Archive for December 9th, 2022

Firefighters help children battling severe illnesses (more)

Excerpts from

Crews from dozens of departments across the suburbs came as part of the Lights and Ladders Brigade with Project Fire Buddies helping out, to decorate the Lockport home of Vinnie Gincauskas, a 15-year-old boy battling a rare cancer. The volunteers put on some holiday music, took to their assigned tasks, and got started.

In March, the Lockport Township High School student was diagnosed with DSRCT, or desmoplastic small round cell tumors. The tumors are a soft tissue sarcoma, which is a type of cancer that forms in the connective tissue of the body. He recently underwent surgery to have nearly 100 tumors removed from his abdominal cavity. A previous surgery removed more tumors and a lymph node from his chest.

Vinny has been taken under the wing of nonprofit Project Fire Buddies, a volunteer-led effort by local fire departments to show support for children battling critical illness. Started in Oak Forest in 2016, the group’s momentum continues to grow, expanding now to 30 different departments including south suburban Oak Lawn, Palos, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Midlothian, Homewood, Lockport, Lemont, New Lenox, Evergreen Park, Frankfort, and Country Club Hills.

Vinnie was touched at the show of support for his family.

“Thank you so much, it means a lot for you to do this for me and my family,” he said he’d tell the volunteers.

The Gincauskas’ house was the second stop in a five-house route for the Brigade on Wednesday. The group this year was able to decorate 13 homes. Fire departments represented included Oak Lawn, Chicago, Posen, Flossmor, Country Club Hills, Lockport, Orland Park, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Tinley Park, Aurora, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Manhattan, New Lenox, Frankfort, and McHenry Township.

Project Fire Buddies this year fell in step with the Brigade, an effort under the umbrella of the Finley Forever Foundation. The Brigade works as a combined unit of several organizations—The Tom Hopkins Foundation, Christmas without Cancer and Finley Forever—which come together to raise money and bring cheer to families battling cancer during the holiday season by decorating the families’ homes. The effort is entirely funded by donations collected throughout the year. In total, organizers purchased nearly $15,000 in decorations this year—all of which the recipient families will be able to keep.

A few images of their work:; #ProjectFireBuddies;

house decorated by Firefighters with Project Fire Buddies; #ProjectFireBuddies;

house decorated by Firefighters with Project Fire Buddies


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Highland Park FD news

From a rollover crash 11/17/22 somewhere in Highland Park; #crash; #rollover; #HighlandParkFD;

Max Weingardt photo

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