Archive for July 11th, 2017

Champaign Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Champaign’s Fire Chief Gary Ludwig witnessed the benefits of using mechanical CPR devices in Memphis, Tenn., where he previously was a deputy chief.

That department equipped all of its front-line ambulances with mechanical CPR devices and saw an immediate boost — from 21 percent to 36 percent — in cardiac-arrest patients with a return of spontaneous circulation.

Now the Champaign Fire Department is poised to put 24 of these devices to work in a dozen fire departments in Champaign and Piatt counties with the help of a federal grant, the acceptance of which still requires the approval of the city council.

The fire department has been awarded a $333,819 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and is proposing to keep nine of the mechanical CPR devices it would buy to equip its own vehicles and distribute others to Urbana, Bement, Bondville, Gifford, Homer, Ivesdale, Northern Piatt, Rantoul, Sadorus, Sangamon Valley, and Savoy fire departments.

Reviews about the benefits of mechanical CPR have been mixed. The American Heart Association said in updated (2015) CPR guidelines that evidence for using mechanical piston devices for chest compressions versus manual chest compressions in patients with cardiac arrest “does not demonstrate a benefit.”

“Manual chest compressions remain the standard of care for the treatment of cardiac arrest,” the organization said.

However, it also said, the device may be a reasonable alternative in some settings where high-quality manual CPR delivery may be challenging or dangerous for the provider.

Ludwig said he disputes less-than-favorable studies, based on his previous experience with mechanical CPR use and favorable studies he’s seen on the LUCAS chest compression system, one of the devices on the market.

Ludwig said some studies don’t necessarily show what paramedics and firefighters experience in the field trying to do manual CPR under some circumstances — such as trying to deliver chest compressions in the back of a moving emergency vehicle hanging on with one arm.

Dr. Brad Weir, Carle’s EMS medical director, said these devices deliver “flawless and tireless compressions.”

“Instead of having people do it and switch compressors every couple of minutes, the machine can do it,” he said.

The quality of CPR can begin to fall off as the person doing the chest compressions becomes exhausted, which is why caregivers administering the compressions are advised to switch off every couple of minutes.

“In areas where you may not have as many people to perform the compressions, this could be key to the source of flawless, tireless compressions for a longer time,” Weir said.

Subject to the council’s approval of the grant, Ludwig said firefighters and EMS personnel on a cardiac arrest call will begin with manual CPR, apply the device to the patient, and the patient would ride to the hospital undergoing CPR with the mechanical device.

Approval of the grant isn’t yet on a city council agenda. The federal grant requires council approval because there’s a local funding match of $33,381 involved, according to the fire department.

thanks Dan

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Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department news

Excerpts from the

One Crystal Lake City Council member is questioning a city policy that allowed two firefighters charged with assault and battery to continue to work for the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department while the cases are pending in court.

He found specific details of the incident that resulted in two Crystal Lake firefighters being placed on administrative leave through a news article and was disappointed to learn they were allowed to continue working for the department with pending criminal investigations.

The two firefighters, Adam J. Fowles, 41, of Cary and Timothy R. Kerley, 38, of Crystal Lake, were arrested May 11 in connection with an off-duty incident that occurred March 15, and they were placed on administrative leave without pay as the result of an employment investigation into the matter. However, under terms of their union contract, the firefighters were able to continue to work on non-shift days while on administrative leave.

Fowles was charged with aggravated battery in a public place, and Kerley was charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, according to court documents. Both men have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Although the incidents at the center of the cases happened in March, the two firefighters weren’t charged until June. That was in part because of what Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Thomas Kotlowski described as a thorough investigation that involved more than 20 hours of video footage and interviews with multiple witnesses.

He said the resident complaint that eventually led to Kerley and Fowles being charged was handled in the same manner as any other complaint. He also said that based on his investigation, he didn’t see any evidence that either posed a safety risk to the community.

Fire Chief Paul DeRaedt said the administrative leave rule prohibits the two firefighters from working their scheduled duty days, which equates to nearly $900 in lost wages for each duty-day shift missed. However, the terms of the leave allow both men to take opportunities for overtime shifts of up to 24 hours that pay 1½ times their regular hourly pay rate of $37.35 an hour.

DeRaedt said both firefighters have taken advantage of opportunities to work overtime during their administrative leave, the length of which he would not specify. He also said both firefighters would return to duty before the end of the week.

Despite one of the charges alleging battery against a woman, DeRaedt said, the city’s employment investigation concluded that there was not a risk in allowing them to continue working.

“We used many resources to evaluate [the incident], including legal counsel,” DeRaedt said. “This was an isolated off-duty incident, and our knowledge of the employees and what had taken place was that we were comfortable letting them work.”

City officials said that all City Council members were informed of the charges and arrests of the firefighters.

The Crystal Lake firefighters labor union contract specifies four primary disciplinary actions that may be taken against a member of the fire department who has violated the rules and regulations of the department: oral and written reprimands, suspension without pay for a period that does not exceed 30 days, and discharge.

For administrative leave, the contract does not specify how disciplined members will serve their time. DeRaedt said he examines each instance on a case-by-case basis, taking into account disciplinary actions the city has taken in the past and the history of the employee in question.

DeRaedt also said no further disciplinary action relating to the incident will be taken, but a criminal conviction for one or both members could result in termination if they no longer meet the conditions of their employment. Conditions include holding valid EMT and driver’s licenses.

The Illinois Department of Public Health allows an individual convicted of a felony to hold an EMT license if the department determines he or she meets other requirements and does not present a risk to patients.

“If we were to wait until a criminal conviction is done before we weigh in and evaluate what that may be, that takes away from the time where we’re dealing with the employment action and correct that behavior,” DeRaedt said. “We want to make sure that if there’s a violation of the rules and regulations, that we’re dealing with that as swiftly as we can within the time constraints of conducting a thorough investigation.”

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Cary Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the

Three Cary firefighters injured during a house fire Friday have been released from the hospital, and two of them have returned to work.

The Cary Fire Protection District was called about 8:27 p.m. to a fire at 206 Hickory Nut Grove Lane, where one firefighter fell from the first floor into the basement of the home, one was injured trying to help the firefighter who fell, and another firefighter received an electrical shock.

The firefighter who fell through the floor was taken to Advocate Good Shepard Hospital in Barrington and was released, but has not returned to work. The other two firefighters were taken to the same hospital and later released.

Fire Chief Jeffrey Macko said that to the best of his knowledge, the firefighters followed protocol during the fire, including sounding the floor to determine its stability. The department’s safety committee is running an internal safety review.

Because of the injuries, the Illinois State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

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New tanker for Fox Lake (more)

Finished production photos of the tanker being built for Fox Lake by Alexis



2017 Spartan Metro Star SMFD 1500/3000

new 3,000-gallon tanker for the Fox lake FPD

Alexis photo

new 3,000-gallon tanker for the Fox lake FPD

Alexis photo

new 3,000-gallon tanker for the Fox lake FPD

Alexis photo

new 3,000-gallon tanker for the Fox lake FPD

Alexis photo

new 3,000-gallon tanker for the Fox lake FPD

Alexis photo

new 3,000-gallon tanker for the Fox lake FPD

Alexis photo

new 3,000-gallon tanker for the Fox lake FPD

Alexis photo

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