Archive for July 16th, 2015

Evanston to honor anniversary of LODDs

From the City of Evanston website:

The Evanston Fire and Police Departments will hold a remembrance ceremony on Wednesday, July 22, 2 p.m., at Firemen’s Park, to honor the lives of fallen department firefighters William Craig, George Stiles and Marty Leoni.

This year will mark the 110-year and 30-year anniversaries of the line-of-duty deaths of firefighters William Craig and George Stiles, and Marty Leoni, respectively. Firefighters George Stiles and William Craig lost their lives at the Clayton Marks Building fire at 1900 Dempster St. on December 13, 1905. Firefighter/Paramedic Marty Leoni was with the department for four years and was responding to a structure fire at 1927 Jackson Ave. with a report of an infant trapped on the second floor on July 22, 1985. Leoni lost his life that day, and for the second time that century, the Evanston Fire Department experienced and faced what every firefighter and every fire department knows can be a reality, but hope never is.

Fire Chief Greg Klaiber states, “Thirty years ago Firefighter/Paramedic Marty Leoni died tragically in a house fire while searching for a trapped victim. On July 22, we will honor the memory and service of Firefighter/Paramedic Leoni, Firefighter Craig and Firefighter Stiles, who gave the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the citizens of Evanston.”

This ceremony will also acknowledge other firefighters and police officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.

The remembrance ceremony will include:

Assembly of Personnel – 2 p.m.

Presentation of Colors – 2:10 p.m.
EFD/EPD/AFFI Honor Guard

Prayer Service/Moment of Silence – 2:15 p.m.
Chaplain David Jones

Dispatch of Last Alarm – 2:25 p.m. exactly

Remarks – 2:30 p.m.
Fire Chief Greg Klaiber
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl
Captain Mike Adam (retired)

Tolling of the Bell Ceremony – 2:45 p.m.

Stand Down of Colors – 3 p.m.
EFD/EPD/AFFI Honor Guard

Fellowship and Food – 3:10 p.m.

All members of the public are encouraged to attend. Firemen’s Park is located at the corner of Simpson St. and Maple Ave.

For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.

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New engine for Villa Park

From the Pierce Flickr site, the new engine for Villa Park

new fire engine for the Villa Park Fire Department

Pierce composite

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Cancer message for firefighters (more)

Excerpts from

It’s a tough anniversary for a family to mark. It’s two years since the passing of Miami-Dade Fire Captain Rafael Herrero.

“The rate of cancer we are seeing in our fire department is huge and that made us start looking at what could it be,” says Captain Shane Anderson.

Researchers said firefighters across South Florida are in a battle against cancer, including alarming numbers of thyroid, colon and brain cancer. Now all eyes are turning to the firefighters’ personal protective gear. In the spotlight is how to improve it, clean it and store it.

“We found that we were storing the gear wrong. Most everybody in the country was but what we found out is that two things were a big factor. The way this stuff is made. The seams that are in it. The glues that are used off gas. You want to protect the firefighter with gear that is going to help them in a dangerous environment. But you also want to make sure that we are storing it correctly so that the chemicals that are used don’t hurt them down the road as well, ” said Anderson.

… stored gear is now removed from all plastic packaging and boxing and shaded from artificial light. “We found out is that ultra violet light is one of the worst things for firefighter gear. So you deal with two things,” he added.

Ultimately responsible for armoring up the county’s firefighters is Chief Foy Jenkins. He is ever mindful that South Florida firefighters have only one set of personal protection gear a piece. If fires are back to back there may not be enough time to fully decontaminate the gear. Foy is crunching numbers to see if back up gear per firefighter can be purchased in the future.

The spotlight is now shifting to the personal protective hood, a potential catch-all for contaminants and carcinogens. [previously] the firefighters were issued only one. Now a second one will be available to them. “If they have a hood, they can come to support and they can get a new one. So they have two now,” said Anderson.

Reminders are everywhere that clean gear is the new normal. Fading is the culture of a soot-laden uniform being a badge of honor. “The guys wanted to look veteran.I understand that . I was one of those guys,”said Jenkins.

“I think there has definitely been a shift. I don’t think everybody buys into it yet … Yes I do believe there has been a shift in the dynamics of what we are talking about,” shared Keith Tyson who is a retired Miami Dade firefighter and cancer survivor. He is largely credited with bringing awareness to the risk of cancer in firehouse and after the firehouse.

“I don’t want anybody to go through what I have been through, what my brothers and sisters are going through.” Tyson recently returned from Boston where firefighters are adding up their cancer casualties.

“The bad news…some of the numbers where every three weeks a member was being diagnosed with some sort of severe type of cancer. The good news is they reached out to us,” Tyson said. “We developed a 90 minute program being taught to over 1,400 members of their department over the next two months and that is huge!”

They are lessons and legacies keeping alive the memory and mission of brothers and sisters not forgotten.

It appears those beloved lives were not lost in vain. Their stories helped to spearhead efforts that are resulting in more than $900 thousand being funneled by the state for pioneering research into links between firefighting and cancer. University of Miami researchers will be helming the project as firefighters from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are in the spotlight.

More posts about cancer in the fire service can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

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