Archive for January 13th, 2022

Elgin Fire Department history

For #TBT from Larry Shapiro;

Elgin Engine 2 2009 KME LMFD Predator Severe Service 2000/500 GSO 7405 plus Engines 1 and 5

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Larry Shapiro photo

#larryshapiro; #FireTruck; #ElgoinFD; #KMEFire; #KMEWorksForYou

Larry Shapiro photo

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 55

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department



All three of Evanston’s new fire stations were completed and placed into service during 1955; Station # 5 at 2830 Cental Street on January 25th, Station # 2 at 702 Madison Street on March 12th, and Station # 3 at 1105 Central Street on September 3rd.

While waiting for its new quarters to be completed, Engine Co. 23 and the reserve truck were temporarily relocated from Fire Station # 3 on Green Bay Road to the new Station # 5 in northwest Evanston, as Station # 3 was closed on January 25th. It its final days as a working firehouse, the aging apparatus floor was supported from below by wooden beams that were set-up temporarily in the basement. Because Engine Co. 23 needed to move out of Station # 3 ASAP, Engine Co. 25 remained at Station # 1 for most of 1955, and did not relocate from Station # 1 to Station # 5 until the new Station # 3 was completed in September. 

Chief Dorband, the Fire Prevention Bureau, and Truck Co. 22 were relocated from Station # 1 to the new Station # 2 on Madison Street on March 12th, and the two assistant chiefs assigned as platoon commanders at Station # 1 were relieved of company officer responsibilities and were provided with a Chevrolet station-wagon (known as “F-2”) and a driver at this time. As such, the platoon commanders were now akin to a Chicago F. D. battalion chief. Chief Dorband only responded to working fires. If he was off-duty, his driver based at Station # 2 would pick him up at his residence at 1424 Wesley Avenue and drive him to the fire.

The Evanston Fire Department was increased from 88 men to 100 on April 1, 1955, as Peter Erpelding, David Henderson, Roger Lecey, Roger Schumacher, Joseph Burton, Patrick Morrison, Robert Pritza, Richard Ruske, Donald Searles, Frank Sherry Jr, and Richard Zrazik were hired, and Edward Pettinger returned from a leave of absence. Firemen James Wheeler and William Windelborn were promoted to captain, replacing the two platoon commanders as company officers.   

Squad 21 continued to respond to all inhalator calls and special rescues, but beginning on April 1st, it also responded to ALL fire calls – not just working structure fires — city-wide with a four-man crew, or at least three-men if a man was absent. Squad 21 did not have a company officer, so the platoon fire equipment mechanic was normally in charge of the crew. In 1956, Squad 21 responded to more than 400 calls, which was 25% more than the busiest engine company (Engine Co. 24)!   

While the rig had a 1000-GPM pump, a 100-gallon water tank, and a booster hose reel mounted atop its body, Squad 21 did not have a hose bed or standard hose load, so it could not run as an engine company. However, it could respond to a minor fire in a pinch, or initiate a limited fire-attack with its booster after arriving at a structure fire if no engine company was on the scene.

Engine Co. 21, Truck Co. 21, Engine Co. 25, Squad 21, Engine Co. 22, and Truck Co. 22, were twelve-man companies, with six men assigned to each platoon, and Engine Co. 23, and Engine Co. 24 were ten-man companies, with five men assigned to each platoon. However, the driver for the platoon commander (F-2) was assigned administratively to Squad 21, and the driver for the Chief Fire Marshal (F-1) was assigned administratively to Engine Co. 22, so Squad 21 and Engine Co. 22 actually had one less man available each shift than the other twelve-man companies.  

One man each shift was on a Kelly Day, so the actual company staffing each shift was five men on Engine Co. 21, Truck Co. 21, Engine Co. 25, Squad 21 (including F-2 driver), Engine Co. 22 (including F-1 driver), and Truck Co. 22, or four men if the company was running a man short, and the actual company staffing each shift on Engine Co. 23 and Engine Co. 24 was four men, or three men if the company was running a man short. The truck company always took the extra man from the engine company if the truck company was down a man but the engine company at that station was at full-strength. 

There was a platoon commander assigned to each shift, and in addition, one man each shift was assigned as the driver and radio operator for the platoon commander (F-2), and one man each shift was assigned as the driver and administrative assistant for the chief (F-1). The buggy-drivers were also the EFD’s photographers. Also, one man was assigned as a fire prevention inspector and administrative assistant to the FPB chief (F-3). 
As of April 1, 1955, the maximum aggregate shift staffing in the Evanston Fire Department was 39 if all companies were at full strength, and the absolute minimum staffing was 31 if all companies were running a man short at the same time. Companies typically ran at full-strength November – March when vacations were not permitted, and then would sometimes run a man short in the spring, summer, and early autumn, when vacations were permitted, and when overtime comp days accrued during the winter months could be spent.  

The 39-man maximum / 31-man minimum restored EFD shift staffing to the years 1933-42, back before the first Kelly Days were implemented. Along with acquiring new apparatus and constructing new fire stations, restoring shift staffing to pre-World War II levels had been one of the three main goals of Chief Dorband’s modernization plan.

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from

In March, construction will be completed for Peoria’s new Fire Station 4 located at Western and Howet. It’s a project three years in the making, and will honor the River City’s first black fireman. The Edward B. Gaines Fire Station 4 will give the area a huge boost helping an area that badly needs it.

The name change remembers a man who broke barriers. The new building cost around $3 million, split between city and state funds. It will house Truck 4 and Engine 4.

The current Station 4 on Southwest Jefferson is the oldest in the city and the building’s future is unclear.

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