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Friday, February 5, 2016
Fox River & Countryside fire OKs some part-timers to save money    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District trustees Thursday night voted in a partial, part-time staffing model for fire and ambulance service. The staffing change appeared to be a compromise between what district trustees think may be needed to keep the lights on and what residents told trustees they would not accept at a recent meeting. Trustees had originally planned to implement an all part-time staff. Instead, they converted only some of the rescue staff to part-time status. The district contracts out with a private company for fire and ambulance staffing. Moving forward, that staffing will see five people, one captain and four firefighter/paramedics at each of the district's stations around the clock. That staff will be augmented by no fewer than three part-time employees. Those part-time employees will have all the same training as the full-time staff. Many of them will be full-time firefighter/paramedics at other area departments. "This will save us money, but not as much as we had hoped," said district President Bob Handley. "It's a stopgap measure."
Illinois Daily Herald

Fire Department Has Delays Serving Southwest Springfield    view comments tweat me share on facebook
It can only take minutes for a fire to flame out of control. Some residents in the southwest part of Springfield say they're concerned there isn't a fire station nearby. Fire Chief Barry Helmerichs remembers a fire at Panther Creek where the house burned down. He said a part of the reason the fire got out of control: a delayed response by the fire department because the closest fire station was 10 minutes away. A challenge the department still faces. Springfield firefighters try to respond to a fire within 4 minutes. However, that doesn't happen for the growing southwest corner of the capital city, like Piper Glenn and Panther Creek subdivisions. That concerns Howard Hood. "In a time of emergency you're not sure where the heck are they," said Hood, who lives in Panther Creek. Each second matters. The Koke Mill fire station battles White Oaks Mall traffic. Roughly every 30 seconds, a fire can double in size.
WICS-TV Springfield ABC Channel 20

Fire hits Fair Oaks housing complex in Danville    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Firefighters responded to an apartment fire Thursday morning at the Fair Oaks housing complex that appeared to have started from something on a stove. Assistant Chief Tom Pruitt was on the scene in the 900 block of Redden Court about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Pruitt said the fire was on the first floor of the brick building upon arrival, and that there were “heavy smoke conditions” inside the apartment. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within 10 minutes, according to Pruitt. A Danville Housing Authority official said the fire appeared to start from something left on a stove inside the apartment unit. Officials were going to assess the damage further Thursday to determine the extent of fire and smoke damage to units, said Steve Clark, whose firm, S. E. Clark & Associates of Peoria, is providing administrative oversight at the housing authority in the interim as it searches for a new director. “It’s still being investigated. It’s under control,” Clark said Thursday morning, shortly after the fire occurred. Pruitt confirmed the official cause of the fire still is under investigation, and that no occupants were inside the apartment at the time of the fire. Pruitt also reported that no injuries occurred during the event. Clark said it appeared the fire was contained to one unit. There may have been smoke in other units, he added. “I know it will displace one family,” he said. “That unit will be rendered unoccupiable.”
Danville Commercial News

Clinton: Firefighters raising money for thermal cameras    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Firefighters are taking to the streets to raise money for equipment. They want new thermal cameras to help them on the job. They plan to go to door to door. The firefighters say they don't want to put an extra burden on the city. So that's why they're doing this instead. They want to collect about $10,000. That would be enough for one or two new thermal cameras. The two they already have are getting old and have some problems, but firefighters say the tools are important in helping them see through thick smoke or find fire victims. They say people are usually willing to support them when they say they need help and they try to offer something in return. "Not only are we looking to raise money, but we also make sure people have working smoke detectors, CO detectors and also make sure they have an action plan with their family so they know how to get them or their kids out safely," said Lt. Stephen Page, who is a firefighter. They've been collecting like that for a few years. In the past, they've raised money for more equipment, like the "jaws of life" extrication tool. They've also put money toward a new training area. Thursday will be their first day. Then they'll be out on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 pm. You'll see their trucks when they're in your neighborhood.
WCIA & WCFN-TV CBS 3 Champaign

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Businessman tied to site of Chicago firefighter death cited by city elsewhere   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Businessman linked to the warehouse where a Chicago firefighter plunged to his death has received a string of municipal violations and a series of fines for "dangerous and unsafe conditions" at other properties he has managed or owned. Jatin Patel has been fined thousands of dollars over the past decade for an array of code violations discovered by the city, according to court documents. Patel, who manages the company Anilroshi that was renovating the Southeast Side brick warehouse where firefighter Daniel Capuano died Dec. 14, was cited at other properties for failure to secure a vacant building, possible rat infestations, uncut weeds and inadequate flooring, according to documents filed in Cook County Circuit Court. Construction work at the site where Capuano died was unauthorized and outside the scope of building permits, according to the city's building department, which found the warehouse unsafe and wants it demolished. Capuano, 43, died from injuries he suffered in a fall down an open elevator shaft inside the building at 9213 S. Baltimore Ave. while he fought a small but smoky fire that made it difficult to see. Capuano's wife filed a wrongful death suit against Anilroshi, claiming the company was negligent for having construction work done in violation of city regulations.
chicago tribune - metered site

One person dead in East St. Louis fire   view comments tweat me share on facebook
One person is dead after a house fire Wednesday on the 1800 block of Central Avenue in East St. Louis. The cause of the fire in the two-story house is under investigation, said Assistant Fire Chief Michael Dill, as crews worked to make sure all the hot spots in the house were out. Dill would not release the gender of the person who died or if it was an adult or child because the coroner had yet to arrive on the scene. “It’s very unfortunate,” Dill said. When crews responded to the call that came in at 7:51 p.m., they saw heavy smoke and fire, Dill said. Dill said he wasn’t sure how many other people lived in the house, but said others who were in the house when the fire started were OK.
Belleville News-Democrat

Woodstock Fire Rescue District Eliminates Deputy Chief Position; More Cuts to Come   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The first of several changes to come for the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District has been announced since the village of Lakewood declined to renew its emergency services contract with the department. WFRD Chief Ralph Webster said the deputy chief position will be eliminated by April 30 in an effort to save money and ultimately restructure the department. Eliminating the position, currently held by Deputy Chief Terry Menzel, 59, of Woodstock, will save the district about $150,000, Webster said. Menzel, a longtime member of the department, declined to comment on the decision, saying only, “It is what it is.” Menzel could be brought back to serve in a part-time capacity in the future, Webster said. WFRD employees have been aware future potential cuts and decreased work hours are likely since the department lost the Lakewood contract. “We’re facing a significant loss of revenue,” Webster said. “When we took the Lakewood contract, we told the department that there would be changes if we ever lost the contract. It’s not like this was dropped on everyone at the last minute.” WFRD was contracted to provide fire rescue services to Lakewood for the past five years. During that time, WFRD staffed Lakewood’s only fire station, at 6570 Haligus Road, independent of its staffing at its Woodstock stations. The Lakewood Village Board voted Nov. 24 not to renew a $750,000 annual contract with the WFRD, opting instead to sign a slightly cheaper agreement with the Crystal Lake Fire Department.
Woodstock Independent

Rockford firefighters battle fully engulfed house   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Rockford Fire Department is on the scene of a structure fire near 2nd Avenue and 4th Street on Rockford's east side. It happened Thursday morning around 6:00 a.m. A house is fully engulfed with flames, with minor damage to a neighboring house. The Rockford Fire Department believes the fully engulfed house was abandoned. No injuries have been reported. Firefighters had trouble with the closest hydrant and had to use a hydrant a block down the street. Rockford fire says crews will be on the scene until around 9:00 a.m. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
WREX-TV NBC 13 Rockford

Springfield Fire Department Honors Firefighters Past And Present   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Springfield Fire Department honoring those who retired over the past year and welcoming newly elected officers at its annual supper Wednesday night. The fire department also recognized a new honorary member of Springfield Firefighters Local 37. When Grandma Mundhenke's grandson joined the department in 2007, she sent him to work with cakes. Now she delivers baked goods to every firehouse in the city. The fire department presented Grandma Mundhenke with a fire helmet at the supper.
WRSP/WCCU-TV My Fox Illinois

Fire destroys three cars parked on street in Chicago’s West Lawn neighborhood   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Three cars were destroyed by fire early Thursday as they sat parked on a street in the West Lawn neighborhood on the Southwest Side. Firefighters were called around 3:40 a.m. to 63rd Street and Kildare Avenue, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Lyle, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman. There were no injuries, he said. Police bomb and arson investigators were called to the scene.
Chicago Tribune - metered site

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