Archive for July 23rd, 2014

Riverside firefighters file suit (more)

The Riverside Brookfield Landmark has an article about four firefighters in Riverside filing a lawsuit against the village.

Four Riverside firefighters, disciplined earlier this year for their actions during an incident at a North Riverside tavern in December, are now demanding punitive cash damages from the village, claiming they were specifically targeted by Fire Chief Spencer Kimura because they supported his now-fired predecessor.

Lt. Thomas Bensfield, Lt. William Ruska, Lt. Ray Williamson, and Firefighter A.J. Ruska in April filed suit against Kimura and the village in Cook County Circuit Court, asking a judge to vacate disciplinary measures taken against them and compensating them for lost wages following a Dec. 14, 2013 off-duty incident at a North Riverside tavern.

On July 14, the case was moved to U.S. District court after the firefighters in June filed an amended lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming that Kimura’s disciplinary actions violated their First Amendment rights — that Kimura disciplined them because of “their actual or perceived political association with former Fire Chief Kevin Mulligan.”

The amended lawsuit, in addition to reversing the disciplinary measures taken against the firefighters, demands “compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, costs of suit and exemplary damages as warranted.”

In March and April, Kimura suspended the three lieutenants for three days each and suspended Firefighter A.J. Ruska for 21 days, giving him a “last chance” warning in the process.

A.J. Ruska was disciplined for violating the department’s code of conduct: “behavior unbecoming a Riverside firefighter.” The lieutenants were disciplined for failing to “issue discipline to a subordinate.”

The subordinate in question, identified in the lawsuit as Firefighter Michael Rerucha, is not a party to the lawsuit.

Rerucha, according to a police report filed in North Riverside following the incident, got into a scuffle with an off-duty Cicero police officer, allegedly punching him in the head. The police officer refused to file charges against Rerucha, according to North Riverside police.

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As seen around … Chicago

This from Josh Boyajian:

I shot new truck 24 the other day. Its a 2014 Spartan ERV 103′ RM ladder. It carries shop # FD-E350.
Chicago FD Truck 24

Chicago Truck 21. 2014 Spartan Gladiator Classic/Spartan ERV 103′ RM with Shop ID#E350-. Josh Boyajian photo

Chicago FD Truck 24

Josh Boyajian photo

Also on a side note, there are four new ambulances waiting to be placed into service at the shops for Ambos 7, 36, 58, and 86.

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Sutphen Voluntarily Removing 5-Section Aerial Devices From Service

From the Sutphen Corporation web site:

Press Release – Five-Section Aerials

Dublin, OH

**For Immediate Release**

Date: July 22, 2014

RE:  Sutphen Voluntarily Removing 5-Section Aerial Devices From Service

Sutphen Corporation has announced that the Company is instructing customers to remove all SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110 Aerial devices from service, until further notice, effective immediately.

The company states that customers are instructed to use the affected apparatus in the capacity of an engine or support vehicle only.  The Company will stay in close contact with its customers to report details and when the units may be placed  back in service.

“At this time, our priority is the safety of our firefighters,” says Drew Sutphen, President of the Company.  “In light of the recent incidents, we recognize there is an immediate need to take precautionary action.  I would rather take every precaution necessary than to put firefighters at risk.”

The company states that it will be contacting customers with the affected units personally to inform them of the events that have occurred and the steps that are being taken to get the units back in to service in a timely manner.

“We feel the need to personally assure our customers that we are working to investigate and correct the situation,” Drew continues.

Sutphen Corporation is an Ohio based privately held, family owned business that manufactures custom built emergency response vehicles.  The company’s headquarters are located in suburban Dublin, Ohio northwest of Columbus.

For more information contact the sales office. in Atlanta has an article about a recent incident where three firefighters were injured while in the basket of a Sutphen tower, the second such incident in rent weeks.

Three Hall County firefighters were injured in a training exercise on Tuesday.

According to Hall County Fire Services spokesperson Scott Cagle, the three men were in a bucket on top of a ladder that was extended. There was a mechanical failure and the ladder dropped about 20 feet and then jammed. That sudden stop is what injured the firemen.

Two of the firefighters were life-lighted to Grady Memorial Hospital; the third was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Gainesville, Ga.

All three were said to be alert, conscious and breathing. They were identified as Will Griffin, T.J. Elliot and Stephen Jackson. They were said to be in stable condition.

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Chicago Still & Box Alarm fire 7-22-14

This from Eric Haak:

Just before 1830 hrs on Tuesday evening (7/22), the chief of Chicago’s 22nd Battalion pulled up on the scene of a working fire in an occupied 1.5-story frame residence.  The fire appeared to have started in the rear portion of the attic and quickly consumed much of the attic space.  With a three-story, ordinary, apartment building with wood frame porches as the sector D exposure, and a heat index near 100, the 22nd requested a Still & Box Alarm within minutes of arrival.  Heavy fire vented out the sector B dormer and through the roof above, but within a few minutes, the fire darkened down and was brought under control.  The truck seen in the images is 27.  This was the second evening in the last three that Engines 75 and 62 had a working fire in their still district.

heavy smoke from Chicago house fire

Eric Haak photo

flames through the roof of a house on fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago ladder truck at house fire with flames

Eric Haak photo

heavy smoke from Chicago house fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago firemen after battling a house fire on a hot day

Eric Haak photo

aftermath at Chicago house fire

Eric Haak photo

Chicago FD Spartan Engine 75

Eric Haak photo

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