Posts Tagged Palatine Fire Chief Scott Andersen

Palatine Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Over the objections of a residential construction trade association and others, Palatine will require automatic sprinkler systems for new single-family homes starting next year, under a revised ordinance that proponents say will improve safety if a fire starts.

Addressing the opponents, Palatine Fire Chief Scott Andersen said the sprinklers provide vital protection against the spread of flames beyond the point of origin. 

“You can survive 150 degrees for quite some time,” Andersen said. “You can sit in a sauna for an hour and you’ll be fine. You cannot survive a thousand degrees. And if someone’s in there, guess who’s going in there to get them out? I don’t care if it’s a thousand degrees or 1,500 degrees at the floor, my guys are going in.”

Palatine officials said the sprinklers are projected to add $3,500 to the cost of a typical single-family house in the village. That extra expense drew concern from Greater Chicago Homebuilders Association governmental affairs chief Paul Colgan.

“Fire sprinklers should be a choice of the homeowner,” Colgan said. “Like we said earlier, multifamily, mid-rise, high-rise, yes, fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems have their place there. But in a single-family home, or in certain townhouse developments where there is good fire separation between the units, they’re not needed.”

Village council members voted 4-2 to make the sprinklers mandatory in new two-family buildings, townhouses and single-family homes beginning Jan 1. The ordinance revisions, recommended by the International Code Council, were first discussed at a May village council session.

Mount Prospect has a similar single-family home sprinkler ordinance that became effective in April.

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Palatine Fire Department news

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Plans for a 102-unit senior complex on Euclid Avenue in Palatine are on hold amid village council concerns over whether ambulance service could be provided to the property in a timely manner.

Grandbrier of Palatine would be on nearly 5 acres on Euclid across the street from Harper College. The seniors complex would occupy a site where National Technical Systems operated until moving in January.

But Palatine Fire Chief Scott Andersen raised concern at Monday’s village council session about paramedics being unable to reach Grandbrier residents fast enough in medical emergencies. He said Palatine has a six-minute, 30-second benchmark for ambulance response times, which would unlikely be achieved for the Grandbrier because it’s on the periphery of the department’s coverage area.

Village council members agreed to table the Grandbrier proposal. They said Grandbrier representatives will have an opportunity to meet with Andersen in an effort to devise an acceptable plan for medical staffing capable of assisting residents 24 hours a day and bridging any ambulance gap in emergencies.

“What level of service would I need as a comfort level within that facility?” Andersen said. “That would be an equivalent of advanced life-support level of service that you would get with certified paramedics in the state of Illinois.”

Under the plan, the former National Technical Systems building would be demolished to accommodate the assisted living and memory care facility. There would be a three-story building with 70 assisted-living rental units and a one-story section with 32 apartments, including three companion suites designed for seniors with dementia.

Grandbrier Senior Living development director Chris Rintz said after the meeting that he’d want to meet with Andersen as soon as possible. He said the company does not have an alternative site in Palatine and that the village has profound need for the proposed upscale, private-pay facility.

Rintz, who is Winnetka’s village president, told the Palatine council that the plan already called for 24-hour-a-day, state-qualified medical professionals on site. He said registered nurses would be on duty 16 hours a day, with other coverage from licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants.

thanks Dan

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Off-duty firefighter assists neighbors during fire

Excerpts from the

Robert Sempoch has responded to a quite a few fires in his 10-year career with the Park Ridge Fire Department. But none occurred as close to home as the one he encountered in June. That’s because the fire broke out in the sixth floor of Sempoch’s own Palatine apartment complex. But even though he wasn’t on the job, officials say he took charge of the situation.

Palatine Fire Chief Scott Andersen sent a letter to Park Ridge Fire Chief Jeff Sorensen complimenting Sempoch for helping evacuate the floor and contain the fire to the apartment unit in which it started, simply by closing the open door. An open door could have easily caused the fire to quickly spread to the hallway and common area of the building, confronting residents who were trying to get out.

Sempoch said he was alerted to the fire when the fire alarm in his building sounded early on the morning of June 10. Sempoch, who lives alone, exited his apartment and noticed smoke in the hallway. Looking for the source, he saw a man step out of unit 609. Inside the apartment, Sempoch said he saw fire.

“I asked him to stay outside,” Sempoch said of the man. “Then I went to my side [of the building] to get my fire extinguisher and called 911 to report the fire. When I came back, unfortunately the person was again inside the apartment.” Sempoch said the man was attempting to put out the fire with an extinguisher. Sempoch also tried to assist, but the fire was too big, he said, and he pushed the resident out of the unit and closed the door.

“At that point, the smoke was almost all the way to the ground, so I went back to my west side hallway and waited for the first firefighters to arrive,” he said. “I told them where the fire was and I tried to get a couple of people out.”

Sempoch knocked on doors, alerting residents to the smoke and fire so they could evacuate.

The only individual injured in the fire was the man who lived in the unit where the fire started [who] was treated for burns at Loyola Medical Center. Unit 609 was destroyed, other apartments on the floor sustained smoke damage and water damage occurred in some fifth-floor units.

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