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Springfield Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from

Brandon Blough has been appointed as the new Springfield fire chief. Three candidates from within the department were interviewed for the position

Blough was a member of the senior command staff, serving as deputy division chief of operations. He was promoted to the position in 2018. Prior to that he was a captain, driver engineer, and firefighter. He was also a member of the dive team. He currently sits on the board of directors of the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association, a group that represents the more than 600 police and fire pension funds in Illinois. He served on the Springfield Firefighters’ Pension Board from 2009 to 2018, first as a trustee and later president. Prior to joining the SFD, Blough was a legal sergeant with the Illinois Army National Guard from 1989 to 1995.

The city’s fire pension systems is currently about 42% funded. Nearly $270 million in additional funds will be needed above what the city is expected to collect in property tax revenue in order to meet the state law requiring that local pension systems be 90 percent funded by 2040, according to a city presentation from 2019. The city’s annual contribution to its fire and police pension systems has exceeded the property tax levy for the past several years.

Blough will be tasked with maintaining the department’s Class 1 rating, which it regained in 2018 after being downgraded in 2003. The ratings system looks at a city’s fire suppression capabilities by grading the fire department, the emergency communications system, the city’s water supply and efforts toward community risk reduction.

His annual salary as chief will be $137,000.

Blough’s father, William “Billy” Blough, was on the fire department from 1972 to 1999. He retired as a driver-engineer.

Fire Marshal Ed Canny, a 23-year department veteran who is also the chief of the department’s fire safety division, will continue to be the point person for the COVID-19 response. 

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New Engine for Prospect Heights (more)

Updated production photos of the new engine for Prospect Heights

Spartan MetroStar cab on new fire engine

Alexis Fire photo

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New tanker for Northwest Homer Fire Protection District (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

Freightliner 114SD chassis for the Northwest Homer FPD tender

fire engine being built

Rosenbauer photo

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Highland Park Fire Department history (more)

More from Larry Shapiro about the Highland Park Fire Department history of their truck company

Sutphen mid-mount aerial ladder truck

Larry Shapiro photo

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New engines for the Newport Township FPD

Newport Township FPD Engine 1421

Newport Township FPD photo

From the Newport Township Fire Protection District Facebook page over the past few months:

Our second engine arrived today!! Newport 1422 will be up and running soon!!

Tonight was the maiden voyage of our new engine 1421. The second one comes tomorrow.

Our new engine has arrived!!! The second will be here soon

Newport Fire Department’s new Custom Fab & Body pumper tender
It has a 1500 gallon tank & pump.
We are looking forward to having it delivered soon.
Our second one is about 80% done

Our New Engine is coming along. Hope to have one by the end of August and the second one in September/October

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New Engine for Prospect Heights (more)

Updated production photos of the new engine for Prospect Heights

stainless steel fire engine being built

Alexis Fire photo

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Working fire in Chicago, 11-22-20 (more)

More by Tim Olk from the Working fire in Chicago, 11-22-20:

Chicago Fire Department working fire 5726 S Sangamon with 2 rescues

Chicago Firefighters at fire scene

Tim Olk photo

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2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 11-19-20 (more)

Additional photos from the 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 11-19-20

2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago

Jeff Rudolph photo

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Does Chicago have a shortage of ambulances? (more)

Excerpts from

On Tuesday night, a whistleblower exposed that a critical shortage of city ambulances has been made worse with the COVID-19 pandemic. Eighty ambulances serve Chicago every day. The paramedics often go from one violent crime scene to another.

“Our ambulances are out there,” said Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 spokesman Pat Quane. “They’re running nonstop, 24/7.”

“They’re doing trauma care – that’s battlefield care,” said Chicago Fire Department Paramedic Field Chief Pat Fitzmaurice. He said the department still does not have enough ambulances. 

For years investigations found chronic concerns with ambulance response times, which he said is a result of the ambulance shortage. One analysis of 700,000 medical 911 calls found in 19 percent of them, it took an ambulance more than seven minutes to get to the scene. Illinois Department of Public Health records show the Chicago Fire Department has committed to a response time goal of six minutes.

Five new ambulances arrived in August 2018 – more than a year Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “We know that we need more ambulances, and it’s my expectation, when we finalize the new fire contract, there will be more on ambulances coming online.”

The mayor made that comment in December of last year. But the number of new ambulances included in the firefighters’ new contract turned out to be zero.

In a statement, the fire department said they continue to ensure the ambulance fleet meets the needs of residents – which is why the placement of the most recently-added five ambulances was carefully chosen.

thanks Asher


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New engine for West Chicago FPD (more)

Updated production photos of the new engine for West Chicago FPD

Ferrara fire engine being built

Ferrara Fire Apparatus photo

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