Archive for April 29th, 2017

Brookfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

News of LaGreco’s death was announced by President Kit Ketchmark at the start of the April 24 meeting of the village board. Those in attendance at the meeting observed a moment of silence in memory of Mr. LaGreco, who was 70 years old.

Mr. LaGreco came to firefighting as a second career, signing on in Brookfield in 1973 after five years as an industrial arts teacher in Cicero. And for many of his years with the village, Mr. LaGreco pulled double duty as a firefighter and chief building inspector.

But he never really gave up teaching. He moved his classroom to the firehouse, but he served as an instructor for new firefighters, making sure their training was up to snuff.

“He carried that education background into the fire service,” said Capt. Edward Bermann, who signed on as a paid-on-call firefighter in 1975 and worked alongside Mr. LaGreco until the chief’s retirement in 2005.

When Patrick Lenzi was named chief, succeeding Mr. LaGreco, the new chief said he spent an hour on the phone with his predecessor, who preached public service and communication.

“His message was to learn, to teach and to communicate,” Lenzi said.

Mr. LaGreco, who lived in Brookfield and LaGrange Park from 1975 to 2006, talked about the importance of training during a 2005 interview with the Landmark.

“I wanted training to be a major issue for all personnel, and I wanted them to have the freedom to attend job-related schools to allow them to become stronger members of the organization,” Mr. LaGreco said.

James Mann, the village manager who appointed Mr. LaGreco chief in 1994, called him “a go-getter who was dedicated to the community.” Mr. LaGreco was hired after an internal search and was, according to Mann, “friendly, open and honest.”

“He worked well with people within the department as well as other staff in the village,” Mann said. “It was a loss for the community when he did decide to retire.”

The Brookfield Fire Department was very different in 1973, when Mr. LaGreco was hired, than it is today. Mr. LaGreco had a lot to do with that change.

Early on in his career in Brookfield, Mr. LaGreco was part of the first-ever emergency medical technician class offered in Illinois and he maintained that certification until he retired.

In an interview with the Landmark upon his retirement, he noted that he’d delivered seven babies as a firefighter, the first on a snowy night in the 1970s, alongside John Johnson, who was a paid-on-call firefighter at that time.

Mr. LaGreco, was also instrumental in moving Brookfield from EMT service to paramedic service in the mid-1990s and, according to Bermann, was also a proponent of replacing the contract paramedic service the village employed from 1995 to 2003, with in-house staff firefighter paramedics.

From 1981 to 1994, Mr. LaGreco worked as the village’s building inspector in addition to his role within the fire department. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mr. LaGreco worked construction during summers in Oak Brook and, according to Lenzi, he had a particular affinity for the job of inspector.

“He excelled in the building code/fire code area,” Lenzi said. “The tradesmen always appreciated Charlie, because he could understand what they were talking about.”

Mr. LaGreco is survived by his wife, Cynthia J. LaGreco (nee Ceretto); his children, Dana (Mike) Umbenhower and Ryan LaGreco; and his grandchildren, Anna and Dylan Umbenhower.

Visitation will be on Saturday, May 13 from 1 p.m. until the time of a 4 p.m. memorial service at Johnson Funeral Home, 3847 Prairie Ave. in Brookfield.

Memorial donations are appreciated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, Tennessee, 38101-9908.

thanks Dan

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Woodstock Fire/Rescue Department news

Excerpts from the

Ten emergency dispatchers with more than 125 years of combined experience were honored by the city of Woodstock April 18, several weeks before the Woodstock Police Department’s telecommunications division closes.

The WPD’s emergency dispatch center will end operations May 1 when it becomes part of the Northeast Regional Communications Center, or NERCOM. Calls to 911 from Woodstock will be routed through NERCOM, based in McHenry.

“There have been so many unsung heroes that have been a part of the Woodstock PD communications center,” Police Chief John Lieb said during a ceremony at a Woodstock City Council meeting.

The change comes in response to a mandate from the state of Illinois, which ordered McHenry County’s six emergency dispatch centers be combined into three as part of a push to consolidate government services.

Amy McKendry would have celebrated her 16th year as a dispatcher with the department in July. She said working in Woodstock gave her an advantage when dealing with emergency calls. Grant Havens will be joining McKendry at the new dispatch center.

In the long run, joining NERCOM is expected to save money for the city of Woodstock and most of the other jurisdictions that consolidate.

In 2016, the city spent about $773,000 on dispatch center operations, with the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District kicking in an additional $84,000 for handling its calls. Yearly expenditures for the city are expected to drop to about $500,000 once NERCOM is up and running, according to city council documents, but it will be more expensive in its first year — the city expects to pay an extra $100,000 on things such as new equipment and employee severance.

For WFRD, NERCOM will cost more. The fire district will pay about $120,000 annually for its services, an increase of $36,000 a year. Woodstock will cover WFRD’s added expenses for the first five years of the deal.

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Broadview Fire Department history

This from Larry Shapiro:

Former Broadview Quint 214, an  American LaFrance Century Series Water Chief Quint

American LaFrance Water Chief Quint

Broadview FD American LaFrance Century series Water Chief Quint. Larry Shapiro photo

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FDIC 2017

This from Larry Shapiro:

I found two units from Chicago area fire departments on display at this year’s FDIC. The new Gurnee squad displayed by E-ONE in the REV Group booth. The Fox Lake FPD engine is i the Alexis booth in the Lucas Oil Stadium.

Fox lake FPD Engine 24

Fox Lake FPD Engine 24 on display in the Alexis Fire Apparatus booth at the 2017 FDIC in Indianapolis. Larry Shapiro photo

Gurnee FD Squad 1352

Larry Shapiro photo

Gurnee FD squad 1352

Gurnee FD squad 1352 built by E-ONE on display at the 2017 FDIC in Indianapolis. Larry Shapiro photo

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