Posts Tagged Peoria FIre Department

Of interest … Dr. Elsburgh Clarke

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While some doctors play golf or tennis on their days off, one local emergency room physician spends his free time riding along with the Peoria Fire Department with his camera.

Dr. Elsburgh Clarke is an ER doctor at Hopedale Medical Complex. He’s been working in emergency medicine for more than 40 years and previously trained at LA County Hospital, where he began taking photographs.

“I started to do pictures in the ER. I have multiple pictures from back in the day, back in 1977, ‘78 when ‘ER’ was just coming about,” said Clarke, referring to the TV show.

Growing up, Clarke said he always knew he would be an FBI agent, a fireman, or a doctor. While he ended up as the latter, he always took an interest in fire departments, frequently following fire engines around whenever he could.

Once Clarke moved to Peoria in 2004 to continue his profession in emergency medicine, he met with then-Peoria Fire Department Chief Tony Ardis to ask if he could ride along with the department and take photographs. Ardis agreed, and the rest is history, literally.

“From 2004 to 2023, I’ve documented the Peoria Fire Department for 20 some-odd years, and it’s never been done before,” said Clarke.

Clarke’s portfolio, entitled “Eyes of Fire,” recently culminated in a Peoria Fire 2022 Yearbook.

“I want the world to see the eyes of a fireman…when they look at one photograph or one scene, it shows their dedication, their eyes, their intensity, their commitment…their loyalty,” said Clarke.

Clarke noted he’s not interested in taking the standard, grip and grin type photographs. Instead, he wants people to see what this line of work really entails. And according to Clarke, the response from the Peoria Fire Department has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m honored and humbled,” said Clarke, noting that none of his work is produced with the expectation of any accolades. According to Clarke, the family he has made within the Peoria Fire Department is much more important.

“I get chills. They are my extended family. Seriously, I have never been so blessed and so happy to have them,” Clarke said. “They’re like my brothers and sisters and they have welcomed me into their departments in full.”

Notably, Clarke said when he put this project into motion back in 2004, he always expected it to continue for this long. In fact, he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Clarke also occasionally rides along with the police department and the SWAT team. He said he’s really just a kid at heart who loves seeking adrenaline and highlighting the important work that emergency personnel do on a daily basis.

For those interested in purchasing “Peoria Fire 2022 Yearbook,” or any of Dr. Elsburgh Clarke’s other work, email him at

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Peoria Fire Department news

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The only fire station in Peoria to bear someone’s name is named for the city’s first Black firefighter, who paved the way for future generations.

Edward B. Gaines Jr. served as Peoria’s first Black firefighter from 1957 to 1978. In October 2022, Fire Station 4 in South Peoria opened with his name on it.

James McCoy, retired Peoria firefighter and past president of the Afro-American Firefighters’ Association, said Gaines was a “guiding light” who overcame many obstacles and broke barriers.

“You got to keep in mind the time that we were dealing with. Jim Crow laws at that time, African Americans were viewed as second-class citizens, so there were a lot of different adversities that Mr. Gaines had to go through when he came onto the job,” he said.

Gaines’ nephew said his uncle had to deal with a lot of racism from his coworkers, who believed he was not their equal, but Gaines had tough skin and persevered, showing up every day for more than 20 years.

McCoy said Gaines taught others to stay professional, no matter what.

“He would actually teach you that you got to persevere and be willing to go through things you know are not right. Because if you act up, or respond the way most people want to respond, you’re going to hurt the opportunity for somebody coming along behind you later,” he said.

Through the fire station and trucks bearing his name, Gaines will continue to inspire generations of young Black men to become firefighters,

Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger said the visibility of Gaines’ name will continue to keep his legacy alive.

Fire Station 4 is located on Western Avenue in South Peoria.

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Peoria Fire Department news

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The Peoria Fire Department was called about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday to a three-vehicle collision on NE Randolph and Hamilton Boulevard in which one of the cars rolled on its side. An engine on its way to the crash scene was hit by another vehicle at Columbia Terrace and North Street.

Four of the seven people injured in the initial collision were taken to a local hospital. They were expected to be treated and released. Three others declined hospital treatment.

No one was hurt in the second crash, including the three firefighters. Police ticketed the other driver. The engine had damage to the rear axle and bumper, and will be repaired.

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Peoria Fire Department news

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An explosion at the BioUrja Renewables grain facility in May led to long days and long nights for Peoria Firefighters for over a week after. BioUrja Renewables plans to donate five proximity firefighting suits to the hazardous incident response team for all their effort.

These suits typically cost about $2,000 a piece and can withstand fires as hot as 2,000 degrees.

thank Martin

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Peoria Fire Department news

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The Peoria City Council approved $3.2 million for new apparatus, expecting to get the new rigs in 2024.

Interim Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger said the wait times for apparatus can be up to 27 months because of supply chain issues. He told the council that by making a decision and commitment to buy the apparatus now, they will have time to raise and appropriate the funds by the time the apparatus is delivered.

The apparatus that might be replaced include two aerials from 2001 and one from 1994.

thanks Martin

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Peoria FD rescue for sale

Found at

1998 PIERCE SABER rescue squad 

Auction Ends. 7/13/22 4:00 PM ET

Remaining.  10 Days 16 Hrs

This item is subject to Seller Approval.

Refresh Bid & Time

Buyer’s Premium.  12.50%

Starting Bid.  $2,500.00


High Bidder.   k****n

Current Bid.  $2,525.00

Bid Increment.  $25.00

Minimum Bid$2,550.00

Starts and runs, this is a rescue apparatus.

88,305 miles

Caterpillar diesel engine, Allison transmission.

No engine or transmission repairs are needed.

Removed from service 6/17/22, maintenance records are available.

Air bottle filling system & a Honda Generator 3500.

Some of the seats are cracked.; #FireTruck; #PeoriaFD; #firetruckforsale;

thanks Martin

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Peoria Fire Department news

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Peoria firefighters celebrated the history and memories within the oldest fire station in the River City. It opened in 1952 and is expected to close next month.

“If you wanted to prove yourself as a firefighter, you came to Station 4,” said Interim Chief Shawn Sollberger.

The same message spread through all the firefighters who gathered Thursday night. They said their bittersweet goodbyes to the original Station 4. Dozens of retirees, current firefighters and community members laughed as they shared stories from the city’s oldest station.

Although, the memories made on Jefferson Avenue will come to an end, Station 4?s legacy will continue a few miles away on Western Avenue. Station 4 will close when the new building is complete.

The city does not have plans yet for what will be done with the building on Jefferson Avenue, but there are hopes to make it some type of memorial.


Peoria fire engine for sale

Found at

2000 Pierce Saber pumper.

Engine: CAT 3126L V330 diesel. Odometer is broken and reads 120,000 miles.

Starts with a boost and runs.

Apparatus maintained every 60 days.

Engine is operable but does leak oil and water.

4,536 hours on the pump – 1250 GPM. Last tested 1/12/21.

500 gallon fiberglass tank.

Taken out of service 2021.

Peoria FD 2000 Pierce Saber pumper for sale

Peoria FD 2000 Pierce Saber pumper for sale

Peoria FD 2000 Pierce Saber pumper for sale

Peoria FD 2000 Pierce Saber pumper for sale

thanks Martin

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Peoria Fire Department news

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After nearly three decades with the Peoria Fire Department, Chief Jim Bachman will be retiring on March 18. He began his career with the Peoria Fire Department in May 1994, and was named chief in May 2021 after previous Chief Tony Ardis retired after 27 years with the department.

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Peoria Fire Department news

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In March, construction will be completed for Peoria’s new Fire Station 4 located at Western and Howet. It’s a project three years in the making, and will honor the River City’s first black fireman. The Edward B. Gaines Fire Station 4 will give the area a huge boost helping an area that badly needs it.

The name change remembers a man who broke barriers. The new building cost around $3 million, split between city and state funds. It will house Truck 4 and Engine 4.

The current Station 4 on Southwest Jefferson is the oldest in the city and the building’s future is unclear.

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