Posts Tagged Springfield Fire Department

Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

With Fire Chief Allen Reyne’s surprise announcement that he will retire on Dec. 1, attention now turns to who will replace him. The pool of prospective candidates already has been whittled down — foremost by a clause in the city’s contract with the firefighters’ union requiring that the mayor choose the chief from the current ranks. Furthermore, the chief and other top-level fire department appointees must meet minimum requirements per city code that include having at least 10 years of service with the department and having passed the battalion chief’s examination. With the exception of six years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the hire-from-within clause has been in the Springfield union’s contract since it began to collectively bargain with the city.

This brings the list of potential candidates down to 25, including three division chiefs, two deputy division chiefs, nine battalion chiefs and 11 captains who are on the battalion chief’s list. 

Bassett, a 24-year veteran of the force, is a certified fire investigator who previously served as deputy division chief of fire safety and deputy division chief of operations.

Moore, a 20-year SFD veteran, would be the first female chief in the department’s history. About 95% of Springfield firefighters are men. She already broke a glass ceiling in 2018 when she became the first woman to ever be a fire division chief in the city’s history.

Blough, a 21-year veteran of the department, served as a captain before being promoted to his current position in 2018.

There are three other 2018 candidates still in the department: Jason McMillan, a captain; Jim Price, a senior arson investigator; and Donnie Richardson, a battalion chief.

Another possible candidate is Fire Marshal Ed Canny, a 23-year department veteran who is also the chief of the department’s fire safety division and oversees several programs, including code enforcement, investigations, fireworks safety and public education. He’s been in his current role since May 2019.

Deputy division chief of operations Mike Abbott, a 20-year veteran of the force, could also be in the mix.

All Springfield fire chiefs in recent memory have come from within the department’s ranks.

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Fire service news – Coronavirus COVID-19 (more)

Excerpts from

Springfield’s fire department reported 73 total firefighters in quarantine Friday, along with a total of 19 who had tested positive for COVID-19. This comes after firefighters reported 37 people were quarantined on Nov. 9. Twelve firefighters had tested positive for the virus at that time. 

All fire stations are open and providing services but Engine 2 and Engine 12 will not be operating until further notice due to the change in numbers. Both engines are part of a multi-company station house. 

“While this is not ideal, it is our current reality with so many of our members who have been exposed,” said Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne. “The department will begin working with our regional hospitals to determine if our methodology for quarantine, which we have used since day one, is still supported by CDC.”

This is a temporary shutdown and the department will be working hard to get firefighters back quickly while keeping the safety of everyone in mind. 


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Fire service news – Coronavirus COVID-19

Excerpts from

Fire departments in central Illinois have created contingency plans in case firefighters are infected with coronavirus.

This week twelve Springfield firefighters contracted COVID-19, including Chief Allen Reyne. The outbreak within the department caused a total of 37 firefighters to isolate or quarantine. The outbreak was traced back to a house party. Reyne said, “Once you get two or three positives, now you have to look back through contact tracing, who worked with who, what calls they ran together. We’ve done that over the last few days. At one point, we were at 48. Pretty quickly, we got that number down to 37.” Despite the big setback the department is still running on a full staff. But with fewer firefighters available, they are racking up the overtime.

The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal shares daily stats on how COVID-19 has affected departments in Illinois. Champaign Fire Deputy Chief Tyler Funk said, “Since March 17th, there have been 2,039 firefighters that have been directly affected by this COVID-19 virus, and it effects 182 fire departments across the state. Those numbers include firefighters that have either been placed into quarantine or have tested positive.”

The pandemic has forced departments to prepare if exposure happens in their areas. In June, a Champaign firefighter had to isolate after testing positive for COVID-19. Twelve other firefighters self-quarantined as well. The department has made adjustments to adapt to the health and safety risks since the pandemic started. Funk said, “We’re doing symptom based checks in the morning before they enter the workplace. We’re obviously wearing masks and staying socially distant within the department.”

Smaller villages, like Tolono, have a volunteer department. They have also made changes to operations. Assistant Chief Chris Humer said, “Not as many responders will go inside of a house, for your average medical call, it may just be one or two.” With nineteen firefighters on their force, they can not afford a significant loss in staff. “We have contingency plans set up with mutual aid departments, such as Savoy. We’re in constant contact with their administrative team as well, consistently talking about staffing levels,” said Humer.

Both large and small fire departments have similar plans for coronavirus outbreaks. If they can’t make up for a loss in staff with their own firefighters, they have agreements with nearby departments for mutual aid.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Police and firefighters from around the world traveled to China to compete in the World Police and Fire Games. Central Illinois was represented by three firefighters from Springfield.

Springfield Fire Department Captain Kainan Rinaberger has previously competed in the games in Belfast in 2013, Fairfax County, San Diego, and now China.

Springfield Firefighter Chris Szorc said this was an experience like no other. The firefighters said the long travel time made the competitions a little more difficult.  Despite the fatigue and time change, the men managed to bring home some medals.

In the 500m indoor rowing, individual, Szorc got silver and earned a silver in the team 1,000m with Captain Rinaberger.

Even though they didn’t place, the department’s members combined to finish twelfth in the Ultimate Firefighter Challenge.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Springfield Fire Department was called to the 1300 block of West Miller around 7:30 a.m on Tuesday. When firefighters arrived, they found the house heavily involved in flames. While searching for people who may have been trapped inside, a firefighter fell through a hole in the floor into the basement. A mayday alert was immediately issued which triggered a second alarm response to the scene.

Other firefighters were able to rescue the firefighter within 15 minutes. He was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The home is a total loss and the fire department is investigating the cause of the fire.

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Area apparatus orders

From Fire Apparatus Magazine:

Illinois Fire Service Institute, Champaign – Pierce Enforcer pumper 1,500/500.  Delivery in September.

Geneva Fire Department – Pierce Enforcer PUC pumper 1,500/750. Delivery in September.

Lake Forest Fire Department  – Spartan Gladiator/Marion pumper 1,500/850/30. Delivery in November.

Lake Zurich Fire Department – Pierce Saber pumper 1,500/750. Delivery in September.

Mount Prospect Fire Department Pierce Dash CF PUC pumper 1,500/750-gallon tank. Delivery in September.

St. Charles Fire Department – Pierce Dash CF PUC pumper 1,500/750. Delivery in September.

Springfield Fire Department  – Two Pierce Enforcer pumpers 1,500/750. Delivery in September.

thanks Ron

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The City of Springfield and the Springfield Firefighters Local 37 have agreed on a new contract which will be in effect until 2021 It includes a residency clause, whereby anyone hired after January 1st of this year will have six months to move within the city limits.

The last contract expired almost three years ago, and they have been negotiating ever since. This contact is called a great compromise by everyone who worked on the agreement.

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New engines for Springfield FD

From the Springfield FD Facebook page: (1/23/19)

Today we ordered two new fire engines to replace two front line apparatus. From drawing to fighting fire is approximately 8 months, we will keep you posted up to delivery. This pumper will be very similar to our newest (engine 4) but will feature an EMS compartment in each side with exterior access to accommodate our ILS equipment.

Mechanical drawing of new Pierce fire engine for the Springfield FD.

thanks Keith

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Springfield aldermen are weighing whether to spend $1.2 million to buy two new fire engines before the next budget year starts in March so the city can get a reduced price. The two engines, and the refurbishment of a third engine for about $227,500, were included in a proposal for the budget that begins March 1. However, Pierce, who sells the engines the city uses will increase the price of the new rigs and the refurbishment after Jan. 31.

By putting the purchase on a fast track, the city can save $73,000, Fire Chief Allen Reyne said. Much of the fire department’s spare fleet is more than 20 years old. The last Springfield engine was purchased four years ago.

The mayor proposed $4.3 million worth of equipment upgrades across the fire, police, and public works departments, all of which would be funded through short-term loans. To pay for the engines up front, the city would float a loan from its general revenue fund until the new budget is approved. Most of the aldermen expressed support for buying the engines early.

Aldermen also forwarded ordinances for final approval to purchase two fire department staff vehicles for a total of $74,000. The money was initially budgeted last year to buy a cardiac monitor for firefighters to use on medical calls. However, Reyne said the department found out the monitor it wanted to buy could not be taken in for repairs at HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

While the department worked on finding a new type of cardiac monitor, the chief proposed switching the funding to staff vehicles, which are similar to what the Springfield police use.  In years past, many of the fire department’s staff vehicles have been sold. The newest vehicle on hand is a 2007 Ford Taurus.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from the state-journal

In the course of three days, more than 150 firefighters were trained in the new way the Springfield Fire and Police departments are going to handle active shooter and mass casualty events.

Now, instead of waiting to give medical attention to gunshot victims a block away, firefighters will go in with police officers to be able to give immediate care. While other Springfield police officers focus on stopping the shooter, rescue task forces made up of police officers and firefighters would enter warm zones — secured areas with the potential for danger — and focus on the victims.

“Firefighters have been traditionally taught to stand down during an active shooter event, to stage blocks away and to wait until police officers have secured every nook and cranny of the building,” Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne said. “We’ve learned through other people’s tragedies that that isn’t the best practice, that there had been people who had been survivable victims who ultimately bled out waiting for rescuers to enter the building.”

A study conducted in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people died, found that 16 victims might have lived if they had gotten care with 10 minutes and reached a hospital within an hour. A Propublica investigation found that the Orlando Fire Department had a plan in which firefighters would enter warm zones with police and had purchased bulletproof vests, but momentum to enact the plan stalled and training was never implemented.

However, at the request of the chief of the Orange County, Florida, Fire Rescue Department, the National Fire Protection Association created new standards last year to address active shooter incidents, which included rescue task forces entering warm zones.

Other than training, one of the most important pieces of the puzzle — protective equipment for the firefighters — fell into place within the last two months. The Foreign Fire Insurance Board unanimously voted to spend about $15,800 on 20 bulletproof vests and helmets to have on hand in case of an active shooter situation. 

Twenty-two medical kits were purchased through a $9,400 grant provided by Memorial Medical Center Foundation. Instead of the large duffel bags full of equipment firefighters normally carry, the kits can be slung around their waist or chest and contain only the supplies needed to stop life-threatening bleeds.

One of the police training officers reminded firefighters of the need to move fast and use fewer supplies than they would during a normal medical call. In entering a building, the number of casualties are unknown and firefighters can’t leave to resupply. He used the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 as an example. There, the gunman killed 28 people within 10 minutes.

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