Posts Tagged Fire Chief John Malcolm

Lake Zurich Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Lake Zurich officials expect a few hundred residents to drop by Sunday during the fire department’s annual open house. Residents are invited to the firehouse at 321 S. Buesching Road from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event especially targets kids to try and spread awareness of fire safety issues and education about fires, Fire Chief John Malcolm said.

The event will feature tables and vendors providing fire safety information and activities to teach children.

The department also will provide hot dogs, popcorn, and balloons. A fire sprinkler demonstration will show what happens to a fire in a building equipped with sprinklers and what happens to one without.

Firefighters also will provide training on how to use fire extinguishers, Malcolm said.

“A number of people have never seen or used one,” he said. “We cover the key points and give people an opportunity to ask questions, what type of extinguisher they should have in their homes or businesses.”

thanks Dan

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New fire chief in Mount Prospect

Excerpts from the

Mount Prospect Deputy Fire Chief Brian Lambel will become the village’s next fire chief on an interim basis, effective Thursday, Oct. 1, after Fire Chief John Malcolm retires Oct. 9. Lambel, 46, who has been with the department for almost 16 years, was promoted to deputy chief at the beginning of June.

Malcolm is taking the chief’s job in Northwest suburban Lake Zurich.

According to Acting Village Manager David Strahl, Mount Prospect will evaluate Lambel’s performance as interim chief before deciding whether or not to make him the department’s day-to-day leader on a permanent basis.

With Lambel’s promotion, Lt. John Dolan will be promoted to deputy chief, which Strahl said could also be on an interim basis. Dolan, 53, has been with the department for 19 years. He will begin his duties as deputy the week of Oct. 5.

Lambel said he and Malcolm have begun working together to allow for a smooth transition.

According to Lambel, it will be a busy final three months of 2015 for himself and the department. The department is in the midst of hiring six firefighters as part of the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant that will allow Engine 13 at the downtown station to be put back into service. The department is also going through a lieutenant promotional process.

Lambel said he and Dolan recently met and came up with new objectives or a new strategic plan for the fire department. “One of the big things we will emphasize is training and education as well as empowerment of all employees to give them more responsibilities and increase accountability,” Lambel said.

Another big thing, according to Lambel, is the department is evaluating its community risk reduction program. The program determines what the needs of the community are and how the department can provide support to reduce injuries and harm to residents and business owners.

Other objectives Lambel said the department will pursue include reevaluating operations, making sure there is a proper succession plan in place and preparing for the future in terms of short- and long-term goals to accommodate an ever-changing fire service.

A retirement party will be held for Malcolm on Oct. 9 at Fire Station 13 on Northwest Highway. A resolution is expected to be read in honor of Malcolm for his years of service at the Tuesday, Oct. 6 village board meeting.

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Mount Prospect receives SAFER grant

Excerpts from the

Now that Mount Prospect Fire Chief John Malcolm has accepted a $1.3 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to restore staffing reduced in 2010 following the recession, he is moving ahead with hiring.

The grant will pay the salaries and benefits for six firefighters, and put the engine at Station 13 back into service. If the hires are veterans, the grant could extend an additional year for each one. Two are veterans, Malcolm said.

Reflecting on the cuts made in the wake of the recession, Trustee Paul Hoefert acknowledged they had to make hard decisions.

“To a person at that time, on the sitting board, it was said that when we could those would be the first staff positions that we would want to get back in place,” he said. And this SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant is helping us to do that.”

thanks Dan

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Fire departments receive federal grants

Excerpts from the

Mount Prospect’s fire department could have its staffing restored to 2010 levels, thanks to a $1.3 million federal grant that would allow the village to hire six additional full-time firefighters. But now village officials face the challenge of paying for the new hires once the two-year grant ends.

At Tuesday’s joint meeting of the village board and the finance commission, Mayor Arlene Juracek and trustees gave Fire Chief John Malcolm the signal to accept the grant.

Although the grant brings benefits, it also poses challenges, as outlined by Acting Village Manager David Strahl. At the end of the grant period, the full cost of the additional personnel will amount to $922,000 during 2018.

Strahl suggested funding options for 2018, including pre-funding through the property tax, using reserves, boosting ambulance fees, and increasing the business license fee from $75 to a minimum of $100, with the fee based on overall square footage, to more accurately reflect the cost of a fire inspection.

Additional revenue could be generated by charging for responding to a fire, something that is done on the West Coast, although no departments in the immediate area do so, he said.

Besides providing funding for six more firefighters, the grant would allow the department to promote three current firefighters to the rank of lieutenant and reinstate Engine 13. That engine, based out of downtown Station 13, was put out of commission in 2011 as a result of budget cuts. With Engine 13 out of service, the department has been using a tower ladder to respond to routine calls.

Excerpts from

… the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded a $216,667 grant to the East Joliet Fire Protection District for operations and safety. The funding is provided through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which seeks to strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards.

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Mount Prospect FD budget/apparatus concerns

The Daily Herald has an article about the Mount Prospect Fire Department:

The Mount Prospect Fire Department is taking extraordinary measures to keep its response times low since budget cuts have eliminated six full-time firefighter jobs since 2010, Chief John Malcolm says, but both he and the village board are concerned about the department going forward. Most alarming, trustees indicated, is the department’s policy of running the tower ladder on every call so as not to have to go back to the station to get it.

In 2010, as a result of the 10 percent villagewide reductions, the fire department saw its number of full-time sworn firefighters decrease from 72 to 66.

Malcolm said he first tried to adjust by relying more on a “jump” company. “We had three people, a lieutenant and two firefighters, who would jump on the engine or the tower ladder, depending on the nature of the call,” Malcolm said. “So we were basically staffing two vehicles with three people.”

One of the consequences, in terms of response time, was seen in July 2011, when the fire department faced a fire at a three-story, 39-unit apartment building that had been hit by lightning. The fire grew to the point where flames were going through the roof. Meanwhile, the tower ladder was sitting at the station unstaffed.

“So I had no ladder truck at three o’clock in the morning,” he said, adding that he could get no mutual aid at the time either. “So the crew had to leave there, drive all the way back to the station, jump off that rig, jump onto the tower ladder and respond,” he said.

Eventually, Malcolm said, he decided they would just run Tower 13 on all calls — [which] tripled its responses since the department retired the engine, responding to 1,894 calls in 2012. Malcolm said the department received 5,777 calls in 2012.

Trustees at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting expressed particular concern about the needs of the fire department … about the wear and tear on the tower unit … the risk that the tower truck may be needed when it is on an ambulance call … about the mutual aid numbers.

  • In 2011, Mount Prospect received mutual aid on 314 calls and gave mutual aid on 142 calls.
  • In 2012, it was 300 to 235.
  • So far in 2013 the numbers are 185 calls given, 218 received and in 2014, it is projected Mount Prospect will receive 338 mutual aid calls, as opposed to giving 150 calls.

Thanks Ron & Chris

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