Posts Tagged Dixmoor Fire Department

Full Still Alarm fire in Harvey, 3-30-14

This from Eric Haak:

Just three quick shots from Harvey’s full still Sunday afternoon.  I did not arrive in time to get much but with the nice sunlight and blue skies, I thought I would send in a couple of rig shots.  Harvey’s first-in engine was the ex-Dixmoor Engine 33.  Fire was in the rear porches and gave off an impressive header.  Companies did a great job of keeping it out of the attic and keeping it from extending into the rest of the structure which was an occupied residence.

E-ONE Typhoon fire engine at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

firemen with hose at house fire scene

Eric Haak photo

E-ONE Typhoon fire engine at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Piece Velocity tower ladder

Eric Haak photo

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Dixmoor shuts down their fire department (more)

More from Dennis McGuire, Jr. who visited the Dixmoor Fire Department on December 1, 2013 when the department was formally shut down. He submitted a few images from that morning along with a video clip. Dennis also provided a historic overview of their most recent and past apparatus which will follow tomorrow.

Dixmoor Fire Department closes

Past and present members one last time. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Taking down old glory. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Running board with all companies out of service. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

The fire department after being shut down. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Closed for business. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Previous posts about this closing can be found HEREHEREHERE, and HERE.

The final video … 20131201_Dixmoor

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Dixmoor shuts down their fire department

The Dixmoor Fire Department was closed down this morning. Previous articles discussed the decision and correspondence.

Dennis McGuire, Jr. was there this morning as the final announcement was made over the speaker, the tanks were drained, and the door was locked. We expect to have images and audio from Dennis tomorrow. has the touching, final salute from MABAS Division 22:

thanks Chris

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Dixmoor to shutdown fire department (more)

The letter informing of the dissolution of the Dixmoor Fire Department

Dixmoor to decommission their fire department

Letter of intent

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Dixmoor to shutdown fire department

The Southtown Star, a Sun-Times publication, is reporting that the village of Dixmoor is closing the Dixmoor Fire Department effective December 1, 2013.

Financially struggling Dixmoor has decided to dissolve its fire department at the end of the month.

In a letter dated Tuesday, the village attorney notified the union representing fire department employees “that this shall serve as notice that the Village will be moving forward with implementing the dissolution of the Fire Department. The final effective date shall be December 1, 2013.”

Earlier this year, newly elected Mayor Dorothy Armstrong said Dixmoor was facing a budget deficit of more than $1 million. Armstrong said it was costing the village $773,000 a year, a third of its revenue, to maintain its fire department, which had 20 firefighters.

I tried to reach Armstrong for comment but was unsuccessful. However, several village employees confirmed that the fire department was being disbanded Dec. 1.

“The new mayor has been trying to do this for three years, going back to the time when she was a trustee,” said Tim McDonald, president of Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents the employees. “The village board passed a resolution during a special meeting this week to disband the department and didn’t even allow for public comment before the vote was taken.

“When she (Armstrong) called for a vote, trustees asked if they could comment, and the mayor told them they could comment after the roll call. This is a joke, and this is why Dixmoor will always be looked on as a joke by serious people.” McDonald said that even before the village board voted to dissolve the fire department, it had laid off six of the 12 full-time firefighters. The village also employs about a dozen part-timers.

A firefighter who said “we’re not allowed to talk publicly about this” told me that Dixmoor is planning to have the Harvey Fire Department provide fire protection for the village and to pay a private ambulance service to provide paramedics.

“I called the Harvey clerk, and they (city council) don’t even have a meeting scheduled until Dec. 9, so I don’t know what Dixmoor is going to do after Nov. 30, the last effective date our guys will be working,” McDonald said.

Dixmoor is one of the smallest and poorest suburbs in the Chicago area, with a population of 3,644, according to the 2010 census. It showed that the median household income was $38,817 and 35.6 percent of Dixmoor residents live in poverty.

The village has a history of political scandals. For a time, it had a park district police force of more than 100 part-time officers and a full-time police chief — even though the park district owned only one park.

No one mowed the grass at the small park, the cyclone fence was rusting and all the playground equipment was broken or unusable. A bond issue of more than $100,000 had been sold to build a fieldhouse, but no fieldhouse was built.

A former park board president and several other park district officials eventually went to prison for stealing the district funds.

In another scandal, Donald Luster, who was elected mayor in 2001, promising to “Bring the Luster back to Dixmoor,” was sentenced to two years on probation for fraud and failing to file an Illinois income tax return. He had collected unemployment insurance during 1999 while earning more than $9,000 a week.

As recently as last year, former Dixmoor Mayor Keevan Grimmett was accused of living in his village hall office. Grimmett was kicked off the election ballot last spring because the local election board found that he did not live at his registered address.

A year ago, Trustee Michael Smith resigned after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of stealing gasoline from the town.

And in February, news reports revealed that only three of Dixmoor’s five police cars had gas, and the fire chief complained that his staff wasn’t being paid.

The union spokesman told me said Dixmoor firefighters are paid “about $12 to $13 an hour, so they’re by no means highly compensated. They’re basically out there risking their lives for their community for 28 grand a year.”

McDonald told me that Local 73 won a grievance against Dixmoor for back pay for firefighters but had not yet collected.

“We were being nice guys and weren’t asking the village to pay up,” he said. “But we don’t have any reason to play nice any more if they’re going to get rid of the fire department.

“They owe about $12,000 to each fire department employee because they gave raises to the police department and didn’t compensate the fire department personnel.”

McDonald said the Local 73 contract with the village that requires that its members get pay raises if the compensation of any other village workers is increased.

I’m not sure if it makes sense for a small village such as Dixmoor to have a fire department when it’s struggling to survive financially (due to falling revenue, incompetence and graft).

I suggested as much to McDonald, who replied, “The people of the village deserve their own fire department. What’s going to happen to the people in Dixmoor if a neighboring fire department is off fighting a fire in its own area and can’t respond?

“And if this village is struggling financially, where is it going to come up with the money to pay our people the money they are owed? It makes no sense.”

It’s nearly impossible to find a government official in Dixmoor who’s willing to comment about anything on the record. Given the village’s sorry political history and resulting bad publicity, maybe that’s understandable.

But I’ve been warning folks for years that there are a number of south suburbs facing financial collapse. Dixmoor is one of those.

Dissolving the fire department might be the right decision, but I wouldn’t blame the residents if they questioned the credibility of their elected leaders.

As poor as many of the residents are, they still pay taxes for village services.

The fact is, they haven’t had much to show for their money over the years.

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Dixmoor 2-11 Alarm fire 7-2-13

This from Brad Steinweg:

Photos from the Dixmoor 2 alarm. Pictures taken around 4:20
-Brad S.
Dixmoor house fire

Brad Steinweg photo

Calumet Park Fire Department

Brad Steinweg photo

Mokena Fire District ambulance

Brad Steinweg photo

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X-Dixmoor engine for sale

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.

This is a Ex-Dixmoor, Illinois rig for sale.
1964 American LaFrance fire engine

1964 American LaFrance fire engine, formerly owned by the Dixmoor Fire Department. Photo by owner

Have the only one in your neighborhood! This is a 1964 American LaFrance Fire Truck. I have owned it over 18 years. It originally came from the Community of Dixmoor IL and I have a photo of it when it was serving in active duty. It is complete with pump, working lights, working siren, ladders, fire extinguishers, and some hoses. It has approximately 23,000 miles. Garage kept. It is powered by a 608 cubic inch 6 cylinder Continental gas engine and has a manual transmission. The entire truck is in good mostly original condition. It will fit in an 8 foot high overhead door as long as you remove the light bar (4 bolts and unplugging 2 wires). The truck is about 26 feet long. It is great for parades, cruise nights, shows, and neighborhood parties. Please call with any questions. I would consider trading up or down for unique cars, trucks and boats. There are many things I am interested in, so please let me know what you have. I can provide inexpensive storage in either Mendota or LaSalle/Peru IL Thank you for your interest – Bill 630-988-4455.

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Dixmoor Fire Department future uncertain

The Daily Southtown has an article questioning the future of the Dixmoor Fire Department:

The future of the Dixmoor Fire Department is uncertain, but no decision was made Wednesday night by the village board at a meeting to discuss the village’s financial problems and how to best overcome them.

Residents, firefighters and members of the Service Employees International Union Local 73 packed the meeting room at the village hall amid rumors that the fire department might be disbanded.

thanks Chris


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Illinois fire departments receive federal grant money

Several area fire departments will receive FEMA funding in the form of grants.

From the

Federal officials are delivering $1.33 million in grants to Illinois fire departments and municipalities to help them better prepare for fires and other emergencies.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin — a Democrat from Springfield — says the Assistance to Firefighters Grant funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That’s a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

Wednesday’s announcement includes grants for:

  • Amboy Fire Department, $6,000
  • Bridgeview, $125,000
  • Crossville Volunteer Fire Department, $111,000
  • Carpentersville Fire Department, $10,000
  • Champaign Fire Department, $249,000
  • Dixmoor Fire Department, $88,000
  • Garden Homes Fire Protection Districts, $34,000
  • Grand Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, $90,000
  • Metropolis Fire Department, $66,000
  • Pleasantview, $72,000
  • Riverdale Fire Department, $55,000
  • Spring Bay Fire Protection District, $115,000
  • Union Fire Protection District, $60,000
  • Wauconda Fire District, $248,000


thanks Chris


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Robbins Box Alarm 9-29-12

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.:

Robbins Fire Dept. was toned out for the structure fire at approx. 1030 hrs on 9-29-2012 at the corner of Alida Ave and Grace Ave. (Corrected address of 14003 S. Grace Ave.) Engine 2913 pulled up to a find a fire in a 1-sty brick, ordinary constructed home. The home did appear to be vacant. The IC requested a Full Still on Box# 2909 at approx. 1035 hrs. The IC requested an upgrade to a Box Alarm on Box# 2909 at approx. 1042 hrs. This was due to poor water pressure, and heavy fire in the structure. In all two lines were used and no injuries were reported. Crews did have a difficult time with this fire due to all the windows having burglar bars and heavy bushes surrounding the house.
List of departments on scene:
Calumet Park
Palos Heights
Blue Island
Hazel Crest
Robbins Fire Department house fire

A firefighter cuts off the burglar bars on a window. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Robbins Fire Department house fire

Another view of firefighters cutting the burglar bars. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Robbins Fire Department house fire

Crews laddered the roof for ventilation while other firefighters hit the fire inside. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Robbins Fire Department house fire

Dixmoor Chief 2400 with outside command. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Robbins Fire Department house fire

Overview of the foreground. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Robbins Fire Department house fire

Relief crews making entry. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

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