Posts Tagged Peoria FIre Department

Peoria Fire Department news

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It’s been 41 years since Peoria firefighter Vernon “Butch” Gudat died in the line of duty, but Friday, the department and his family members celebrated his legacy.

John Smith worked for the Peoria Fire Department for 29 years. After he retired, he picked up woodwork. His hobby of building tables started when Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger asked Smith to build a table for the new firehouse, Station 4.

Smith has finished several tables since then, the most recent being a dinner table for Fire Station 10 in honor of Gudat, where he was working when he responded to a fire in downtown Peoria on January 23, 1983. He died that morning in the line of duty.

Both of Gudat’s kids were at the reveal on Friday and say it’s amazing to see the fire department continuing to honor their dad 41 years later.

To this day, Vernon “Butch” Gudat is the last Peoria firefighter to die in the line of duty.

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Of interest … Peoria Firefighters visit hospital

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Local firefighters took the time to spread the spirit of the season at the OSF Pediatric Floor on Tuesday.

Firefighters along with their families sang Christmas carols to children and parents throughout the floor while passing out gifts.

For Rick Waldron, Captain of the Peoria Fire Dept., it’s the perfect way to provide the kids a welcome respite during the holidays.

“The kids always rush to the door if they’re able. The parents love seeing the kids light up, It’s just a good distraction for them, I can’t imagine what some of them or the parents are going through. So when we get up there and they kinda hear the guitar and they hear us singing Christmas carols, they kinda light up and they start making requests,” said Waldron.

Peoria Firefighters Local 50 has been singing Christmas carols to OSF Children’s Hospital for the past decade with no end in sight.

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

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As Peoria city council budget discussions continue, council members are looking at details regarding the $321 million budget.

The topics of discussion for council members at Tuesday’s meeting included rescue squads for the Peoria Fire Department. Budget reductions in recent years have impacted the city’s fire department with the decommissioning of Rescue 1 and Rescue 2 in 2018. Those responsibilities have been repurposed. The rescue squad is currently a jump company.

In 2023, that squad has been called upon around 600 times. It will cost $1.2 million to reinstate the rescue squad.

One council member pushed back a bit on the proposal to reinstate the squads. He believes the city is in a good financial position, and funding rescue squads and other projects could cause problems further down the road. He was the only council member who voted no. His reasoning stemmed from wanting to fully staff the rescue squad rather than making firefighters work overtime. He cited mental health issues like PTSD as a potential ramification.

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Peoria Fire Department news

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The Peoria Fire Department has started a new Fire Chaplain Program to add support to their firefighters and the Peoria area community.

Pastor William Preston has been named Lead Fire Chaplain for the department. His duties include adding emotional support to the firefighters and the communities in a time of hardship. The goal is to have one chaplain assigned to each of the twelve fire stations in Peoria, eleven positions have already been filled.

The firefighters are welcome to talk to their chaplains about anything from a bad day at work to trauma they may have suffered on the job, and the chaplains will also serve the community by responding to accidents to support the victims.

The new program is an opportunity to provide extra support to firefighters in a physically and mentally demanding job so they can better serve their communities.

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Fatal fire in Peoria, 10-19-23

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A 72-year-old man has died and two other people were injured during a house fire in Peoria.

A passerby alerted the fire station down the street around 6:55 a.m. that there was smoke coming from a house in the 3400 block of North Gale.

Both a firefighter and a neighbor sustained non-life-threatening injuries while trying to save the victim, and a dog was rushed off by animal control. The fire was put out within 10 minutes.

This is the first Peoria fire fatality in two years.

The damages are estimated at $40,000 and the house is reported a total loss. The cause is under investigation.

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Peoria Fire Department news

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The Peoria Fire Department released more details Thursday evening about a fire earlier in the day that led to an emergency mayday call when a firefighter got separated from his crew while fighting a fire that destroyed a home in the 2200 block of Northeast Madison Avenue, in Peoria’s North Valley.

Firefighters got the call about 10:50 a.m., and they spent about 4 1/2-hours on the scene.

The mayday call came when several firefighters were attacking fire in the basement. The firefighter became separated from the group, and a Rescue Intervention Team (RIT) found the firefighter, who was not injured.

Forty three firefighters were at the scene. Because of heat, fire, and heavy smoke, firefighters were not able to prevent the fire from spreading to the first floor, which eventually collapsed into the basement.

An emergency demolition of the home was ordered, and damage was estimated at more than $100,000.

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Peoria Fire Department news

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A firefighter was hospitalized with minor injuries after an overnight arson that fire broke out around 12:45 a.m. at 911 and 913 W. Third Street in Peoria. When firefighters arrived at two-and-a-half-story duplex, flames were visible from both floors and the attic space.

There was a partial collapse of the second floor, and one firefighter fell through the floor sustaining minor injuries. He was transported to a local hospital.

It took crews nearly four hours extinguish the fire. An investigator deemed the fire to be arson.

Officials called for an emergency demolition due to the structural instability of the building.

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Peoria Fire Department news

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Peoria’s second annual Fill the Fire Truck drive will be supplying students with more than 800 backpacks filled with school supplies this year.

The initiative is a partnership between the Peoria Fire Department and the Afro-American Firefighters of Peoria. Last year they hoped to fill 50 backpacks and ended up exceeding their expectations by giving out more than 300.

This year, they more than doubled that amount of supplies, which would fill between three and four fire trucks.

Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger said he hopes to see the drive grow even larger in years to come.

The backpacks will be distributed out at Trewyn Park Thursday during the Peoria Park District’s “The Streets Belong to Me” event. The fire trucks will be there at 6 p.m.

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Peoria Heights Fire Department news (more)

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Fire services in Peoria Heights will now be taken care of by two municipalities.

Village trustees approved a contract with the city of Peoria at its regular meeting Tuesday evening.  The village will spend more than $300,000 to have Peoria supplement and help out on fire calls Peoria Heights receives.

With the assistance of the Peoria Fire Department, 90% of Peoria Heights will have a response time of under four minutes for fire calls.

The contract is needed because volunteers within the Peoria Heights Fire Department have decreased, to the point where disbanding the 106-year-old department was considered.

Peoria Heights is also seeking a new fire chief, who will be tasked with trying to increase numbers in the department. Previous chiefs have tried cadet programs at Peoria Heights High School to help increase numbers., but it’s still a struggle to find volunteers.

Applications for a fire chief have come in, and interviews should be happening in the near future.


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Peoria Heights Fire Department news (more)

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The room was packed Tuesday afternoon in the Peoria Heights Village Hall for a historic public safety decision.

During the special meeting, the village went back and forth on whether to outsource the 106-year-old volunteer fire department to the City of Peoria.

The concerns and frustrations were visible on the faces of the firefighters, EMTs, and residents in attendance. The board of trustees weighed all options, with representatives of both Peoria Heights and Peoria fire departments on hand to answer questions.

Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger made it clear that the Peoria Heights administration approached City Manager Patrick Urich on if a change would help. He added Peoria fire could get to 93% of calls in Peoria Heights within four minutes.

Two trustees said the most surprising comment came from fellow trustee Matt Wigginton.

He said there is an Illinois law saying local governments serving more than 500 people cannot abolish a fire department without passing a voter referendum.

“In all of our discussions, we’ve heard it’s either this or that,” said Trustee Wigginton. “It’s either you do this and can’t do that. Well, I think we can do both. And frankly, I don’t see another way legally to do it.”

Wigginton said it’s possible to use a model that would use both fire departments.

No action was taken on the proposed idea.

The Peoria Heights Village Board is expected to meet on the matter again next month. No date has been set.

thanks Dennis

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