Archive for October 11th, 2021

Chicago Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from

Michael Pickering, a 45-year-old veteran Chicago firefighter, died from COVID-19 complications Friday morning. Pickering, who joined the Chicago Fire Department in 2003 and was assigned to Engine 29 in the Bridgeport neighborhood, is the fourth member of the department to die from complications of the virus.

His relatives said he got sick a few weeks ago and was eventually hospitalized and placed on a respirator. It’s unclear how he contracted the virus. Pickering, who is also a father to two teenage girls, was escorted Friday afternoon by honor procession to the funeral home where his sacrifice was honored. 

On April 7, 2020, Mario Araujo became the first member of the fire department to die from the virus. Firefighter Edward Singleton died a week later from COVID-19 complications. In December, Paramedic Robert Truevillian died from the virus. 

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Box Alarm fire in Naperville, 10-11-21

This from Daniel Hynd:

Naperville FD responded to a townhouse fire on the morning of October 11th. On arrival, they had heavy fire in a garage of a 2 story townhouse with extension to the 2nd floor. Battalion 1 boxed the fire on arrival.

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 40

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department

NBFU ’35 

In 1935, the National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU) conducted an inspection and evaluation of the City of Evanston’s fire protection. Besides  evaluating a fire department’s manpower, apparatus, facilities, training, and code enforcement, the NBFU also would analyze a community’s water supply, fire alarm systems, and conflagration hazards in determining the final grade. Previous NBFU inspections of Evanston’s fire protection had taken place in 1912, 1924, and 1930, and Evanston had received a favorable grade in its 1930 NBFU evaluation. However, since the 1930 inspection, the City of Evanston had cut six positions from the Evanston Fire Department as part of the city’s budget cuts as the result of the Great Depression, and that adversely affected Evanston’s final grade in 1935.      

In the aftermath of its 1935 inspection and evaluation, the NBFU issued a number of recommendations that directly affected the future of the Evanston Fire Department.  

1. Relieve the two platoon commanders of truck company officer responsibilities and provide them with an automobile and a driver;  
2  Restore the six positions that were cut cut in 1933;
3. Hire additional personnel to allow for increased nighttime staffing of engine and truck companies (two additional men per company per shift), with additional manpower provided to replace men on vacation or on sick leave;   

4.Construct a fifth fire station in the area of Grant & Central Park and establish an engine company with a minimum 750-GPM pumper at this new station once it has been completed;
5. Replace the 300-GPM pumper at Station # 3 and the 500-GPM pumper at Station # 4 with minimum 750-GPM pumpers;
6. Transfer the 500-GPM pumper from Station # 4 to Station # 1 to be the inhalator squad and reserve  pumper; 
7. Construct a new Fire Station # 2 with space for a ladder truck, and transfer Truck Co. 2 from Station # 1 to the new Station # 2 once it has been completed; 
8. Construct a new Fire Station # 3 with space for a ladder truck, and hire additional manpower and place a third truck company in service at the new Station # 3 once it has been completed.   
9. Dedicate a bay in one of the fire stations as a repair shop and provide the mechanics sufficient spare parts to complete routine apparatus maintenance and repairs in a timely fashion; 
10. Establish a training school with a senior officer in charge to provide instruction to new recruits and to existing members (including officers); 
11. Assign one company each shift to assist the Fire Prevention Inspector with fire code inspections.  
12. Test pumpers twice a year instead of once per year; 

Because of the grip of the Great Depression, the City of Evanston was unable to implement any of the recommendations by appropriation. However, in April 1937 Evanston voters approved a $45,000 bond issue that would allow the EFD to acquire two new 750 GPM triple-combination pumpers and one new 65-foot aerial-ladder truck (all three to be equipped with an 80-gallon booster tank and booster-line on a hose reel).

The Seagrave Corporation (surprise!) won the bid. All three rigs were built with enclosed cabs, a first for the Evanston Fire Department, and the two pumpers had canopy cabs that allowed firefighters to ride on a jump seat behind the cab instead of on the back-step. All future EFD fire fighting apparatus would be ordered with enclosed cabs, with the exception of two Seagrave pumpers purchased in 1957. Also, the bond issue provided funds for the purchase of an additional Ford Tudor Deluxe sedan equipped with a Motorola “Police Cruiser” AM radio receiver for the use of Fire Prevention Inspector that would also serve as a back-up automobile for the Chief.    

The new aerial-ladder truck went into service with Truck Co. 2 in November 1937 and the two new pumpers went into service with Engine Co. 1 and Engine Co. 3 in January 1938. The old Engine No. 1 (1917 Seagrave 750-GPM TCP with 50-gallon chemical tank and red line) was transferred to Station # 4 as the new Engine No. 4, and the 1917 Seagrave Model “E” city service truck (formerly Truck No. 2 ) was placed into reserve, re-designated Truck No. 3, and relocated to Station # 3, with its ground-based 55-foot Bangor ladder removed from the rig and kept in storage so that the truck could fit (just barely) into the north bay of Station # 3.

Also, the 1917 Seagrave chemical & hose booster-pumper that was rebuilt as a 500-GPM “Suburbanite” TCP in 1930 (formerly Engine No. 4) did not become the inhalator squad at Station # 1 as was proposed by the NBFU, but it was placed into reserve and re-designated Engine No. 6 at Station # 4, the 1917 Seagrave 300-GPM chemical & hose booster-pumper (formerly Engine No. 3) had its pump disconnected and its chemical tank & red line, ladders, hose load, and other equipment removed, and was transferred to the Street Department for use as a utility truck (just like the Robinson Jumbo pumper had been in 1929), and the tractorized-steamer that had been in reserve at Station # 4 since 1930 as the EFD’s lone reserve apparatus was removed from service, with the 1918 Seagrave Model “K” tractor dismantled for spare parts and the 1906 American LaFrance 700-GPM steamer sold for scrap.  

However, the 1937 bond issue did not provide the funds needed to restore the six positions cut from the EFD in 1933, relieve the two platoon commanders of their company officer responsibilities, or build three new fire stations, so those NBFU recommendations would have to wait a few more years before they could be implemented.

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