Archive for March 25th, 2014

Homer Township FPD loses bid for bond sale

The Southtown Star has an article about another fire district looking for added revenue:

Bob Tutko points out that Illinois issues antique vehicle plates for cars and trucks still on the road after two decades. The chief of the Homer Township Fire Protection District wonders if he might have to get a set for his department’s tanker truck — if it lasts that long. Replacing the 19-year-old vehicle was on his wish list if voters last week had approved a $4.7 million bond sale, with money also earmarked to make repairs to the district’s three stations.

Tutko said that much-needed repairs and equipment purchases again will need to be put off, and the district will find more things in its budget to cut. Something as simple as child car seat checks, which the district offers to residents at no charge, might have to go because of the cost involved in sending someone for several hours of training, the chief said.

“Things are starting to break, and they’re coming in faster than we have money (to fix them),” Tutko said.

The recession has cut home values and, as a result, the district has seen $2 million in property tax revenue evaporate over the last few years, Tutko said. Also, without voter approval, the district is limited as to how much it can boost its tax levy, he said.

The recession also was a factor in halting plans for a major mall at U.S. 6 and Cedar Road, a portion of which would have been in the Homer district and provided significant tax revenue, Tutko said. Condominiums and apartments along Cedar also were planned.

In Homer, just about half of the 20-square-mile district doesn’t have fire hydrants, so the tanker truck is a necessity, although the 3,000-gallon-capacity vehicle is, because of its age, often in the shop for repairs. The district used to have two of the trucks, but the other one was retired because it had grown too long in the tooth, and the repair shop that works on the remaining one won’t guarantee its work because of the truck’s age.

“It’s basically rotting from the inside out,” Tutko said.

A new one will cost $325,000, and the district expects to find out next month whether it’s been approved for a government grant to replace the vehicle.

The district’s treasurer advised that $500,000 should be set aside each year to build up a fund to replace vehicles, maintain buildings and buy equipment, but was able to sock away just $25,000 last year, Tutko said.

Reworking the firefighters’ contract has saved the district $375,000 in overtime costs, but there’s only so much money that can be wrung out of the budget without jeopardizing safety, Tutko said.

thanks Dan

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Fire department patch

This from Alex Alexandrovski…

It’s been some time since my last post, but luck wasn’t on my side chasing CFD company patches.
However, I did manage to pick up a mystery patch recently. It is from an Ambulance 30.
fire company patch
To my knowledge there are only two units in the US that are designated Ambulance 30 – one in Chicago and the other one in Washington DC. It doesn’t look like the DCFD would make a separate patch for an Ambulance (Medic unit is their first line of defence), but I’m trying to verify that as well.
Do you know if somebody could confirm whether the above patch is from Chicago FD or not? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Stay safe

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Box Alarm in Lake Zurich 3-24-14

This from Larry Shapiro:

The Lake Zurich Fire Department received a call just after 5PM on Monday about a fire at Midwest Motors at 540 Cortland Drive. The first engine reported light smoke coming from the eaves. As the smoke grew in intensity, the alarm was quickly upgraded to a Box Alarm. The strip center building was home to a large indoor showroom of high end and exotic used cars.

The fire was on the second floor and in the attic at the southern end of the sprinklered building. Companies held the fire to that portion of the building although there was extensive water damage throughout. Although some cars were damaged, the majority were removed from the building.

Companies at the scene with engines were Lake Zurich (4), Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Fox River Grove, and Barrington Countryside. Trucks were from Wauconda and Arlington Heights , squads from Long Grove and Deerfield, ambulances from Barrington, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, and Libertyville, and chief officers from Lake Zurich, Wauconda, Fox River Grove, Long Grove, and Buffalo Grove.

commercial building fire scene

The D side of the fire building. Larry Shapiro photo

Pierce tower ladder at fire scene

Arlington Heights Tower 1 setting up. Larry Shapiro photo

fireman uses master stream from tower ladder

Wauconda firefighters hitting the remaining fire. Larry Shapiro photo

Pierce tower ladder at fire scene

Wauconda’s tower ladder was in front of the building. Larry Shapiro photo

firemen working on ladders at fire scene

Overhaul on the D side. Larry Shapiro photo

firemen working at fire scene

The A-D corner was where all the fire was located. Larry Shapiro photo

firemen save exotic car after fire

Deerfield firefighters help push a Viper out of the showroom. Larry Shapiro photo

firemen overhaul from Pierce tower ladder

Working from the Arlington Heights tower ladder. Larry Shapiro photo

Pierce fire engines at fire scene

Three of Lake Zurich’s four Pierce engines. Larry Shapiro photo

Pierce tower ladders at fire scene

Both tower ladders were used for overhaul. Larry Shapiro photo

rookie firefighter gets instructions

A Palatine intern receives instruction on the use of a hand line. Larry Shapiro photo

McLaren sprots car

A McLaren, one of the expensive cars that was inside at the time of the fire. Larry Shapiro photo

A video will post later.

Here is a link to the complete gallery of images.

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