Archive for February 2nd, 2014

Arlington Heights Fire Chief to retire

The Daily Herald has an article about a retirement announcement of the Arlington Heights fire chief:

After almost four decades with Arlington Heights, Fire Chief Glenn Eriksen announced Monday that he will be leaving the department next month to take a position with MABAS-Illinois, the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. Ericksen will end his 39 years with the Arlington Heights Fire Department on Feb. 13. He is only Arlington Heights’ fourth fire chief since the village switched from a volunteer department to a full-time paid department in 1958

Ericksen will be working as section chief of administration with MABAS-Illinois, according to the release. MABAS is a statewide mutual response system for fire and EMS teams.

Ericksen’s final salary at Arlington Heights was $139,711, according to the village’s human resources department. Ericksen could be eligible to earn up to 75 percent of that salary in annual pension, in addition to his new salary at MABAS.

Ericksen started as a fire alarm operator with the Arlington Heights Fire Department in 1974 and became a firefighter in 1981. He was a firefighter/paramedic from 1986 until 1993, when he was promoted to fire lieutenant. He had also been a fire captain, fire commander and deputy fire chief before being named chief in 2004.

During Ericksen’s time as chief, the fire department obtained a grant that allowed it to hire an additional nine firefighters and was honored with the 2010 SAFE Communities Designation from the National Safety Council on behalf of the World Health Organization. He also oversaw the addition of an emergency operations center, which is used as a communication headquarters for the village in case of a local disaster.

Dixon said he will name an acting fire chief next month before starting an open search for Ericksen’s replacement.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Off the beaten path … Super Bowl

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.

I know it’s not Chicago Area but it’s kind of interesting.


The upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII is distinctive for a number of reasons, not the least of which will be the public safety operations that spans across multiple federal, state, county, and municipal agencies, given the Meadowlands’ unique geographic make up. And it may be the first time a Super Bowl operations is relying on a mostly volunteer fire department. But the area will also be relying on another somewhat unknown group – the Meadowlands Fire Department.

Most of the municipalities surrounding East Rutherford, and the borough itself, rely on volunteer departments, posing an unusual situation for a game played normally in large metro areas with centralized paid public safety departments. But MetLife Stadium, the Izod Center, racetrack and Quest Center, the entire Meadowlands complex, is served by the Meadowlands Fire Department. Originally called the New Jersey Sports Exhibition Authority Fire Department, it was founded in 1975, one year before the first venue, the racetrack, opened in the complex. The state-paid department has 22 members and a station on Route 120 in East Rutherford. It is deployed for all complex events.

Its area of coverage includes roadways leading to the complex, portions of Route 120, Barry’s Creek Road and Route 3 between the stadium and arena, and flyover bridge from Route 3 over the New Jersey Turnpike into the complex, Meadowlands Fire Department Capt. Kevin Meehan said.

The department has a number of apparatus to respond to the variety of calls that come in from the Meadowlands. Equipment includes a 2009 quint aerial ladder, 2014 Ford F-450 mini-pumper, and a 2004 F-550 mini-pumper. Also in the fleet is a smaller vehicle for quick responses.

“It’s pretty much a glorified golf cart – it has 100 pounds of water and 10 gallons of foam, [it’s] easily maneuverable to get up to the stadium access points if we have a fire,” Meehan said.

Along with the Meadowlands Fire Department, a network of mutual aid between the town departments has been coordinated. East Rutherford is commanding the mutual aid efforts provided by other Meadowlands towns, along with the Meadowlands Fire Department.

“The day of the game, East Rutherford Fire Department will be standing by in case we need them,” Meehan said. “Carlstadt will also be standing by, and there [are] other agencies standing by off the complex if we need them, such as Wood-Ridge. These are departments that are a little farther out but easily accessible.”

“We’re providing rescue services for the event, any type of automotive or transit accident on the highways,” said Lyndhurst Asst. Fire Chief Paul Haggerty. “In addition, our department will be activated to cover our township, since there will visitors coming to our area. We’re going to be staffing our fire headquarters for an operation period from about noon to midnight.”

Two Lyndhurst fire units will be assigned to Super Bowl operations so the entire department will be activated. The township is home to locations that will see increased activity from the game, including area hotels and commercial buildings.

“Any type of resources [commanding agencies] need will be in place in the surrounding towns, it’s just a matter of picking up the radio and we’ll be on the way to the location,” he said. “There’ll be strategic units staged in different fire houses in the area under the joint plan we’ve been working on for almost a year now.”

… East Rutherford police officers and borough fire officials traveled to the last two Super Bowls to observe their cities operations.

Haggerty commended East Rutherford for its outstanding job in organizing the various Meadowlands departments and coming up with a plan.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Double LODD in Toledo, 1/26/14 (more)

This from Dan McInerney:

I attended the LODD service in Toledo a few days back. On a personal note, two years ago, I was instructing a live-fire attack class for Bowling Green State University and Firefighter James Dickman was a student. I remember him well. He was very enthusiastic and his love of the fire service was evident.
During my stay in Toledo, the outpouring of emotion from everybody whether they were firefighters or citizens was evident throughout. It was  a tragic event for the entire city. Hearing now that it was arson makes the wounds suffered that much deeper.
Attached are a few pictures from the Thursday night service. The pics were taken with a cameraphone and the lighting was not great for a small non-flash camera.
memorial service for fallen Toledo firefighters

Dan McInerney photo

memorial service for fallen Toledo firefighters

Dan McInerney photo

memorial service for fallen Toledo firefighters

Dan McInerney photo

Also from Dan, the service program.

memorial service for fallen Toledo firefighters memorial service for fallen Toledo firefighters memorial service for fallen Toledo firefighters

memorial service for fallen Toledo firefighters

Drew Smith found this editorial piece from the Toldeo Free Press that preceded the funerals:

Ever since the first blast hit and Northwest Ohio was dumped with almost two feet of snow, this winter has felt different. We have had incredibly mild winters in recent years, especially for where we live and our history. As the near-blizzard of 2014 hit, I would see family members of local firefighters and police officers post on social media how dangerous their loved ones’ jobs were getting.

While we were all tucked in warm and safe under a level 3 snow emergency, these men and women were in harm’s way. Police were out on the iciest of roads, rescuing drivers who never should have left their homes but needed to pick up one quick thing from the mall. Firefighters had their calls multiply for numerous reasons, from dealing with health-related injuries to electric heaters catching fire.All this was going on as Facebook post after post showed water-related Mr. Wizard-like experiments demonstrating how cold it was. We were are all amazed, but few of us thought about those who have to use water in these conditions to save a life or a structure.

The events of Jan. 26 made this winter unbearable.

There is something about my West Side neighborhood that mass produces teachers, police officers and firefighters. One of my classmates lost her husband and the father of her children when TPD Detective Keith Dressel was killed in 2007. I remember how shocked I was when I recognized her face on TV, how that immediately punched me in the stomach and brought tears to my eyes. This had not taken place in New York or Chicago, but here in Toledo. I thought about her son and daughter and how their lives were forever changed, impacted by both their father’s heroism and a coward.

My Sunday was consumed with all the comforts everyone should experience: wine, a roaring fire and great television. My iPhone had numerous unanswered texts from those informing me of what happened, asking if I knew one of the firefighters who were lost. I had no idea of anything. I reached out to friends and family who love a firefighter. The first name I heard was Machcinski and my heart stopped. Everyone in Toledo knows a Machcinski; Steve and I went to Whitmer together.

The second name came with a story that made it worse. The other firefighter, James Dickman, was new to the Toledo Fire Department and a new father. How proud he must have felt, his life’s dream and hard work paying off. His future was as bright as the flames he would soon be facing, all to be extinguished in a moment.

I realized that new faces would join Danielle Dressel and her children. That two more families lost sons, brothers, husbands and, in Dickman’s case, fathers. That two men who left for work would never walk back through the door, all because they wanted to keep us safe, while providing for their loved ones.

Yesterday did not happen in Detroit nor Chicago; it happened on Magnolia Street. We are very fortunate with the number of fires and arsons in our area that this has not happened more often. Our luck ran out yesterday.

Will you please join me? As a sign of respect, love and gratitude for the two lives lost and those who survived and continue to keep us safe, I think we Toledoans should line the streets of the funeral processions and say our goodbyes and thanks to the fallen heroes and their families. Let’s show these grieving families these sacrifices will not be forgotten and these names will be remembered. Let’s show those who carry ladders and hoses or guns that we appreciate and love them for what they do. Let’s remind our children what a real superhero looks like and what the noblest jobs are.

It may be -50 degrees out when these fallen heroes drive by for the last time, but the weather should not stop you; it didn’t stop them when fighting this fire. It would once again remind the world the amount of heart we have and who we are. On our soon-to-be- coldest day in recent decades, let’s give warmth to those who will need it most.

If your heart is not broken or even heavy, then you must not be from the 419. We all love to complain how miserable this winter seems, but 99 percent of us have no idea how cold and dangerous it has been.

To the grieving families and brothers and sisters of the Toledo Fire Department: I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. These lives will not be forgotten.


Tags: , , , , ,

CFD apparatus photos from O’Hare

This from Kevin Griffin:

I found this didn’t know if you guys knew about this one – photos by Niko Stefani

Photos of MVU 9-2-4 and others are featured.

9-2-4 was posted HEREHERE and HERE.

Tags: , , , , , , ,