Archive for March 31st, 2017

Hanover Park Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

More than half of firefighters’ line-of-duty deaths are caused not by external dangers such as flames or building collapses, but from cardiovascular reactions to the physical stress of the job, experts say.

Hanover Park Fire Chief Craig Haigh believes his department can help bring down those numbers as the main test subjects of a 21-month national research project.

It’s aim is to improve know-how and equipment to better handle internal pressures on the heart, lungs, brain, and core body temperature during emergency calls that now result in 50 percent to 60 percent of firefighters’ line-of-duty deaths, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Fire Administration.

Since January, and continuing through September 2018, all 52 active Hanover Park firefighter-paramedics have agreed to wear a monitor that measures their physiological responses during each 24-hour shift.

Most people don’t understand what firefighters are really enduring when they’re at a fire or similar emergency, said the study’s lead investigator, Professor Denise Smith of Skidmore College in New York. She’s sampled enough firefighting gear to recognize there’s no comparison between traditional athletic endeavors and the total physical exhaustion firefighters face. The gear firefighters wear typically weighs 30 to 50 pounds, while the equipment they may carry at any given time can add 25 more pounds.

Haigh said several factors contributed to his department’s having a unique role in the research … the Hanover Park Fire Department has just the right characteristics for the project. The department is large enough to provide a sufficient number and variety of calls for the study, yet small enough to secure 100 percent compliance among employees.

That reflects the excellent labor relations Hanover Park enjoys with its firefighter-paramedics. Many unions would balk at the intensive monitoring and sharing of personal medical information the research requires.

SMARTER stands for Science, Medicine, Research, Technology for Emergency Responders. The project, funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security, continues the research Smith has been engaged in for 21 years.

Among the breakthroughs it’s already discovered is recognition that firefighters need rehab while on a call. That means making sure firefighters emerging from a burning structure take time to rest, rehydrate, lower their body temperature, and take nourishment.

The study also shows firefighters are getting much too hot wearing heavy structure-fire gear for conditions that probably warrant a different type of protection.

A long-running goal of equipment manufacturers has been to make firefighting gear lighter, more breathable and less restrictive, while providing all the protection required. Smith hopes her research helps achieve that goal.

The SMARTER Project also aims to improve the portability of devices used to measure the presence and concentration of toxic particulates in the air, so firefighters know better when to use their breathing gear even in the absence of visible smoke.

Agencies and organizations supporting the SMARTER Project include the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, the University of California at Los Angeles, the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Globe Manufacturing Co., Zephyr Medtronic, and the International Association of Firefighters.

thanks Dan

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Elgin Fire Barn news

Excerpts from the

With the support of a relatively small group of volunteer members, Elgin Fire Barn No. 5 Museum remains a working piece of local history.

The city council on Wednesday unanimously agreed to move forward updating an agreement with the nonprofit that runs the museum. The city-owned fire barn at 533 St. Charles St. was built in 1903-1904 to hold two horses and a hose wagon and at the time stood at the southernmost spot in Elgin.

According to the agreement, the city will continue to be responsible for maintaining the building and property, pay for utilities, except telephone service, and continue to maintain insurance for the property. City officials said utilities for the building ran $4,456 last year, while the estimated property insurance cost to the city is $945 annually. The city also takes care of additional periodic maintenance and repairs to the building and plans to paint its exterior this year.

The previous five-year deal expired in 2002, but continued to operate under the old terms, including a $10-per-year lease. The terms of the updated agreement are substantially similar to the previous one, including a five-year term and rent of $10 per year.

Revisions to the term from 2017 through 2021 include an automatic renewal provision by which the agreement is automatically renewed for additional five-year terms unless terminated by one of the parties.

The nonprofit also has to maintain and update museum records including providing an inventory of the museum collection and to make those records available to the city.

Fire Barn museum volunteer/members Dale Betts and James Carrigan noted that members try to provide for as much of the maintenance and upkeep as they can, further curbing expenses. The group spends about $200 each year fueling the three antique vehicles it has so that they can be used in parades.

While one of those vehicles is on display in the Fire Barn, the other two are stored in Elgin fire stations. The museum has been trying for two years to find its own storage space.

The museum had 672 visits in 2016, which is a typical annual tally and is run off of donations and the work of volunteers. There are currently 77 dues-paying members.

Betts has been a Fire Barn volunteer for five years and Carrigan has been involved for seven years.

New exhibits this year include a wall dedicated to the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and a display about a fire in the winter of 1956 at the Rialto movie house in downtown Elgin in which the roof collapsed.

Carrigan said the group also has been working to put together a yearbook, of sorts, looking at the 150-year history of the Elgin Fire Department. He expects the piece will be published sometime in midsummer.

Thanks to Elgin Building Maintenance Superintendent Rich Hoke and his crew, the men said, the fountain in front of the museum, which had not been working for more than five years, will be operating again during warm weather.

Filled with fire department lore and memorabilia, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a museum since 1993.

The space is available to rent for events which have included memorial services, wakes and funerals, visits from groups such as Northern Illinois Fire Buffs, children’s birthday parties, and scouting organizations.

Since the space is run by volunteers, it is typically only open for general visiting every other Sunday afternoon, but it is recommended to call 847-697-6242 or email before stopping by.

Suggested admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children under the age of 7. For information, go to

thanks Dan

Tags: , , website update (more)

The following departments have been added to the new site.

  • Lake Forest
  • Knollwood
  • Lake Bluff
  • Newport Township
  • Long Grove
  • Lincolnshire-Riverwoods
  • Winthrop Harbor

There have been some updates of newer or current apparatus, but most likely they are not completely accurate. Any assistance would be appreciated with regards to missing photos and fact checking department specs etc.

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New ambulance for Libertyville

From the Foster Coach Sales Facebook page:

Brand new horton conversion on a Ford F550 chassis

Libertyville Fire Department ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

chevron striping on rear of ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

Horton Type I ambulance on Ford F550 chassis

Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance interior

Foster Coach Sales photo

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