Cherry Valley Fire Proves Hydrants Dont Work, Water Company Says They Arent Supposed To
Video from the fire at 2411 Pinedrop Parkway Saturday night, revealed that the fire hydrants near the home don't work.
Cherry Valley firefighters tried to get water from the two that were closest to the home, but no water came out.
Utilities Services of Illinois owns the water system, and they say these hydrants are not fire hydrants.
Steve Lubertozzi is the President of Utility Services of Illinois, and he said, “People have referring them to as fire hydrants, which they are not, they are flushing hydrants, and they are used periodically for the water system to perform maintenance on the system."
And the president of Utility Services of Illinois says the fire department should have been aware of that.
"They neither have the pressure or the capacity for fire flow, and the fire department was aware, or should have been aware that that was a private fire company, or excuse me a private water company and that they were flushing hydrants and not capable of providing fire flow,” said Lubertozzi.
But Deputy Chief Doug Hayes says they did not know that.
Hayes said, “I would say they need to make that clear to us, something, give us something in writing and indicate that those hydrants are out of service and not for fire-fighting purposes."
Deputy Chief Hayes says they've even used them before.
"We have used those hydrants in that neighborhood before for fire-fighting purposes,” said Hayes.
Hinsdale fire pension board seeks new investment consultant
The Hinsdale Firefighter Pension Board has selected a different investment firm. The board, which only meets four times a year, voted recently to hire Sawyer Falduto Asset Management LLC, a company that specializes in investments for the Illinois Police and Fire Pension Funds.
The board is required by state law to seek requests for proposals every five years from potential investment firms. Two other firms also applied including Graystone Consulting, which is the board's current investment consultant. Thomas McCarthy, a retired firefighter and board member, said the board is opting to go with a different investment firm to try to maximize returns while protecting investments.
"We want to maximize our returns while maintaining security," he said.
Board president Doug Niemeyer, who is a current firefighter, added that the department wants to take advantage of the potential returns from the stock market that has been doing well in recent years. He said the pension fund's growth relies on contributions from employees, the Village of Hinsdale, and investment returns.
Former Yates City firefighter sues over dismissal
A former Yates City firefighter is suing the Elba Salem Fire Protection District for firing him back in July following a social media incident regarding a member of the Elmwood Fire Department.
Steve Yates was dismissed this summer for posting comments on Facebook targeting an Elmwood firefighter. Frakes had been a whistleblower to an incident earlier regarding the Elmwood firefighter, whom Frakes said was showing up intoxicated on the job.
In a lawsuit filed with the Federal District Court in Peoria, Yates is suing the Elba Salem Fire District for $500,000. He also has three separate counts against the three members of the district board for $500,000 each. The money would cover damages due to financial and reputation loss, as well as Frakes’ attorney fees.
Frakes’ attorney James Springer of the Peoria-based Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick PC firm, said the the fire protection board and the three trustees — Greg Wessel, Eugene Saunders and Gerald Buckman — have all been served by mail.
Buckman declined to comment and Wessel and Saunders were unavailable.
Springer said he cannot yet determine if the matter will be settled before it gets to court, since the suit is less than a week old. He said cases like this one are often settled out of court, either with an agreement between the parties or by dismissal. However, Springer said he was confident the case is strong enough to hold off dismissal.
Hinsdale firefighter, lieutenant honor late deputy chief with lifesaving training classes
Just more than four years after the Hinsdale Fire Department said goodbye to Mark “Big” Johnson, a department firefighter and lieutenant have joined together to find a way to keep his memory alive.
In September 2010, Deputy Chief Johnson was found unresponsive in the basement of the firehouse after suffering a heart attack during mandatory workout hours, according to firefighter Steve Tullis.
Tullis – one of the firefighters who found Johnson – said he has always looked back on that day and wished he and his fellow firefighters could have done something more.
Teaming up with his lieutenant, Mike Neville, Tullis said the pair have found a way to ensure others are prepared for similar situations by beginning a business which offers CPR certification, as well as training on an automated external defibrillator and first aid training, called “Mark.”
“It’s a very simple life skill that anyone can learn,” Tullis said of the programs.
Tullis and Neville will offer two separate courses, each running between three and four hours, according to Tullis.
One option for those interested in learning lifesaving techniques is the HeartSaver AED class, which is ideal for the “everyday person.” Through the American Heart Association, the class will offer CPR and AED certification or recertification. Participants in the class will learn to correctly administer CPR and to use a defibrillator, which are now common at many workplaces and schools. Defibrillators delivers a small electrical charge to the heart to restart the heart and are easy for most people to use.
Vernon Hills Fire Damages Three Homes
Multiple people were displaced after a fire rendered three attached homes uninhabitable Monday morning in north suburban Vernon Hills.
Crews were called to a fire in the 900 block of Jackson Court about 9:30 a.m., according to a statement from the Countryside Fire Protection District.
When firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from the attic on the east side of a two-story town home, the fire department said. The homeowner told them that a plumber had been using a torch in the second-floor bathroom wall.
The fire spread from a second-floor common wall to the attic before it was extinguished, and two other units that shared the wall were affected, according to the fire department.
While it was not immediately clear how many people were displaced, the fire department said all three units affected by the fire were uninhabitable.
Multiple other fire departments assisted in battling the blaze, according to the statement.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although it started close to the spot where the plumber had been using a torch, fire officials said.