Posts Tagged Niles Fire Department

New ambulance for Niles

From Foster Coach Sales on Facebook; #FosterCoachSales; #ambulance; #Type1; #Horton; #NilesFD;

Foster Coach Sales photo; #FosterCoachSales; #ambulance; #Type1; #Horton; #NilesFD;

Foster Coach Sales photo; #FosterCoachSales; #ambulance; #Type1; #Horton; #NilesFD;

Foster Coach Sales photo

thanks Martin

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Niles Fire Department news

Excerpts from

A man and his family had an emotional exchange recently afternoon with firefighters from the Niles Fire Department who saved his life two weeks ago.

On Dec. 22, Christopher Szafraniec was going about a normal day at work, when he suffered a heart attack on the job. 911 was called and firefighters arrived within minutes. Szafraniec’s heart stopped twice on the way to the hospital.

“After the first minute or two, we got a pulse back after we shocked the patient once. [The] patient woke up and we advised him what happened,” a firefighter said. “The second time, [the] patient did code in route to Lutheran general. We shocked him a second time, got a pulse back, and [he] was awake.”

Since his close call, Szafraniec said he has made an amazing recovery and credits the Niles firefighters for their quick actions during his medical emergency.

“The doctor was saying whoever was doing compressions saved my life,” Szafraniec said. “But to be able to come back and thank these men, it’s an honor.”

“Every doctor that came into the room reinforced you truly are a miracle,” added Patty Szafraniec, Christopher’s wife. “10% people make it through what he went through.”

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Niles Fire Department history

This from Larry Shapiro for #TBT:; #FireTruck; #larryshapiro;; #Pierce; #TDA; #NilesFireDepartment;

Larry Shapiro photo

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Box Alarm fire near Des Plaines, 12-2-22 (more)

Some photos from Larry Shapiro of the Box Alarm fire near Des Plaines, 12-2-22; #larryshapiro;; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD;

Larry Shapiro photo; #larryshapiro;; #NorthMaineFPD;   #FireTruck; #Spartan; #MetroStar;

Larry Shapiro photo; #larryshapiro;; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD;

Larry Shapiro photo; #larryshapiro;; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD; #MinasKlikas; #Firefighters;

Larry Shapiro photo

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Box Alarm fire near Des Plaines, 12-2-22 (more)

brief cellphone video from the Box Alarm fire near Des Plaines, 12-2-22

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Box Alarm fire near Des Plaines, 12-2-22

The North Maine FPD along with firefighters from Des Plaines and Niles were sent to a somewhat remote location in unincorporated Des Plaines for a house fire Friday morning (12-2-22). The large house at 9609 Reding Circle sits on a small lake off of Golf Road and I-294. Reding Circle is a narrow, private road with minimal access. 

As smoke was reported on arrival, the alarm was upgraded to a working fire, and it wasn’t long before flames were venting through the roof of the vacant house. Companies made an interior attack and were pulled out to transition into a defensive attack with aerial operations. Three trucks were put to work with master streams; Des Plaines Tower 61, Niles Tower 2, and Glenview Truck 14. North Maine Engine 1, Niles Engine 3, and Prospect Heights Squad 9 were pumping. Truck 2 was on their own hydrant. 

The alarm was upgraded again to a MABAS Box Alarm, although most of those mutual aid companies were not put to work.; #TimOlk; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD; #FireTruck;

Tim Olk photo; #TimOlk; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD; #FireTruck;

Tim Olk photo; #TimOlk; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD; #FireTruck;

Tim Olk photo; #TimOlk; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD; #FireTruck;

Tim Olk photo; #TimOlk; #NorthMaineFPD; #DesPlainesFD; #FireTruck;

Tim Olk photo

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Niles Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Niles firefighters are waiting on two new vehicles — an ambulance and a fire engine — which, because of supply chain issues including a computer chip shortage, are not expected to arrive until the spring of 2023 and 2024 respectively.

The new advance life support (ALS) ambulance by Horton has a cost not to exceed $455,000, and is not expected to be delivered until May according to Niles Fire Chief Marty Feld. The cost is running about $100,000 more than what was initially budgeted for the vehicle. The new ambulance will replace Station 3’s 2015 front line ambulance, which has logged more than 100,000 miles and has answered about 24,000 calls.

He discussed requesting a bid waiver to obtain a chassis for the ambulance with members of the village’s finance committee at their Aug. 3 meeting, but said at the Tuesday, Aug. 23 village board meeting that the dealer was able to obtain a chassis. The contract through the Northwest Municipal Conference joint purchasing agreement, which is soon expected to be considered by village trustees, could proceed without requesting a bid waiver.

Once the new ambulance comes in, the 2015 ambulance will become a reserve unit.

The last ambulance purchased was a 2019 model assigned to Station 2. That ambulance is two feet longer than what is being ordered for Station 3.

In May of this year, the fire department ordered a Pierce Enforcer engine for Station 2, which might not be delivered until May 2024 at a cost of about $900,000.

The new engine will replace a 1992 reserve engine.  Supply chain issues are more difficult for the engine than they are for the ambulance, as the engine has more components that are proving difficult to obtain.

thanks Rob

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 72

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department


An emergency telephone number (9-9-9) to report a police, fire, or medical emergency was introduced in England in 1937, but the concept of a ubiquitous emergency telephone number was not established in the U. S. until 1968, and even then it was not implemented everywhere right away. The first two communities in Illinois to implement 9-1-1 service were Chicago and Evanston, both in 1974. A big difference between the 9-1-1 service in Chicago and the 9-1-1 service in Evanston was that in Evanston the person who answered the 9-1-1 call (a police / fire communications operator) was also the person who dispatched the call, whereas in Chicago the person who answered the 9-1-1 call would have to relay the information and / or transfer the call to a police or fire department dispatcher before the call could be dispatched.

Prior to introduction of the 9-1-1 emergency telephone number, a person would have to either dial a specific seven-digit phone number that would connect them with the police or fire department (phone numbers not known to everybody) or else call the operator (dial “0”) and request to be connected with the police or fire department. By calling 9-1-1, a person could report a police, fire, or medical emergency without having to remember a seven-digit phone number or involve a telephone operator. Also, if a person was unable to speak, a 9-1-1 call could be “locked in” and traced. To help publicize the new program, “DIAL 9-1-1 TO REPORT AN EMERGENCY” bumper stickers were placed on all Evanston police and fire department vehicles in 1974.

The concept of the “paramedic” in a non-military, civilian environment, was introduced on a limited basis in several American cities in the late 1960’s, mainly to improve life-saving care to cardiac patients. In 1972, the NBC-TV series Emergency! provided the American public with a weekly glimpse into the world of Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics, helping to spread the idea across the nation. What was unique about the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s paramedic program was that firefighters were cross-trained as paramedics. 

In the Chicago area, fire departments with a tradition of providing ambulance service were the first to train paramedics and place Advanced Life Support (ALS) Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) ambulances into service. The Niles Fire Department – which had provided ambulance service to its residents since 1946 – established a paramedic-program in 1973. The Skokie Fire Department placed two MICU ambulances staffed with paramedic firefighters into service in 1975, replacing its two 1969 Cadillac Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances.

The Chicago Fire Department, which had provided ambulance service since 1928 and had 33 Cadillac and Pontiac BLS ambulances in service in 1974, placed their first two paramedic-staffed MICU ambulances into service in July 1974, with Ambulance 41 replacing Ambulance 1 at E1/T1 and Ambulance 42 replacing Ambulance 21 at E13. Five additional CFD MICU ambulances were in service by the end of 1974, with Ambulance 43 replacing Ambulance 11 at E22, Ambulance 44 replacing Ambulance 24 at E57, Ambulance 45 replacing Ambulance 2 at E103, Ambulance 47 replacing Ambulance 7 at E108/T23, and Ambulance 16 at O’Hare Field.

The City of Evanston borrowed an MICU “demonstrator” – minus the drugs and the specialized ALS gear only paramedics would be certified to use – from the State of Illinois Department of Public Health in June 1974, and it was tested over a 60-day period by the EFD. It was a modular ambulance, meaning it was a cab & chassis with a “box” mounted on top of the chassis. Personnel from Squad 21 were assigned to the unit (known as Ambulance 1) and responded to inhalator calls and ambulances runs city-wide throughout the summer. An engine company was dispatched as a “first responder” for inhalator calls outside Station # 1’s first-due area.

Three Evanston Police Department station-wagon patrol-ambulances were still in service in 1974 and (if available) could respond to inhalator calls and ambulance runs if the EFD’s MICU demonstrator was unavailable. The police patrol-ambulances were backed-up by the three stretcher-equipped EFD station-wagons. However, the three EFD stretcher-equipped station wagons (F-3 at Station # 5, F-4 at Station # 2, and F-5 at Station # 1) were used by Fire Prevention Bureau inspectors and the training officer during business hours, and normally could be staffed by personnel from an engine company (presuming the engine company was available and in quarters) only at night, on weekends, and holidays.   

Although the fire department was testing the MICU ambulance, Evanston Mayor Jim Staples wanted police officers – NOT firefighters – to be trained as paramedics, with the Evanston Police Department – NOT the Evanston Fire Department – operating the MICUs! He wanted the ambulances to be out on the street 24/7, just like the police patrol-ambulances. 

Evanston Police Chief William McHugh was apoplectic, saying there was no way his police department wanted any part of the new emergency medical service (EMS). Crime was on the rise in Evanston, gang activity was starting to become a problem, and the police department was hard-pressed just to provide rudimentary “throw-and-go”style ambulance service, without having to commit personnel and resources to a sophisticated new program.
Mayor Staples’ idea was politely considered, and then with approval of the Evanston City Council, City Manager Ed Martin assigned the the new EMS paramedic program to the fire department. Seven firefighters — Roger Bush, Dave Cleland, Jim Dillon, Randy Drott, Jerry McDermott, Jim McLaughlin, and Dave Pettinger — were trained and certified as paramedics at St. Francis Hospital during 1975. Although the fire department had not been the primary provider of ambulance service in Evanston over the years, firefighters knew all about saving lives. The EFD had been responding to inhalator calls since 1913!

In addition to establishing the new EMS program, the face of the Evanston Fire Department was changing in other ways as well. On November 26, 1973, the Evanston City Council agreed to appropriate funds to purchase a new 1,000-GPM pumper with a 300-gallon water tank. Only two bids were received; one from Howe ($43,242), and one from Pirsch ($47,721). Howe was awarded the contract, with an expected delivery date of one year. The pumper would feature an International-Harvester cab. 

On January 21, 1974, the city council authorized funds to purchase a second pumper with the exact same specifications, and Howe once again was awarded the contract by offering to supply the second pumper for $44,575 (slightly higher than its bid for the first pumper, but still below the Pirsch bid), but with the understanding that the price would go up substantially if the contract was not signed by February 5th. The city council wasted no time, and the contract was signed immediately.

The two new Howe – International pumpers were to replace the two 1958 Seagrave 1000 / 300 open cab pumpers at Station # 3 and Station # 4. On the orders of Chief Beattie, both of the Howe rigs were painted “safety yellow,” had rear-facing jump seats so that firefighters would no longer need to ride on the tailboard, were equipped with electronic sirens to be set in manual mode to reduce noise pollution, and had only one rear discharge port for a 1-1/2 inch pre-connect line, instead of the two rear discharge ports and two 1-1/2-inch pre-connects that had been standard on EFD pumpers since 1958. By eliminating one of the pre-connected attack lines, there would be more room in the hose-bed for larger-diameter hose.

Instead of a second rear discharge port and a second 1-1/2-inch pre-connect hose line, Chief Beattie specified that the new pumpers have a top-mounted booster reel (sometimes called a red line) that could be led-out quickly at a car fire, trash fire, brush fire, or gas wash, and in some cases even at a structure fire. EFD pumpers had not been ordered with booster reels since the Pirsch pumpers in 1952, something Chief Beattie believed was a mistake.  

Besides the new pumpers, the Evanston Fire Department also added a 1974 Dodge van (fleet # 341) for use as a utility vehicle, replacing the 1956 International-Harvester pick-up truck. Located in the shop bay at Fire Station # 1, the van could be used by EFD mechanics to run errands or to respond to a repair job at a fire, on the road, or at one of the four outlying fire stations, as well as to transport manpower and supplies to and from a large fire or other major incident. As with the two new Howe pumpers, Chief Beattie ordered the van be painted “safety yellow.”

Also in 1974, the WWII-era DUKW amphibious vehicle (F-7) that had been in service with the EFD since 1964 and the rescue trailer acquired from the Federal Civil Defense Administration in 1954 were taken out service. Some of the equipment and gear carried in the trailer was placed in storage at Station # 1, in the event that it might be needed for a tornado, flood, airplane crash, or some other disaster or mass casualty event. A 17-foot Boston Whaler (the new F-7) with an outboard marine engine and a boat trailer were purchased to replace the DUKW as the EFD’s Lake Michigan rescue vehicle, with a trailer hitch installed on the new van so that it could tow the boat & trailer to the Church Street Boat Ramp if it was needed.

The first of the new Howe – International pumpers arrived in November 1974 and was placed in service at Station # 3 as the new Engine 23 (fleet # 326), and the second Howe – International pumper arrived in May 1975 and was placed in service as the new Engine 24 (fleet # 324) at Station # 4. The 1958 Seagrave pumper that had been running as Engine 23 was placed into reserve at Station # 3 as Engine 26, and the 1958 Seagrave pumper that had been running as Engine 24 was sold at auction.; #EvanstonFD; #FireTruck

photographer unknown

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 65

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department



Chief Lester Breitzman and the platoon commanders were equipped with Motorola HT-200 portable two-way radios in 1965. Because he now had a hand-held radio he could carry around the fireground, It was decided that the platoon commander no longer needed a driver / radio operator, so the firemen formerly assigned to drive F-2 were transferred to Squad 21, and became the squad’s fourth man each shift. When transmitting via handie-talkie, the chief used the radio call-sign “F-1-X,” and the platoon commander was “F-2-X.” Company officers were also eventually assigned handie-talkies, and were identified as “Engine 23-X,” “Squad 21-X,” “Truck 22-X,” etc, when operating on a portable radio.

Wayne Anderson became Evanston’s new city manager in 1963, and with Squad 21 back in front-line service and responding with four men to all fire calls, Bert Johnson’s Police-Fire Cooperative Plan was quietly phased out in 1965. However, the three police station-wagon patrol-ambulances remained in service and continued to respond to inhalator calls and ambulance runs, and while police officers were no longer expected to work as firefighters (except in extraordinary circumstances), police recruits did receive some training in basic firefighting.

The EFD added three new station wagons to the fleet in the years 1964-66, including a 1964 Plymouth station wagon (the new F-3) that was assigned to a Fire Prevention Bureau inspector during business hours and garaged at Fire Station # 5 at night and on weekends and holidays, a 1965 Dodge station wagon (F-5)  assigned to the Training Officer at Station # 1, and a 1966 Ford station wagon (the new F-1) assigned to Chief Breitzman at Station # 2. All three of the station wagons were equipped with stretchers and first-aid kits and served as auxiliary ambulances, backing-up the three police station wagon patrol ambulances.

F-2 (the platoon commander’s 1963 Plymouth station wagon) no longer served as an auxiliary ambulance after the platoon commander’s driver was transferred to Squad 21 in 1965, but F-1 always had a driver, and (if in quarters) F-3 was staffed by Engine 25 personnel and F-5 was manned by the fourth man from Squad 21 or Truck 21 when needed. In addition, Squad 21 and station wagons F-1 and F-3 were equipped with a wooden back-board known in EFD parlance as a “fracture board,” and so Squad 21, F-1, or F-3 would be dispatched to any incident involving a significant back or neck injury.

Reserve Engine 26 (ex-E2 – 1927 Seagrave Standard 1000 / 50 TCP) – the EFD’s oldest rig – was taken out of service in 1965, and was converted to playground equipment by EFD mechanics. The conversion involved removing the engine, pump, transmission, drive-train, etc, and then welding everything shut, with sheet metal covering the under-carriage. Once the job was completed, the vintage pumper was installed in the middle of brand new Firemen’s Park at the southwest corner of Simpson & Maple. The previous spring, the EFD had used a vacant former church located on the site for ”live burn” practice drills.

In 1964, EFD Chief Breitzman requested that the city purchase a new “more useful” squad rig, and convert the existing 1952 Pirsch squad to a triple-combination pumper by replacing the squad body with a standard pumper body. The Pirsch squad had been in & out of front-line service over the course of its twelve years of service, and so it had relatively low mileage compared to the other 1952 Pirsch pumpers. Also, it had no hose bed, so the 1000 GPM pump had rarely been used and was in virtually pristine condition. Once converted to a TCP, the Pirsch rig would go into service as the new Engine 22.

The new squad would be equipped with an electric winch on the front bumper capable of pulling 18,000 pounds, a reconditioned auxiliary pump, a 300-gallon water tank, new extrication tools, and a top-mounted deluge nozzle salvaged from the recently decommissioned high pressure / hose truck. Modern precision quartz lights would replace the military-style “night sun” searchlights that were on the Pirsch squad. Most importantly, the new squad would have a hose bed with room for two 250-foot leads of 1-1/2 inch hose pre-connected to two rear discharge ports that could be used for a rapid fire attack.

A new factory-built Pirsch pumper-squad purchased by Skokie in 1965 cost $25,000, so City Manager Anderson was looking for a “creative” (cheaper) alternative. The City of Evanston purchased four new garbage trucks in 1965 — International-Harvester R-190 cab & chassis with a Leach Packmaster body — giving Anderson the idea to add an additional cab & chassis to the garbage truck order, purchase a custom-built squad body, a winch, an auxiliary pump, a water tank, and a quartz lighting system separately, and then have EFD mechanics piece it all together in the repair shop at Station # 1.

The city council thought it was a swell plan, and appropriated $13,000 for the project. The International cab & chassis ended up costing $4,474, the auxiliary pump, tank, plumbing, quartz lights, and fabrication and installation of the squad body combined cost $4,974, and the Braden winch cost $725. The pumper body for the 1952 Pirsch squad cost $4,000. EFD mechanics were able to install the winch, pump, tank, and plumbing on the new squad without difficulty, but the squad body was fabricated and installed by the General Body Co.

Located at 5838 N. Pulaski Road in Chicago, General Body was best-known for fabricating the world-famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, but GBC also built many other unusual commercial vehicles, including the Autocar squads used by the Chicago Fire Department, and the salvage trucks used by the Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol. GBC had previously built a squad for the Niles Fire Department by combining a commercial (GMC) cab & chassis with one of its own fabricated squad bodies, and the body on the Niles squad was the one Evanston wanted GBC to duplicate (albeit with a few modifications).

Fabrication and installation was completed by GBC within four months, and the new Squad 21 went into service in April 1966. Although it was sometimes called the “garbage truck” (for obvious reasons), and firefighters riding on the tailboard were sometimes called “garbagemen,” Squad 21 was the busiest company in the Evanston Fire Department — the SS-1 of the EFD — responding to inhalator calls, minor fires, and miscellaneous details in Station # 1’s district, as well as to all fires and rescue-extrication calls city-wide. The crew assigned to Squad 21 also manned the DUKW amphibious vehicle (F-7) whenever it was needed.
Converted to a 1000 / 100 TCP, the former Squad 21 went back into service as the new Engine 22 in August 1966, replacing the 1949 Seagrave 1000 / 80 TCP, which was then placed into reserve at Station # 5 as Engine 26. The Pirsch pumper’s hose-bed featured two 250-foot leads of 1-1/2 inch hose pre-connected to the two rear discharge ports, as well as 1,500 feet of 2-1/2 inch hose and 300 feet of three-inch hose. A section of soft-sleeve suction hose was pre-connected to an intake port above the rear step. It was the first EFD pumper to not carry lengths of hard suction hose.

Both the new Squad 21 and Engine 22 featured the EFD repair shop’s generic military style graphics of the day (black tape with “EVANSTON” in gold) affixed to the sides of the hoods, the same style of graphics that were applied to EFD station wagons and the DUKW 1964-1971. Squad 21 and Engine 22 also had custom designed gold shields with black lettering affixed on the cab doors, replaced by black shields with gold lettering in 1970. Also, the Mars FL-8 and DX-40 (“football”) warning lights on the older front-line engines and trucks were replaced with the more-visible white / red beacon-type emergency lights at about this same time.

Reserve Engine 28 (ex-E24 – 1937 Seagrave 750 / 80 TCP) at Station # 4 did not pass its annual pump test in 1966, and the other reserve 1937 Seagrave 750 / 80 TCP (Engine 27 at Station # 3) had a blown engine, so once the rebuilt Pirsch TCP went into service at Station # 2 and the 1949 Seagrave pumper was placed into reserve at Station # 5, EFD mechanics transplanted the motor from Engine 28 into Engine 27 to keep it running for a while longer. Engine 28 was then dismantled for spare parts and scrapped. 

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Niles Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Niles Fire Department will receive a $207,400 grant award for equipment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighter Grant award through FEMA and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. 

The funds will purchase 45 self-contained breathing apparatus units, excluding the air tanks. The total cost to purchase the 45 units is $228,000. The grant funds 90% of that purchase. 

In the fall of 2019, the department received a $55,000 grant from FEMA and homeland security for an air compressor to fill the air tanks used with the breathing apparatus.

$1.3 million in federal grants has been awarded to seven fire departments in the 10th Congressional District, including Niles.

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