Archive for category Fire Service News

Ward LaFrance fire truck history

Beautiful historic photos of the Ward LaFrance factory; #WardLaFrance; #history; #FireTruck; #factory;; #WardLaFrance; #history; #FireTruck; #factory;

Tags: , , , ,

Fire Service News

Excerpts from

The roles and responsibilities of firefighters have changed significantly over the past few decades. Firefighters must perform structure firefighting, search, rescue, mitigation of hazardous materials, and disaster response. Also, increased calls for firefighters to respond to potentially violent emergencies, such as active shooters these conditions demand better physical protection.

No other item is more classically associated with firefighters than their helmets. It not only provides a sense of security but also a sense of confidence when worn. Although designed to protect firefighters’ heads from thermal and low-velocity direct impact, helmets often contribute to additional exertion and sprain-related head and neck injuries because of their bulk and weight.

Firefighters need effective, affordable equipment they can rely on to support their increasingly demanding jobs.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Texas Tech University (TTU) researchers are jointly developing a protective and lightweight NextGen firefighter helmet to protect firefighters that will provide firefighter both fire and ballistic protection and mitigate the risk of blunt head trauma.

It provides adequate functional mobility and postural stability, reducing the risk of injury to the cervical spine and neck muscle fatigue. It also supports accessories that expand the firefighter’s capabilities.

A modern firefighter helmet will be integrated with several safety features such as thermal protection, communication devices, face shields, visors, thermal imaging, breathing apparatus masks, and lighting. At the same time, make it lighter so that the helmet’s center of gravity does not change.

The new device will use alternative materials and advanced ergonomic design solutions to eliminate traditional helmet systems dangers. The NextGen firefighter helmet will have a shell that can absorb energy on impact and dissipate it rapidly without damaging the skull or brain.

Researchers are exploring Kevlar fiber material for NextGen firefighter helmets because of its melting point of 1040°F (560°C), which has proven highly effective in ballistic helmets and body armor. Kevlar fiber can reinforce thermosetting resins, creating a shell that meets ballistic and thermal protection standards.

The helmet combines principles and practices from four key areas- reverse engineering, materials design, injury biomechanics, and human factors engineering.

The prototypes of the firefighter helmet will be tested with state-of-the-art equipment such as the Delsys Trigno wireless electromyography systems, 10-camera Eagle optical digital motion capture systems, and Pupil Core-eye trackers.

This equipment combines Abaqus finite-element modeling software to develop human head and neck models, HyperMesh to process helmet imaging data, and OpenSim musculoskeletal modeling software to develop head and neck biomechanical models to build a digital helmet prototype.

The NextGen firefighter helmet is expected to meet various protection standards and key performance parameters, such as the NFPA 1951:2013 protective standard for technical rescue incidents and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration 1910.156 fire brigade standard.

Weighing in at 62 oz (1.75 kg) for the large and 57 oz (1.62 kg) for the medium, this firefighter helmet is comfortable, adjustable, has a maximum range of motion, no snag points, and is easy to don and off.

Once the prototype is ready in mid-2023, an operational field evaluation will be conducted in coordination with S&T‘s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory. The main goal of the researchers is to commercialize this helmet.

After the commercialization of the NextGen firefighter helmet, it will not only increase the firefighter’s range of protection by providing injury-reducing helmets; It will promote new safety standards and improve the collective knowledge of material design.

Tags: , , ,

Illinois Fire Service news

Excerpts from the

Beginning in 2025, a fire suppressant containing so-called forever chemicals that never break down in the environment will be prohibited from manufacture, sale, and distribution in Illinois — and suburban fire departments are getting ready for the ban.

Two chemical products are at the center of the issue. Aqueous film forming foam is used at industrial facilities and airports, and by fire departments to extinguish flammable liquid fires such as fuel fires.

The foam contains PFAS, the acronym for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that are widely used in commercial and consumer products. Due to long-standing environmental and health concerns about PFAS, and thanks to the emergence of alternatives that don’t contain them, the foam is slowly being phased out.

Signed into law in 2021, the PFAS Reduction Act restricts the use of aqueous film forming foam, both in the field and for training and testing. After using PFAS-containing foam, departments must report to the state within 48 hours the time, date, location, and quantity of the release, the reason for the release, and the proposed containment, treatment and disposal steps needed to minimize contamination.

The substance will further be prohibited from manufacture, sale, and distribution as of Jan. 1, 2025.

While not a complete ban — the statute maintains that it will not “prevent or discourage a fire department from responding to and mitigating incidents where a fire, spill or leak of a known or suspected flammable liquid has occurred or is believed to be imminent” — the law significantly slows the use of aqueous film forming foam.

“There are limited opportunities to use PFAS foam after 2025,” said John Buckley, the legislative director for the Illinois Fire Chief’s Association. “Our goal in the legislation was to be able to provide alternatives and to give our members a sufficient amount of time … to phase out and find solutions.”

For many departments, funding is the overwhelming obstacle because replacing the foam is not cheap. It requires funding to buy new foam and to get rid of the old foam.

For departments facing financial challenges in phasing out their foam stock, the Illinois Fire Chief’s Association is working on legislation that would put about $1 million toward a statewide buyback program.  Though it would not assist departments in purchasing new foam, the program would help support the disposal of 27,000 gallons of AFFF, as estimated using survey data collected by the state fire marshal’s office under the PFAS Reduction Act.

The PFAS omnibus bill, which includes the buyback program among other PFAS-related initiatives, passed the Illinois House in March. With the legislative session scheduled to close this month, the bill has another week to pass the Senate.

With the passage of the 2021 law, Illinois joined a dozen other states including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota to enact a restriction on PFAS-containing Class B firefighting foam. As of 2023, a total of 24 states have banned training with AFFF or otherwise restricted its use.

Illinois’ law is unique because it also requires AFFF manufacturers to provide warnings to fire departments that “the product contains PFASs that may be hazardous to health or the environment; the use of the product is regulated and restricted under this act; and other Class B firefighting foam options may be available for purchase.”

Amid the implementation of the law, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul recently filed a lawsuit against multiple companies that manufacture the PFAS used in AFFF.

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages specific to the fire suppressing foam, and it alleges that in manufacturing, selling and marketing the chemicals, the companies benefit while knowingly contaminating Illinois’ environment and natural resources.

PFAS, which refers to over 5,000 human-made chemical compounds, have been the subject of growing environmental concerns due to their uniquely everlasting quality that earned them the nickname “forever chemicals.”

Launched for widespread commercial use in the 1950s, they are released into our soil, water and air through landfill leakage, sewage sludge and industrial waste. Along with firefighting foam, PFAS are also used in industrial and consumer products to make items nonstick and oil-, water- or stain-resistant. That includes things like nonstick pans, waterproof jackets and even shampoo and conditioner.

While fire departments have been working to address the issue of PFAS in foam for decades, the chemicals recently have been at the center of another concern for firefighters, as they are also used in personal protective gear as a water repellent.

thanks Martin

Tags: , , ,

Of interest … Carmel Fire Department (IN)

Excerpts from

When Ruby Brown turned 95, she celebrated by riding a motorcycle for the first time. When she turned 96, she finally went for a spin in a golf cart.

To celebrate her 100th birthday, Brown crossed the last – and biggest – item off her bucket list after going for a drive in a firetruck. It was an experience she’d been looking forward to for a long time.

“In the last four or five years, they’ll tell you that’s all I’ve talked about,” Brown said.

Brown, a Whiteland (IN) resident, and three family members – including a great-grandson who lives in Carmel – stopped by Carmel Fire Dept. Station 41 on May 16 for a quick tour of the city in CFD’s largest vehicle. Brown, whose 100th birthday is in October, was all smiles from the front passenger seat as the truck pulled out of the station.

“It was great. I enjoyed every minute of it,” she said after completing the ride.

It may have taken nearly 100 years for Brown to ride in a firetruck, but she’s no stranger to large vehicles. She used to live on a farm, where she drove combines and tractors and other large equipment. She also has experience as a bus driver and crossed the nation taking turns driving a semi-truck with her husband.

Tags: , , ,

Illinois Fire Service news

Excerpts from

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed a law providing full disability benefits to Chicago police officers and firefighters struck by COVID-19 before vaccines were available, presiding over an emotional statehouse ceremony which marked the end of a financial struggle for emergency workers including the brother of Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

The Act-of-Duty law, HB3162, ensures disability benefits of 75% of salary plus health insurance for anyone unable to work after contracting the coronavirus from March 9, 2020, when the flare-up intensified in Illinois, until June 30, 2021. The law grants them the presumption that they picked up the illness on the job.

Pritzker said after COVID-19?s arrival in early 2020, police, fire and medical personnel were both a line of defense and a lifeline.

Mendoza’s brother, 58-year-old police Det. Joaquin Mendoza, was a veteran officer who worked the midnight shift. With no spouse or children, work was his only focus. In November 2020, when the city canceled days off, he worked 17 straight days, woke up one morning with a cough and two days later was rushed to the hospital with COVID-19.

He moved in with his sister and her family and since then, he’s had five strokes and lost both kidneys, requiring thrice-weekly dialysis. But the Policeman’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago denied his claim for full disability because there was no proof that he contracted the virus on the job. The board also denied Officer Diana Cordova-Nestad.


Tags: , , ,

Illinois Fire Service news

Excerpts from

Volunteer firefighters could receive a $500 tax credit starting next year. The plan is gaining strong support following the deadly dust storm pileup on I-55 last week.

Democrats and Republicans are coming together to back the proposed tax break. The Illinois Firefighters Association said Monday this could be a new incentive to address the critical shortage of volunteer firefighters. Sponsors said it will also be a thank you for dedication and hard work. The plan would apply to volunteer firefighters who serve at least nine months and make less than $10,000 each year. 

Recent FEMA data show over 85% of fire departments across the state rely on volunteers and lawmakers say it would be catastrophic without them.

Sen. Neil Anderson serves as a professional firefighter in his district and stressed Senate Bill 2253 is the least lawmakers can do.

Sponsors said the tax credit would cost and estimated $10-$12 million annually. They hope it can be included in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget.

The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 19.

Tags: , , ,

Fatal multi-vehicle crash on I-55, 5-1-23

Excerpts from

The death from Monday’s pileups in rural Illinois rose to seven, as officials said vehicles were so mangled, with some in flames immediately after the pileups, that criminal investigative techniques have been deployed to identify some of the victims.

Thirty-seven other people, ages 2 to 80, were hospitalized with injuries from minor to life-threatening. All the dead were found in northbound lanes although there was also wreckage on the southbound side.

The collisions, reported just before 11 a.m. Monday, involved 72 vehicles in multiple pileups along a 2-mile stretch of Interstate 55 north of Farmersville, about 25 miles south of Springfield.. The first pileup was reported on the northbound side of the interstate, which runs through farm country. Topsoil and dust from nearby farms were blown across the roadway.

One crash victim was identified as 88-year-old Shirley Harper of Franklin, Wisconson. Others were expected to be identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in the coming days.

The National Weather Service on Monday forecast widespread blowing dust, with gusts of 34 mph possible, for the Farmersville area. Winds were out of the northwest.

The interstate reopened Tuesday morning after wreckage could be cleared and investigators could examine the scene.

Tags: , , ,

Metro North Emergency Support Services

Metro North Emergency Support Services

The Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. (M.N.E.S.S. Inc.) is organized as a non-profit corporation operating exclusively for charitable, civic purposes, within the meanings of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Because M.N.E.S.S. Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization, your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of I.R.S. tax codes. To claim a donation deduction on your U.S. taxes, we will send you upon successful completion of your donation, a thank you letter for your donation as proof.

Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. purpose is for the general welfare of all emergency personnel such as, fire departments (firefighters), Emergency Medical Services Agencies (paramedics/EMT’s), police departments (police officers/sheriffs and troopers), all federal, state, and local emergency governmental agencies, and all associated emergency services agencies, including utility workers, for their employees/members, at emergency incident locations, along with offering our services to civilian victims of fires and other emergencies. Our services are also provided at Official Line of Duty Deaths (L.O.D.D.) for sworn members of fire departments and police departments to provide non-emergency canteen-rehab services (food and drink services) at wakes and funerals services in the northern counties of Cook, Lake, and McHenry, in the State of Illinois. Also when requested by officials so to provide non-emergency or emergency canteen-rehab services (nourishment and rehydration) in other counties, cities, towns, villages, etc.

Our purpose and services are also available to all local fire, and police departments and other municipal agencies upon official request, to provide our food and drinks services at annual Memorial Remembrance Services for Line of Duty Deaths (L.O.D.D.) of sworn members for fire and police personnel, and their family members at memorial ceremonies. Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. currently maintains two canteen-rehab vehicles with a third currently being retrofitted into a canteen-rehab vehicle. We also provide a portable toilet trailer unit (port-a-potty) which are all stationed at municipal firehouses in the northern suburbs of Cook and Lake Counties in Illinois. Our volunteer members and vehicles respond to major fires and disaster emergency incidents including, police incident scenes throughout the northern suburbs of Illinois. The organization’s vehicles are equipped with serving windows and food preparation equipment, which enables us to serve hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, etc., including cold bottled water, fruit drinks, iced tea, lemonade, and Gatorade style drinks, etc., plus individually wrapped donuts and pastries, along with other snacks foods and fresh fruit such as cookies, granola bars, potato chips, pretzels, nuts, beef jerky, grapes, apples, bananas, etc. beside other such food items at long-running emergency incidents such as, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, pizza slices, taco’s, soup, etc. to local Firefighters, Paramedic’s/EMT’s, Police Officers, Sheriffs Deputies, State Troopers, ATF Agents, FBI Agents, etc., and all Federal, State, and Local Emergency Governmental Agencies, and all associated Emergency Services Agencies, for their employees/members, at emergency fire and police incident scenes.

Our heated and well-maintained portable (port-a-potty) trailer unit is also used at these long-running emergency incident scenes for all emergency first responder’s private use. Now-a-days, since everyone has a cell phone camera, and with firefighters and police officers, etc., having their departments/agency’s names along with their last name printed on the back of their turnout gear (fire coats and jackets, etc.), firefighters, and police officers, etc., have to find a private area or public washroom, not far from their assigned location, such a dimly-lit area to relieve themselves at long running emergency scenes (especially females), without fear of having their photo taken in the middle of relieving themselves, and placed on social media for their embarrassment! With our portable toilet trailer unit (port-a-potty) that embarrassing problem has been alleviated!

The canteen-rehab vehicles are staffed entirely by dedicated volunteers on call and are available to respond twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week from their home or workplace, etc. Members automatically respond to these major extra alarm fires, hazardous material incidents, floods, water rescue/dive incidents, plane crashes, train derailments, missing person ground searches, and building collapse. Also for long-running incidents as requested by local Officials to Special calls for other emergency incidents including, police S.W.A.T. incidents for hostage, barricade and standoffs incidents, police officer shot, active shooter, and long-running crime investigations, etc.

The M.N.E.S.S. Inc. organization is supported entirely by donations from the local fire and police departments we serve in Northern Cook and Lake, Counties. We also accept donations from the general public and local businesses in appreciation of our services to the local community for supporting their local firefighters and police officers. As an approved Internal Revenue Service 501(C)(3) charity organization, all donations of any services that you or your company consider donating to us, along with any monetary or gift cards, are tax deductible under statutes of the Internal Revenue Service code. Please contact us at the email address listed at the bottom of this webpage if you are interested in making a donation to our organization or for more information about us.

Organization expenses include maintenance of our vehicles, insurance, and fuel, along with such items as, any bank charges, postal services fees, annual filing fees, photocopying, computer and printer equipment, equipment supplies, stationary supplies, equipment parts and supplies, food and drink purchasing for restocking vehicles, and for the general operating expenses of the corporation, with its day-to-day operations.

The Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. (M.N.E.S.S. Inc.) replaced the former volunteer charitable organization, Metropolitan Emergency Support Services Inc., which shut down for the worldwide pandemic and never restarted its operations. Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. (M.N.E.S.S. Inc.) now with an all-new management staff and Board of Directors, made up of volunteer members who have been in the Emergency Canteen-Rehab Service for well over forty years, and have the experience to restructure the much requested service from the local municipal departments/agencies once again.

Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. has NO affiliation with any other organization or corporation. Persons twenty years of age and older, interested in the fire service, are encouraged to download an “Application To Become A Volunteer” with our organization from the APPLICATION page of our website.

* * Attention Fire Fans & Fire Buffs * *

The Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. is an all volunteer 501(C)(3) civic charitable organization. We are in the process of launching an all new Emergency Rehab-Canteen Service sanctioned by the local government agencies in the northern suburbs of Cook and Lake Counties, to provide hydration and nutrition (food and drinks) services at emergency and non-emergency incident scene locations, for all area Emergency First Responders, such as, Firefighters, EMS, Police Officers, Sheriffs, Troopers, all Federal, State, and Local Emergency Governmental Agencies and all associated Emergency Services Agencies, for their employees/members, at emergency incident locations, along with offering services to civilian victims of fires and emergencies.
We are accepting applications for drivers and helpers to respond to theseemergency incidents 24/7. We are especially seeking retired or employed drivers and helpers that work nights that would be available for daytime responses!

Formerly known as, Metropolitan Emergency Support Services Inc. (M.E.S.S.) Metro North Emergency Support Services Inc. (M.N.E.S.S.) has NO affilation with the dissolved M.E.S.S. corporation!


thanks Peter

Tags: , , ,

Fire Service News

Excerpts from

The Sun Prairie Fire Department (WI) hosted a demonstration of the first fully electric firetruck in North America.

First launched in 2021 by the REV Fire Group, the REV Vector is able to respond to calls and pump for four hours straight on a single battery charge. The company said in addition to being energy efficient, it also eliminates exhaust and cancer-causing risks for firefighters.

Sun Prairie Fire Chief Christopher Garrison said while he was skeptical at first, he was impressed with the new technology.

”I’m really surprised, to be honest with you,” Garrison said. “I got to drive it last night and I got a good piece of it and I’ve got to be honest with you, it drives like a dream. I’m waiting to see it pump. Firefighters don’t like change, but if we don’t start moving toward the change in the direction, we don’t want to miss the boat.”

Firefighters had a chance to test out the pump, which is much quieter than those on a standard pumper. 

Tags: , ,

Illinois Fire Service news

Excerpts from

A measure in the state’s capital would change the rules for ambulances and other emergency vehicles and the use of sirens.

Senate Bill 1251, offered by state Sen. Adriane Johnson, would require motor vehicle laws and regulations to be met when the ambulance or rescue vehicle speed exceeds 25 miles per hour. The current law sets that speed at 40 miles per hour. The bill also calls for the siren to be on when any pedestrian is present.

The bill is named after Donald (DJ) Stallworth III, who was struck by an ambulance without its sirens while riding his motorcycle.

State Rep. Rita Mayfield said the old way of doing things in Illinois has not worked and that it is time for a change.

The measure passed through the Senate last month and now awaits further action from the House.

thanks Martin

Tags: , , ,