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Friday, April 24, 2015
Naperville Fire Department presents historic photograph to Naper Settlement    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis and Bureau Chief of Community Services Andy Dina presented Naper Settlement with the Naperville Fire Department's 2012 inaugural composite photo that represented all 202 members of the department. Each member of the department, including 185 firefighters and administrative staff, was photographed and the individual photos were assembled into a 40-inch by 40-inch frame. Chief Puknaitis said, "We have never done anything like this composite photograph before. We are creating a legacy. If we don't do this, the history will be lost." The photographs will be added to Naper Settlement's Naperville Fire Department Collection, which dates back to the department's founding in 1874, and includes photographs, objects, artifacts and the Joe Naper Pumper, Naperville's first piece of firefighting equipment. The Naperville Fire Department is one of the oldest continuously operating fire departments in the United States. Bureau Chief Dina said, "We wanted to donate the composite photo to Naper Settlement, which is preserving our history for us." "We are proud to support the Naperville Fire Department," Naper Settlement President and CEO Rena Tamayo-Calabrese said. "Through their donation, we continue to be the institutional memory of the community."
Naperville Sun

Adams County first responders receive FEMA grant    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Adams County first responders will soon be better equipped to respond to a carbon monoxide leak. EMS Chief Paul Davis says Adams County Ambulance and EMS are getting a $33,000 dollar grant from FEMA to help pay for carbon monoxide monitors. Davis says the monitors will help assess people who may have carbon monoxide poisoning, and help keep firefighters safe when battling fires. "Any fuel when it's burning emits carbon monoxide gas, so our firefighters are subject to that," said Deputy Fire Chief Steve Salrin. Salrin says it's important for firefighters to closely monitor carbon monoxide levels, otherwise they could be in a dangerous situation. "If it's elevated enough and they're in it long enough, it could be flu like symptoms," Salrin said. "More elevated levels would be, their skin would start to turn to a reddish color." But Adams County Ambulance crews are getting a new tool to help keep firefighters safe. "We also respond to structure fires throughout Adams County, Quincy, Tri-Township and all the fire districts in Adams County and this is just one more way we can support them in their operations and safety," Davis said. Davis says the monitors work by clipping on to your finger, and that tells crews how much carbon monoxide is in the patient's blood.
WGEM-TV Quincy

Firefighter formerly accused in sex abuse case sues Chicago, officers    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A suburban firefighter who faced sexual abuse charges in 2013, only to have those charges dropped, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago and multiple city police officers. The suit, filed this week in federal court on behalf of Merrionette Park firefighter/paramedic Michael Haas, states that he was charged with allegedly serving as a lookout during a sexual assault though there was no evidence or probable cause to back up his arrest or the charges leveled against him. The charges against Haas were dismissed in May 2014, according to the lawsuit. Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Sally Daly confirmed that charges against Haas had been dropped, but that charges against his onetime co-defendant, Marvin Buhle, were pending. "Wholly lacking in probable cause, Plaintiff was placed under arrest for attempted criminal sexual abuse," the lawsuit states. Officials with the city's law department declined comment Thursday, saying they had not yet seen the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges Haas was a victim of false arrest and had his right to due process violated, among other counts. Haas' photo and the charges against him "garnered media attention locally and nationally," according to the lawsuit. The actions undertaken by the eight named defendant officers and other "unknown officers" "were so arbitrary as to shock the conscience," the lawsuit states. Timothy Fiscella, one of the attorneys representing Haas, called the situation "unfortunate."
Chicago Tribune - metered site

Galesburg fire marshal takes on a new mission    view comments tweat me share on facebook
After 20 years of fighting fires, Galesburg Fire Marshal Dan Foley submitted his letter of resignation Thursday with plans to apply his experience in developing countries. The 52-year-old battalion chief’s first stop will be later this year in Nairobi, Kenya, with Africa Fire Mission, a faith-based nonprofit organization that donates supplies and training in African communities. In many developing countries, Foley said, firefighting services and infrastructure are about 25 percent of what is recommended when compared to developed countries. Items essential to effective firefighting, such as self-contained breathing apparatuses, are hard to come by in many areas. After the 10-day Kenya trip, Foley plans to move in the fall of 2016 to India with his wife, Patty, whom he married last year, and adapt a similar fire service program there. “There’s a lot of things I’m going to miss,” Foley said. “I’ve enjoyed this job, especially enjoyed the job stationed as captain, but I also relish the days I was a firefighter. You get along with each other, you spend time with each other, eat together, look out for each other. It’s a nice family.” His last day at the Galesburg Fire Department will be June 3. Foley’s decision to move to India was prompted in part by his time spent as student at Knox College. Before graduating with an economics and business admiration degree in 1985, the Galesburg native spent time studying abroad in India.
Galesburg: Register-Mail

LyondellBasell donates to Morris, Minooka fire departments    view comments tweat me share on facebook
LyondellBasell recently awarded Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District and Minooka Fire Protection District $3,500 each in corporate grants. The contributions were used to provide training for firefighters at the prestigious Texas Annual Fire Training School conducted at Texas A&M University, according to a news release from the company. “Without the corporate partnership with LyondellBasell, our firefighters would not have the ability or opportunities to attend this high-caliber training,” Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District Chief Tracey Steffes said in the news release. Each year, thousands of fire service personnel from municipalities and industries participate in intensive weeklong training courses, which enable participants to acquire new skills by conducting hands-on incident response training. “The Texas training school is impressive in not only size but in the wide variety of training scenarios,” LyondellBasell Morris Complex site Manager Brian Angwin said in the news release. “Because of our strong relationship with our local first responders, we wanted to provide exposure to this unique yet invaluable education.” The Morris Complex is one of the largest petrochemical facilities in the Midwest.
Morris Daily Herald

Fire damages east Urbana mobile home    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A fire in a mobile home in east Urbana was put out quickly late Thursday morning, but not before doing moderate damage. Edge-Scott Fire Protection District Capt. Taylor Clark said Will Eades was outside of his home at 46 Kickapoo Trail just after 10 a.m. when he noticed smoke coming from the rear of his home. "He was outside doing yardwork. He is the one who called 911. He tried to go back in but was turned back at the door by smoke," Clark said. Urbana firefighters were the first to arrive at the Chief Illini Village mobile home park. They put out the fire. Clark said the fire damage was heaviest in a master bedroom closet, but it's unclear exactly where or how the fire started. An investigator with the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System was asked to look into that.
Champaign News-Gazette

Thursday, April 23, 2015
City of St. Charles Receives Top Fire Protection Rating   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Ranking could Mean Lower Fire Insurance Rates for St. Charles Residents and Businesses The City of St. Charles has been awarded a Class 1 rating for Fire Protection from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), designating St. Charles as one of only 99 cities out of 45,000 surveyed in the United States to earn the elite ISO Class 1 status. This ranking could translate into lower fire insurance rates for St. Charles residents and businesses. A presentation of the award was made at the April 20 City Council Meeting by representatives from the Insurance Services Office. The St. Charles Fire Department is one of only 23 Fire Departments in the Country to hold both the ISO Class 1 rating and International Accreditation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. ISO's Public Protection Classification ratings are utilized to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties. The program provides an objective countrywide standard that helps fire departments plan and budget for facilities, equipment and training. ISO's evaluation program includes 10 classifications, with 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest. The City of St. Charles scored 93.81 points out of 105.5 possible points during an ISO audit in January of this year. The rating is based upon a comprehensive review of fire department capabilities and efforts (50 percent), the water supply system (40 percent) and the emergency communications system (10 percent). Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet stated that "Our achievement of the Class 1 rating demonstrates the professionalism of all Fire Department members and their commitment to provide the highest levels of service to our community. I am very appreciative of the dedication and expertise of the members of the Water Division of the Public Works Department, Tri Com Central Dispatch and the neighboring fire departments whom we have partnered with for automatic aid and without whom this achievement would not have been possible."
Chicago Tribune

Former chief’s son joins Alton Fire Department   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A son of a late, sometimes embattled Alton fire chief, joined the Alton Fire Department this week after graduating Friday from the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute in Champaign. “We are very proud of how he performed at the academy,” AFD Deputy Chief Mark Harris said of Timothy Spaulding II, 28. “We are glad to have him as part of the department. His father loved the fire service. He would have been proud.” Spaulding spent the past three years as a volunteer firefighter for the Godfrey Fire Protection District. He is working on the first shift, under Battalion Chief Tom House. He said there was no one specific reason or event that prompted him to go into fire service, as his family’s second-generation firefighter. “I’m just keeping it in the family, I’m just happy to be here,” he said. Spaulding and his wife Christine have two children “and a third one on the way,” he said. He said he has seen his father’s photograph in the upper level hallway of the Don Twichell Memorial Fire Station 1, among rows of images of former AFD chiefs. “He would be very proud of me,” Spaulding said.
Alton Telegraph

Fire destroys car, vacant house in Washington Park   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The fire that destroyed a car parked next to a vacant home near 47th Street and Baleydier Avenue in Washington Park Wednesday evening spread to the house and destroyed it, too. Washington Park Fire Chief Joe Hazel said crews were dispatched to the property that’s just north of Interstate 64 shortly before 5 p.m. just as the fire was spreading from the car to the house. By the time Washington Park, State Park and Camp Jackson fire crews controlled the fire, only the metal frame of the Pontiac sedan and the cinder block chimney of the small home were left. Hazel said firefighters had to rely on transporting water to the scene with tanker trucks because locating functioning hydrants in the neighborhood is difficult. At one point, a piece of burning wood was thrown by the force of a fire hose away from the home, starting a small fire in the thick undergrowth just west of the burning home. Firefighters quickly doused that fire before continuing their work on the house. “That car doesn’t belong here, we’ll have to figure out whose it is,” Hazel said. He added that the area south of Bunkum Road, north of I-64 and west of Illinois 111 was popular as a final destination for car thiefs who park stolen vehicles among the vacant homes and set them on fire.
Highland News Leader

Semi-truck goes up in flames near Interstate 72 in Quincy   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The driver of a UPS semi truck was airlifted to Blessing Hospital in Quincy Wednesday morning with a non-life-threatening head injury after crashing on Interstate 72 at the 12.5 mile marker near Hull. The Illinois State Police says it looks like the driver fell asleep at the wheel. The accident happened shortly after 5:00 Wednesday morning. After leaving the road, the semi rolled over was completely engulfed in flames. It took approximately 30 minutes for fire and rescue departments to put out the fire including Barry, Hull, Pike County and the Sheriffs Department. Throughout the morning there were lingering flames that departments continued to put out. Initially, both lanes of the Interstate were shut down for 20 minutes so crews could get the driver to the hospital and get the flames put out. Both lanes were eventually opened for traffic...the westbound lane stayed down to one lane for sometime while crews cleaned up the mess. Illinois State Police say a co-driver was also in the truck at the time of the crash, and refused medical treatment at the scene. The driver was trapped in the vehicle and needed to be helped out by the co-driver.
KHQA-TV Connect Tri States

Fire at Batavia bar; No one injured   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A Batavia tavern was evacuated Wednesday night after a small fire broke out outside the building on the city's southwest side. Batavia Fire Department officials said the fire was started by someone throwing a cigarette butt into a bed of mulch in back of the building. Firemen arrived around 9 p.m. to the Crosstown Pub at 1890 Mill St. to find smoke had seeped into a section of the building and activated the building's automatic fire alarm system. "Employees had been notified of the fire and were dumping water on it as we arrived and were evacuating patrons from the building," Batavia Fire Department Battalion Fire Chief Shawn Stephens said. Firemen on the scene doused the area with water and checked to ensure embers did not spread to other areas around the building, fire department officials said. "Had this fire happened late at night when no one was around to begin extinguishment, the outcome could have been much worse. This is a very good example of why it is so important to properly discard smoking materials into an approved container and why automatic fire detection systems are so important," Stephens said.
Aurora Beacon News

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