Archive for April 7th, 2017

Fire Service News

Excerpts from

With the state’s deficit spending on autopilot because of the 21-month-long budget standoff in Springfield, Illinois’ backlog of bills is climbing toward $13 billion.

Some local governments have taken steps to work together to create efficiencies, resulting in savings to taxpayers.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti recently identified the shared fire protection services in Rolling Meadows and Palatine as an example of local taxing bodies doing it right.

“Eliminating duplication, sharing of services, and consolidating entire governmental bodies should be considered at all levels of government from the bottom to the top,” Sanguinetti said. “You share personnel, you share equipment, you share expertise, and that translates into savings. It’s a win-win situation.”

The city of Rolling Meadows, the Village of Palatine, and the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District are doing exactly that with their intergovernmental agreement to operate as a single entity, according to the Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote.

“We’ve been working on this project that we call RPM, which stands for Rural Palatine Meadows, for about five years now,” Franzgrote said. “Our guiding principles are to leverage our combined resources to provide better service to our combined communities, to provide a safer work environment for the firefighters in our three jurisdictions, and to see if there are ways that we can do better for the taxpayers by finding efficiencies within our operations.”

One of the ways the three departments have streamlined operations is by changing the way their personnel train on the job.

“Everyone is now trained the same way,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. “With the equipment, Rolling Meadows might use one type of saw to cut through a roof in a fire, whereas Palatine uses a different one, so now we are purchasing all the same equipment and we are all trained on the same equipment so there are no missteps on the scene. A Palatine fireman can now go to a rural rig and be able to know exactly where the equipment is.”

Each department also champions different specialized services to eliminate duplication.

“Rolling Meadows is where the hazmat team is,” Schwantz said. “In Palatine, we house the dive team. We pay a stipend to Rolling Meadows as does Rural to handle, train, and equip their hazmat team. The same is true with Rolling Meadows and Rural towards Palatine with the dive team.”

While creating efficiencies and improving services were the driving force behind the arrangement, it also has resulted in cost savings.

“In 2016, we were scheduled to replace a technical rescue van that we’ve had since the 1970s and, because of this effort we are working together here, we were able to downsize the purchase,” Franzgrote said. “It was going to be a medium duty rescue squad for the City of Rolling Meadows, which was going to cost about $300,000, but we were able to reduce that to a light-duty squad and we probably saved around $125,000.”

And while the local governments haven’t quantified the total savings, they offered other examples of how they have reduced costs.

“Rolling Meadows and Rural, they each make a payment to Palatine to provide the dive rescue. So we make roughly $25,000 a year in revenue and for those communities, it’s far cheaper to pay us than to try and staff their own dive and rescue program,” Palatine Village Manager Reid Otteson said. “For us, it’s a revenue enhancement, which means I don’t have to go levy $25,000 more in property taxes.”

thanks Dan

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La Grange Fire Department history

Steel Men and Wooden Ladders

The History of the First 60 Years of the La Grange, Illinois Fire Department by Retired Chief William Ruting

This book was written using historical records from the Village of La Grange, microfilm from the La Grange Citizen newspaper, and records from the La Grange Fire Department.  For fire buffs of all types it offers a unique and comprehensive view of the development of typical suburban department.  The first sixty years are rich in not only the history, but provide insight into the development of the village.

thanks Dan

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A request for some information

 A note to Dave Fornell:


A trivia question for the group.

Does anyone know (what year and maybe what size) when the booster tank was added to the Engine Companies of some major cities?

Maybe, FDNY, Chicago, LA and any others that we may be able to get info on.

To my recollection, some of the “city service” rigs tanks were in the 300 gallon version.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.


Nelson L. Miller

Nelson L. Miller, Staff Instructor

Suppression & Industrial Training

PSFA Point of Contact-Mentoring

County of Allegheny

Fire Academy

700 West Ridge Road

Allison Park, PA 15101

thanks Drew

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2017 IL commemorative emergency license plate

IL commemorative emergency license plate IL commemorative emergency license plate

thanks Dan

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New engine for Chicago (more)

This from Shaun Unell:

Chicago rigs in process at E-one facility in New York, 3 engines in production right now

fire engine being built for Chicago

Shaun Unell photo

fire engine being built for Chicago

Shaun Unell photo

fire engine being built for Chicago

Shaun Unell photo

fire engine being built for Chicago

Shaun Unell photo

fire engine being built for Chicago

Shaun Unell photo

fire engine being built for Chicago

Shaun Unell photo

fire engine being built for Chicago

Shaun Unell photo

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