Posts Tagged Waukegan Fire Department

As seen around … Waukegan

Waukegan Fire Department Oshkosh T3000 ARFF unit

Steve Redick photo

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Historic fire in Waukegan, 3-18-75

This from Brian Murphy:

This story from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun involves multiple fires occurring in an apartment complex which was located across the street from the old downtown central Waukegan Fire Station. The cause of the fire was a failure of a component in the building’s gas distribution service, which resulted in multiple fires breaking out simultaneously throughout the building.  Rescues were made by Waukegan’s Hi-Ranger Snorkel and their mid-50’s-vintage Seagrave tillered, 85′,  3-section aerial ladder truck. Photos were taken by News-Sun photographer Don Martin. I would imagine the guys who responded are all long-since retired!  Enjoy!
 
Brian Murphy
from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

 from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

from the March 18, 1975 edition of the Waukegan News-Sun

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Firefighters play hockey for charity

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Firefighters play hockey for charity

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Waukegan Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Waukegan Fire Department has seen a turnover from highly experienced firefighters to younger ones in recent years, and at the same time, they are responding to fewer fires even though the call volume continues to increase.

Fire Chief George Bridges has emphasized training over the last 10 months, and recently, the department was given the go-ahead to use an old office building at 2634 Grand Ave. for drills. The structure has been empty for a few years and is a concern for neighbors, because homeless people or drug users would sometimes break in or use a rear stairway and landing area.

The owners are Howard and Ronnie Stillman, who have purchased and rehabilitated used car dealerships in the city and another office building at McAree Court. Their plans are to tear the medical building down and offer the property for redevelopment.

According to Bridges, a third of the department’s personnel has less than 10 years of experience, and 17 percent of the firefighters have less than five years on the job.

Fire Marshall Steven Lenzi said the office building has been perfect for training because it isn’t often firefighters can practice breaking through locked doors, “and there are a lot of those,” he said. The department does have a door simulator at one of the firehouses, but it’s not the same.

The building also offered multiple connected rooms and waiting rooms that provide a sort of maze for the firefighters to go through when the building is charged with artificial smoke from a machine to the point you can’t see someone standing next to you.

Firefighters still have to use a hose as a way to find their way back out, or when there are many rooms, they leave a firefighter in a doorway and he’s called “orientated man,” said Battalion Chief Brett Stickels, who in charge of training.

The training includes live radio traffic and sending one crew to find the fire where they carry a charged waterline. Another two crews are sent in to search for 175-pound dummies.

The fire marshal added that besides giving the younger firefighters training, this recent opportunity also gave mid-career firefighters who have been promoted and have taken over leading the crews a chance to practice with them in full gear with a fully charged line and zero visibility.

Lenzi said the department has gone from 150 fires a year to just fewer than 100, but its call volume has increased 10 percent. He added that even though crews are still busy, actual fire experience is harder to come by, making simulations more critical.

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Waukegan Fire Department news (more)

more photos from Tim Olk of the Waukegan FD live-fire training 10/22/16 as they finished with a burn down

firefighters from Waukegan pose with house burn down

Tim Olk photo

burn down of vacant house

Tim Olk photo

burn down of vacant house

Tim Olk photo

burn down of vacant house

Tim Olk photo

burn down of vacant house

Tim Olk photo

burn down of vacant house

Tim Olk photo

burn down of vacant house

Tim Olk photo

more photos were posted HERE

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Waukegan Fire Department news

This from Tim Olk:

Waukegan firefighters conducted live-fire training in a vacant house on Saturday (10/22/16) before burning it to the ground.

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

More photos to follow in part 2

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Waukegan Fire Department news

This from Tim Olk:

Waukegan firefighters were given a house for training from the park district who will be building on the site. Waukegan and Newport Township firefighters trained and then burned the house down 9-16-20

firefighters training in vacant house

Tim Olk photo

firefighters pulling hose

Tim Olk photo

firefighter pulling ceiling

Tim Olk photo

firefighter at training site

Tim Olk photo

closeup of Waukegan firefighter

Tim Olk photo

firefighter in full PPE

Tim Olk photo

firefighter in full PPE

Tim Olk photo

firefighters pose with burning building

Tim Olk photo

heavy smoke and flames from house fire

Tim Olk photo

house fully engulfed in fire

Tim Olk photo

house fully engulfed in fire

Tim Olk photo

house fully engulfed in fire

Tim Olk photo

more photos at firescenes.net

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Waukegan Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Waukegan officials preparing to field applications for new police officers and firefighters have sent recruiters to area technical schools and churches, set up booths at community events, and the mayor has spoken on both English- and Spanish-language radio stations in an effort to get more minority applicants.

City officials started planning for this biennial process months ahead of the first applications being made available this month with the hope of addressing the common criticism raised by community activists, pastors and other local leaders that minorities — especially blacks and Latinos — are underrepresented in the departments.

Of Waukegan’s 150 police officers, 18 percent are Hispanic and 7 percent are black, according to numbers provided by city officials. Only six of the fire department’s 120 employees are black and three are Hispanic.

The city overall is 53.4 percent Hispanic and 19.2 percent black, according to 2010 census data.

Diversifying the departments was one of the commitments Mayor Wayne Motley made when he took office in spring 2013, but he said the need for a targeted effort to address the discrepancy was made abundantly clear during the monthslong mediation process the city has been working through with the Department of Justice and groups such as the NAACP and the Latino Advisory Committee.

Motley, who spent 26 years with the Waukegan Police Department before retiring in 2001 as a sergeant, said the question particularly bothered him because during his time on the force he remembers plenty of black officers.

The answer he’s been getting has a lot to do with the negative perception many in Waukegan’s black community have of the Waukegan Police Department, he said. City officials have been working on improving that perception through recommendations made by the Citizens for Progress Committee established by the mayor last fall and those set to be implemented as a result of the Department of Justice mediation.

The hope is that the recruitment efforts will do more than just lead to more diversified police and fire departments, Deputy Police Chief Mark Stevenson said.

Fire Chief George Bridges Jr., who is African-American, said the plan is to build on the conversations that are happening as part of the recruitment process, including through youth programs such as the Waukegan Explorer Post for 15- to 21-year-olds who are interested in pursuing a career as a firefighter and paramedic. Bridges added that the departments have also been focused on reaching out to girls.

The fire department has five women on staff, three of whom are administrative personnel, Bridges said. The police department has 16 women on staff, and four are Hispanic, three are black and one is Native American, Stevenson said.

These efforts will continue past the recruitment process, which takes place every two years when the departments test applicants and prepare their hiring lists, he said.

The actual application process is being tweaked as well to give a greater priority to Waukegan natives, Motley said.

Much of how police and fire departments choose their new hires is dictated by state law, which sets up a point system that takes into consideration the results of physical ability and written tests as well as whether the applicant is a veteran or meets other criteria. Departments can also adopt their own criteria that can earn applicants additional preference points.

The city of Waukegan has always given extra points to those that live in the city, but officials are also going to be giving a boost to graduates of Waukegan High School, Motley said. They’ve also eliminated preference points for college graduates, something that disproportionately helped white applicants even though a college degree is not an entry-level requirement.

Whether all these efforts will actually translate into more diverse departments is still unknown, Bridges said.

“The big push this time was to make sure that everybody had an opportunity to know of the test, and then they had to make a decision about whether they want to be part of it,” Motley said. “As far as informing the public, we have gone above and beyond.”

Applications for the Waukegan Fire Department are available through July 29 and due by 4 p.m. Aug. 5. The Waukegan Police Department will be accepting applications through 4 p.m. Sept. 1. Information about both processes are available on the city’s website, waukeganil.gov.

 

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Waukegan Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Two men were rescued from a small exterior elevator that became stuck Tuesday at the Waukegan Generating Station coal plant on Waukegan’s lakefront.

The men became stranded shortly after 10 a.m., according to Waukegan Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark DeRose, who wasn’t sure how long they had been trapped before firefighters were called. The 3-foot-by-3-foot exterior elevator became stuck about 130 feet in the air.

Two high-angle rescue techs were sent up an access ladder to a catwalk, which had to be stabilized before they could rappel down to the two employees. The men already were wearing safety harnesses, and firefighters dropped them some rope. Both were removed safely.

DeRose described the elevator as very old, adding that Tuesday’s incident was not in the area where the power plant took down an emissions stack earlier this year. The Greenwood Avenue plant is owned by New Jersey-based NRG Energy.

The two men trapped in the elevator were contractors installing emission testing equipment on the Unit 7 stack, David Gaier, an NRG spokesman, said.

Personnel from fire departments in Libertyville, Countryside, Lincolnshire, Round Lake, Great Lakes, Gurnee, North Chicago and Lake Bluff all responded. DeRose said a crew from Lakeland Larsen Elevator in Waukegan also assisted.

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