Posts Tagged North Chicago Fire Department

North Chicago Fire Department news

From northchicago.org:

North Chicago Fire Chief retires after nearly 30 years
Fire Chief Dell Urban was the first full-time female municipal fire chief in Lake County

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (June 4, 2021) – North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban has announced her retirement from the City of North Chicago.  Urban spent nearly 30 years as a member of the North Chicago Fire Department.  Previously, she worked as a firefighter for the Newport Township Fire Protection District. A public walk-out ceremony is planned for her last day, Friday, June 11, 2021.

Throughout her career, Chief Urban has been a pioneer for women in the firefighting/EMS profession.  When she was hired, Urban was the first female firefighter in the history of the North Chicago Fire Department.  When she was appointed North Chicago Fire Chief in June 2012, she was the first full-time municipal fire chief in Lake County.  Currently, Chief Urban is one of only two municipal female fire chiefs in the state.

Making training and education a priority and expectation, 23 members of the North Chicago Fire Department completed Advanced Technician Firefighter, all but a handful have obtained their Fire Apparatus Engineer.  All fire department officers have completed the Chief Fire Officer program, the highest certification designation through the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Additionally, under Urban’s leadership, the department underwent an extensive remodeling of both fire stations in addition to the replacement and standardization of nearly all fleet of apparatus.  Physical fitness became a priority for the department, which brought back annual physicals and promoted firefighter physical and mental wellness. As chief, Urban says her biggest challenge turned into a major achievement.  She worked to ensure personnel had the tools, equipment, and apparatus to respond in the most efficient manner.

Through her tenure as chief, Urban worked continuously to find the department alternative funding via grants and other sources.  In addition to millions of dollars in grants, the department received millions more in local and county awards for equipment purchases.

Urban says one of the most rewarding accomplishments was the launch of the Sound Alarm Campaign.  In collaboration with the American Red Cross, the campaign provides free 10-year ion lithium battery smoke detectors for North Chicago residents. Since the inception of the program, the department installed nearly 700 smoke detectors in over 330 homes.

In 2014, Urban and her staff spearheaded a call notification upgrade for the department that led to nearly a 43.5% decrease in response time. When seconds count, this time savings had a critical impact on saving life and property.

During her time in North Chicago, she has seen the fire service evolve into a safer, more structured, and educated profession.     

The public is invited to attend Chief Urban’s Walk-Out Ceremony.

WHAT: Walk Out Ceremony for North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban
WHEN: Friday, June 11, 2021
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: North Chicago Fire Station 1, 1850 Lewis Avenue, North Chicago, IL 60064

 

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Box alarm fire in North Chicago, 9-28-20

This from Jeff Rudolph:

9/28/20 – North Chicago 0504 hrs
Box 15-1 to the Box level for a well-involved house at 2330 Lewis Av. The house appeared to be vacant, and for sale.
Jeff Rudolph
Firefighters with hose line at night

Jeff Rudolph photo

smoke from vacant house on fire

Jeff Rudolph photo

heavy smoke from vacant house on fire

Jeff Rudolph photo

Pierce fire engine on scene

Jeff Rudolph photo

Firefighter silhouette with hose line on a ladder

Jeff Rudolph photo

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North Chicago FD apparatus part 2

More from Larry Shapiro:

Here are the North Chicago engines and 85′ tower ladder to go along with the ambulances and buggy posted before

 2011 Pierce Saber pumper

Engine 4 – 2011 Pierce Saber 1500/1000/10. Larry Shapiro photo

2001 Pierce Saber pumper

Engine 5 – 2001 Pierce Saber 1500/1000/40. Larry Shapiro photo

North Chicago FD apparatus at headquarters station

Larry Shapiro photo

2009 Pierce Arrow XT 85' tower ladder

Tower 9 – 2009 Pierce Arrow XT 1250/500/20 85′ tower ladder. Larry Shapiro photo

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North Chicago FD apparatus part 1

This from Larry Shapiro:

I had the opportunity to photograph the current apparatus in North Chicago. Here are the ambulances and buggy.

Thanks to everyone in North Chicago for your help.

Larry Shapiro

North Chicago FD Battalion 15

Battalion 15 – 2016 Ford Explorer. Larry Shapiro photo

North Chicago FD Ambulance 6

Ambulance 6 – 2017 Ford F450/AEV. Larry Shapiro photo

North Chicago FD Ambulance 7

Ambulance 7 – 2014 Ford F450/AEV. Larry Shapiro photo

North Chicago FD Ambulance 8

Ambulance 8 – 2015 Ford F450/AEV Larry Shapiro photo

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the chicagotribune.com:

North Chicago’s police and fire department employees can breathe easy, for now, as a looming threat to cut their staff has officially been taken off the table when the City Council voted this week to pass the 2018-19 budget without any layoffs.

Council members had been stalling approval of the new fiscal year’s budget, which began on May 1, unsure of which recommendations presented would trim a $1 million deficit without eliminating emergency services and cutting wages to its non-union employees.

Prior to the 5-2 vote Monday to approve a budget that includes no cuts to wages, Ald. Carl Evans said, “I refuse to cut anybody’s salary.” However, the package does add a salary freeze to personnel who fall under the city’s salary ordinance.

Those affected by the freeze include roughly 32 employees in managerial positions in the fire and police departments, as well as non-union comptroller department personnel and the deputy city clerk.

An earlier version of the budget initially included laying off three firefighters and the sale of a ladder truck, along with wage reductions and furlough days for 17 non-union employees, among other cuts.

At the time, the mayor said everything was on the table and all departments would have to look at what could be reduced to get the budget down to $23.9 million.

Going after businesses and residents who are behind on paying water bills is one option the city could take toward generating those future funds.

Once the salary freezes are factored into the approved budget, the city’s $1.31 million deficit will be reduced to an estimated $1.25 million

The impetus for the aggressive look at reducing the budget was a pension fund dispute between the city and its Firefighters Pension Board. In early April, the board appealed to the Illinois comptroller to divert a delinquent $863,677 the city owed for fiscal years 2016-17. The city and the board then settled on $150,000.

A researcher at the University of Chicago who has studied the Illinois pension funds crisis, said a law was passed in 2011 impacting pension systems throughout Illinois. Under the new funding plan starting this year, fund managers can report their municipalities to the state Comptroller’s Office. The state comptroller has to then divert tax funds the municipality is slated to receive to the pension fund that appealed.

“This new funding enforcement mechanism states that pensions be 90 percent funded by 2040, and so North Chicago can end up in this exact scenario again and again if they don’t continue to pay into their pension funds,” Kass said.

According to data from from the Illinois Department of Insurance, in 2016, the city’s Firefighters Pension Board was funded at 35.3 percent, while the Police Pension Fund was funded at 33.8 percent. Both pension funds were down from previous years.

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from nbcchicago.com:

The North Chicago Fire Department was faced with a bizarre situation this week, as they were forced to navigate a horse extrication.

The department was called out to the parking lot of the Full Moon Restaurant on Wednesday morning after receiving a report that a horse was hanging half in and half out of a trailer window.

“As our crews arrived, they assessed and plotted out an amazing strategy to hoist the mare to safety, which included the decision that the safest way to remove the horse was to fashion a girth harness…and place it around the body of the horse,” Fire Chief Dell Urban said:

A pick-up truck was used to support the horse’s front half during the extrication, and the mare survived with only minor cuts, according to the fire department.

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

On Saturday friends, family, and colleagues will meet in Waukegan’s Shiloh Baptist Church to honor Mark Alan Miller, North Chicago’s first full-time black firefighter, who died Saturday at age 72.

Doors are scheduled to open at 10 a.m. at the church, 800 S. Genesee St., followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service.

Miller graduated from North Chicago High School in 1963 and served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from November 1965 to October 1967. In the 1970s, he decided he wanted to be a firefighter.

“His father was city clerk and they had to sue the city because the firefighters test was racially biased,” his wife said, adding that after it was fixed, he passed it and joined the department.

When he started, she said, there was sometimes conflict with white people as he would start to give them first aid. 

He was president of the firefighters union for a year before he suffered an aortic aneurysm on the job at the end of 2001 and retired the following year.

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban said that Miller never talked about any problems in the firehouse he may have had when joining the department on Oct. 1, 1975.

Miller received a number of certificates and licenses during his years on the force, including Firefighter I and II designations, medical technician, and then paramedic, and he was a hazardous materials technician. He assisted on several major fires over the years, including a fire at the North Chicago Wire Mill in the early 1980s and an explosion at the Traco Inc. chemical plant in June 1988.

He also received special commendations during his career, including one for rescuing two children from a house fire in 1995, Urban said. 

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

In North Chicago, the fire chief hopes to team up with the city to use homes slated for demolition for training exercises.

“Fires are not as common as in the past in the city of North Chicago, and although we have numerous opportunities to hone our skills as paramedics, the occasions for our members to receive an actual residence that is structurally sound, environmentally safe and tenable is rare,” said Fire Chief Dell Urban.

“Giving credit to the hard work of our fire marshal and fire prevention team, as well as public education, we have seen a decrease in fire calls; although our call volume is on a slight upward trend, the majority of our responses are medical in nature,” Urban said, noting in 2016 they had 2,833 calls for service.

Urban said the first of several training exercises was held last week, when 19 of the 34 personnel were able to train on a house at 1036 Park Ave. She said there are 20 homes on the city’s fast-track list for demolition, and there are four that do not have any environmental concerns that will be used for future training sessions. All personnel are state-certified paramedics and firefighters.

Firefighters will conduct training that focuses on the proper mounting, dismounting, and operating on and around fire apparatus; identifying the purpose and components of a size-up; demonstrating primary and secondary search techniques; deployment of the hose loads; identifying techniques of moving hose lines into position; demonstrating fire extinguishment of an upper level fire via a stairwell; and performing a risk/benefit analysis for victim survivability and firefighter risk in a fire building,

At the beginning of this year, North Chicago firefighters responded to a house fire that was heavily involved in smoke and flames when they arrived. They learned there was someone still inside a bathroom in the structure.

Firefighters searched the bathroom and couldn’t find the victim, but then found the person in a bedroom near a slightly opened window. They assessed the situation and decided to exit through the window, because going back the way they came in was blocked by fire. They were able to get the victim to safety.

“Our ability to get in the occupancy and essentially tear it apart — to see how it’s constructed, establish how a fire might affect it and then see how we would put out that fire — is invaluable,” Urban added. “Unlike the props we use, this space gives us a more realistic experience.”

thanks Dan

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from theyoujournal.com:

North Chicago Fire Department personnel delivered donations including care packages for young patients and their families to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

A fundraiser for the patient gifts was organized after a member of the fire department experienced, firsthand, how the services provided by the hospital staff changed the lives of so many children.

“I am amazed by the Lurie Children’s Hospital staff, their knowledge, professionalism and moreover how they work each and every day bearing witness to these critically ill children,” said North Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Kim Schaefer.

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban was more than pleased with the generosity her staff displayed.

thanks Dan

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North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

In an emotional ceremony Monday in North Chicago, Flight for Life officials credited the North Chicago Fire Department with the organization’s most dramatic rescue effort in 2015, honoring local first-responders police officers and firefighters for saving the life of a Chicago woman last autumn.

The 22nd annual Scene Call of the Year Award for 2015 was presented to the firefighting paramedic team of Cmdr. Joshua Rickabaugh, Cmdr. Joshua Monroe and firefighters Danny Roark, Joseph Hernandez and Joseph Schimanski.

Nicole Wood of Chicago, was a passenger in a BMW SUV that crashed into a gravel truck on Route 41 south of Route 137 on Sept. 21. The SUV’s driver was not seriously hurt, but Wood was trapped in the twisted metal of the wreckage, crushed beneath the truck.

Rescue personnel said they went through virtually every extrication tool in their trucks in an effort to free the critically injured, unconscious woman. Route 41 was blocked off to create a landing zone for the helicopter.

“We knew (the victim) had multi-system trauma, and it was important to get her out quickly,” Rickabaugh said, but he added that “with the complexities of the extrication, it took us one hour and 20 minutes,” with the norm being 20 to 40 minutes.

North Chicago officials stressed the mutual aid and invaluable assistance to the call by personnel from Naval Station Great Lakes, Knollwood, Libertyville, the North Chicago Police Department, North Chicago Police dispatch, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and Flight For Life.

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban said after the ceremony that “this was the call of a lifetime, an extraordinary accident. Several chiefs on location said they’d never seen anything like this, in terms of the lengthy extrication.”

Of some 1,000 calls a year that Flight for Life responds to, only a handful are considered by a panel of judges, based on guidelines for using air medical transport. The submissions were examined for scene safety, triage decisions, critical thinking, complex planning and accident scene management, integration of the helicopter into the call, and use of skills that went beyond the call of duty to treat the patient.

thanks Dan

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