Archive for October 29th, 2012

Discrimination lawsuit filed against Chicago over fire test

The Chicago Sun-Times has an article discussing a new lawsuit filed on behalf of women that failed the physical abilities test for the CFD:

A physical abilities test the city is using to hire African-American firefighters in settlement of a race discrimination lawsuit is discriminatory against women, a suit filed Friday in U.S. District Court charges.

Godfrey et al vs. City of Chicago was filed by 20 female plaintiffs on behalf of all female applicants who recently took the test and failed.

The women are already members of two other class-action suits.

They were members of Lewis et al vs. City of Chicago — encompassing some 6,000 African-American firefighter applicants who sued over a 1995 firefighter entrance exam the federal courts agreed was racially discriminatory. That suit was finally settled last year.

The Godfrey plaintiffs are also members of the lawsuit Vasich vs. City of Chicago, filed last year on behalf of women who passed the firefighter written exam but failed the physical abilities test.

“It’s a test that doesn’t really test for the abilities you need to become a firefighter, and screens out women needlessly and unjustifiably,” said attorney Marni Willenson, who represents some of the women in the Godfrey suit and is lead attorney on Vasich.

“We’ve been in settlement discussions for a year, yet the city made the decision again to use the test we were suing to throw out.”

As part of the settlement of the Lewis suit, the city agreed to hire 111 of the bypassed African-American applicants, and to pay damages that could reach as high as $78 million to the remaining 5,900.

Both suits charge the physical test, which includes arm and leg lifts, arm endurance tests, hose dragging and stair climbing, discriminates by screening out women at a higer rate than men.

In 2011, women still comprised only 2 percent of the more than 5,000 firefighters/emergency medical technicians staff, charges the Godfrey suit, which seeks back pay and other reliefs “to secure future protection and to redress the past deprivation of rights.”

Friday’s lawsuit now represents the third time the physical abilities test has been the subject of a discrimination lawsuit by women. In 2008, five women who failed the paramedic physical ability test sued, and that first case is still pending in federal court.

Read the entire article HERE.

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Chicago 2-11 Alarm 10-29-12

From the Chicago Tribune:

Extra-alarm fire displaces 20, including 6 children

Extra-alarm fireThe Chicago Fire Department battles an extra-alarm fire that spread to three buildings on the 8800 block of South Escanaba Avenue in Chicago. (Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune / October 29, 2012)
By Peter NickeasTribune reporter7:43 a.m. CDT, October 29, 2012
 An extra-alarm fire broke out in a vacant Southeast Side building and spread to three other building this morning, displacing six children and 14 others, officials said.

A firefighter was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital after injuring his knee fighting the blaze in the fighting the blaze in the 8800 block of South Escanaba Avenue. And a resident of the neighborhood was taken to the same hospital after smoke triggered an asthma attack, officials said.

Firefighters responded to the fire about 4:20 a.m. and found a two-story frame building engulfed in flames, Chicago Fire Department Spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim said.

An extra alarm was called as the fire spread to three neighboring buildings, one vacant and two occupied, bringing about 100 firefighters and paramedics to the scene. The fire was under control by about 6 a.m.
Twitter: @peternickeas

Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

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New tanker for Rockdale

Dennis McGuire, Jr. found this new tanker for Rockdale on the US Tanker website. The Patriot Series tanker has 2,100 gallons of water and a 1,000-GPM pump.

Rockdale Fire Protection District new tanker

New US Tanker on a Kenworth chassis for the Rockdale FPD. US Tanker photo

Download drawings for this unit HERE.


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