Archive for category Fire Service News

Palatine Fire Department Memorial Ceremony

#chicagoareafire.com; #PalatineFD; #memorial; #BenFranklinfire;

Palatine Firefighters s Memorial Ceremony

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Fire Museum of Greater Chicago Open House

This from Steve Redick:

The Fire Museum of Greater Chicago will be having it’s monthly open house this coming Saturday 1000-1400.

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Oak Brook Fire Department news

This from Martin Nowak:

Today is the wake for FF/PM Tommy Sinclair from Oak Brook Fire Department. He previously served with Robert’s Park. 

The wake is across the street from Station 2. They will have the light tower set up in an area for over flow cars to park. 
 
I had the opportunity to meet Tommy during my ride time years back. He was outstanding, made me feel welcomed and even taught me new things. God bless and rest easy Tommy. 
#chicagoareafire.com; #wake; #TommySinclair; #MartinNowak; #OakBrookFD; #firestation; #RobertsParkFPD;

Martin Nowak photo

#chicagoareafire.com; #wake; #TommySinclair; #MartinNowak; #OakBrookFD; #Seagrave; #FireTruck; #RobertsParkFPD;

Martin Nowak photo

#chicagoareafire.com; #wake; #TommySinclair; #MartinNowak; #OakBrookFD;

Martin Nowak photo

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Romeoville Fire Academy news

Excerpts from shawlocal.com:

The Romeoville Fire Academy has received $100,000 from Endeavor Health, which it will use to provide tuition assistance to students from underserved communities.

The money is part of Endeavor’s Community Investment Fund and was awarded to support workforce development aimed at recruiting, training, and launching firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician careers with a focus on young adults from diverse communities.

Romeoville’s Fire Academy is one of the largest training programs in the state and was one of 43 organizations chosen throughout northern Illinois by Endeavor to receive funds to support programs for behavior health, violence prevention, housing and food insecurity, and access to care, and workforce development.

They sought the funding because the academy had begun seeing a trend where students of different ethnic groups wanted to join up but would become defeated when they heard the cost during recruiting sessions. The issue is troubling since there is a nationwide shortage of firefighters and EMTs, including in Illinois.

This grant funding will allow for between 10 and 12 students from underserved communities to complete fire academy and EMT schooling and gain access to job placement. The academy has assembled a committee that is currently developing a program to allocate the grant funding to students.

Endeavor Health is Illinois’ third-largest health system, and third-largest medical group. It launched its Community Investment Fund in 2022 and has reportedly impacted more than 211,000 individuals with the services it has helped support and expand.

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from wsiu.org:

Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale learn through experiential programs, and Badd Axe Ladies, a special job shadowing opportunity, is another example of that.

The SIU Public Health program and the Carbondale Fire Department are partnering to offer this program in March to SIU female students from any major. Participants will gain valuable experience, add to their resumes, learn about public service and enjoy some team building time. Their experience will include time in the fire station and doing ride-alongs on fire calls March 15 and 21 and will wrap up with hands-on fire drills, doing a live training exercise in full firefighting gear March 23-24.

The program’s inaugural year at SIU was 2023, and about a half-dozen women participated. This year, Jenna Jaimeson, SIU Public Health Undergraduate Program director and instructor, said she anticipates about 10 university students of various majors will participate.

“The goal is to help the Carbondale fire department and show young women that they have a place in traditionally male-dominated fields,” Jamieson said. “It’s also a valuable experience for our public health students as they will be working with first responders in their future careers, and it gives them the opportunity to better understand the roles of some of those first responders.”

The program actually began a few years ago when Jamieson was employed at Carbondale Community High School, and it is currently also open to young women ages 16 and older from Carbondale and Murphysboro high schools and John A. Logan Community College.

Those who are interested in applying can contact Jamieson at SIU by email at jamieson@siu.edu or find out more on the Carbondale Fire Department Badd Axe Ladies webpage or the Badd Axe Ladies Facebook page. Applications are due Feb. 15.

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Of interest … fire engine donated to Ukraine

Excerpts from wrex.com:

#chicagoareafire.com; #FireTruck; #Ukraine; 3SterlingFD; #donated;While foreign aid remains in Washington D.C. gridlock, one local partnership continues to ship assistance across the world.

It started with a March 2022 question from Chris Manson’s daughter: How can we help those in Ukraine. Nearly two years later, Manson – alongside US Ambulances for Ukraine, OSF HealthCare and numerous local communities and departments – is preparing for his tenth shipment to the war-afflicted nation.

Manson, working through US Ambulances for Ukraine, relies on donations of emergency vehicles and supplies. After securing those, the OSF HealthCare Vice President of Government Relations finds ready partners in those such as the Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago.

“My goal was 1, so you know. And then it was 20,” says Manson – reflecting on the beginning. “And then it was, I went, I was back in Ukraine. One point they were like hey, get 50 ambulances. So we’re over that now.”

Each vehicles requires nearly $9,000 to fly or ship across the sea. Similarly, the latest shipment – set to leave in early February – costs around $100,000 for several ambulances and a wheelchair accessible bus.

Funds originate not only from OSF HealthCare but other charitable partners and organizations like the Chicago Consulate.

Moreover, a recent donation from the Sterling Fire Department continues to assist Ukrainians. First delivered in April 2023, Sterling’s fire engine remains busy amidst the conflict.

“That Sterling fire engine that we donated, its operating with a bunch of volunteer firefighters in Odessa,” says Manson. “That fire engine runs three four fire calls a day. That fire engine it has it has gone to three or four drone or missile strikes in a day. It is oftentimes the first fire engine on a missile strike or a drone strike.”

“If there’s a need that still exists, if there’s people in our states that are willing to donate vehicles, if there’s vehicles that are still here that are usable, that can be, you know, in service in Ukraine and be of help,” says Manson. “I can help in some way to make that happen, then I guess… that’s the goal – is to keep on to keep on helping out as long as I can.”

Manson says individual support and information can be found by visiting ua-resistance.org.

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from cbsnews.com:

#chicagoareafire.com; #ChicagoFD; #fire; #Flames;

photo from cbsnews.com

Three people were injured after escaping an apartment fire in Old Town overnight. 

Just before midnight, flames were visible from the fourth floor of the building near Wells Street and North Avenue in Chicago. 

A man and woman were taken to Northwestern Hospital in fair condition for smoke inhalation. Another man was taken to the same hospital in good condition with a possible ankle injury. 

A fourth floor resident who escaped the fire said he heard something so loud, he thought it was a gunshot. 

An investigation is underway. 

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from wgntv.com:

Some of the top authorities on firefighting and emergency care in the U.S. appeared in Chicago on Tuesday.

With more than 150 people already killed in fires in the U.S. this year — a rate on track to top 2023 fire deaths in the country — fire prevention safety measures were a big focus in a wide-ranging press conference at a firehouse in North Lawndale on the city’s Southwest Side  because it’s one of the busiest in the city.

Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt joined Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials and U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrrell on the Chicago leg of a three-city tour to promote FEMA’s #WinterReady Campaign.

Tuesday’s campaign stop was held at the firehouse .

They also called for better building standards and enforcement of existing fired codes, citing stats on deadly fires nationwide like the following:

  • 1.2 million structure fires were reported in 2023.
  • 2,300 people were killed in fires in 2023.
  • So far in 2024, 162 people have died in fires, 25 of them children under age 5.
  • So far this year, Chicago has only had one fire-related death. But last year that number was 30, the highest total in recent history.

Just over the Indiana border earlier this week, five children died in a fire in South Bend. Officials say that fires today are burning faster than ever before, giving people less time to escape.

“This is partially because of the synthetic materials used in our furnishings and interior and interior finishes today,” explained Steve Kerber, vice president and executive director of the Fire Safety Research Institute. “It’s possible that a fire starting in a bedroom or a living room with a small flame can lead to a full room of fire in less than three minutes.

“And the heat and smoke generated by that fire are going to spread to the adjacent room and hallways of the room that’s on fire, making those rooms unsurvivable very quickly.”

The #WinterReady Campaign moves from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, for its next stop. Additionally, FEMA has a virtual #WinterReady Extreme Cold Summit scheduled for Friday at 12:30 p.m.

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from bbc.com:

Much of the US relies heavily on non-career firefighters, but their ranks are dwindling. If the problem doesn’t abate, there’s a lot at stake.

During Covid-19, I – like many others – found myself wondering what I could do to help. After passing by a local fire station many times, I checked out the department’s website and found that they needed volunteers. 

I knew volunteer fire departments existed, but I didn’t think my town, an 8,500-person suburb of New York City – Hastings-on-Hudson, 20 miles (32km) from Midtown Manhattan – had one. I was also surprised to learn that even in the largest metropolitan area in the US, a large percentage of the population doesn’t have full-time fire departments.

Instead, volunteer firefighters do the work that paid, professional – “career” – firefighters do. They are essential to their US communities. Yet many of these volunteer departments, especially across rural and suburban areas, are struggling.

They often have a shortage of people willing to do the job. Even when new recruits join, many simply can’t commit to being on-call or at a firehouse as they juggle careers and family dynamics. And those who do stay are often older men who are close to aging out; at 38, I am  one of the younger members at my firehouse

Of the more than one-million firefighters in the US, 65% of them are volunteers, according to data from the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). Of the more than 29,000 fire departments across the country, almost 19,000 of them are run completely by volunteers.

Internationally, that’s not entirely unusual. In many European countries, the fire service is composed mostly of volunteers – a list that includes Austria, Germany and Portugal. Australia also relies heavily on volunteer firefighters, as do parts of the UK. But the US’s reliance is particularly significant, due to the country’s larger geographic footprint and population.

About 85% of the US population is covered by career departments, which means most households live in areas serviced by full-time fire departments. Yet that still leaves 15% of the country in the hands of volunteers.

In Kansas, volunteers probably protect 85% of the state, which is similar to other largely rural states. In Iowa, the figure is 92%. In Minnesota, paid-on-call or volunteer firefighters comprise 97.5% of the state’s firefighting force.

These are the areas most likely to struggle to find volunteers, as there’s a smaller population to draw from; and some volunteers, especially younger ones, may move away.

The number of volunteer firefighters in the US numbered nearly 898,000 in 1984, but only around 677,000 in 2020, according to the NVFC data. During that time, the number of calls to those departments has more than tripled, from less than 12 million nationwide in 1986, to more than 36.6 million in 2021.

The severity of the issue varies from city to city and state to state. In New York, it is glaring. Since the late 1990s, there has been a 32% decrease in the amount of volunteering while the amount of calls has gone up 29%.

Several factors are in the affect volunteers including the state of the economy where you need to have one or two jobs and childcare to be able to volunteer. In years past, many volunteers – often men – were able to come home from their jobs, put in the hours and go on calls on evenings and weekends while depending on their spouses for care. Even today, only 11% of volunteer firefighters and 5% of career firefighters in the US are women

By definition, firefighting is also dangerous – a problem that’s always looming. There are health effects to consider – both mental and physical. It can be emotionally draining, too, especially for volunteers who end up on particularly grisly calls and have trouble processing what they’ve seen. Firefighters exposed to various hazardous substances also increase their risks of developing cancer or other diseases, which is a concern for potential recruits.

The USFA has been identifying ways to help volunteer departments fill their classes and keep those recruits. In 2022 and 2023, the USFA held summits, bringing together numerous leaders in the fire service to try and “get a sense of the scope and the scale”. 

Potential solutions, some of which are included in the USFA’s recently published recruitment and retention manual,  include apprenticeship programs for the fire service, which could help young people see it as a viable career path. Mentorship programs are another retention strategy, as is family support.

The US federal government also offers financial incentives in the form of grants to many departments, many are available through Fema, including Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (Safer) grants. 

One way to fix the staffing situation would be to replace volunteer departments with career departments. However, the financial burden would likely fall on community members with tax increases.

thanks Martin

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Fire Service news – Electric vehicles in the UK

#chicagoareafire.com; #EV; #ambulance; #London; #Ford;

London Ambulance Service/NHS

Excerpts from electrek.com:

London’s ambulance service already has 42 Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles in its emergency fleet, but now it’s adding 12 all-electric ambulances designed by Ford for emissions-free response – and the first full-service electric ambulances in the city. London is pouring some $39 million into “greening up” its emergency vehicles.

To make the all-electric ambulances, Ford collaborated with specialist converter WAS to come up with creative solutions to meet a few specific needs for London. For one, the ambulance “can sustain a 12-hour shift,” can power essential functions like heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and auxiliary supplies, according to the UK’s National Health Service. Plus it comes with a few neat features, like the ability to scan the vehicle to make sure it’s fully stocked and ready to go after a patient has been treated.

Daniel Elkeles, chief executive of the London Ambulance Service, called these vehicles a “game changer for ambulance designs across the world.” 

“We’ve had electric patient transport vehicles and support vehicles, but until now, we haven’t had an electric ambulance responding to life-threatening emergencies in London,” he said. “Not only will these ambulances help us deliver outstanding care to our patients, they are critical to our efforts to cut our environmental impact and play our part improving London’s air quality.”

The vehicles come equipped a powered trolley bed system, a powered carry chair, and an integrated scanning system that checks and updates the ambulance’s inventory after each patient.

The first four ambulances have been delivered as part of the initial batch of 12, arriving in a few months, part of a larger order piloted by NHS England’s Net Zero Travel and Transport team. Collaborating with the London Ambulance Service and four other ambulance trusts, this initiative aims to gather real-life data to guide the future deployment of zero-emission emergency ambulances.

London has the largest emergency fleet of EVs in the UK, with 42 electric fast-response cars (the aforementioned Ford Mach-Es) and three electric motorcycles. In total, the fleet has 160 zero-emission vehicles. Ambulance stations, too, come equipped with 56 charging stations to keep their vehicles juiced and ready to roll. 

The UK government aims to allow only zero-emission cars and vans from 2030, with the NHS responsible for 4% of UK greenhouse gas emissions every year.

New York tech and mobile healthcare company DocGo also has a zero-emission ambulance, reportedly based on the Ford E-Transit, with 100 vehicles in New York City, but it also operates in cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Nashville, as well as in Canada and the UK. 

thanks Martin

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