Archive for July 31st, 2015

Rantoul FD donates truck to local Pink Heals chapter

Excerpts from

The Rantoul Fire Department donated one of its oldest fire trucks to the local Pink Heals chapter. The newly-formed central Illinois chapter had just a squad car, but not a truck. … the mayor recently handed over the yellow truck’s title. The old school ride joined the department in 1978. It was one of their first yellow trucks, and the very last one to leave.

Rantoul Firefighters [said] the moment was bittersweet. But its donation was very worthwhile.

“I started on the fire department in 1980 so this truck here was just like a year and a half old, when I first started. So, I kind of grew up on this truck and you know, it was the first truck, one of the first trucks that I ever operated. But it’s certainly going to a good cause, and we’re happy to donate the truck for sure,” Assistant Chief Kevin Kaiser said.

Now, it’s time to paint the truck pink. Pink Heals volunteers say it’ll take four to five gallons — at $1,300 per gallon. They’re currently looking for donations. Once complete, they say the truck will travel almost anywhere in Central Illinois – from Kankakee to Tuscola, and from Indiana to Decatur.

yellow fire truck to go pink photo

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As seen around … Westchester

This from Josh Boyajian:

 Here is a shot of Westchester’s new rescue sqaud and their truck.
Rescue 25 – 2014 E-One Typhoon Heavy Rescue Unit
Truck 25 – 1999 E-One Cyclone 2000/500/100′ RM Quint x-T315
Westchester FD rescue squad

Westchester Rescue 25
2014 E-One Typhoon
Heavy Rescue Unit. Josh Boyajian photo

Westchester FD aerial ladder truck

Westchester FD Truck 25
1999 E-One Cyclone
2000/500/100′ RM Quint
x-T315. Josh Boyajian photo

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Orland FPD uses drone at fire scene

Excerpts from the

Orland Fire Protection District firefighters said a drone’s-eye-view helped them battle a house fire possibly started by a lighting strike Wednesday.

The homeowners were out of town, so neighbors called to report a fire around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday at a home in the 10800 block of West Scarlet Drive in Orland Park, said Battalion Chief Bill Bonnar. By the time firefighters arrived, flames had spread throughout the attic and roof of the 5,000-square foot home, officials said in a news release. No one was injured, but the damage was extensive, they said.

It took firefighters about an hour to get the flames under control, but in addition to standard firefighting equipment, they also deployed a drone — the first live test of a technology they’ve been piloting for about two months, said Battalion Chief Mike Schofield.

drone photo of fire scene

Orland Fire Protection District firefighters used a drone to help target efforts to put out a house fire Wednesday morning. The fire caused extensive damages but no one was injured. Orland Fire Protection District photo

“It’s very new technology but in the future I see this being used a lot in the fire service,” Schofield said. “It allows us to get an aerial view of the fire spreading, it allows us to put our water where it needs to be.”

Bonnar said drones have been marketed for firefighting purposes for a couple years but in the past they’d been too large, heavy and expensive. “The cost and technology has improved greatly,” he said.

When he got to the scene Wednesday morning, the drone’s operator, Director of Communication William Neumann, said he did a quick 360 above the home, then got in the passenger seat of the battalion chief’s car so they could both see through its camera via an iPad mounted atop the remote control.

“He had a bird’s eye view of everything that was going on,” Neumann said.

Before Wednesday morning, Neumann had only flown it for practice or over fire simulations at their training center. He estimated he’s put in about 80 hours of flying so far.

Though Schofield called it a pilot program, he said its performance during the fire was a big success, giving fire district officials a view above and behind the home that let them see where the fire was coming from and helping them fight the blaze more efficiently.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires public entities, including law enforcement and fire departments, obtain an authorization certificate to use drones but doesn’t track how many agencies have sought the permit for those purposes, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory.

Neumann said the Orland Fire Protection District has not yet sought FAA approval but is talking with Naperville about the process after Neumann heard they had applied for permission to use a drone.

“This is a technology we’re going to see used in the fire service a whole lot more from now on,” Schofield said.

thanks Chris, Dan and Martin

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