Archive for November 26th, 2021

New engine for Lockport Township FPD (more)

From Lockport Township Fire Protection District @LTFPD:

Today (11/24/21) our new engine 3 went in service. A new 2021 Seagrave Marauder will be responding out of Station 3 and ready to serve the residents of the Lockport Township Fire Protection District.

New Lockport Township FPD Engine 3 went into service

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New engine for Peoria Fire Department

From E-ONE Hamburg New York @EOneHamburgNewYork:

Check out the City of Peoria FD’s (IL) new E-ONE stainless steel side mount pumper (SO# 144543)! The details: Typhoon long cab with 67.5” CA, Cummins L9 400HP engine, Waterous CS 1250-GPM single-stage pump, 530-gal water tank. Thank you, City of Peoria FD, for allowing E-ONE to serve you! #EONENY #EONEstrength #EONE#firetruck #pumper

E-ONE stainless steel fire engine

E-ONE photo

E-ONE stainless steel fire engine

E-ONE photo

E-ONE stainless steel fire engine

E-ONE photo

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 45

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department


There were no significant fires in Evanston during the World War II years, so the volunteer Evanston Auxiliary Fire Service (EAFS) that was organized in June 1942 with Auxiliary Truck Co. 3 at Fire Station # 3 and Auxiliary Engine Co. 7 at Station # 4 was never needed. The EAFS was disbanded in 1944 after Auxiliary Engine Co. 7’s 1917 Seagrave 300-GPM chemical & hose booster-pumper (ex-Engine 3) broke-down at a training drill and could not be repaired.   

Meanwhile, the older members of the Evanston Fire Department felt the stress of the manpower-shortage caused by the drafting of younger firefighters into the military — some almost immediately after they were hired — as well as the loss of prospective EFD recruits waiting on civil service lists who enlisted or were drafted before they could even be hired. Many long-time members were becoming increasingly demoralized and/or ill because they were being forced to work overtime for straight-time comp days they could never actually use due to WWII manpower shortages. 

29-year veteran EFD Capt. Anthony Steigelman died at the age of 57 after a lengthy illness in June 1944, and Capt. Henry Tesnow retired after 30 years of service, Lt. Ed Newton retired after 34 years of service, and master Fire Equipment Mechanic J. K. “Karl” Wilen retired after 21 years of service that same year. Firemen Lawrence Ahrens (24 years), Frank Altenberg (28 years), Jerry Moriarty (25 years), Herman Peters (21 years), and Herman Windelborn (24 years) also retired in ’44.

Lt. Jim Geishecker – a future chief of the EFD — was promoted to captain and replaced Capt. Steigelman as company officer of Engine Co. 1, Lt. Frank Sherry was promoted to captain and replaced Capt. Tesnow as company officer of of Engine Co. 2, and firemen William Murphy, William Rohrer, and Edward C. Fahrbach were promoted to lieutenant. Note that there was an Edward C. Fahrbach and a much older Edward G, Fahrbach in the EFD at the same time in the 1920’s and 30’s.  

21-year veteran Truck Co. 1 assistant company officer Lt. William Elliott died at the age of 43 while off-duty in January 1945 and chief’s buggy driver Ed Hanrahan was subsequently promoted to lieutenant, Lt. John Reddick retired after 22 years of service with the EFD in 1946 and Jim Mersch was promoted to lieutenant, and with Lt. Schmidt in Berlin, chief’s buggy driver and future EFD chief Lester Breitzman was promoted to lieutenant and replaced Lt. Schmidt as assistant company officer of Engine Co. 1 and administrative assistant to Chief Hofstetter in 1947.

During those same years (1945-47), firemen Herman Godeman (21 years of service), John M. Mersch (40 years), Michael Olk (22 years), John Balmes (34 years), Harry Nelson (disability pension after 18 years of service), Lou Morgan (20 years), Charles Lapp (20 years), Harold Anderson (20 years), George Wilson (20 years), William Brundage (23 years), George Paugels (25 years), and Fred Godeman (27 years) also retired, leaving the EFD with a critical shortage of experienced firefighters to staff shifts. 

While the World War II years were relatively quiet in terms of major fires, the EFD did battle a significant blaze at the iconic Rood Building at Fountain Square in downtown Evanston on the night of February 15, 1946, just a few months after the end of the war. Built in 1895, the magnificent four-story structure adorned with cupolas, gables, and turrets was mostly unoccupied and awaiting demolition at the time of the fire, but a high-value district response (three engines and a truck) followed by a second-alarm (one engine and one truck) and a call-back of the off-duty platoon was needed to help extinguish the blaze and to protect exposures to the north.

The structure itself was still carrying $46,000 in fire insurance, so the timing of the fire was somewhat  interesting. There wasn’t much inside to salvage and there weren’t any occupants who needed to be rescued, so the fight went defensive fairly early-on. At the height of the blaze, all four EFD engines at the fire were pumping from nearby hydrants and both Truck Co. 1 and Truck Co. 2 were operating elevated master streams from their aerial ladders, pouring tens of thousands of gallons of water onto what used to be the Rood Building’s roof and attic. 

As was the norm for an extra-alarm fire occurring in Evanston’s downtown high-value district, Engine Co. 4 transferred to Station # 1 to provide city-wide engine coverage pending the arrival of the off-duty platoon. Members of the off-duty platoon of Engine Co. 2 staffed reserve Engine No. 6 at Station # 2 and members of the off-duty platoon of Engine Co. 3 manned reserve Truck No. 3 at Station # 3, once they arrived at their respective fire stations. The off-duty platoon from the four Station # 1 companies walked to the fire to provide rotation-relief for companies working at the scene, which was located only a block north of Station # 1. 

The manufacture of airplanes, ships, submarines, tanks, trucks, jeeps and other vehicles needed by the military to fight World War II meant that  — with a few exceptions — police cars and fire chief’s automobiles were generally not available for purchase during 1942-45. However, once the war was over, automobile  manufacturers got busy producing new models, such that police and fire departments were able to replace their aging fleets.  

In 1946, two new automobiles were purchased for the use of the Evanston Fire Department, replacing the two  1936-37 Fords. Chief Hofstetter received a Ford Deluxe Fordor sedan, and a Ford Deluxe Tudor sedan was assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau. 

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