo

River Grove FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Elmwood Park FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Norwood Park FPD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Westchester FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Broadview Fire Department Engine 7

Steve Redick photo

MABAS Division 20 cascade unit

Steve Redick photo

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Norwood Park Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

After more than 30 years that included more than a decade serving as Norwood Park’s fire chief, Kevin Stenson will retire at the end of the month, leaving the decision of who will fill the department’s top spot to the Norwood Park Fire Protection District Board of Trustees.

The board is expected to select a new fire chief to transition the department to new leadership sometime in the next few months, according to Deputy Fire Chief Dan Johns.

Stenson, who has a son by the same name who followed in his footsteps to become a Chicago firefighter, said he started his career as an firefighter with Norwood Park two years after he moved to Norridge from Chicago in 1984. He will retire on Jan. 26, he said.

After serving for a decade as a firefighter, he was promoted to lieutenant in 1996, a position he held until 2002 when he became deputy fire chief. He was promoted to chief in 2005.

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Norwood Park Fire Protection District news

The Norwood Park Fire Protection District, that protects the Villages of Norridge, and Harwood Heights in addition to  unincorporated Norwood Park Township is seeking a fire chief. The district borders the northwest side of Chicago near O’Hare airport and is predominately composed of residential areas with some industrial and commercial development. The district serves approximately 25,000 residents in a 6.5-square mile area operating out of one fire station responding to fire, emergency medical services (EMS), and specialized rescue calls, totaling 3,347 in 2015. The district operates with 23 full-time personnel, including one (1) fire chief, one (1) deputy chief and one (1) administrative assistant to the chief.

Job Summary

The district is seeking an energetic and experienced fire service leader with strong communication and interpersonal skills. The fire chief is the Chief Executive Officer of the fire department and the final departmental authority in all matters of policy, operations, training, and discipline. He exercises all powers of his office and issues such orders as are necessary to assure the effective performance of the department. The fire chief is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, controlling, and staffing all activities of the department for its continuous and efficient operations, for the enforcement of rules and regulations within the department, for the completion and forwarding of such reports as may be required by competent authority, and for the department’s relations with the citizens of the Norwood Park Fire Protection District. The ideal candidate must have an inclusive managerial style and experience working in a union environment. Duties include, but are not limited to, the administrative responsibility of budgets, Levy’s, audit’s, and records management. The chief position is an FLSA salary exempt position.

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House fire in Elmwood Park, 4-3-16 (more)

Photos from Steve Redick of a house fire at 2513 73rd Avenue in Elmwood Park on 4-3-16.

smoke from house on fire

Steve Redick photo

smoke from house on fire

Steve Redick photo

firefighters overhaul after house fire

Steve Redick photo

Elmwood Park fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Elmwood Park fire engine

Steve Redick photo

firefighters overhaul after house fire

Steve Redick photo

Norwood Park fire truck

Steve Redick photo

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New are ambulance deliveries

Ron Wolkoff found these ambulance deliveries on the Foster Coach FaceBook page:

Crystal Lake F450/Horton
Elwood E450/Horton
Norwood ParkE450/Horton
Plainfield F550/Horton
Thornton F450/Horton
Troy F550/Horton
new ambulance photo

Brand new Ford F450 chassis on a custom Horton conversion for Crystal Lake. Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance photo

Brand new Ford F550 chassis on a custom Horton conversion for the Troy FPD. Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance photo

Brand new Ford F450 chassis on a custom Horton conversion for Thornton. Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance photo

Brand new Ford F550 chassis on a custom Horton conversion. for Plainfield. Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance photo

Brand new Ford E450 chassis on a custom Horton conversion for the Norwood Park FPD. Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance photo

Brand new International 4300 chassis on a custom Horton conversion for Elwood. Foster Coach Sales photo

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Norwood Park FPD Deputy Chief retires

Excerpts from the

The last day of Deputy Chief John Kovalcik’s 28-year career at the Norwood Park Fire Department was marked by a farewell from the people of Norridge and Harwood Heights … on May 8 at his retirement party.

On May 26, Kovalcik will start a new job as an administrative analyst for the Des Plaines Fire Department — a position he took, he said, because he was ready for a new challenge. His new job in Des Plaines is strictly a desk job, he said, which requires mostly policies and procedures writing, along with budget management and project oversight.

“I’ll miss the family-like atmosphere we had here the most,” he said. “Being a fireman, you’re together for 24 hours straight sometimes, and you learn to depend and rely on each other for everything.”

The father of three daughters — Katie, 19, Ashley, 21, and Amy, 23 — has deep roots in Norwood Park Township. He went to Ridgewood High School, where he met his wife Laurie, and volunteered on the Pennoyer School Board for four years from 2007 to 2011.

“I’ve lived in this town since I was 2 years old, and I still live here — there’s a reason for that,” Kovalcik said. “The nice thing [about being a firefighter in Norwood Park] is that I was able to help people I knew personally — it was rewarding in that respect.”

Sometimes, the call of duty extended far beyond the township boundaries.

In 2001, it was the day after 9/11 when Kovalcik and a group of about 50 other firefighters volunteered to go to New York City. After working a 22-hour shift the night before, Kovalcik and his colleagues packed up their equipment and headed to Schiller Park, where other Chicago-area firefighters who had also volunteered to go had assembled.

The [trip] was canceled, however, because New York City was already inundated with thousands of other firefighters, mostly from the East Coast, who had already arrived at Ground Zero.

In 2005, Kovalcik spent two weeks in New Orleans with Norwood Park Fire Chief Kevin Stenson and now-retired fire fighter Carmen Rinaldi. The three traveled to Louisiana together to help with disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina. The three of them arrived three days after the hurricane hit, and spent several days outside camping in tents in dry patches of land with other fire fighters until a fire station opened up following flood-clean-up and the crews could move in.

Stationed in the French Quarter with about 20 other Illinois-area fire fighters for most of their time in Louisiana, Kovalcik and the crew spent most of their time fighting house fires and removing trees, he said.

Dan Johnson was sworn in as the new deputy fire chief of Norwood Park on May 11.

thanks Dan

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