Posts Tagged Rolling Meadows Fire Department

Rolling Meadows Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

With a degree in psychology and in the middle of a one-year teaching position at Burlington Central High School, Scott Franzgrote decided on a whim to test at local fire departments.

Rolling Meadows hired him as a firefighter/EMT in 1990, when he says he realized fire service was his true calling.

Since then, Franzgrote has worked for only one department, rising through the ranks to become a lieutenant, battalion chief, deputy chief and, in 2012, chief.

On Tuesday, he announced plans to retire effective Sept. 29, when he’ll hand over the reins to Terry Valentino, who is now deputy chief.

Franzgrote, 53, said he came to his decision within the last year, realizing it was time to step aside and give others in the fire department opportunities to take on leadership roles.

He cited accomplishments including the upgrade of fire engines from basic to advanced life support, personnel development that’s led to more command staff members’ attaining advanced degrees, and a consolidation effort for some services with the Palatine and Palatine Rural fire departments. 

One thing that eluded Franzgrote was bringing to fruition a controversial plan to relocate and build two new fire stations. Talks of moving and/or constructing new stations have been ongoing since at least 2004 — two fire chiefs ago — but plans have changed, as has the direction of the city council.

In June, the council took an informal 4-2 straw vote to stay the course on current plans, which would replace Fire Station 15 at 3111 Meadow Drive with a new station to the south and replace Fire Station 16 at 2455 S. Plum Grove Road with a new station to the east.

He was paid $171,498 in 2016, according to documents on the city website.

Valentino, the new chief, has more than 40 years of firefighting experience, including 33 years at the Arlington Heights Fire Department. He was hired as deputy chief in Rolling Meadows in 2014.

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New squad for Rolling Meadows

This from Hunter Klinger:

Found on fire apparatus magazine new deliveries Rolling Meadows new squad

Rolling Meadows FD Squad 15

New unit for Rolling Meadows Squad 15. from Fire Apparatus Magazine

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Rolling Meadows discusses rebuilding fire stations (more)

Excerpts from the

For now, Rolling Meadows will proceed with plans to relocate and build two new fire stations, though the controversial proposal still isn’t a done deal.

Aldermen voted 4-2 Tuesday night in an informal straw vote to support current plans to replace Fire Station 15 at 3111 Meadow Drive with a new station to the south, and Fire Station 16 at 2455 S. Plum Grove Road with a new station to the east.

Tuesday marked the first time the newly seated council weighed in on the issue since the April local elections. Returning council members Mike Cannon, Robert Banger Jr., John D’Astice and Tim Veenbaas voted to support the current plans, while new Aldermen Jerry Hill and Joe Gallo voted against. Alderman Laura Majikes was absent, but she has opposed fire station relocation plans in the past.

Mayor Len Prejna, the former Ward 2 alderman, ran on a platform that included replacing only Station 15 and holds veto power over any future council decisions to purchase properties or pay for construction. He wouldn’t say after the meeting whether he intends to veto any future decisions, but he wasn’t optimistic things would go his way because he believes the council may eventually reach a five-vote, veto-proof majority.

For the past decade, the city’s elected officials have debated what to do about the aging downtown Fire Station 15 and how to improve response times citywide. The council decided to build a third station on Algonquin Road in 2014 but reversed course the next year, deciding to remain with two stations but in new locations.

Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote has endorsed the plan to relocate both stations. He cited data Tuesday that showed the area with the greatest fire risk is on the south side, with its preponderance of multistory apartment buildings that don’t have fire sprinklers. And the highest call volume is from the east side.

Critics, meanwhile, have said the $9 million cost to build two new stations is too much.

Aldermen have been meeting in closed session since January to consider about a dozen sites for the two new stations. Those discussions were expected to lead to making purchase offers to private property owners, but Cannon said Tuesday no land has been purchased yet.

Gallo added that estimated land costs have increased.

thanks Dan

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Fire Service News

Excerpts from

With the state’s deficit spending on autopilot because of the 21-month-long budget standoff in Springfield, Illinois’ backlog of bills is climbing toward $13 billion.

Some local governments have taken steps to work together to create efficiencies, resulting in savings to taxpayers.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti recently identified the shared fire protection services in Rolling Meadows and Palatine as an example of local taxing bodies doing it right.

“Eliminating duplication, sharing of services, and consolidating entire governmental bodies should be considered at all levels of government from the bottom to the top,” Sanguinetti said. “You share personnel, you share equipment, you share expertise, and that translates into savings. It’s a win-win situation.”

The city of Rolling Meadows, the Village of Palatine, and the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District are doing exactly that with their intergovernmental agreement to operate as a single entity, according to the Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote.

“We’ve been working on this project that we call RPM, which stands for Rural Palatine Meadows, for about five years now,” Franzgrote said. “Our guiding principles are to leverage our combined resources to provide better service to our combined communities, to provide a safer work environment for the firefighters in our three jurisdictions, and to see if there are ways that we can do better for the taxpayers by finding efficiencies within our operations.”

One of the ways the three departments have streamlined operations is by changing the way their personnel train on the job.

“Everyone is now trained the same way,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. “With the equipment, Rolling Meadows might use one type of saw to cut through a roof in a fire, whereas Palatine uses a different one, so now we are purchasing all the same equipment and we are all trained on the same equipment so there are no missteps on the scene. A Palatine fireman can now go to a rural rig and be able to know exactly where the equipment is.”

Each department also champions different specialized services to eliminate duplication.

“Rolling Meadows is where the hazmat team is,” Schwantz said. “In Palatine, we house the dive team. We pay a stipend to Rolling Meadows as does Rural to handle, train, and equip their hazmat team. The same is true with Rolling Meadows and Rural towards Palatine with the dive team.”

While creating efficiencies and improving services were the driving force behind the arrangement, it also has resulted in cost savings.

“In 2016, we were scheduled to replace a technical rescue van that we’ve had since the 1970s and, because of this effort we are working together here, we were able to downsize the purchase,” Franzgrote said. “It was going to be a medium duty rescue squad for the City of Rolling Meadows, which was going to cost about $300,000, but we were able to reduce that to a light-duty squad and we probably saved around $125,000.”

And while the local governments haven’t quantified the total savings, they offered other examples of how they have reduced costs.

“Rolling Meadows and Rural, they each make a payment to Palatine to provide the dive rescue. So we make roughly $25,000 a year in revenue and for those communities, it’s far cheaper to pay us than to try and staff their own dive and rescue program,” Palatine Village Manager Reid Otteson said. “For us, it’s a revenue enhancement, which means I don’t have to go levy $25,000 more in property taxes.”

thanks Dan

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New ambulance for Rolling Meadows

Rolling Meadows Ambulance 16

New ambulance for Rolling Meadows. Foster Coach Sales photo

thanks Hunter

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Rolling Meadows Fire Department news

Excerpts from

In the aftermath of 36 deaths during a fire in a warehouse building in Oakland, CA, Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote urged residents, businesses and visitors to report any building or venue that seems to appear dangerous to the city in an effort to prevent another tragedy.

Franzgrote said the Oakland tragedy shares a common set of contributing factors which include overcrowding; lack of adequate means of egress; inadequate fire suppression, and a significant amount of combustible products within the structure.

The chief said if someone discovers a venue that appears overcrowded, has exits blocked, or appears to be a fire trap, to stay out of it and notify the local authorities so the venue can be evaluated by professionals trained in fire code enforcement.

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New engine for Rolling Meadows (more)

More photos of the new Rolling Meadows Engine Co. 16. 2016 Pierce Velocity.

Rolling Meadows FD Engine 16

Niko Stefani photo

Rolling Meadows FD Engine 16

Niko Stefani photo

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New engine for Rolling Meadows (more)

This from Tyler Tobolt:

Thanks Tyler Tobolt.
Rolling Meadows FD Engine 16

Rolling Meadows Engine 16. Tyler Tobolt photo

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Rolling Meadows discusses rebuilding fire stations (more)

Excerpts from the

Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote introduced local leaders Tuesday night to Aurora-based R.C. Wegman Construction Co., selected as project manager for site selection, design, and construction of the city’s two new fire stations.

Franzgrote said the scope of the project includes evaluating firehouse location sites, land acquisition, budget outlines, project schedules and coordination of real estate agents, architects, consultants, engineers, contractors, vendors and more.

Seven firms submitted applications for the project manager role city officials said and four firms were interviewed.

The project is expected to cost about $9,000,000, city officials said, and would entail building two new fire stations probably in new locations. Existing Rolling Meadows firehouses are Station 15 (Fogarty Station), at 3111 Meadow Dr., which serves areas east of Route 53, and Station 16 (Neucranz Station), 2455 S. Plum Grove Rd., serving areas west of Route 53.

Station 15 was built in 1958. At the time, it was a one-story structure with two apparatus bays and a kitchen. It was positioned in a location that represented the center of the fire district’s response area. Due to the city’s growth, it is no longer in the center of the response area. Today, there are several problems with its infrastructure, such as wiring and sinking foundations, making the fire station almost inoperable at times.

Franzgrote has said a new station is needed to meet the increasing demand for service in an expanding city, especially on the south side, and to maintain quick response times.

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New engine for Rolling Meadows (more)

From the Rolling Meadows Fire Department Facebook page:

New Engine 16 went in service Monday morning at Sta. 16 (2/1/16)

new fire engine for the Rolling Meadows FD

Rolling Meadows Engine 16 was placed in service 2/1/16. Rolling Meadows FD photo

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