Archive for May 14th, 2018

Elgin Area Firefighters’ Memorial Service

Excerpts from the

Firefighters may be brave and fearless heroes to young children, but in real life, they’re just regular human beings whose minds and bodies are subjected to unimaginable trauma and stress, Carpentersville Fire Chief John Paul Schilling said in his keynote speech Saturday at the at the Elgin Area Firefighters’ Memorial Service. 

Firefighters and fire officials from around the area gathered at the Elgin Fire Barn No. 5 Museum this weekend for the ceremony, which is intended to honor firefighters who have died in the line of duty, as well as those who have died in the last year.

In his speech, Schilling said studies show firefighters are exposed to more traumatic stress in a single 24-hour shift than the average American experiences in a lifetime. He decided to use the opportunity to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder among firefighters after hearing about the staggering statistic.

“In 2017, there were 103 documented firefighter suicides in America, whereas there were 93 line-of-duty deaths,” Schilling said. “This statistic is staggering. The fire service and firefighters alike are known for their resilience in the face of adversity. The fire service is known for problem recognition and determining solutions to save lives. I ask you, ‘What if you can make a difference? If not you, then who?’”

“The International Association of Firefighters and NBC New York recently conducted a study that showed 81 percent of firefighters surveyed across the nation fear that they will be seen as weak if they admit to having something that bothers them mentally,” Schilling said. “Eighty-seven percent said they believe the stigma in the fire service of not recognizing mental trauma creates a barrier for those seeking help.”

Firefighters, and their families, need to talk about post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health to break down the stigma, Schilling said.

In addition to the keynote address, Saturday’s memorial service featured traditions including the reading of “The Last Alarm” poem, prayers by Elgin Fire Department chaplains Roger Pollock and Ed Hunter, as well as a bagpipe performance by Nolan Ryan. The names of firefighters, chiefs and fire commissioners who died in the last year were announced, and a bell rang in their honor.

Those memorialized were: Robert Mydill, John Schoppe, William Tiknis and Norman Weaver, all of the Bartlett Fire Protection District; Todd Middendorf of the Carpentersville Fire Department; Ken Henryson and Harley Olson of the Elgin Fire Department; Albert Gehringer of the Hampshire Fire Protection District; Dave Carlson and Dan DeMay of the Hoffman Estates Fire Department; Curt Meyer of the Rutland Dundee Fire Protection District, and Ken Hunsaker of the West Dundee Fire Department.

This year’s memorial service included two new fire departments, Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District and St. Charles Fire Department. 

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As seen around … Orland Park

From Dennis McGuire, Jr.

Orland FPD Truck 7

Orland FPD Truck 7. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

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New squad for Schaumburg (more)

This from Larry Shapiro:

I stopped by to get some shots of Schaumburg Squad 55 recently.

Schaumburg FD Squad 55 Pierce Velocity

Larry Shapiro photo

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Batavia Fire Department news

This from Dave Weaver:

5/12/18 BATAVIA – Ducklings Rescued From Sewer – Video by Dave Weaver
Firefighters, police, and citizens all assisted in locating and rescuing a group of baby ducks who became trapped in a sewer after slipping through a storm grate on Hawks Dr. just west of Randall Rd. A group of citizens noticed the mama duck making a lot of noise near the grate. After investigating, they located the ducklings and notified police who in turn notified the fire department. As they were rescued, the citizens including Darryn Chupp of North Aurora assisted in reunited the ducklings with their mother.

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