Archive for April 3rd, 2014

New fire station for East Dundee FPD

This from Tyler Tobolt:

New East Dundee FPD fire station update. Current photos of what the station looks like now.
Thanks Tyler Tobolt.
fire station being built

Construction update for the new fire station in East Dundee. Tyler Tobolt photo

fire station being built

Construction update for the new fire station in East Dundee. Tyler Tobolt photo

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Medal of Valor for Highland Park firefighter

The TribLocal has an article about a Highland Park firefighter being awarded the Medal of Valor.

… Christopher Gottschalk … [always] dreamed of becoming a firefighter. On a cold morning in December, his passion and training drove him to save a man, helpless and gasping for breath, inside a burning Highland Park home as flames raced up the basement walls and across a plywood ceiling in a room filling rapidly with thick smoke.

Gottschalk, 33 and a firefighter for nine years, two and a half with the city, will receive the state’s second highest fire service award, the Medal of Valor, in a May 6 ceremony in Springfield. It is the first such award given to a Highland Park firefighter in the department’s 125-year history.

Gottschalk and Lt. Steve Horne were the first firefighters to reach a two-story wood frame home on Glenview Avenue, the scene of the 4 a.m. basement fire that sent multiple residents, some carrying small children, running into the street.

Highland Park police, the first to arrive, had questioned residents and learned a man was still inside the house, most likely in the basement. Police alerted arriving firefighters that they would be dealing with a rescue situation.

A cop told Gottschalk that the kitchen, right off the basement stairs, was already too hot to enter. The firefighters entered the house through a screened-in porch, and Gottschalk located the basement stairwell and began descending — without the protection of a fire hose. The staircase acted as a huge funnel, sending heat and smoke racing up to the ground level as he descended. Horne was tasked with locating the origin of the fire.

“When I reached the bottom of the stairs, it was floor to ceiling smoke, and I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face,” Gottschalk said. Crouched near the floor, Gottschalk used a hand-held thermal imaging camera to search for the man they believed was down there. “I did a quick scan with the camera to my right. I scanned to the left and saw a (metal support pipe for the ceiling), a workout bench and washer and dryer. I still didn’t see any victim and was about to go right, but it was one of those things that told me to go left. I aimed the camera behind a wall and the victim was lying there.”

“I had my flashlight on and saw him trying to gasp for air. I was about 10 feet from the stairs and I could hear the lieutenant coming down and relayed to him (via their helmet radio phones) that I found the victim. I shined the flashlight at the stairs so the lieutenant would know where I was.”

It was Gottschalk’s job to get the victim, over 200 pounds of unclothed and slippery “dead weight,” to safety, while Horne continued to search for the fire’s origin.  [other] firefighters entered the basement with hoses and moved the victim to safety. The man, initially listed as critical, recovered, said officials, who determined that a space heater had ignited a mattress and bed clothes to start the fire.

Highland Park Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Pease said it is not common for a relatively inexperienced firefighter to enter a burning structure alone without a “charged fire hose” for protection, but the situation dictated bold action in both the rescue and in assessing the fire threat for arriving units. “In the fire service you risk a lot so you can save a lot,” said Pease. Or, “you risk little to save little.”

Twelve Illinois firefighters will be awarded the Medal of Valor for 2013 and seven men the Medal of Honor, the state’s highest award … 

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Note to blog users …

It appears that the time has come to set some ground rules and discuss some policies for this blog.

We have a fairly strong readership, and many satisfied readers. We have a large group of responsible and dedicated contributors who are the backbone for the content found on this site.

So, let’s talk about making comments. An open forum is healthy. It can be both fun and informative. It can also be hurtful and vengeful. As the webmaster, some time ago I made the conscious decision to unlock the review period for those posting comments. It became too cumbersome to preview all posts prior to approving them, and it often introduced lengthy delays from when the comment was made and when it was posted.

Most comments are fine, but recently we’ve had some critiquing that went further than this blog may have ever intended to have happen. It’s an evolving process that requires periodic review.

Several readers have in the past tried to offer their interpretation of what this blog should be, by asking others to keep their critiques and criticisms to a minimum on this forum. As the webmaster, I try to remain neutral and let the forum run on it’s own.

I think that I speak (I’m presuming that I do) for the majority of readers when I say that we’d rather have the continued support and submissions from our regular contributors, than the occasional armchair quarterbacking from a small group of anonymous readers. In the years that this site has been up, I can probably count on one hand the number of comments that I’ve stopped from being posted due to what I felt was inappropriate. These comments came from totally anonymous sources. It’s not about censorship or free speech, both of which I am always conscious of, and I support. It’s about common courtesy and common sense.

We can’t blame the messenger for conveying something that may not be perfect, safe, according to NFPA, department protocol, or common sense. That responsibility belongs with the message itself. That being said, this is not our goal. We all understand that we live in a time where instant notification of events with images provides access to many where previously something may have only been seen by a few.

So, if you’ve got something to say, stop and think about it before you hit send. If you really feel strongly about an issue, then back it up by providing your name like so many of our readers do.

As the webmaster, I will take it upon myself in the future to withdraw something that may incite negativity that is not appropriate for this forum. It’s clearly a judgement call on my part, but that will be the direction for now. Again, the blog is a fluid environment that is constantly changing.

Should you wish to engage in critiquing the minutia found in an image, there is another very popular site which is largely dedicated to doing just that.

I welcome your comments and thoughts, and I thank you for visiting this site. Additionally, I wish to extend my apologies to those who bore the brunt of this insensitivity, as this was never the intent of this site.

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Where are they now … Troy

This from Jeff Rudolph:

I found this on Kansas Fire serving the Soldier Township FPD
Tanker 71
1985 Pierce Arrow
GPM: 1,250
Gallons: 3,000
*Formerly served the Troy Fire Protection District in Shorewood, IL.
Jeff R

green fire truck photo

Soldier Township FPD (KS) Engine 71, formerly Troy Fire Protection District. Photo by Mark Engholm

Pierce Arrow pumper tanker fire engine

1985 Pierce Arrow fire engine at the Troy FPD in Illinois. Jack Connors photo

Pierce Arrow pumper tanker fire engine

1985 Pierce Arrow fire engine at the Troy FPD in Illinois. Bill Friedrich photo

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