Archive for September 9th, 2022

New engine for Lake Zurich (more)

This from Tyler Tobolt:

Lake Zurich FD – Squad 321 – 2022 Pierce Saber 1500/750; #FireTruck; #TylerTobolt; #Pierce; #Saber; #LakeZurichFD;

Northern Midwest Fire Photos

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from

Some ambulance providers feel their vehicles need critical improvements, but a national shortage is putting up a roadblock. 

The Champaign County Fire Chiefs Association (CCFCA) reached out to state leaders for help. In a letter to Sen. Tammy Duckworth, they said their equipment needs microchips to function and are concerned about the lack of them available for emergency vehicles. In the letter they asked for leaders to put pressure on microchip manufacturers to create a better priority for emergency vehicles. 

Many Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) vehicles have 150,000 – 250,000 miles on them. Many Arrow Ambulance units are approaching 300,000 miles. 

The problem will only get worse if they can’t receive new parts or new vehicles soon. The microchip shortage is of course affecting more than just ambulances. 

thanks Martin

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 74

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about the History of the Evanston Fire Department


In January 1976, MICU Co. 1 (AKA “Ambulance 1”) was placed into service at Evanston Fire Station # 1, staffed by a three-man crew — including two paramedics — each shift. The seven firefighters who had been cross-trained as paramedics at St. Francis Hospital during 1975 — Roger Bush, Dave Cleland, Jim Dillon, Randy Drott, Jerry McDermott, Jim McLaughlin, and Dave Pettinger — were the first Evanston firefighters assigned to Ambulance 1. ALS gear was donated by the Washington National Insurance Company, one of Evanston’s largest employers at the time. The first Ambulance 1 (fleet # 310) was a 1975 Dodge Type II van ambulance. 

The Evanston Police Department continued to maintain its three stretcher & first-aid equipped station-wagon patrol ambulances through 1976, backed-up by the EFD’s two 1970 Dodge stretcher & first-aid equipped station-wagon staff cars that were replaced by Dodge sedans and Honda compact cars in 1977. Whenever possible, a police department station wagon patrol-ambulance or a fire department station-wagon auxiliary-ambulance was dispatched to relieve Ambulance 1 at the scene of any EMS incident where paramedics and the MICU were not needed.

During 1976, five more Evanston firefighters — Joe Hayes, Dave Lopina, Art Miller, Jim Potts, and Bob Wagner — were trained and certified as paramedics, so that by the end of the year, the EFD had a total of twelve certified paramedics. A second MICU — a 1976 Chevrolet Type I modular ambulance with a “box” attached to the chassis (fleet # 314) — was purchased at a cost of $35,000 and was placed in service at Fire Station # 1 in January 1977.

In November 1976, Ambulance 1 was nearly demolished and three firefighters — Jim McLaughlin, Jerry McDermott, and Phil Burns — and a nurse from St. Francis Hospital were injured, when the ambulance in which they were riding en route to a medical emergency on Dewey Avenue was struck broadside by a drunk driver at Church & Ridge, the exact same spot as the crash involving Truck Co. 2 almost exactly 50 years earlier!.

With Ambulance 1 out of service and the second MICU not scheduled to arrive until after the first of the year, the EFD borrowed an old Cadillac ambulance from the Skokie F. D. to run temporarily as Ambulance 1. This 1968 Cadillac ambulance was eventually purchased by Evanston from Skokie and was retained by the EFD even after Ambulance 1 was repaired, becoming the first Ambulance 3.

The new MICU arrived in January 1977 and was designated Ambulance 2. Capt. Bill Best, and firefighters Mike Adam, Miriam Boyle, Ken Dohm, Bob Hayden, Ben Jaremus, Don Kunita, Ernesto Martinez, Mike Whalen, and Don Williams were trained and certified as paramedics during 1977, as the EFD expanded to a force of 114. Capt. Best was the first captain certified as a paramedic.

With its three-man crew, Ambulance 1 had responded to EMS calls in Station # 1’s first-due area by itself without a support engine throughout 1976, but with staffing on the two front-line ambulances cut-back to two in 1977, an engine company was now assigned to all EMS calls as a first-responder and/or manpower company. 

After Ambulance 2 arrived and was placed in service, it was assigned first-due to all EMS calls city-wide, and  because it was not an MICU, the ex-Skokie F. D. Cadillac ambulance responded first-due to fire calls, and to EMS calls only if Ambulance 2 was not available. Even after Ambulance 1 was repaired and returned to  service at Station # 1 in the second quarter of 1977, Ambulance 2 continued to respond first-due to EMS calls, and Ambulance 1 responded first-due to fire calls.

Prior to 1980, EFD paramedics assigned to ambulances routinely worked without any restriction as firefighters at a fire, sometimes assisting a truck company ventilating the roof, or pulling a line and attacking the fire. It was only later that the ambulance crew was prohibited from engaging in fire suppression or assisting with ventilation, although they could assist an engine company hooking up to a hydrant, as long as they were available to provide EMS immediately when needed.

Chief George Beattie retired in January 1976 after 29 years of service, 28-year veteran Assistant Chief Ed Pettinger retired a month later, and Capt. Richard Schumacher and Capt. John Becker were promoted to  assistant chief (platoon commander). Meanwhile, 35-year EFD veteran Assistant Chief Willard Thiel — the EFD’s training officer since 1958 — was appointed acting chief by City Manager Ed Martin while the city manager and city council began a nation-wide search for a new fire chief. Chief Thiel was chosen to be acting chief only because he said he had no interest in becoming chief, and that he would retire as soon as a new chief was named.

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