Archive for April 20th, 2016

CFD Deputy Commissioner McNicolas resigns after crash

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The deputy commissioner of the Chicago Fire Dept has resigned after he was involved in a car crash early this morning.

John McNicholas was in a department vehicle when it crashed near Lakeshore Drive and North Ave, according to the Chicago Fire Dept.

The department spokesperson said in a statement  “The Deputy Commissioner has been fully cooperative with the Internal Affairs Division of the department. The investigation has thus far found that McNicholas was operating his city vehicle outside of department policy.”

Photos of the accident obtained by WGN News shows the Ford Explorer with severe front-end damage and the airbag deployed. The vehicle is said to be a total loss.

Police say McNicholas was behind the wheel. They say McNicholas was cut off by another motorist, swerved trying to avoid an accident and crashed into a utility pole. In a statement, police say no one was injured and that no citations were issued.

McNicholas handed in his letter of resignation this afternoon.

The investigation is ongoing, the department says.

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The third-highest ranking member of the Chicago Fire Department resigned Wednesday after crashing a city-owned vehicle near Lake Shore Drive in Lincoln Park.

John McNicholas, who ran the Bureau of Operations, was involved in a crash off Lake Shore Drive near North Avenue early Wednesday, according to an emailed statement from Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

He was driving a CFD vehicle westbound on La Salle Drive just off Lake Shore at 12:50 a.m. when another vehicle cut him off, according to Chicago Police.

The CFD vehicle swerved to avoid a collision, went over a curb and struck a utility pole, police said. No one was hurt.

No citations or charges have been issued, but police and fire officials are conducting “a joint open and active investigation,” police said.

McNicholas tendered his resignation to department Commissioner Jose A. Santiago Wednesday and is “fully cooperative with the Internal Affairs Division,” according to Langford.

Chicago Deputy Fire Commissioner resigns after crash

The city-owned vehicle that was driven by former Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas at the time of a crash on Lake Shore Drive early Wednesday. | Provided photo

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One of Chicago’s top firefighters has resigned after a crash that sources say may have involved alcohol.

Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas may have been drinking before he crashed his city issued SUV early Wednesday morning, yet no tickets were issued.  McNicholas was in charge of operations, the third highest in command. He also handled discipline.

Sources say he was on Lake Shore Drive and hit a pole tree and say any employee in such an accident in a city vehicle should be tested immediately.

CBS 2 has been told there were special exemptions given and there was a delay of several hours and he still tested over the legal limit.

CFD Capt. Carmelita Wiley-Earls said, “Here we go once again, a professional courtesy given to a brother firefighter…If anyone was driving drunk then they would have been arrested.”

Wednesday evening, fire department spokesman Larry Langford said in a statement, “Chicago Fire Department Deputy Commissioner John McNicholas was involved in a traffic accident in the early hours of April 20, 2016 near Lakeshore Drive and North Avenue in a department vehicle. The deputy commissioner has been fully cooperative with the Internal Affairs Division of the department. The investigation has thus far found that McNicholas was operating his city vehicle outside of department policy. Late this afternoon McNicholas tendered a letter to Fire Commissioner Santiago resigning his position as deputy fire commissioner for operations effective today. The investigation is ongoing.”

It is not clear if he only resigned his position as deputy fire commissioner or if he resigned from the department.

The Chicago Police Department says it is conducting a joint investigation with the Chicago Fire Department into the specifics of the accident.

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New fire chief for the Hebron-Alden-Greenwood FPD

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The Hebron-Alden-Greenwood Fire Protection District will have a new chief May 1. Thomas Linneman was appointed by the district’s board of trustees last week and will be moving up from his current role as assistant chief to oversee the 30 firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics in the department.

The 33-year-old is a lifelong Hebron resident and started with the department as an explorer, he said. In 2000, he became an EMT and worked his way up the ranks. He also works for the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department as a firefighter/paramedic.

Eventually, Linneman said he hopes to bring back the district’s explorer post to develop young firefighters. He said the program dissolved the past few years because of a lack of interest.

Chief Scott Mullis said he is resigning from his position to spend more time with his family and explore working more in the private sector. He’s been the chief for almost five years, and also works as a full-time firefighter at the Hoffman Estates Fire Department.

Mullis said Linneman was the natural choice for the chief position, and he’s a good decision-maker who is well-respected by the community and department.

“You can’t find a more dedicated bunch,” Mullis said of the Hebron-Alden-Greenwood Fire Protection District volunteers. “They come out and really do put their lives on the line, and they sacrifice their personal lives so they can basically take care of their town.”

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NIPSTA fire academy blood drive



New engines for Chicago (more)

Updated photos from the E-ONE website showing production of the new engines for Chicago

fire truck being built

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fire truck being built

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fire truck being built

E-ONE photo

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