Posts Tagged Western Springs Fire Department

Box Alarm in Brookfield, 3-17-15

This from Steve Redick:

Took a ride to this job Tuesday (9129 Washington Avenue in Brookfield) … nothing left for me to see when I finally got there … mainly rig shots.


North Riverside FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

E-ONE aerial ladder truck at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

E-ONE aerial ladder truck at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

Lagrange Park FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Western Springs FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Riverside FD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Lyons FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

McCook FD fire engine

Steve Redick photo

fire trucks at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

E-ONE aerial ladder truck at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

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Western Springs apparatus history

The Doings Western Springs has a nice article with photos in the ‘blast from the past …’ heading chronicling the history of the first motorized engine purchased by the Western Springs Fire Department. A private owner has acquired the 1941 FWD engine and is planning on restoring it.

WESTERN SPRINGS – In 1941, just days before Pearl Harbor, Western Springs took delivery of a fire engine, whose design was years ahead of its time. But, in recent years, it nearly rusted away on an Iowa farm.

Western Springs’ first fire apparatus was a simple hose reel that had to be pulled to each fire scene. But, in 1924, the department acquired a real fire engine, an International/Buffalo pumper. That engine served the village admirably for many years. But, by 1940, the Village had grown considerably. And, the Village Board saw the need for a second, more modern piece of equipment.

While some towns might have simply purchased a fire engine that was readily available, Fire Chief Waldo Erickson was committed to getting the most for the taxpayers’ dollar. Erickson and his team literally designed the engine they needed from the ground up. And, the resulting bid specification read like no other. There would be no external ladders they would be stored in compartments accessible from the rear. And, there would be no open cab the engine would have an enclosed cab capable of holding three firemen. That feature would not become prevalent for another 20 years. And, the new engine would have four-wheel drive, pump 750 gallons of water per minute, and be painted white in order to be more visible to motorists.

Ten different companies submitted bids, with the winning proposal coming from FWD Auto Company in Clintonville, Wisconsin. The company’s proposed price was $9,203, or $150,000 in 2013 dollars.

The new engine was delivered in late November 1941, just days before the start of World War II. Had the village waited even a few weeks to place its order, delivery of the new engine would have likely been delayed until 1946. Amazingly, the basic design was still being offered by FWD some ten years later!

In the 1950’s, Western Springs experienced considerable population growth and, as a result, it purchased another fire engine the white 1952 Ward-LaFrance that you may have seen in the Memorial Day parade. And, in 1967, the town acquired still a third piece of fire apparatus. But, the days of the 1941 FWD were numbered. In 1968, it was retired from service, replaced by a more modern FWD pumper.

Where the old engine went is not known. But, in 2012, it was on an Iowa farm and listed for sale on the eBay website.

While the old engine appeared to have been painted red at some point after leaving WesternSprings, it was in sad shape. But, after its fate was reported in a Western Springs Historical Society story on the internet, a gentleman from St. Louis contacted the Society for the owner’s name and phone number.

He subsequently contacted the owner and purchased the 71-year-old fire engine. In fact, he has already transported it back to St. Louis, where he plans to restore it as it appeared when first delivered to Western Springs in 1941.

The restoration process will likely take many months, or even years. But, for the time being, a great fire engine has been given a well-deserved reprieve.

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Western Springs FD update

This from Drew Gresik:

I got a nice shot of Western Springs Battalion buggy 1781 with its new and updated graphics to match the rest of the fleet. Feel free to use it to replace the older, outdated photo you guys have up on Western Springs page! They also have a new Ford F-250 pick-up (1782) and a x-PD Ford Crown Victoria (1783). I will attach those photos as well, but I’m not sure which stations those are housed at. Thanks again, guys.
Drew Gresik
Western Springs Fire Department

Drew Gresik photo

Western Springs Fire Department

Drew Gresik photo

Western Springs Fire Department

Drew Gresik photo

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Suburban web site updates

Several suburban departments have been updated on the web site:

MABAS Division 1

MABAS Division 3

  • Skokie Engine 17 has been added
  • Glenview Ambulance 6 and Truck 14 have been added. The reserve engine and ambulance have been updated.

MABAS Division 4

MABAS Division 10

MABAS Division 12

MABAS Division 16

Images were supplied by Tyler Tobolt, Dennis McGuire, Jr., Jeff Rudolph, Larry Shapiro, Drew Gresik, John Tulipano, and Matt Tessler.

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Area apparatus updates

This from Drew Gresik:

Hello again,
I have attached photos of the Downers Grove 2012 Freightliner/Medtec ambulance and Western Springs 2002 Spartan/Luverne Engine 1711. On the department pages, the old DG Ambulance 2 is pictured and on the WS page, the old 1721 is shown with outdated lights and graphics. Please feel free to use my attached photos for an update on those two station pages! Thanks again.
Drew Gresik
Downers Grove Fire Department Ambulance 2 Medtec

Downers Grove Ambulance 2 is a 2012 Freightliner M2106/Medtec Type I. Drew Gresik photo

Western Springs Fire Department Engine 1711

Western Springs Engine 1711 is a 2002 Spartan Gladiator/Luverne. Drew Gresik photo

New ambulances in Elgin from another contributor:

four new ambulances being delivered

New ambulances delivered to Elgin.


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New patch for Western Springs

Lucas Knudsen submitted the new decal being used for the Western Springs Fire Department patch.

Western Springs Fire Department patch

We’d like to get the patch to add to the department pages on the site.


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The color of fire trucks (part 10) Division 10

Departments in MABAS Division 10 are featured in this next installment of The Color of Fire Trucks series.

Clarendon Hills Fire Department Mack Pierce TeleSqurt

Clarendon Hills ran this 1986 50′ TeleSqurt built by Pierce on a Mack CF chassis. Engine 349 had a 1,500-GPM pump and carried 500 gallons of water. Larry Shapiro photo

The Clarendon Hills Fire Department runs with apparatus that is painted white over a bright yellow. They currently have a fleet of four units with these colors.

Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District engine

One of several E-ONE units purchased by the Darien-Woodridge FPD was this 1990 top-mount Hurricane engine with 1,000 gallons of water and a 1,500-GPM pump. It ran as Engine 371. Larry Shapiro photo

The Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District currently runs with red and white apparatus. Their newest unit is solid red, and with this purchase they will retire one of the last of their lime-green apparatus which dominated their fleet for many years.

Riverside Fire Department green fire engine

Riverside Engine 306 ran with this 1978 Ford C-8000/Seagrave. It had a 1,250-GPM pump and 750 gallons of water. Bill Friedrich photo

The Riverside FD had this Seagrave engine and they also purchased another lime green rig. The second unit was a Chevy/E-ONE (DOT) light rescue, like the one shown below from Forest View.
Forest View Fire Department EONE small rescue

Forest View ran with one of the popular small DOT spec rescue squads like many other area departments. Squad 816 was built by E-ONE in 1980 on a GMC chassis. Bill Friedrich photo

The Forest View FD purchased this (DOT) light rescue. It was the only non-red rig in the fleet.
Hinsdale Fire Department EONE engine painted black and yellow

One of many units that has been purchased over the years for service in Hinsdale was this 1982 E-ONE Protector IV engine. Running as Engine 343, it was built on a Hendrickson chassis with an 1871-W cab, and carried 500 gallons of water with a 1,250-GPM pump. Larry Shapiro photo

Until 2008, all of the apparatus in the Hinsdale Fire Department was delivered black over yellow, and with the exception of their 2008 Spartan/Rosenbauer/Metz tower ladder, everything still maintains these colors.
Westmont Fire Department Pemfab Wedge engine by FTI

The Westmont Fire Department purchased this white and lime engine from FTI in 1978. It featured a 1,250-GPM pump with 500 gallons of water. It was built on a Pemfab chassis with their ‘wedge’ (Model 932-T) cab. Bill Friedrich photo

Westmont’s Fire Department had only this one non-red rig in the fleet.
Willow Springs Fire Department black E-ONE tower ladder

Willow Springs purchased this unusual 95′ tower ladder from E-ONE in 2001. Painted black, tower 600 had a 1,500-GPM pump with 300 gallons of water on a Cyclone chassis. Bill Friedrich photo

Willow Springs had this unique E-ONE tower ladder that was black. Reportedly, a developer was to build a large project in Willow Springs and was required to purchase an aerial unit for the fire department. The developer insisted on the tower being painted black.
Argonne national Laboratory Fire Department

The Argonne Labs Fire Department put together this brush rig with a 1975 IHC pickup. Brush 75 had a 70-GPM pump and a 250-gallon water tank. Bill Friedrich photo

Argonne Laboratory FD built their own brush truck. It was the only non-red in the fleet.
Western Springs Fire Department Pierce Arrow engine white fire truck

One of the many units that saw service in Western Springs when their apparatus was painted white was this 1981 Pierce Arrow engine. It was one of the early Pierce Arrow models with a chassis that was made by Oshkosh. Engine 437 had a 1,500-GPM pump with 750 gallons of water. The top-mount control station featured a hand-rail due to the large and spacious area.At this point in time, Pierce was building the cab and body. It wasn’t until later that they began to assemble the entire chassis. Larry Shapiro photo

The current Western Springs Fire Department apparatus is red and white although previously their units were all white with blue and gold trim.
Romeoville Fire Department white rescue squad

The only unit that the Romeoville Fire Department has run with that was not red was this 1979 E-ONE (DOT) light-duty rescue on a Ford F-350 chassis. Perhaps what is most unusual about this is that these were normally delivered lime green. Bill Friedrich photo

Romeoville had a white light-duty rescue by E-ONE. Most of these units were delivered lime green as per the DOT spec.

McCook Fire Department yellow Seagrave engine

This was one of two Seagrave engines that was purchased by the McCook Fire Department and was painted yellow. Engine 379, built in 1979, had 500 gallons of water with a 1,250-GPM pump. Bill Friedrich photo

Many years ago, the McCook Fire Department had red apparatus, then they switched to bright yellow for several years before the fleet was changed again to red and white.

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Western Springs department updates

The following changes in numbering and current station assignments for the Western Springs Fire Department was supplied by Lucas Knudsen, a member of the Western Springs Fire Department MRC/Emergency Management and FIre Explorer post

1711 is now 1722 (old 1711 1982 Pierce Arrow)
1712 is now 1711 ( 1712 2002 Spartan Gladiator) 
1713 is now 1721 (1713 2006 Spartan Advantage)   

1714 and 1715 along with 1719 have not changed 

Station one has: 
Engine 1711 
Truck 1719 
Ambulance 1714 
Ambulance 1715 
Car 1781 (department duty officer/ MABAS team member car)

In addition our 2nd station has opened and has the following units:
Engine 1721 
Engine 1722 
Car 1783 (2nd Duty/MABAS team member car)

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Fire departments discuss combining services

Dennis McGuire, Jr. found an article discussing a possible merger of sorts between three suburban fire and police departments.

La Grange officials voiced unanimous support to pursue a program of shared services with Western Springs and LaGrange Park in the first of three presentations Sept. 26 on the concept.

The study, sponsored by the Metropolitan Mayors and Managers Caucus and funded in part by a grant, was designed to examine similarities between the three villages regarding community characteristics and public safety operations.

The three towns have very similar populations, number of square miles and financial resources. Differences lie in emergency services with LaGrange Park and Western Springs employing paid, on-call firefighters and a private paramedic service, compared to La Grange, which has full-time firefighters.

The project also identified opportunities to share public safety services and made seven recommendations in a three-phase approach, beginning with combining emergency dispatch services.

The analysis of calls for emergency services suggests the total call volumes could be met from a single dispatch center with a potential savings of three full-time and four part-time workers. Other communities may be invited to join the system in time.

Departments could also share a record and reporting system.

Fire department trucks could be shared, and police services could be combined with overlapping responsibility between the communities for the supervising shift sergeant. Eventually, policing districts within and between the communities could be consolidated into larger ones.

Read the complete article from TheDoingsWestern Springs HERE.

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Western Springs Station 2 set to open

The final touches are being applied to the new fire station for the Western Springs Fire Department in MABAS Division 10. Station 2 was mentioned HERE, and the photos below by Scott Peterson show that from the exterior everything is nearing completion. The station should be open roughly a month from now and will house two engines. Engine 1721 (formerly) Engine 1711, and Engine 1722 (formerly Engine 1712) will move into this station.

Western Springs Fire Department Station 2

Western Springs Station 2 has two bays and will house two engines. Scott Peterson photo


Western Springs Fire Department Station 2

The new fire station in Western Springs is located at 5501 Grand Avenue. Scott Peterson photo



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