Archive for June 20th, 2017

Niles Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Niles Police Chief Dennis McEnerney and Fire Chief Steve Borkowski are both retiring in June.

At a special Niles Village Board meeting on June 13, Mayor Andrew Przybylo appointed former Broadview Police Chief Luis Tigera and current Niles Fire District Chief Marty Feld as the village’s next police and fire chiefs.

Village trustees awarded Borkowski and McEnerney severance agreements … which include three years of continued village health insurance in exchange for making themselves available as consultants to assist the new chiefs in their transitions.

Feld joined the Niles Fire Dept. in September 1986 as a firefighter paramedic, working his way up to lieutenant in 1996, and district chief in 2004. He recently ran the department for two months while Borkowsky was on temporary leave with a medical issue. During that time, Firehouse No. 3 was being renovated and firefighters were working out of trailers at the public works garage.

McEnerney joined the Niles force as an auxiliary officer in 1976 while holding another civilian position with the village. He became a sworn patrol officer in December 1978, working his way up to deputy chief in charge of the investigations division before being named acting interim chief and then chief.

Borkowski has 35 years on the job, joining the department as a firefighter paramedic in 1981. He worked his way up the ranks, was named interim chief, and then chief after former Fire Chief Barry Mueller retired in 2010.

The mayor praised Borkowski’s work representing Niles on the board of RED Center and working to lay the groundwork to see an eventual joint Niles-Morton Grove fire station.

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Of interest … Chicago FD Engine 78

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The firehouse was originally a single-story built in 1884. The firehouse on Waveland avenue the two-story structure, was built in 1915 it is home to the firefighters of Engine Co. 78 and the paramedics and EMTs of Ambulance Co. 6. That means they have been with the Cubs since the beginning when the Cubs played their first home game at the park on April 20, 1916. In 1994 Manager Tom Trebelhorn had vowed to meet fans outside the ballpark for what he called a “Firehouse chat” if the Cubs lost another home game and he was true to his word when the Cubs lost again. A crowd of over 200 angry fans waited for him at the fire station on Waveland Avenue just outside Wrigley’s left-field wall.

The men and women of this company are always going above and beyond to save lives and greet people around the firehouse. Ballpark visitors and fans watching on TV or listening on the radio have heard the sirens during Chicago Cubs games. This firehouse is probably one of the most popular in America just based on its proximity.

The firefighters and paramedics are always gracious with their time. On a nice sunny day you will see them out in the driveway talking to Cubs fans and posing for pictures. The door is also always open to anyone looking to tour the over a century old facility. The firehouse is important for safety and especially to the Cub fan firefighters and paramedics that work there who have dedicated their lives to keeping Wrigleyville and their city safe. The thing I enjoy the most about this firehouse is the Chicago Cub/ firehouse shirts they produce and sell. Each year they revise them whether it’s the design or just adding the new year. The newest shirt proclaims the Chicago Cubs World Series champs.

These brave men and women risk their lives everyday. So if you are attending a Cubs game or ever in the area stop in and grab a shirt or just say hello, Go Cubs!

thanks Dan

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East Joliet Fire Protection District news

From the East Joliet FPD:

We are selling our 2002 IHC/Alexis squad in a bidding process. 

click on either page for a downloadable file

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Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Camp for burn victims

Excerpts from

From June 18-24, nearly 70 burn-injured children between the ages of eight and 16 will attend Camp “I Am Me.” The 27th annual week-long camp is hosted by the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance at YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside, Illinois, featuring a wide array of typical camp activities as well as special activities that deal with the specific needs of burn survivors. Generous donations from various groups statewide fully fund Camp “I Am Me,” which would otherwise cost approximately $2,400 per camper.

It is a truly unique camp that allows young children who have been burned by scalding water, chemicals, fire, or electricity to be in a judgment-free environment with others who have shared similar experiences,” says Philip Zaleski, executive director of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance. “Through our work with hospital burn units, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and fire departments statewide we hope to reach all burn-injured children in Illinois so they can benefit from the free camp.”

Campers can participate in nearly 50 activities, including horseback riding, swimming, and archery. But the activities that may have the biggest impact are those designed specifically for emotional healing. Through character development, journaling, and therapeutic sessions that help build self-esteem, they are able to take advantage of resources often not available in their hometowns.

“When the children attend camp, they find that they are not alone. The physical and emotional recovery from their burns is taken on from a community approach in which everyone helps and learns from each other. They don’t have to hide or be afraid to be themselves. Instead, they learn how to become more confident and bring that confidence back home,” notes Zaleski.

The positive impact of Camp “I Am Me” is evident as over one-third of camp volunteers each year are former campers. In addition, members of the fire service and medical community, as well as educators and members of the private sector, volunteer their time for a total of nearly one volunteer for each camper.

For more information about Camp “I Am Me,” please visit

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